Tuesday, September 11, 2007

weight loss is like having a baby

And, no, I don't mean in that goofy way that people say the fastest way to lose 15 pounds is to give birth. That's stupid since you usually gain way more than those measly little 15 pounds when you are preggo and those 15 pounds are just the tip of the iceberg!

No, I just realized that a lot of my feelings about my body mirror those that I've had in the hours and weeks after giving birth. And since I've given birth 6 times and NEVER lost more than 25 pounds before in my life, I'd thougth I'd try this analogy out.

All 6 times that I have gone to the hospital to give birth, I have felt HUGE!!! My skin was stretched. I was uncomfortable moving around. My center of balance was waaaay off. I didn't want to feel like that anymore. After that baby is out it is suddenly so much easier to move around. I can breathe again. The ache is gone from my hips and pelvis (except with Trey who bruised my tailbone or some such crazy thing!). Then within a few hours I take my first shower post partum and feel so SKINNY!!! My belly is no longer stretched beyond recognition. (I should add that I got stretch marks with every single one of my kids except Jack E-no wonder he's my favorite!).

And I am incredibly proud of what my body has accomplished. I have just birthed my child. I have had really easy deliveries (even with 2 inductions and 2 augmentations) and little to no medication with each birth. I was always amazed in the hours after each baby's birth that this little person had just emerged from my body. The feeling of having that hard little head emerge and know that we had done this together was euphoric.

That's a lot like how I felt after losing the first 25 pounds or so with WW. I was stunned and amazed that I had lost that much weight so easily. I was thrilled with how my body looked. I felt so incedibly skinny and hot.

A couple of weeks or a month after each baby was born and I was starting to feel in the groove of the motherhood thing again, I would want to get back to my "regular" clothes. I would try to pull on some jeans and realize how flabby my belly still was. It was always such a shocker to realized that even though I didn't look like I did when I was pregnant, I was far from back to "normal". This is really kind of ironic for me since there hasn't been much time between any of my pregnancies. And really, my hips didn't go back to normal until after I weaned my baby last winter...which means they were in their "loosened" state (ie an entire jeans size largerfor my big ol' butt) from 1995 until early 2007. UGH!

I think I'm at that place now. I am not a size 18 anymore, or squeezing myself into those 18's. I am really quite securely in a size 12, which are many days a little loose even. I have a much thinner face. I have some parts of me that really look pretty good. But I am not skinny yet. I think my frustration with my body and weight loss efforts lately come from that dissatisfaction with me. I am still incredibly proud of what I have accomplished. Not only has this body birthed and nourished 6 babies, but I have lost over 30 pounds now...over holiday's and birthdays and an anniversary and a vacation, too. I don't have my little saggy spot on the side of my belly anymore. It's that kind of post six pregnancies in 10 years sag you'd expect me to have. The sag is nearly gone but the belly is far from flat.

But I'm a lot closer now than I was 10 months ago. And as my nearly 2 year old baby sits here laughing and tickling at my neck, I realize that this is a journey...a process...one that will be a lifelong thing. Just like I will never stop being "mama", I won't stop working on this body.


Amber said...

Great post and thanks for sharing. I agree though its something no matter how much weight you lose its a lifelong process because it can always come back but if you keep at it you are truly rewarded for it. You have done a wonderful job and with 6 kids you are truly amazing!

katieo said...

Hi Noelle! Just found you through Carolyn. We've got 6 kids too! (But I blog with my sister...we both have three...heehee!) Anyway, glad to have found you. Love your analogy of the birthing and losing weight. And this line is priceless:
' Just like I will never stop being "mama", I won't stop working on this body.'
AMEN! :)

Diet Coke and Zingers said...

That's a great analogy. I'm starting to feel that way myself... like wow, I'm NOT as skinny as I though I was... Must be something about fighting off the last few pounds (and then, of course, keeping them off, which will be a life long process)...

CaRoLyN said...

I think this post was great! I love how you analyzed your weight loss and I love the ending line that you'll never stop working on your body. That is truly inspirational!
You are doing so great! It's not a quick fix, it's a lifelong commitment and youre such a grea motivation!

WeightBGone said...

Loved your post and weight loss analogy. It was spoken with lots of truth. This will always be a life long process and thats something I have come to realize. Hope your week is a great one. :)