Being Intentional About Fat Photos

One of the hardest things that I’ve ever had to deal with was losing all of my baby weight. As I’ve written about before in several posts, I gained a ton of weight for a variety of reasons, some out of my control but many well in my control. I’ve lost most of the weight, though the last 10 pounds is a bit of a struggle (when isn’t it, though?).

However, when I was that tubby, I still making sure I was in pictures. The reason for that is I observed early in postpartum that I was not in a lot of the pictures. I was the photographer of the family, so there are three times as many pictures as of my husband and my baby. Given that that was the case, I worked to include myself in more pictures and have my husband take more of them.

Was it hard to take pictures when I was that heavy? Absolutely.

But the alternative – not having any physical memories of myself and my son in his fleeting age was not acceptable.

Nowadays, I look through those pictures and boy…it is hard to see how big I was back then. Suddenly it is very clear why all those clothes were so tight back then. I cringe at some of the pictures.

But the coolest thing is that I’ve lost most of that weight. Now as I go through those pictures, I can see a physical reminder of just how hard I worked and how far I’ve come. That itself is pretty amazing.

So we keep taking pictures. Sometimes I grimace and sometimes it’s harder than I want it to be to look at the pictures, because I’ve still got 10 pounds to go and I’m not quite in fighting shape. But I know that I’m going to get there. The pictures motivate me, every single day. We’ll keep taking pictures and capturing these fleeting times of my beautiful baby boy, with his mother in whatever form she comes in.

Postpartum World_ICON_4C_Yellow Rattle

One Pound at a Time

As some of you who read my blog may know, one of the triggers of my postpartum depression was the weight that I gained during my prenatal depression. Seeing myself in that new body was hard. It was a huge source of anxiety for me while going through my postpartum depression. When I saw my psychiatrist in August to adjust my medication, one of the things that I told her was that she had to put me on medication that wouldn’t inhibit me from losing weight.

Some might say that weight loss shouldn’t be a priority when going through severe postpartum depression. To those men and women, I would gently point out that weight gain can be extremely traumatic or a psychological block. My psychiatrist completely understood this and worked with me to develop a treatment plan that was compatible with my goals.

Yes, we can have these conversations about how we shouldn’t worry about our stretch marks or our extra “mom” weight, but that mindfulness doesn’t work for everyone. For our family, my health was a huge priority. My husband understood that being healthy and fit was a huge component in my well-being and my recovery. He knew that the disappointment that I felt when looking at my body wasn’t just “body issues”. He knew that it was a trigger of the darkest times of my life. He knew it was a physical sign of the despair that I felt as I struggled to find my identity as a mother after my recovery from postpartum depression.

But he also knew that a healthy body and lifestyle was critical for good mood balance. While I do take antidepressants since I’m still in an extended postpartum period, I still manage my moods by using several holistic methods. I’ve talked before about how we made a family budget decision to invest money into a trainer to help get me back on track. As part of that training program, I participated in a fitness challenge.

The fitness challenge was a great option for me. It provided structure and gave me constraints to execute specific goals. Discipline and finding the time had been of great frustration to me now that I am a new mother. To address that angst, we used talk therapy to come to terms with who I am as a person and what I can handle vice other moms or even my husband.

I’m a low energy person. I always have been. My husband is a higher energy person. Always has been. We came up with a plan to lose the weight that incorporated both of our personalities. My husband has taken on the “default” parent role. He wakes up with the little guy three days a week so that I can get up and go to the gym for a workout session. While I workout, he gets the little guy fed, dressed and ready to go. I help out on Tuesdays and Thursdays and save the workouts on those days for the afternoon in between work or in the evenings after bedtime. When he’s pressed for time, I’ll take the baby out for long walks to give him some space. On Saturdays, we go for a long run with the baby together using our jog stroller. Then on Sundays, my husband gets the mornings off to go play pickup hockey while I go run sprints with the stroller and then meetup for a coffee date with a friend.

My husband isn’t even the default parent with just our fitness schedule. He vacuums the house, does all the laundry and is responsible for pick-up and drop-off at daycare. I clean the kitchen, do our finances and help parent.

But this arrangement works for us. We’ve both communicated clearly on our parenting abilities, what things stress us out and where we need the other to step in. My husband has been incredibly supportive of my journey to wellness and is adamant about working things out so that I don’t have to miss an exercise opportunity or a training session because he sees the benefits of my moods when I’m active. Of course, he’s got a hectic travel schedule at times, so we both try to stay flexible. If it means that I miss a workout one week than that’s fine.

Tomorrow I have my weigh-out scheduled. While I don’t think I’ll win the grand prize, the competition served as a tangible goal  to strive towards while also helping give me the discipline that I needed to push through and lose the weight after I had hit my plateau.

Today I can say that after 15 months of fighting hard, I’ve lost a total of 60 pounds.

My stretch marks bother me less and I feel a sense of confidence. I’ve lost my doubt. My weight loss journey will continue, but it’s no longer tied to the darkness of postpartum depression. Now it’s simply a sunny journey to lose the next 10 pounds…just because. Not because I have to, but because I want to. Not because it reminds me of that terrible time, but because it’s a nice goal to have.

Postpartum World_ICON_4C_Yellow Rattle

Burn Granny Panties, Burn!

Tonight we celebrate, Granny Panties…tomorrow you burn!

When I got home from the hospital, I needed some comfy big clothing while I settled into maternity leave. My mom went to the store and bought me some big comfy nightgowns and some big comfy…granny panties.

The grannies were great. They were long, fit well over my c-section scar and had a nice easy elastic that didn’t give me a muffin top. They were comfy and soft. I wore them for a really long time.

But the grannies have got to go.

Continue reading “Burn Granny Panties, Burn!”

“Weight – you gained HOW much?”

Some of you know that I gained about more than 70 pounds after I got pregnant, mostly due to my prenatal depression. I had spent some time losing weight in 2011, 2012 and 2013. I was at my high school weight in March of 2013. It was hard work, but I did it.

Oh hello, high school weight!

145. It felt great to be there.

My weight slowly climbed upward as I was less rigorous about my diet. I got injured and had to take some time off from running, which didn’t help. Running was a great stress reliever for me – something I really enjoyed…and it helped keep off the pounds when I would go out with friends or share a bottle of wine with neighbors. In 2014 I started training for the Marine Corps Marathon and gained about 10 or 15 pounds as I was eating everything in sight.

So when we discovered that I was pregnant, I was already about 15 pounds heavier than I wanted to be. As morning sickness (or really, all afternoon and evening sickness) set in, I lost a bit. I did OK for the first couple of months. But prenatal depression killed my energy. At the time I thought it was just pregnancy, but it progressed into the second and then third trimester. Not only that, I was eating my feelings. Some people fail to eat when they are depressed…but I eat. Even with my shrinking stomach, I ate pastas, muffins, “second breakfasts”, cakes and anything carb related. For those who know me – it was strange behavior. I can’t stand pastas and rarely eat carbs outside of chocolate cake (which I also don’t eat that frequently).

Continue reading ““Weight – you gained HOW much?””