Friday, August 15, 2014

Will I ever fit into my skinny jeans again?

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Irony - rewarding yourself for maintaining weight loss by purchasing two brand new pairs of Rag & Bone skinny jeans while on vacation in NYC ... only to find out upon your return home that you are unexpectedly pregnant with baby #3.

Surprise!

Now into Month 9 of pregnancy, the jeans have been safely packed into storage for a future date.  I don't know when that date will be, but thinking about it makes me incredibly depressed.

After baby #2, it took me a LONG time to get to the point where I was really happy with my body.  I never aspired to be skinny, and I was always active, but for too long I was content to be a comfortable weight, rather than the best for my body. 

A couple years ago, I got more serious about it and stopped counting points (nothing wrong with WW program, it worked for me once, but I was in a different place in my life now) or calories (drudgery) and just changed the way I ate and worked out. 

I dropped the last few annoying pounds by adding more protein to my diet, limiting starches to once in a while, and eating more fruits and nuts for snacks.  Instead of focusing primarily on cardio (running miles and miles every week), I started working with a trainer who pushed me to focus on weights and using my own body as resistance training with bands and loads of squats and barbells to carve out lean muscles.  I got over the fear of building big muscles and weight gains, and realized the muscles I was building were lean and toned. 

I was finally fitting into anything I wanted to wear.  I maintained that for over a year and a half and it was never a struggle.  I had my treats on occasion, I enjoyed my wine and cooked relatively healthy about 90% of the time.  The rest of the time, I indulged on special occasions and only worried about the scale if it fluctuated beyond my comfort range.  If it did, I cut back a little for a week and everything was fine - the result, I am sure of adding more muscle tone to the body which burns off the extra pudge from a way-too-happy weekend.

Fast forward to today, and I don't even know where to begin. 

My weight is all over the place, which is understandable.  The healthy foods I used to eat - lean omelets, chicken, fish, big salads .. all make me nauseous.  I try cooking them, take a few bites and want to gag.  What's making me happy?  Pasta, bread, butter, chocolate, tomato and mayo sandwiches on hearty bread, yogurt, avocados and peanut butter..

I'm still working out, but on my doctor's advice, following some medical issues,  I had to cut back on any kind of strenuous workout - no heavy exertion, no lifting, no running.  So, that isn't leaving me with much but some dutiful treadmill walking and light arm weights.   I watch runners blazing down the roads, as I trudge along, walking my dog, and I feel so sad.  Some of them I know, and I remember being one of those mother runners .. training for a race, logging in my miles, comparing notes.   I watch in envy as people team up for health challenges at the gym, eying their numbers on the wall, watching them come in for classes and workouts I used to love to do. Sometimes I'm standing there at the gym, looking in the mirror wondering, "why bother?"

The only reason I do is because I remember how incredibly hard it is to lose the weight after the baby is born.  I still remember how long it took me to fit back into regular size clothing after I had my second child.  I had gained 30 pounds, which was fine according to my doctor, but 30 pounds on a 5' 5" body  with a short waist winds up looking like chub after the belly deflates.  I wore maternity clothing for months after! 

So, I keep going to the gym.  I walk on the treadmill and sit down on the benches for light arm work.  I watch my heart rate and make sure it doesn't get too high.  I don't exert myself on anything, and as a result, even walking up the stairs now gets me winded.  Now in the final weeks, all I can manage is floating around in the pool and kicking gently.

I'm definitely doing what I can to make sure the baby is healthy, but I really want my body back. And then I feel guilty for even thinking this, because it sounds so selfish - worrying about my weight when it's the baby I should be focusing on. I especially feel guilty because if you've had a child who was born needing massive medical attention, as I have, you know that all that ultimately matters is the baby. Trust me, I know that. But I'm still human.

I suppose all there is to do is try to eat as healthy as I can, and then give myself a break. The weight will eventually come off, especially since I know what I have to do to make it happen. It's about being patient, I suppose. Enduring the sleepness nights and somehow trying to find time to work out, eat less and not be exhausted from it all.

Sounds fun.


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