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  • Mind the Soft Spots - And I'm Not Talking About the Baby's
Mind the Soft Spots - And I'm Not Talking About the Baby's
Written by
Lola Lolita
July 2011
Written by
Lola Lolita
July 2011
I’ve always been obsessed with my weight, even though I’ve never been the perfect amount of skinny. (Is there such a thing?) Up until high school, I was lanky. Lots of people commented on how tall I’d be when I grew up. (Cruel, really, given that I’m the shortest person in my immediate family.) Then came high school. I wasn’t ultra thin anymore. Instead, I was getting…meaty. The fact that I played varsity softball didn’t help, either. When we weren’t exercising on the field (and I’m using that term – exercising – loosely), we were in the weight room pumping iron. (Seriously. Quite a sight, I assure you.) With all that activity came an increased appetite, which led to an increased girth. So when it came time to get in my prom dress, I was disappointed to see that I was so…so…beefy. Not fat. More like muscular. Thick. And the furthest from what I wanted to be.

Add to that the infamous “freshman fifteen” everyone seems to put on that first year of college, and I was miserable. As far as body image goes, I didn’t like mine. Enter Psycho Diet number one. (Oh, yeah. It has a name.) I ate nothing but cereal in the mornings and soup and a bagel for lunch. No dinner. Too many calories. And guess what? I lost about fifteen pounds and entered sophomore year of college happier than I’d been in years.

This cycle repeated itself. A series of binge drinking, flagrant eating, and yo-yo dieting episodes did a number on my body. My weight easily fluctuated by an average of five to fifteen pounds every few months. So not healthy.

Even with all this body change, I was NOT prepared for what pregnancy brings. In addition to the sickness, tiredness, and soreness, I think one of the biggest reasons why I hated pregnancy was the weight gain. It was inescapable. I put on 60 additional pounds with my first son, and about 70 with my second. The fact that I was, literally, eating enough for two (grown adults, that is) didn’t help. Neither did the outrageous water weight gain I suffered. I felt like the Hoover both times.

After my first son was born, I was determined to get that pre-baby body back. I went on Weight Watchers, which was actually the first diet that worked for me while being somewhat healthy as well. I didn’t put anything in my mouth that didn’t fit into my plan. I walked what seemed like miles a day at work. (I was a traveling teacher, so no classroom meant carrying myself and all my materials up and down stairs after each class.) And I smoked. (Shame on me. Seriously.) I lost more weight than I had gained, ending up skinner than I’d been since I was 12. Aside from a few minor stretch marks, some additional cellulite, and a c-section scar, I felt pretty darn good.

My second time around wasn’t so successful. Not only did I gain more weight than I did the first time, but my second son was also a good pound larger than my first, which spelled big trouble for me. Major stretch marks. Cellulite visible from a mile away. Spider veins. And a hernia. A big one.

I did the whole dieting thing again, remaining ever-so-true to my Weight Watchers. But this time, I didn’t pick up smoking again. I had a longer maternity leave as well as my own classroom when I returned to work, which meant not as much walking for me. I got down to that last ten pounds, which took me twice as long as it had the first time, and I quit. That’s it, I thought. Why am I being so hard on myself? I need a break.

And you know what? I took a break. Because, for some reason, I was finally comfortable in my skin. My stretch-marked, cellulite-ridden, ten-pounds-overweight skin. Does this mean I’ve given up on being weight conscious? No. In fact, after my indiscretions this past holiday weekend, I’m planning on getting myself in order again next week. But I plan on being just that – weight conscious, not weight obsessed. Healthy. Happy. And, ironically, after all that could be considered “wrong” with it, more at peace with my body than I have been in years.

Do you find yourself weight conscious or weight obsessed? At what point in your life have you been most comfortable with you?

Like this post? Visit me on Facebook at Families Coping with Infant Stroke and on Twitter at @InfantStroke.  For a more cynical side of me, visit my other blog at http://catharsis-laura.blogspot.com.

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