(That's a true story, by the way. For weeks I had the worst emails of people actually threatening to call CPS because I complained about dirty tables and the horrific prices on bottled water. Here's a lesson for you, don't ever bad mouth Disney EVER. There are legions of fanatics that will cut you.)
So as most everyone in the world knows, I gave birth to Penelope on April 29. To be fair, I wasn't in stellar shape before I had her. I just wasn't. I wasn't morbidly obese or anything, but I was overweight for my height and I knew that I could, and should, be doing better. But like most people, I don't enjoy exercise, I love chemically processed foods, and I enjoy eating those chemically processed foods.
Throughout my entire pregnancy I gained the normal amount of weight. I watched what I ate and the portions of what I ate. I went on walks fairly regularly and I was really active through my whole pregnancy, even more so towards the end, really. When I gave birth to Penelope, I weighed 193 pounds. Keep in mind, I am only 5'3 (and a quarter, because every little bit helps) so that's a lot of weight on my stature.
Two days before I gave birth to Penelope
Even through my pregnancy I was following Instagram posts that tell you to "take back postpartum" and "be proud" of your post baby body. Those stretch marks are like war wounds! You created a human life, you shouldn't be ashamed of the vessel that made them!
And yeah, that's all true. It is. It's not to say that I'm not proud of my body. Every day I stare at all three of my kids and am blown away when I think of the fact that I made them. With my own body. Even as Penelope was gently put into my arms, I was amazed to look at her and know that every part of her grew in me. All of her organs, her vital life systems, those were all on me. I did that. It's easily the biggest job a person can have. Just the miracle of life and the science on how a human is conceived, nurtured, and born is amazing. I can't downplay that at all because it's all a fascinating process and until you are right there in that moment I don't think you can really understand it. To know that you created a life. Maybe one of my kids will be famous or do something great in the world and I made them.
So it's clear that I fully understand what a big deal being pregnant, and giving birth, is. I get it. I'm proud, and I would do it again and again because it was that great. I enjoyed it that much.
But now I'm only carrying myself around. And I don't care what anyone says, we can fake it to the world, we can declare how proud we are, but somewhere in every mother, there is that little voice that will remind you that you weren't quite as flappy before kids. That voice reminds you that, once upon a time, you were quite the looker. You were a little thinner. A little firmer. You didn't quite feel like everything was all going to hell.
Maybe it's aging. Maybe this isn't related to having a baby at all, maybe this is the war we fight with aging. Not wanting to let go of what once was, accepting what it is now, and being slightly terrified of what's ahead.
Whatever it is, it's awful.
Right now I am in an awful place and it's the worst. It's particularly bad because you do have kind people who'll say, "Wow- you look SO great!" and in my head I'm rolling my eyes and saying, "Um, no. Because you don't realize I'm still wearing my maternity jeans because it's holding all of the flappy skin and fat in, but thanks." You aren't really supposed to say that you feel like crap and hate your post-partum body because people automatically assume you don't love or want your kids ("I would KILL to be able to have a baby!") or maybe they aren't happy with how they look ("But Sara, you just had a baby. It takes 9 months to gain the weight...").
I love my kids, I want them all, and I know I just gave birth. I get all of that.
I'm still feeling fat and I still hate it. Sorry.
Yes, you did your math correctly, I am five pounds heavier now than I was when I gave birth. Mathematically, Penelope was 9 pounds when she was born so I should be at least 9 pounds lighter. But NOPE, the world of mathematics and science clearly hates me because it's not working in my favor. And when you look at my pregnant picture and one from last night after my run, it's like, how in the WORLD are you heavier now?
I HAVE NO IDEA, FOLKS. Same scale, nothing has changed.
But here I am.
In the past I was an absolute emotional eater. I mostly ate out of boredom, and it is something I still struggle with. Mostly now my issue is lack of time. I am hardly eating, to be honest. I eat my fiber and protein granola bar in the morning during Penelope's nap, drink my bottle of water and glass of orange juice.
At lunch time, if I'm super lucky, I can eat a quick sandwich and either an apple or grapes, more water.
It's her afternoon nap that is the hardest, I really want to just eat ice cream or crap because I'm tired and bored, but that's when I'll read or do housework to curb that.
At dinner, I make a healthy meal and if I'm lucky, I get a little bit. If I'm not, I go to bed hungry. Sometimes if the day is particularly awful, I will go for my walk/run just so I don't cry from the tiredness and stress.
And yet here I am, gaining effing weight. It's the worst.
I have always had periods where I just hated how I looked and how I felt. It's not like I was ever skinny. I was never that girl in a bikini. I was always that girl with the kangaroo pouch (as Jackson calls it). This isn't a new feeling. But this time it feels especially awful. I had worked for years to get to a size 12 and here I am, wearing my maternity clothes because the though of putting on size 16 or higher again is more than I can handle. I feel like I'm starting all over. You'd think it would be empowering, after all- I know I can do it. I know it's possible. It's just having to do it all again. Knowing how many times I cried because everything on my body hurt.
Also knowing that no matter how much weight I lose, the flaps are still there. My kangaroo pouch is still there. It doesn't go away. Short of cosmetic surgery, I will always look three months pregnant.
So I have to do better. I'm back on my Couch to 5K running routine. I'm signed up for at least one 5K, and I'm signing up for the Minnesota Mile because it's an easy one mile run. I'm going to sign up for some other fall runs I like to do. I'll start my 30 Day Shred again for days I don't run.
In other words, I'm back at it.
I hate it.
I'm depressed and trying not to be.
And I curse genetics. Damn you, genetics.