2006, pre-pregnancy, 25th b-day in Vegas. Yes we kept a really tidy room that trip...
1 year and 5 months later...last picture before we left for the hospital the day Sadira was born. +52 pounds. WOWZA.
16. Lose the last little bit of the baby weight - if I can even still call it that, haha!
Who am I kidding, it's not GETTING to be that time of year, it IS that time of year. "What time of year?" you ask? The time of year when the Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig ads start popping up on the TV left and right. The time of year when the seasonal aisle at Target is getting replaced with fitness equipment and DVDs. When gym memberships are "at an all time low!" When everyone starts moaning and groaning about the holiday pounds they put on. UGH. It's not pretty.
So here's my back story of how lovely number 16 came to find it's way on my list.
Back before I got pregnant with Sadira I was pretty happy with body. After college, I had lost some weight and gotten pretty much exactly where I wanted to be. Of course according to Satan's instrument (also known as the BMI calculator) I was technically just over the line and considered overweight, but I'll be completely honest and say I didn't care a bit. I had actually been a bit smaller at one point (long, long ago...) and I was unhappy with the way I looked then...Persian (and half Persian!) women are curvy, and I like that...and I found when I got any lower in weight I started to lose some of the features I like about myself (AHEM, my butt...) and I couldn't have that.
So I was just happily going about life, dating my boyfriend, going to the gym, travelling, training for a half-marathon, when BOOM. I got knocked up. Well, that's not exactly how it happened, but that's not what this blog post is about. ;) And over the course of next nine months I managed to gain an astonishing 52--yes FIFTY-TWO pounds. Now before you think I just sat on my butt all day eating chocolates, I've gotta defend myself. I continued to work out until month 5 of my pregnancy. And for the most part I was able to keep up with my pre-pregnancy routine, with the support of my doctor. With the exception of my love affair with sugar, I ate (and still eat) very healthy foods. I haven't eaten fast food in years, actually over a decade and a half (I'm talking about McDonalds, Burger King, Taco Bell...that kind stuff. I DO eat at Subway and places that offer healthy foods), and I drink tons of water. I ENJOY working out. It's a stress reliever for me, so that was a non-issue.
But then on the first day of my third trimester I broke my foot. And I was in a cast & crutches for several weeks. And guess what I did then? I sat on my butt all day eating chocolates. :)
Well, not JUST that, I did work full time and go to school, but I did eat a lot of chocolate. I mean, a LOT. And I love chocolate, a lot. Seriously. It's an addiction. Milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate, doesn't matter I love it all. I'm an equal opportunity chocolate lover.
Fifty. Two. Pounds.
So of course on November 7th when I was heading into the hospital I was hoping to deliver a 52 pound baby. But she ended up only weighing 7 pounds 8 ounces. :)
"Hey, that's okay!" I told myself, "Just delivering alone I should lose like, 20 pounds, right?" After all that's what you always hear..."it's all fluid, you'll lose that during delivery, don't worry!"
So of course on November 11th when I came home from the hospital I was excited to step on the scale and see what it said! So I did. And.....
I was only down 9 pounds.
Are you frickin' kidding me? Nine pounds? The baby alone was 7 and a half pounds, how could I have only lost 9 pounds in delivery?!!!!!!!!!!!! What happened to my 20+ pound instant weight loss!?!?!?!?!?
(Deep breaths, Nasrene.)
After a pep-talk to myself I reminded myself that I was breastfeeding. And if anything helps you lose the baby weight, it's breastfeeding, right????!! Wahoo!! It's like the easiest workout in the world, sit there on the couch and nurse the baby and watch the weight just fall off. Isn't that what everyone always says, "that weight will just FALL OFF when you nurse!" It'll be fantastic! The baby weight will just MELT AWAY! You can sit there and WATCH YOURSELF SHRINK IN FRONT OF YOUR VERY EYES!!
(Record skip sound effect)
DISCLAIMER: Losing weight was NOT the reason I chose to breastfeed Sadira. There were many reasons much more important that losing weight. But I WAS very much looking forward to the weight loss benefits everyone had told me about.
And so I breastfed, and pumped, and breastfed, and pumped...and at 6 weeks postpartum I went to my doctor for my check-up. I was excited to get on the scale and see what it said. After all, I had been eating well, walking pretty frequently, and Sadira was nursing like a champ!
So I stepped on the scale....
And I was down only 3 pounds.
WHAT THE FRACK!?!?!? WHY WON'T THIS BABY WEIGHT COME OFF ALREADY!!?!?
I'm not gonna lie, I was PISSED.
So of my grand total of 52 pounds, I was only down 12 six weeks after delivery. I knew other women who were already down to their pre-pregnancy weight by six weeks, and they weren't doing anything I wasn't doing! How could this be????
And let me tell you about the glorious conversation with my doctor that came next. It's really amazing. It will knock your socks off, cause let me tell you, it certainly knocked off mine.
Are you ready? This is good stuff.
My doctor (who I absolutely adored up until this point) said to me, "Nas, really you shouldn't be so upset."
I say, "Shouldn't be so upset?? I'm going to be stuck in maternity clothes for the rest of my life, and you're telling me I shouldn't be upset??!!"
He said, "Listen. You are actually very lucky. For most women, breastfeeding helps then to lose weight. But for other women, like you, their bodies' metabolism actually slows down while they are nursing to compensate for the extra expenditure of calories. Your body is so smart that it KNOWS you have another life to support. So it's SLOWING it's metabolic processes to make sure that you and the baby are fed. Isn't that amazing??"
My jaw hit the ground. He cannot be serious. Only a man would say that.
Oh, but it gets better.
Then he said, "YOU, my dear, are EVOLUTIONARILY SUPERIOR. In ancient times if there was a famine, or a natural disaster, YOU would be able to survive over other people because your body knows how to adapt!! Isn't that amazing?!"
And I'm supposed to be thrilled about this?
But hey! I'm EVOLUATIONARILY SUPERIOR! (Insert eyeroll here).
So despite my attempts at eating healthy and working out, I could not lose more than 5 pounds the ENTIRE time I breastfed Sadira. The scale didn't budge. After 6 months she decided she was finished nursing, and I finally started seeing the scale move.
Then a whole bunch of nonsense happened. Crazy relationship stuff, more ridiculous family stuff, and then I was job hunting for a new job. It was a pretty stressful time. And when I'm stressed I don't comfort eat...I actually do the opposite and stop eating. So I lost a bunch of weight, but it wasn't in a healthy way. It was an I'm-so-stressed-and-my-stomach's-in-knots-so-there's-no-way-I can-eat-a-meal way. No bueno.
Of course once I got life under control again (and started eating like a human again instead of a bird) the weight came back on. I re-started my healthy habits, I got my metabolism back under control. I found a job! Things were good.
All in all, I was down about 32 of the 52 pounds I had gained during my pregnancy...I still had the last 20. But pretty soon I was working full time, going to school full time and parenting full time.
It was exhausting and I just simply was running out of time.
Between working all day, then coming home and trying to spend some quality time with my daughter before hitting the books, I could barely make it to the gym. I would cook healthy meals but in really really large quantities so we had stuff to eat for lunches and dinners throughout the week. Too often we went out to eat. I was going to the gym less often. I wasn't getting enough sleep at night. Amazingly I didn't really gain or lose anything during this time. I just kinda maintained. I guess the good and the bad habits equally cancelled each other out.
And that's essentially been the last two years of my life since I've been in school. I kept telling myself that once school was over I could get back into a better routine, get more disciplined and have more time to take care of me. And then I gave myself a little break in December to enjoy the holidays. And so here we are. Back at the beginning. :)
"Let's start at the very be-ginning!!! A very good plaaaaace to staaaart!" (Julie Andrews voice). :)
To meet my goal for #16 I need to lose the last 20 pounds. But my *real* goal is more like 30 pounds. That will put me at the weight the I feel is ideal for me.
So how ironic is that? 30 before 30. ;)