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Weight Woes

by Christa on October 3, 2013

in Daily Digest,Just Nothing,Life Story,Pregnancy

Let me start off this post by acknowledging that a) I know I’m not fat, b) I’m currently at a very healthy weight in my pregnancy, and c) I’m not in a major hurry to get the weight off after baby is born.  This is just me musing about WEIGHT.

So let’s talk about weight, shall we? I’ve always been really weight-conscious because, as a dancer for over 20 years, you learn at a pretty early age that dancers are supposed to be thin. I would say that’s what started everything, and planted a seed in my head that thin was what I was supposed to be. It always helped that I had a great metabolism (and dancing all the time didn’t hurt either).

Looking back, my habits were really unhealthy as a kid (I’m talking mostly middle and high school, when my parents didn’t have much control of what I was eating, especially throughout the day). It wouldn’t be uncommon for me to eat an apple or even a Snickers bar for lunch – and that was it. I definitely remember lying about what I was eating because even at the time, I knew it was not good. I shudder thinking about my eating habits back in those days. It didn’t matter as far as weight, because I burned enough calories to get away with eating whatever amounts of junk or fast food I fancied. As a matter of fact, I was probably in the BEST shape I’ve ever been my senior year of high school. Because in addition to dancing probably 4 or 5 hours a day, I would also come home for lunch (seniors got “off periods”) and go running and swimming – just a couple of miles running and paddling around in the pool. That’s probably the only time in my life I’ve had a legit 6-pack. But my eating habits still sucked, no matter how you look at it.

A photo my dad posted for “Throwback Thursday” today – how does he know what that is?  So social media savvy!  This must be junior year of high school, I cut my hair senior year.

highschool

Is my sister sassy as shit or what??

Fast forward 5 years. At 23, 24, 25 years old, I was in the WORST shape of my life. It still pains me that at our wedding, I was the biggest I had ever been at that point. When we left Charlotte, I was tipping the scale at 140 pounds (for some reference, I consistently weighed 120 throughout college). This was from a couple of years going through a major bout of depression, not working out (I didn’t even WANT to dance anymore – that soured for me after the dance studio business went down the drain), eating calorie-heavy junk, and drinking a lot.

“Fat Christa”

fatchrista

 

I guess you could say it all changed when we moved to Houston. I cleaned up my diet, stuck to strictly vegetarian meals (although obviously it is just as easy to eat junk as a vegetarian), and thanks to Team in Training, started exercising again. Let me paint a picture for you: when I joined Team in Training in January 2011, I could not run one straight mile. And I was molasses slow. This post isn’t really about running or anything, but suffice it to say that I can run a straight mile NOW, at almost 35 weeks pregnant. That’s how out of shape I was.  My good friend Shea was one of the first people I ever met in Houston, and was the first person I ever ran with – I’m sure she noticed I really had trouble keeping up that morning at Memorial!

BUT the weight fell off almost effortlessly once I started running, because it wasn’t natural for it to be there. That was not my normal, happy weight. It took about a year but soon I was back to 125 pounds, a really good weight for me. During Ironman training (yes, I went from training for my first marathon to training for my first Ironman in a one-year span – I have a very addictive personality), I couldn’t take in enough calories to make up for what I was expending and dropped another 10 – I weighed 115 pounds on race day morning. This was a little toooo thin for me, and I put the weight back on happily and easily once all was said and done. I was back at 125 by the time I got pregnant (well, 124, but whatever – 24 is my favorite number so I love seeing 124).

“Ironman skinny” – during the race.

ironman

Now I’ve gained 22 pounds. Today at the doctor I joked that I thought we’d have to move up “the big one” – you know how on a doctor’s scale the big weight goes from 50 to 100 to 150? It didn’t happen today (still hanging out at 147) but I bet in a couple of weeks we’ll move up the big one! It’s perfectly normal but I can’t help the mild panic that catches my throat when I think of the NUMBER – but that’s all it is. A number. Yes, my face looks fatter than I’m used to, and my thighs didn’t use to touch there, and my clothes are all too tight, but who really cares?

scale

I made a deal with myself before I got pregnant that I wouldn’t worry about the weight gain. I know it will be easy for me to get it off, since I insist on being really active, and right now it’s the healthiest thing for me. I am already starting to wonder how I will get in enough calories when I’m breastfeeding and training for Ironman at the same time – I see protein shakes in my future, lots of ‘em.

I know so many people, especially women, who struggle with weight and the very concept. We all do. It’s such a pain. So I’m doing my damnedest to keep that promise to myself about not worrying when I “move up the big one” and then some.

Speaking of addictive personalities and endurance sports and the like, I heard a quote on a movie preview (I forget the movie) recently that I loved:

“Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing. Moderation is for cowards.” Let’s go BIG or go home!

And trust me, I have no problem “going big” these days :)

tshirt

Do you struggle with the idea of weight gain?  What are the deals you’ve made with yourself lately?

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Body after baby – the first month(ish)
December 30, 2013 at 7:16 pm

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Stacey October 4, 2013 at 9:20 am

Oh yes, I worry about this. Logically, I know that I have to gain weight, so I asked the doctor for my target: 25 pounds. She said “It wouldn’t be bad if you hit 30, but you don’t need to.” So I’m aiming for that number and working on trying not to overthink it too much.

About 5 years ago I got healthy and lost 42 pounds. In the last year, I’ve gained about 5 back. Still a healthy weight. But when I think about the number getting closer and closer to how I used to be, it scares me. I try to eat really good things and exercise when I can. I can always do better. This is probably one of the most mind-fuckiest things about pregnancy. (Excuse the f-bomb!)

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Christa October 7, 2013 at 7:48 am

That’s good that she gave you a target. Mine was like, meh 25-35 is good. I’m like…that’s a big difference!! Haha.

Wow, that is awesome that you lost so much weight! I had no idea.

And you’re absolutely right, it IS the mind-fuckiest. We like f-bombs around here.

Reply

Jess October 4, 2013 at 12:55 pm

I’m much heavier than I’d like to be, but I can’t really complain because I’m not doing anything about it. When I was pregnant, my only goal was to not get to 200 lbs (even though I know that’s just a number, but come on, 200 is a BIG number); that would’ve been about a 40 lb gain for me, and since I started off “overweight” I didn’t need to gain that much for a healthy pregnancy. I think I ended up somewhere in the 180′s, and the weight melted off me in less than 2 months, and I didn’t do anything other than breastfeed, eat, and sleep, so don’t let the baby weight get to your head!

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Christa October 7, 2013 at 7:54 am

That’s fantastic! I would love for the weight to melt off from breastfeeding, haha.

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