Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I've never been fashionably svelte, but I've never crossed the line into overweight, either. I'm tall (5'8"), so I can carry a bit of pudge without really looking like it, and I have broad hips and shoulders, so even at my skinniest, I never look thin. I think the thinnest I ever was was in my early twenties when I fell in love for the first time and stopped eating and found that suddenly I was a size 8 and 125 lbs. Through my twenties, I generally weighed between 130 and 140, size ten. After hitting 30 and settling down, I hovered around 150, size 12.

I quit smoking right before getting pregnant, so I went from about 150 to about 160 just as I started to pack on the pregnancy pounds. I wasn't concerned about it -- I was far too happy to have quit successfully to give myself a hard time about ten pounds. I put on a little more weight while pregnant than doctors generally advise. I think by the time Ben was born, I was up to around 190. Maybe it was more. I stopped looking at the scale, because: why?

I lost 15 lbs licketty-quick: 8 lbs 14 oz of Ben, plus placenta and fluids. Wow, did I ever feel thin!

And I knew that it could go either way with breastfeeding, that women either lost a bunch of baby weight while nursing (and then had to be careful about putting it back on when they weaned), or else they hung on to the baby weight while breastfeeding and only began losing after they weaned. I rather blithely assumed I would be in the former group, but it turns out I'm in the latter.

Towards the end of summer, when I had regained the energy and stamina to take Ben on long walks in the park every day, sometimes a couple of times a day (he found it soothing, and I enjoyed the lull in the screaming), I started to lose some weight, and celebrated this wonderful miracle with the purchase of some non-elastic-waist pants. Alas, soon after that, the crappy weather set in, and, hurray, Ben calmed down significantly, but it meant I wasn't motivated to take him for walks, and I put the pounds back on and glared at the pants now mocking me from the depths of my own closet.

Still, I was nursing, and not really the dieting type anyway. I bought some more elastic waist pants and gave myself a break.

But we're seven and a half months out now, and break time is over. I was at the doctor's office yesterday, and I looked at the scale: 177 lbs. Before you think to scold me that nursing mothers shouldn't diet, take heart: I am in no way the sort of person to deny myself to the extent that it could possibly hurt Ben. I am no crash dieter. But it's time to make a real effort at exercise and pay much closer attention to how much and what I'm eating.

To which I say a resounding PHOOEY. Wish me luck.

1 comment:

Phantom Scribbler said...


(But. I won't go into the numbers, because you'd kill me -- or you won't, you know I'm built very small for my height -- but anyway, I held onto excess weight the ENTIRE time I was nursing regularly. Which, with my youngest, who came thisclose to going on a feeding tube because she refused to eat solids, was three. long. years. So. All this by way of saying: don't blame yourself if it goes harder than you think it should, even seven months later, okay?)