Back from vacation, to a pile of unread e-mails & blog posts! I did manage to read & comment on a few blogs while away (and finish "Eat Pray Love" for the book club next week), but there's lots to catch up on!
Until I do, here is a pre-vacation post from my drafts folder that I finally managed to finish up this morning. I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject.
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Dh loves to watch diet/fitness makeover shows, like "X-Weighted" (on the "Slice" network in Canada). What happens on these shows is they take initial weights & measurements, run the person(s) through a fitness test, inspect their refrigerator & cupboards, & then start them on a diet and fitness regime. Often, there are psychological issues that need to be tackled as well. Three to six months later, they run the subject(s) through the same fitness test, weigh and measure them again, to see what progress they've made toward their goals, and give them a makeover.
"One recurring theme on the shows is recent bereavement: On Stuck, Mary is grieving the death of her brother just like Tammy on X-Weighted, while the recently divorced Margaret and her daughter lost their son and brother when he interrupted a break-in at their house. These women don't need tae kwon do; they need therapy. When Tammy, now suffering from the added blow of her grandmother's death, finally calls in a grief counsellor on tonight's episode of X-Weighted, I could have cheered."
I was never "fat" growing up -- although of course I moaned over my weight all the time (silly girl!!). I'm not sure whether I gained the traditional freshman 15 when I was in school, but I did gain weight over my university years, and then more after my marriage. When I turned 30 in January 1991, I was a good 30 lbs over my pre-marriage weight. I looked at the photos of me with my birthday cake & realized there was nothing I could do about growing older, but I could do something about the way I looked.
So I joined Weight Watchers, and by October, I had lost over 30 lbs, reached my goal weight and become a lifetime member. (WITHOUT doing much in the way of exercise.) I was a size 10, and even got into a size 8 Gap denim mini-skirt for one brief shining moment.
I managed to keep the weight off for several years before it slowly began creeping back on. By the time I got pregnant in early 1998, I was almost 20 lbs over my goal weight. I gained another 15 or so during my pregnancy. After my daughter was stillborn, the weight eventually shifted and I lost that "pregnant" look, but it did not come off, & I actually gained several more pounds. I went back to Weight Watchers, knowing that any weight I lost would only help my efforts to conceive again... but my heart just wasn't in it.
In January 2007, I got on the scale & realized I was at my heaviest weight ever. Even my size 16 pants were getting tight on me. Back to Weight Watchers I went. I did manage to lose almost 15 pounds (& get back into size 14s) by the end of that summer by attending meetings & keeping my food journal, eating better and doing lots of walking. About half of it crept on again during the winter (when I'm under more stress and find it harder to walk regularly) -- but I'm almost back to where I was last summer now, & hoping to lose another 7 or so to reach my WW initial 10% goal before winter hits again. Needless to say, developing high blood pressure over the past year and being put on medication recently has been a real wake up call & motivator!
I don't think I'll ever be my original WW goal weight again (which would mean losing at least 40 lbs more)... but getting back within the goal range for my height (which works out to a healthy BMI) is certainly do-able. It would mean losing about another 25 lbs. It's easy to brush these things off when you're younger & feel invincible -- but it's true -- it really does become more difficult to lose the weight when you get older & your metabolism slows down. And you really do start to see the impact the extra weight has on your health, never mind the way you look.
Perhaps, too (after 10 years!), I'm finally starting to gain some emotional distance from my pregnancy. I remember another bereaved mom once writing on a board or e-mail list I was on that she thought her inability to lose weight was her body's subconscious way of trying to hold on to the physical memory of pregnancy. I thought there might be some truth in that.
What do you think? Have you found weight to be a struggle since infertility &/or loss became part of your life?