The hardest thing about being pregnant has been the fact that I was put on “Pelvic Rest” at 12 weeks and since then (for the past 11+ weeks) have not been allowed to do any exercise or “heavy lifting.” The reason this is hard for me is because prior to getting pregnant, I focused a great deal on my weight, my fitness and my health so when my doctor told me I couldn’t exercise, it was very hard. Exercise and feeling good about myself are a big circle… when I exercise, I feel good about myself and when I feel good about myself I want to exercise. When I feel good about myself, I eat healthier, and when I eat healthier I feel good about myself and then I want to exercise more, too! See how that works?!
See… ever since I can remember I have always had a weight problem… forever. I was always the fat kid growing up. I tried and tried and tried to lose weight and it just never happened, until May 2010 when I had weight loss surgery. I had the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy. Why did I have it? Partially because my mom had it about a year and a half before then, and she had such success with it and partially because I had tried so long to force myself to eat healthy and to exercise and I just wasn’t seeing results. I even worked with a personal trainer and I still never saw results. The problem was that I knew what I should have been doing and I just wasn’t doing it. Also, portion sizes… I just ate too much food. In the first few months with the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy, everything was very easy… the premise behind the surgery, is that they remove the “greater curvature” of the stomach which in turns makes you not feel hungry and forces you to eat less. What you do eat matters a great deal and they tell you to focus on PROTEIN at the beginning. At the very beginning I basically ate NOTHING but PROTEIN, and I drank a lot of water. Slowly I was allowed to add in fruits and vegetables, and then whole grains, and it’s always important to keep up with drinking lots of water. The rule at the beginning was no caffeine, no alcohol, no sugar. For the first 12ish months after my surgery, I treated the plan like a religion… I weighed everything I ate, I never strayed from the plan and I saw amazing resuls. The morning of surgery I weight 232 lbs. (at my highest weight I weighed 238 lbs.) and I eventually got down to 157 lbs. I felt amazing and I looked amazing. I was able to wear a Size 6 pair of jeans for the first time ever and for the first time ever I weighed less than Ken. He was able to pick me up and spin me around. I loved it!
Then as I started adding in more and more foods and not following the rules 100%, I started straying from cooking at home all the time, I stopped weighing my food, and I stopped making healthy choices all the time and I started gaining a bit of weight… I didn’t gain a lot, but I didn’t maintain all of the weight loss and for that I am not proud. When I got pregnant in February, I weighed 176 lbs. As of my last doctor’s appointment, I had gained 14 lbs. so far in this pregnancy and I now weigh 191 lbs. For the most part (of course there are exceptions) I have been making healthy choices about what I eat but I have not been great. Every now and then I have to sort of re-commit myself to the plan and remind myself why I did this.
I did this because I want to be healthier and because I want to have healthy children. Being pregnant, it is more important than ever that I make healthy choices with everything I put in my mouth. Every bite of food I take is feeding my baby girl, and for her to be healthy, I have to be healthy. Even once I’m not pregnant anymore (and perhaps even more importantly), I need to make healthy choices so that I teach her to make healthy choices. If she sees me eating cookies and ice cream, that will be her “norm,” whereas if she sees me eating carrots and yogurt, that will be her norm. I want her norm to be healthy eating and smart choices. Today, I stumbled across a blog all about how to lose weight and stay motivated after having a baby. It reminded me of the reasons that I have made the choices I have, and it has inspired me to recommit myself to making healthy choices both for me and for my baby.
I am hoping that at my next doctor’s appointment next week, my doctor will clear me to start doing exercise again, and if so that will mean that for the next 16ish weeks, I’ll be allowed to exercise… my guess is she’ll clear me for “light” exercise, and if she does, my goal will be to work out at least 3 times a week… by “workout,” I certainly don’t mean going to Kickboxing or Spinning Classes anymore, but I mean going on long walks on the treadmill, doing some laps in the pool, and maybe checking out a Prenatal yoga class here and there. After I have the baby, I would obviously like to first lose any weight I gained during pregnancy (and get back down to 176) and then after that I would like to lose another 20 lbs. My goal post-baby is to get to between 155 and 160 and to maintain that weight forever (or at least until I get pregnant with baby #2)! Writing this all out is important because it keeps me accountable… putting it in writing means there’s evidence of my making this recommitment, I can’t just ignore it or say it didn’t happen. It’s important to just remind myself constantly that I can do this, and why I’m doing this. It’s not just about me anymore, it’s about my baby and my whole family!