Dear Max and Rebecca
You know things aren’t going great on the body front when someone says to you: “You must be careful not to put on any more weight”, and another says: “You don’t look bad, considering you’ve just had a baby”.
You know it’s worse when the number of chins you count in a picture of yourself exceeds two, and when you realise your running is made harder by the equivalent of about eight potato sacks you’re carrying on your hips, thighs, waist and legs.
I’m not a head-turning fatty, but I’m uncomfortable in my skin and clothes that aren’t fitting well. I recognise that I’m still carrying post-pregnancy weight, and I’m vaguely listening to the advice that says be kind to your postpartum self. But there’s a louder sound, and that’s the one of my thighs rubbing together, a flap of stomach lying over my normal stomach, and a discontent with my current form.
They say that my stretch marks are “tiger marks” from having children, that my big stomach and boobs are a beautiful testament to my body’s ability to grow kids and give life, and I’m not blind to the beauty of the gifts that are my children, nor ungrateful to my body’s capacity to nurture and be strong. While looking at my thick stumpy legs, I know that they have carried me across many race finish lines, and that they are stronger than I often acknowledge.
I know all of this, but it doesn’t mean I get to feel comfortable and content with my body. And what disappoints me most is that I can’t win at this. Usually, if I set my mind to something, I’m not terrible at achieving it. Yet I’m lost and all over the show with this one, and that upsets me more than my size 12 everything. I’ve lost weight successfully in the past, and there were times when I was so unrecognisable from the person I used to be before the weight loss. Now I feel like that before person.
Kids, this isn’t a bleating “woe is me, I’m chunky, and I’m looking for someone to say to me ‘Oh no, you’re not fat'” post. Rather, I feel that if something is going to change, maybe it will help to write about it. Maybe it will make me more accountable, and make me go back to my wonderful dietitian, and make changes, and make me cringe less every time I see a photo of myself.
I remember one of the biggest shifts happened, when, I was in a hotel in Paris at the beginning of 1999, and was in a bit of a rut. I wrote down, on hotel stationery, concrete things I wanted to achieve – fitness, weight loss etc etc. That note was one of the most profound shape-shifting ignitors, among several to come, and I want this blog post to serve as something similar. Here’s the rest of my game plan:
- Write a weekly blog post on my weight, and if I’ve lost, and changes I’ve made and still need to make
- Go back to the dietitian
- Track what I’m eating on Fat Secret
- Try not to eat when I’m not physically hungry and rather bored/scared/stressed/happy/drinking
- Try see what works FOR ME – I think it’s moderation. This way I don’t feel deprived. I haven’t really had success with Banting, and while I once lost a good chunk of weight on a low-fat and high’ish carb diet, I’m not sure my body works the same way with all those carbs
- Not be greedy
- Be honest with what I’m eating
- Not weigh myself daily, and only weekly
- Not use breastfeeding and exercise (the small amount I’m currently doing) as an excuse to eat more than I need
- Try to love my body a bit more. This doesn’t mean accepting the flab, but rather maybe if I like it a bit more, I’ll treat it a bit better? Maybe. This feels like the hardest thing on my list to do.
Okay, let’s get started. Here’s to less chins, and more comfort.
Liked this post? Follow this blog to get more.