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Archive for the ‘Pregnancy Pounds’ Category

This is the infamous phrase my dear friend Mandy uttered to me a few years ago, when she was about five months along with her first son. It wasn’t until I was pregnant with Max that I finally understood what she was talking about. I’ve written about this before: I didn’t get a cute basketball belly; in fact, it was somewhere after month five that I actually popped out enough to look pregnant. Prior to that, I just looked like I’d been binging for a few months. F-a-t, fat.

By the time I reached the third trimester, the belly comments were rolling in. And not from uncouth, uneducated strangers. No, most of it came from my own family. After sending a pic of our fabulous crib assemblage (around month seven) to friends and family, one of my cousins immediately responded: “Your belly is HUGE!” Sometime in the next month my mom became very concerned about me driving myself to my prenatal appointments, because she thought my belly wouldn’t fit behind the wheel of my car. And then, of course, there were those that participated in our online baby pool, optioning for me to give birth to a 10-pound baby.

This time around, it is not the people that know me that have jumped in on my belly size. It’s random strangers. This time, my belly popped somewhere around month four, and people have clear opinions about it.

Seriously, I’ve now take to answering the question, “When are you due?” with a vague, “This summer,” instead of “August.” Too many women with bug eyes, or “Really?” or “Oh my GOD! You have so much further to go!”

Here’s the basic truth in life: Women in general, do not like being told they’re fat. Pregnant women especially do not like this. And pregnant woman that were rocking an extra 30 pounds before they got pregnant really, really do not need to be reminded of this while shopping for baby clothes. Seriously.

Add to it my own personal issue; I’m 6’3″ for goodness sakes, and have spent most of my teenage years and early twenties having to endure the constant barrage of comments and opinions about my looks and my stature. Whispers from across the room; children yelling out to their moms in the grocery store about the tall lady; men of all shapes and sizes making comments of every color imaginable; well-meaning women telling me “at least your pretty.” I’ve heard it all.

Dammit, I really don’t want to deal with it again, strangers commenting on my body. And certainly not when it has to do with my unborn child.

So I started some archival research. See my evidence below. First pic is me, at 5 ½ months with Max. The second pic is me now, at 6 months pregnant.

Baby Shower 091MC Apr 13 034

So um, what’s the difference? Really. None. I look the same. I know for a fact that I’ve not gained nearly the amount of weight as I did with Max, despite my 30-pound head start. But what does it matter? I’m I a failure as a mother already, because my belly is big? Why are people asking about my due date at all, if they can’t offer a socially polite response of “That’s nice,” or “You must be excited!”

And then on Sunday, Ned and I are at church and we bring up the topic of baptism in a conversation with the pastor. My husband starts explaining that we baptized Max at a church in Florida, which causes a great deal of confusion for said pastor, who assumed that we meant we need to baptize Max. And the next thing I know, I, the woman now 6-months pregnant, am explaining to my pastor that yes indeed, there is a baby in there.

Yeah. I’m not fat, I’m just pregnant!

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It is 6:45 p.m., the night before my cousin’s wedding. We are getting ready to attend the rehearsal dinner at 7:30 p.m., and I already have tried on and rejected two outfit options for the night, for legitimate reasons. I look a polka-dot and/or flower-stitched stuffed sausage in either outfit. Dammit.

No kids, this is not a picture of me.

I am now desperately trying to squeeze on a full-body piece of shapewear, in an attempt to smooth out my insanely puffy midsection, which to my eyes now resembles my first trimester of pregnancy. At the same time, I am trying not to sink into a full-on hormonal meltdown.

The post-baby mommy body varies for woman to woman. For me, it has fluctuated. I have Eh, I Don’t Care days, or I’m Getting Better, Allllmost Fit Into Those Jeans days. Sometimes it’s Dammit, Shouldn’t of Had The Cake nights or Why I Am I Still So Fat mornings in front of the mirror. At any rate, I am like most post-baby moms: Way too hard on myself about shaping up my body.

My blog has often taken on the confessionary tone of a lock-and-key diary when it comes to my mommy body, and exercise, and those still-hanging-on baby pounds. And frankly, it’s exhausting. Some weeks are awesome, I have time on my hands to yoga, or curse at Bob Harper while doing a workout DVD. Some weeks I want to eat Oreos. Or consume nothing but ice tea and lettuce all day.

But darn it, I wish I could find some acceptance of my body.

The issue with squeezing into black Lycra before putting on a rehearsal dinner dress is that the act is so damn embarrassing. I want to look hot again. And get a few cat calls. Max is almost two. Isn’t it too late to use the baby excuse for being overweight?

So as I laid my head down Thursday night, I sent a little something into the Universe, so I at least could continue walking around with my head held higher, no matter what type of water retention tricks my body was planning for the next day.

That morning, while easing into my first cup of coffee, I saw this segment on GMA.

Turns out, there is a movement out there to help us learn to accept our mommy bodies. Although the piece does focus a bit on the celeb angle (I didn’t have a “celebrity body” before Max, I’m not aiming for one now), it does teach an important lesson: Kids became the priority. Life changes. Time is precious. Being healthy is more important than a beach body. And that’s okay.

To check out CT Working Moms and their goddess gallery that inspired this story, visit http://ctworkingmoms.com/goddess-gallery/

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It’s time for this mommy blog to turn once again to mommy and mommy issues. Yeah, I’m talking about skinny jeans. And my lack of yoga.

I in a quasi-anonymous fashion, I have admitted many embarrassing things on this blog. I am about to do it again. My son was born 20 months ago, my husband and I are talking about another baby, and I am yet to fit into any of my pre-pregnancy pants. That’s right, I’m hanging on to that last 10 pounds like an … ugh.

I write that, or think that thought, and my blood just begins to boil. Now, it’s not because I have yet to make any progress in the weight loss department. I no longer fit into my “fat” clothes; in fact, most of those clothes make me look like a clown in training. (Picture me, too big pants, a toddler and a diaper bag navigating a crowded Chik-Fil-A parking lot. I’m turning into Justin Bieber.)

So I’m falling outta my fat clothes, and yet my pre-baby clothes are still one, single, out-of-reach size away. I’m a solid 12. I own one item of clothing in this size:

These are my pants. My hole-almost-in-the-crotch pants. I discovered the hole about a month ago, while sitting crossed-legged in a library music class, with twenty other caregivers and children in the room. I have worn them and washed them to the point where they couldn’t handle it any more. They have exploded. (And yes, I have thought about wearing them around the house in emergencies. But, the irritated voices of Clinton Kelly and Stacy London then pop in my ear and stop me.)

Those same famous fashion voices would tell me, “Molly, buy pants that fit your body now.” I know, that seems logical. But … and this sounds whiny … I can’t. My whole tall-shopping-catalog-cost issue is just too much to contemplate it. Plus, I have an entire closet full of beautiful, already-paid-for size 10 clothes.

This entire scene just makes my O positive temp rise. Why can’t I be skinny?! (For that matter, why can’t cigarettes and chocolate chip cookies be good for you?) Really. Some of my mom friends, those naturally tiny, sizes fours (or twos or zeros) don’t even look like they carried a baby. Me getting skinny (in my proportion to a natural-size-four mom) requires either near-starvation or training for a triathlon. What mom has time for this?

On a pretty famous television show about losing weight, there was a theme of not letting excuses get in the way of weight loss. One of these, of course, was I don’t have time to work out. And although that is true, the follow-up was forgotten: I am just too damn tired to work out.

I did an aerobics workout DVD one night, gleefully finishing, showering and collapsing into bed. I thought, “I have found it! Work out at night. It’ll tire me out for sleep, not interrupt what I need to do during the day!” Yeah, that was like, a month ago. Turns out it was a freak accident that I was even awake enough at that hour to do more than roll off the couch.

And beyond the tired factor, between those regular, daily mom activities—participating in a mom’s group, work, husband and house—I don’t get where it is supposed to fit. Yes, when Max is sleeping I could work out. More than likely though, I am doing one of the aforementioned activities instead.

The truth is, I miss my active days, and that freedom to wake up, have some coffee and take off for a walk, or put on my yoga pants and breathe through my stress in a quiet, empty house.

So, besides complaining about it, I’m forcing myself to do something about it. If I want to have another baby, I need to lose the remnants of the last one. My new tactic is to start yoga again, and if I can get it in more than once a week, I’ll be happy. I write this with the qualifier of having done yoga today. Go me! Now I’m ready for a nap.

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Last Thursday marked my 35th birthday. (Happy Birthday to me.) I chose to start out my day testing out my look in a few bathing suits, for a pool party we were attending the next day. Yes, I’m an emotional cutter. Normal women wouldn’t dream of trying on a bathing suit on the day that celebrates when they first sported their birthday suit. I mean, really.

For some reason though, I managed this without ending my day in tears and ice cream. I think it was the pre-shower prep work. We all know this routine: While waiting for the water to get hot, you check out the frontal, then the side view. Then the frontal versus the side view … all while sucking that tummy in in in. Sometimes there is actually lifting and pressing in of the stomach, to get the full this is what I should look like look. Then you finish with letting it all out, so you can see the worst of the worst.

So by the time I got to the bathing suits, I was tempered, if you will. The suits themselves, however…

Let me preface by saying, both one-piece bathing suits were purchased sometime in the mid-90s. The first suit is a white/orange/blue/yellow/green/black calico-like number, with a halter top and shirred bust. The suit the Chiquita banana lady would wear to the beach. Now, the fact that I looked like a large body stuffed behind a flamenco-inspired print is bad enough. But the cups designed for a size C, in fact do not hold a breasts that are actually still overflowing at size E.

I moved on to the other suit, with a more subtle, forest-green diamond pattern, a standard tank with just a shelf bra. Although this eliminated any I’m-wearing-Mexican-wallpaper effect, and the smaller pattern helped shrink my butt, it also mashed down my chest so much that I became a rectangle of green.

There were my choices: Pretend I’m on the beach listening to “Livin’ La Vida Loca,” and risking a wardrobe malfunction, or look like a pudgy 13-year-old forest with no boobs.

So off to the Internet I went, to discover that my average number of suit options on any given website was five, and most of those were sold out. I will stop myself from venting about why the world is not made for tall people, since $100 plus shipping later, I have a nice little zebra number on its way, ready to cover my extra 18 ½ pounds and my getcha getcha yaya tatas. Good lord.

Yes, I said it; I’m back down to around the weight I was at when I started this blog, thanks to a few yoga sessions and a few family walks after dinner. Of course, Florida heat being the evil, twisted lady she is, the yoga may get kicked up a notch.

In the meantime I’m gonna practice sucking in that pooch—or maybe I’ll just find a cover up.

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weight: 221 (v. bad), alcohol units: 10, dessert intake: 24 (on holiday), calories: 4,000

No, the nod to Bridget Jones is not from a recent voyage to the UK. I just returned from a trip with my son Max, to my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio.

The joy of traveling alone with an infant is that people tend to be nicer; they hold open doors and hand you bags. The sky cab at Hopkins ran down two bays to help me with my suitcase.

The other joy of traveling is that people who haven’t seen me in many months say lovely things like, “You look great!” It is a fantastic confidence booster. It is less helpful in that although I may appear to look great, there are still 18 pounds to lose, and the constant ego-rubbing makes me do crazy things like eat potatoes, kielbasa and pierogi almost every day; not to mention the endless parade of cheesecake, coconut bars and god help me, chocolate Oreo balls. (I promise to post the recipe as soon as my Aunt sends it.)

I did manage a walk or two, and a few brief yoga sessions. None of this I believe was enough to counter balance the two large pre-Easter dinner celebrations and libations. A day after I returned to Florida, a doctor’s appointment showed the awful truth: I now am back to having 21 pounds to lose.

Here’s the problem: since I am crazy tall, if I gain weight, I have the ability to carry an extra 10 pounds or so without much fuss. This seems very forgiving… yet really, I have to work my ass off (literally) to keep myself in shape, but it seems, not many folks notice. So it leaves me wondering; should I even bother being stringent and precise with my calories and exercise? In the end, 200 pounds seems to be the visual equal of 218, um, 221 pounds.

Perhaps the lesson here is that I am the one that notices. I am the one who has to live with it. I am the one with a closet full of beautiful clothes that I can’t quite fit into. I’m the one with the desire to feel and look healthy.

So it’s back to yoga and walks with the stroller. No more potato binging. Or day dreaming of Oreo balls.

The pierogi, however, were totally worth it.

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In the past two weeks, specifically Sunday morning, the following Saturday evening and the following Sunday morning, I have spent about three hours trying to find an outfit to wear to church.

Correction; I have been trying to find an outfit that fits me, to wear to church.

As a family, we are church shopping. My son Max is now seven months old, and we’ve yet to baptize him. Not because we’re bad parents, but because we never joined a church when we moved to Florida. My husband, Ned, and I are both lapsed Lutherans. I started going toward a more spiritual and new-agey path; Ned went a more Sundays-are-for-football route.

So in search for a church that is open enough to suit our style, but still has enough formality so Max can be baptized in an actual church (not like, on a beach with a wand waved over his head), I have been hitting up the neighborhood church circuit.

This has been going on for awhile, long enough that when I started, I was simply able to don my nice, roomy corduroy pants, a sweater, and head off to hear the church bells. Now that we’ve gone from the Florida season of “Christmas” to “Almost Summer,” it’s necessary to pull out the more lightweight church wear.

I mean, gimme at least a nice dress pant, dear closet! Something that buttons without showing my cottage cheese ass. I know it’s far too early in my new weight loss regiment to hope to not look like a sausage stuffed in casing when trying on a dress, or a skirt and a top. I know … but I need something!

See, in everyday life, I can snake by with the few “fat clothes” that I have saved. It makes for more frequent washing to keep myself not naked every day, but I can swing it. Nicer clothes though, are all in my pre-baby sizes, and dammit, I refuse to start running around buying clothes that fit my body with 18 extra pounds on it.

I did find an outfit, and although I had to suck in my stomach most of the morning, I was holding Max, and he covers a lot. After the service we picked up sandwiches for lunch and happily sat down at our kitchen table, talking about our day. My husband smiled and said, “That was good. I got all church-i-fied.”

As he was clearing his place he added, “And, I fit into my pants.” My eyebrow shot up as he continued, “I was a little worried you know, about putting on the good pants, but hey, they fit.”

Humpf.

He went on to explain that he was worried about his pants because he gained a bunch of weight eating and being a sloth while I was busy growing a baby and getting ready to birth him so Ned’s weight was that of a sinner and mine was that of a pure, glowy motherly being.

Nice cover, honey.

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It is Saint Patrick’s Day, and a tradition in my family is to head over to good old Mickey D’s and score a Shamrock Shake. My mother and I used to do this for two reasons. One, we enjoyed the mint along with the exclusivity of the annual treat and two, we enjoyed giving a sip to my father who would scrunch up his face and say, “Ewww. It tastes like toothpaste.”

Years long since my father’s passing, and in the first year of my son’s life, I am searching again for a Shamrock Shake. I come up empty.

My thinking on this sinus-headache-filled morning is this: I will take my son from story time at the local library to run a quick shopping errand to the McDonald’s on the way home. The headache has caused us to attend the late 11:15 story time, so I spend the five minutes between the Bed, Bath & Beyond and the drive thru justifying not only picking up a shake, but lunch as well.

This is what happens at noon, in cities across the nation, when new moms are carting around a sleeping 6-month-old baby and a loud, quavering stomach.

So the irrational justification goes like this: if I get a “medium” size meal, with a Diet Coke, I’ll score a small shamrock shake. If I had given up and scrounged through my own fridge at home for lunch, I’d have been doing it with a giant shamrock shake.

I’ll admit, the fries are good. But by the time I get home and get the baby out of the carseat he’s awake again, so I have to occupy him, and by the time I sit down with my food, the fries and burger are cold. And the burger doesn’t look as Angus-ey as it does on the commercial, and the shake I’m tasting is not at all toothpaste-like, because when I pulled up to the drive through and asked if they had the Shamrock Shakes today, the girl’s response was, “We should today of all days. But no.”

*sigh*

So the meal wasn’t that great, and now I feel slouchy, and my stretched-out size 12s are starting to feel tight all over again. And it’s taken me more than six months to get here.

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