Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Weight Rant and a Modest Hope

I feel like I mention my weight too much and in spite of how much I want to lose weight, and even for the right reasons, I sometimes feel silly and vain for even worrying about my mostly healthy body and my size. So, you are welcome to stop reading now and go straight to the comment form to tell me to get a grip and stop complaining. Well, I tell myself that every day, but today I'm not. I'm letting it out.



My body changed dramatically 16 years ago as a result of my third pregnancy. That is me just before the birth. I don't mention that much because I don't want third child to feel weird about how hard it was to get him into the world. Thus it is though. In my first two pregnancies, I gained about 30 pounds, and lost it immediately. With the third, I gained 100 and came home from the hospital exactly 6 pounds lighter. He was a 9 1/2 pound kid, so go figure. It was a really difficult pregnancy. My body slowed down, I developed some chronic problems that are still with me, and I can date my permanent weight gain to that pregnancy. Everything was different, from my hair to my feet. So, it wasn't just weight that was a concern, it was my overall health.

Before and since that time, I've always been active. While I do love to eat, I've always been a reasonably healthy eater--I do like my treats, but they have always been balanced by lots of fruit, veggies and whole grains (Cocoa Puffs say "whole grain goodness" right on the box, by the way). Plus, I didn't all of a sudden start eating differently when I was pregnant, except for the fact that I always ate better during those times.

So, I've never been able to get my weight set-point back down to what it was before 1992. Never. Even while training for marathons. It has been very frustrating. I was 26 at the time and I felt like I suddenly aged beyond my years.(It turns out that I did. I started peri-menopause then. At 26. No hot flashes, but pretty much everything else.) I tell you all this to put in context why someone like me worries about weight. I'm just trying to jump-start my body into doing what it used to do.

Anyway, to make a short story long, here's the news. I've been buying the same size and even the same brands of jeans for a very long time. I know how they fit and it is very predictable. Until now. This past weekend, after months and months of both increased mileage and speed in my running, (I'm up to 30 miles a week!) weight training, and trying to show at least a little restraint in my food choices (cocoa puffs with skim milk, for example), I got to do something that I thought I'd never do again:

I had to keep pulling up my jeans.

I haven't lost any weight to speak of (not a single pound), but I'm starting to notice (or maybe just imagine) little differences in my body. I'm kinda excited about these changes, be they real or imagined. I'm all for the placebo effect. The thing is, you can't really fake having to hitch up your jeans all day. I swear I did not drive over them with the car or let them get stuck in the gears of the washing machine to stretch them out. And I did remember to button them. So, in the absence of those possible statistics-skewing circumstances, I'm currently entertaining a modest hope that I may actually be entering a new era in my physical saga.

Believe me, at this point in my life, I'm not trying to lose the whole 50-60 pounds or get back to the days of 1991. I just want to feel more like myself. I really, really do just want to be healthy, and the belly fat, varicose veins and slightly rising blood pressure tell me that I can make some improvements in that area. Apparently, this will be a slower road for me than for others owing to the fact that months of increased effort and lifestyle change has yielded no weight loss, but my fear has always been that I'm stuck this way for good. This little glimmer of change makes me think maybe my body is still cable of movement and development. And woohoo friends, if I get a new pair of jeans out it, then yay for me!


15 comments:

  1. First of all, that is such an adorable pregnancy picture. Also, no one is going to tell you to stop complaining, because we all complain about weight too. And I'm so glad you are seeing progress. I can't believe you run 30 miles a week! I think I've accomplished so much when I do one mile on the treadmill. I hope you continue to see changes and that you get to buy several new pairs of jeans. You're beautiful!

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  2. I've always based real body changes on my jeans and not so much on the scale, so I would say you have done an amazing job. I have admired you for your running for as long as you have been doing it and know that your body is happy with you for all your hard work. I never realized #3 was a trial thank goodness you still got #4 and 5.

    xoXOXOxxxooo

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  3. I hope being pregnant at 26 isn't indicative of such problems. I suppose I'll be 27 when I deliver, so maybe that will help!

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  4. AWESOME! Seriously, I love that. This is a really good post Kellie - I didn't know that about you and plus, that picture made me smile :)

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  5. Yipeeee! I hope for you, that those jeans just keep loosening up! I hear you on the wanting back the healthy body. Good luck to you my friend.

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  6. YAY Kellie!!! I am happy for your glimmer of hope. The same thing happened to me after Janey--no more 30 pound weight loss immediately after baby for me. I think you look great, but I know how you feel and hope you keep on going!

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  7. LOVE the picture, kellie! and thanks for the post. i have been having similar uncomfortable-with-my-body feelings and really thinking about how healthy - or unhealthy - i am. so i'm glad you're seeing results and you're inspiring me to keep up my new exercise plan!

    and i agree, it's not really about the weight. it's about how the jeans fit. :)

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  8. I love weight posts, seriously. I'm so glad that you're getting to enjoy the payoff of all that hard work and the discipline -- I can't really imagine how frustrating it must be to not have your body respond like it ought to. Personally I think that weight training is the magic bullet. I'm so glad you're doing it!!

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  9. Congratulations!! You give me hope. I admire your determination and commitment. I hope you get a whole new wardrobe!!

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  10. That's awesome! You also inspire me. I haven't exercised for months now because of an injury and I'm dragging my feet, but I think I will start today!! Thanks for the story. It's always nice to know that people go through some of the same struggles.

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  11. I think that's awesome!! I always try to focus on how my clothes fit rather than the scale. And I hope you DO get a new pair of jeans out of it!!

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  12. Good for you!!! I'm always much more willing to believe the measuring tape than the scale (for some reason I'm convinced the scale lies to me). A lb of fat may equal a lb of muscle, but it sure takes up a lot more space!!

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  13. of course yay for you! I've stubbornly hung onto some pre-baby clothes in hopes that I can get myself back into them at some point. I'm finally realizing that they probably won't feel as stylish when I finally get to that point!!

    have fun jean shopping! I'm a huge fan of Eddie Bauer jeans because they have some nice sizing varieties (ie short version of regular sizes that aren't "petite")

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  14. I'm loving this post, Kellie. I hear you about the never-the-same-body, although I'm not quite in the pulling-up-my-pants mode yet. Sadly, even though the youngest is 9 months old, I'm still sometimes pulling out a pair of elastic waist maternity shorts to wear because they're comfy! :)

    Looking forward to seeing you next week!

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  15. This was great Kellie and I can echo so many of your thoughts! I totally think my body freaks out in every way when I'm pregnant and am now still dealing with conditions that started or got worse during my last pregnancy. It's hard to deal with your body changing on you and I'm so happy for you and your jeans result!! I think that is a much better gage than the scale. Happy new jeans buying to you!!

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Thank you for sharing your insights!