When I first got pregnant I couldn’t WAIT to get into maternity clothes. I always thought being pregnant would be the perfect excuse to get a whole new wardrobe (and not worry about your waistline for 9 months). Maternity clothes have come a long way in the past ten years and there are a ton of affordably adorable outfits on the market. But the best part is they are SUPER comfy. There is a certain freedom to being pregnant. No more worrying about if a waistband will fit, they’re all made of elastic! And forget about a shirt being a tad too tight, revealing that not so flat stomach, your stomach is expected to bulge out! It’s an utterly freeing experience and I embraced it wholeheartedly.
I started wearing maternity pants almost immediately even though I didn’t really start showing for awhile. Sitting for long periods didn’t produce a button indentation on my skin and going to the bathroom became a much faster process. Soon enough I realized the reason THAT would be so beneficial, but I digress. I began to think I would never want to go back to regular pants again. Elastic was the future, my future, and I loved the prospect.
After giving birth to my adorable little man I didn’t much care to think about my body anymore. My brain was already on overload with poopy diapers, nursing, and figuring out how to be mobile again with a newborn in tow. My girlfriend always said 9 months up and 9 months down so I figured I had time. But when my baby turned 9 months and I was still clinging to my “baby weight” I started to worry about those glances from strangers while carrying my ever growing toddler into the grocery store. I was quickly loosing my excuse of “oh she just had a baby.” I decided it was time to drop the cupcakes and grab the carrots. I broke down and joined Weight Watchers.
This was the first time I had ever joined a dieting program. Not that I was completely unfamiliar with them. My mom had tried a lot of different dieting programs over the years. I vividly recall the hamburgers from NutriSystem tasting of cardboard, probably because they sat in cardboard boxes on our pantry shelf. Sorry but I’m a firm believer that meat should never be shelf stable. And let’s not forget those canned shakes from SlimFast, not bad overall but who wants to drink their meals EVERY DAY? I’d feel more like a jaw surgery patient than a weight loss candidate. Oooh! There’s an idea! Maybe I should just wire my jaw shut for 2 months. No? OK ok maybe that’s a tad extreme.
Needless to say the shame set in immediately. I don’t know why I felt embarrassed. If there’s ever a good excuse to be overweight it’s gotta be child birth right? Yet I was scared. Not just of what people would think of me joining a weight loss program but more the pressure to succeed. What if this program didn’t work? What if I couldn’t do it and was destined to never look or feel the same about my body again. I think the feeling of failure was the scariest part. I felt if people knew I was loosing weight then they would always be glancing at my waistline as I walked in the door to see my progress or raising their eyebrows when I took a cookie from the dessert table.
It was a slow start and although I wasn’t sure I wanted people to know I was on a diet it’s tough to hide when you’re whipping out your mobile app to calculate the point value of everything you’re eating. But as I began sharing my decision to take charge of my eating habits something strange happened. Instead of those knowing glances saying, “Thank God she finally realized how bad she looks,” I was met with support and help. Mommy friends started coming out of the woodwork sharing their struggles too. We had ALL joined Weight Watchers! HA! I wasn’t alone in this after all. The best part was we could all help each other out with low point value snack ideas and recipes that didn’t have shelf stable meat involved. It always makes me smile when I realize how God can use your fear to show you His love through others.
So here’s a big THANK YOU to all my mommy friends who have been nothing but supportive. I need you and could not continue to do this without your encouragement.
PS And by the way I’m over halfway to my goal. ; )