I just deleted a looooong, ranty blog post. Mostly, I wrote about my feeeeeelings and it wasn’t fun to read.
I used to do this thing when I wrote “for real” back in college (which was, holy shit, a decade ago and counting): I would wrote a paper a few days before it was due (yes, last-minute paper writers scorned me for this) and let it sit. Then, I’d edit the paper and turn it in. With a blog, more often than not, I just hit “publish” and go on my merry way.
I let my last bit of writing sit overnight, and I’m glad I did. It wasn’t pretty. It was, in fact, a pretty ugly side of me, full of self-pity and discouragement. I’m hoping that I can be more rational today.
What got me all worked up was this blog entry, currently making the rounds on Pinterest. The author implies, nay, asserts outright, that a woman can, in a few simple steps, easily lose all the baby weight and then some after birth. Even with triplets! And a Cesarean section! And bed rest! The author is an authority because she declares that she has battled her weight all her life!
Ho-ho… settle down, Amelia. Can’t you tell by the use of exclamation points that I am getting worked up again?
My issue is that I did everything “right” according to this blog and I am still fighting to get down to pre-pregnancy weight 15 months after the birth of my second child. I was in shape before I got pregnant, I ate well, and I exercised throughout pregnancy. I still gained 55 pounds. My doctor never expressed concern. “It’s just what your body was designed to do,” he said (which didn’t mean that I didn’t agonize over it, of course – after all, I have friends and family who gain very little during pregnancy and, of course, I would rather be like them. However, I would not want to avoid a giant ass at the expense of the baby, which I guess is the lynchpin in the whole deal: this is what my body does to create healthy life). I started an exercise program as soon as I was cleared to do so (and it’s a hard-core program, at that), I breastfed my baby for 14 months, and I eat sensibly. And still.
The point is that some of us have different bodies, different genes, different ages working against us. Some of us hold on to weight when we breastfeed because our bodies want to make sure we can adequately nourish our children in case of famine. Some of us are beyond thirty when we have kids. Some of us have slow metabolisms. Some of us have first children to run after and cook for and clean up after in addition to the baby. Some of us also work outside the home.
I truly do think that it’s wonderful that that woman was able to lose so much weight so quickly. I hope, for her sake and her baby’s, that it was a healthy weight loss. I would like to be like her. I would like to lose all the baby weight within six weeks of giving birth. Hell, I’d be happy with losing the rest of it right now. But I will never be like that. If I have another baby, I’ll be further into my thirties and have two older children to look after while gestating and caring for an infant. My body does what it does. I’m trying to be okay with that. But I think it is sad and unfair of someone WHO IS NOT A DOCTOR OR AN EXPERT to tell me and anyone else who reads that post that if we simply exercise and eat vegetables to get rid of morning sickness (my morning sickness liked to barf up vegetables, but whatevs), we will automatically lose all that weight post-baby without doing a thing.
Certainly, eating well and exercising regularly will keep us all healthy, moms or not. It’s a good idea to do both of those things before, during, and after pregnancy. But exercise and eating well are not a magic bullet for post-pregnancy weight loss. I’m living proof.