Musings, Thoughts and Creations

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The issue of weight

on June 25, 2012

Most people would love to lose a few pounds, or these days, 100 pounds. I’m the annoying person that’s trying to gain weight.

In high school I was around 130/135 pounds. When I went to college I gained about 10 more, most likely because I went on the birth control pill, but it also could be part of the dreaded freshman 15. And I stayed that weight of about 140/145 for 10 years. I was fine with my weight. Of course I would have liked to be a little more toned, for my favorite jeans not to fit so tightly, but basically I was fine with my weight.

Right before I got pregnant with Lily I walked and exercised a lot to get ready for a half marathon I walked with my mom. I lost a few pounds doing that. Then when I was pregnant, I was nauseous and uninterested in food. I ate because I knew I had to, but I ate the bare minimum. At 10 weeks pregnant I was 130 pound, and had lost more than 10 pounds from my usual weight.

I have to say that when the nausea wore off, I felt what the media has programmed me to feel – I loved my new slimmer body. My bra size had increased, due to being pregnant, so I was thin and busty, the coveted perfect female form. It’s what’s in the magazines. It’s what celebrities diet and get plastic surgery to achieve. It’s not a realistic form for the majority of people, and took a collaboration of unusual circumstances to achieve. Girls if you want the perfect bod, just exercise, get pregnant and feel like sh&t for a month.

The issue of weight is big when you’re pregnant. You have to gain weight, but not too much. Some gain a ton, some just hold that basketball in front and never seem to gain weight anywhere else. Some lose the baby weight right away after the baby is born, some work to take it off, and some never do.

I think it’s a crapshoot. Yes, you can make healthy and smart choices while pregnant, just like any other time. If you eat lean protein, fruit, vegetables, healthy fats, and fiber-y grains (basically the diet everyone should have all the time), you probably won’t gain 60 pounds. But on the other hand, a lot of it has to do with genetics and metabolism. If your mom got big as a house with you, you’ll probably be the same. I knew women that threw up for six months and still gained a ton of pregnancy weight. And if you’re throwing up every day, it’s hard to make “smart choices” with food. You’ll just eat anything that won’t make you sick, and might keep you and the baby alive.

I guess what I’m saying is that it’s annoying when women’s pregnancy weight is such an issue. My doctor was concerned when I was losing weight and then a few months later, raised an eyebrow when I’d gained something like 15 pounds since my last appointment. What?! My cousin said that in Amsterdam they don’t stress about how much weight a pregnant mother is gaining. As long as you’re gaining enough, you’re fine.

We have this obsession with weight in America, and yet we’re the fattest of anyone. It’s a very strange dichotomy. On TV everyone is a stick, and that couldn’t be more of a stark contrast to what is actually walking around in America. I don’t think either is particularly healthy.

When Lily was born I lost the weight immediately. I think partly because of breastfeeding, partly because I limited my sugar intake for the first two months because of a breastfeeding issue I dealt with, and partly because my metabolism increased. I continued to lose weight as Lily continued to gain. I got down to 120 pounds, a weight I haven’t been since I was 12 years old. Did I do this on purpose or work at it? No. And I got compliments everywhere I went. Compliments are nice, but I did feel like it was a little wrong. I knew lots of pregnant people in my circle of friends and family and through moms groups I was a part of, and there were those that lost the weight and those that didn’t. We were all breastfeeding. We were all trying to eat healthy and take care of our babies. Some just got lucky in their genetics and metabolism and some didn’t. All postpartum mothers should get compliments, especially the ones who are slow to lose the extra weight.

And now, here I am pregnant again, with twins. And I find myself in the position of needing to gain weight. A lot of it. Like 50 pounds. 50 pounds! I feel like an actress preparing for a role. It’s so method.

50 pounds sounds nuts, but it’s the best way to make sure I deliver fat, healthy, full term twins. That’s one segment of our society where it’s perfectly acceptable, desirable even, to be fat. Babies. Live it up babies, because once you hit a few years old, that baby weight better fall off or else.

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3 responses to “The issue of weight

  1. Sandi Alderson says:

    I lost my comment again; internet was down!!!

    I liked your comments but it was a little sad to read. Just too much pressure. I’m glad the experts have all lthis information, but let me tell you a story about the four of you. I didn’t gain the weight with you as I did with your siblings, but I was older and wiser and more active and shunned the birthday cake with all roses. I didn’t drink or smoke when pregnant for some reason with any of you. With you I knew better but with the other three no one suggested we don’t; I just didn’t. Whew!! But I did feed you all pretty much the same; right out of the jar and whole milk out of a cup at a year. But in those days the vanilla pudding was good!!!!! I am so glad and so happy that you have watched what Lily eats and introduced new foods every month. When she eats her avocados, lentil and kale soup, I am so impressed; it makes me smile and I do appreciate it and your efforts. I really think it’s harder the older they get; they are simply more observant about what people are eating. I have to admit as much as I love that crazy Portland, I did see lots of younger people walking around with jiggly stomachs. I admit I love a good In-an-Out burger, but only a few times a year and I’m pretty active. That’s a key ingredient: sports, working out, whatever gets your heart rate up. Enjoy those babies and Lily and try not to worry too much. It will be a fun ride and no could be doing a better job than the two of you.

  2. Jill says:

    Thank you mom. Don’t worry I’m not concerned for my own weight, only that I need to gain it, not that I’ll have to lose it again. Just discussing the very crazy body issues we have in this country. I wish sometimes that we could value those curvy ladies like they do in some other countries. There’s something a little more natural about that. Not that I want us to eat junk all the time, but if you get curvy eating a balanced diet – that should be fine. But fashion needs to complement a curvy woman, not highlight the muffin tops or whatever. My Womens Studies 10 class rings true over and over when it comes to the terrible standard the fashion and media industry sets for girls and women.

  3. Jessica says:

    I gained less weight and lost it quicker with the second pregnancy. Can’t say what will happen with twins, but your body responds differently. Chasing around a two-year-old helps, too!

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