Heads up: Although I’m going to touch on it briefly, this isn’t an infertility related post. This is a post about my lifelong struggle to lose weight and keep it off. This is a post about the stigmas that come with being fat – and one where I give them the middle finger. It’s totally okay if that doesn’t interest you. We’ll reconvene for more TTC posts in a few weeks. Promise.
I’m fat, y’all.
In fact, my weight and BMI (yes, even with my height) put me in the obese category.
There. I dropped the f-bomb.
Now that I’ve kicked the elephant out of the room, let’s get down to business.
With the exception of two years during college, I don’t remember being anything other than fat. I’m not going to bore you with the word vomit that is my weight history, but here are a few things you should know:
- I was teased A LOT in school. While it’s not okay, I forgave those middle school kids long ago. But I’d be lying if I said the teasing didn’t have an impact on me.
- Mom dragged me kicking and screaming to a dietician in my early teen years. Without success, of course, because what teen girl wants to keep a food diary?
- So many doctors over the years harassed me about my weight that I began to avoid them like the plague. When I was forced to go (illness or an annual gynecological exam), it was nothing but an anxiety filled experience.
- Those college years I wrote about above? Not healthy. I shed a little under 100 pounds, but I didn’t lose the weight or maintain it the right way. Basically, I treated my body like shit and it thanked me by shedding large clumps of hair, making me feel dizzy, and who knows what else I’ve blocked from memory. Yeah. Don’t starve yourself like I did. Ever.
- I was at my highest weight ever in January 2013. Stress eating. I used Isagenix to lose about 15 pounds, but it just wasn’t a lifestyle I could maintain financially.
During those early months of TTC, when I was convinced I’d be pregnant “next time,” I sought out a lot of websites and support groups for plus-size pregnancy and births. I found many beautiful, empowering women who made me believe in myself and showed me it is possible to have a healthy pregnancy even if you are fat.
But the longer it took to conceive the more I began to worry my weight was a factor.
After my initial appointment with Dr. GL I made a commitment to myself and our future child to live a healthier life. I signed up for my insurance company’s Weight Management Program which includes a gym membership, personal training and monthly meetings with a dietician.
Look, folks, since this is an insurance based program I can get kicked out at any point in time if they determine I’m not making adequate progress. Years ago I wouldn’t have taken the plunge because I would have been too scared to fail. But I was (and still am) committed. This was (and still is) what I want.
Imagine my level of frustration, however, when I’d only lost two pounds and six total body inches in four months.
Yes, you read that right.
I exercised four-five days a week, logged my food and watched my caloric intake. I purchased a heart rate monitor to get a better idea of how many calories I was burning. I drank water like it would be my last beverage EVER.
And I lost two pounds.
Tears. So many tears were shed.
Convinced there must be something medically wrong, I scheduled an appointment with my PCP. I had the appointment yesterday and I left feeling like we accomplished nothing. They tested my thyroid (TSH: 2.077, normal according to what I’ve read online), but other than that I felt like they didn’t believe what I was saying.
Fat and not losing weight? Clearly you’re eating too much or not exercising enough.
“I’m not sure anyone has ever spoken with you about caloric intake, but we sat down and crunched some numbers for you. It’s calories in versus calories out … You should be eating 1,500 calories and not adding in your exercise calories. We have a dietitian here on staff …”
Are you serious right now? In the words of a good friend, “This isn’t my first rodeo!” I have a dietitian (who, BTW, will disagree with what you’re telling me) and I bet I know more about caloric intake than you. So there.
After sobbing to my mom on the phone, I threw on my sports bra and gym clothes and laced up my sneakers. After 45 minutes on the treadmill and some light strength training my frustration had turned to determination.
Determination to not let this one appointment sabotage the work I’ve already done. Determination to keep going. Determination to make this the absolute last time I ever have a substantial (non-pregnancy related) amount of weight to lose.
This won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.
In the meantime, I’m going to love myself first. And, yes, sometimes that means putting myself first. That’s okay. Eat healthy and exercise. This is MY journey. I shouldn’t have to pace myself to someone else’s standards.
P.S. I know people mean well, but this is not an open call for diet suggestions or exercise plans. You know what they say about too many cooks in the kitchen. 😉 “You go girl!” or “I’ve been there and this is my success story …” comments are, however, always welcome.