Tuesday, December 21, 2010

taking an inventory.

i just got back from the doctor's office.  Baby Girl is doing well, measuring exactly where she should be and with a heartbeat that continues to be in the 150s and 160s.  that's good news.

what wasn't such good news was the number i saw on the scale.  and this time, the doctor mentioned it too.

i'm at 24 weeks and i've gained 20 pounds.

(there's honesty for you.)

i don't look like i've ballooned out. my face is, perhaps, a bit more round, but i still fit into my shirts and the belly seems to be the only thing that's popping out.  of course, i could be delusional, but the pants seem to fit still and my dresses do too, so all of the markers of weight gain aren't really there. 

at first, i was all zen about it.  there's only so much you can do, even said the doctor, so if you're eating healthfully and exercising, that's all you can do. this is what he told me before. i quite like him in that way--he is realistic. 

and realistic element of my life, as my wonderful husband pointed out, is that i am (in his loving, kind, and totally understated terms) more prone to put weight on than other people.  i don't mind gaining weight for Baby Girl. i get it.

what i mind, deeply, is the idea that i'm not doing all that i can be doing. that somehow, someway, i will fail in this particular quest to be healthy because i got caught back up into unhealthy habits and forgot all i learned about myself and my body.  i don't want to become a high risk pregnancy because i ate my way into high blood pressure or gestational diabetes. i don't want to sit, depressed, as may and june come and i have a two-month old and am facing a desperately uphill climb to weight loss. 

i don't want to have to go through all of this again. there's something really demoralizing about that--not the weight, but the idea of the failure. 

of course, to a certain extent, my body is going to do what it's going to do.  sometimes, you're not a textbook. sometimes, you just are you and you are an exception and maybe your 40 pound weight gain is exactly what was necessary.  i started out this journey pretty healthy. i've stayed there--all looks good, except for that number on a scale.

if this were any other time, i might tell meg, for example, to stop looking at the scale and to start looking at other things.  that the scale doesn't tell you everything, and that the most important things are the things you CAN control.

so i'll try to take my own advice (and would be very glad to take yours as well, those of you who have gone through this before).  it's time to take an inventory of the things i can control.  instead of living in fear of an unknown that has yet to be, i can take control of the things that i can do now.

what can i do?

i know i can exercise more, but i've gotten out of the habit.  it's time to make it a habit again (and stop throwing money away on my very expensive gym membership).   i know i can incorporate a combination of cardio/weight-bearing exercise with yoga to strengthen both heart and muscle, and to speed up my metabolism. 

i know i can avoid sugar more.  i have gotten into a bad and nasty habit of feeding my sweet tooth into oblivion. it's unnecessary, and it's not nutrition.  graham crackers are tasty, but they don't do anything for me, really.  cookies are lovely, but they're not getting me anywhere. and let's not even talk about ice cream.  lest you suddenly shake your head and think "hey--duh. that's where it's coming from" i have actually been quite moderate in my intake of all of these things.  but sometimes you can moderate your moderation.

i know i can eat more vegetables.  fruit has been the thing that i've been trying to eat consistently, mainly because it's easy and i like it more.  but fruit has lots of natural sugar and not as much fiber. at this point, perhaps i just have to reset my compass.  vegetables are good.  even if i don't always want to eat them, they are good for me and they are filling.

i am sure there is more to do.  i am sure there is more to consider.  i am trying, however, to keep myself mindful of what i can control and what i can't. it's hard right now--i'm not going to lie--to not throw myself a big pity party and not want to just shake my fists at the heavens.

but if failure is what i'm most afraid of, then giving up would be the surest way there. so, instead, i'll eat my cheerios and bananas and drink my water and plan my day around a gym trip and errands and keep myself very busy doing lots of good things and leave the rest in the capable hands of He who has blessed me thus far.

it's all i can do, so i'll do my best to do it all. 


  1. I'm trying to remember, but I'm pretty sure that I'd gained about that much when I was at this point in my pregnancy. I don't know if that is any consolation or not! Everyone's body is different and everybody's pregnancy is different. I gained 37 pounds with my pregnancy and my weight gain sped up and slowed down all throughout - I think it was the baby having growth spurts. Anyways, what I guess I'm saying is don't sweat it. Eating more veggies and less sweets is always a good plan (pregnant or not!), but don't drive yourself crazy over it:)You're doing great!

  2. Rather than focusing on what NOT to eat, focus on eating MORE of the right things. Tell yourself "you can have a cookie if you eat this banana," then see what happens! Chances are you won't that cookie anymore!