Monday, June 6, 2011

Not the status quo

I think I have always struggled with an “all or nothing” attitude – and I don’t think I’m alone here. Probably the majority of dieters struggle or fail at losing weight because of that mentality. And it’s hard not to have that mentality….. even though we know that slow and steady weight loss is the way to keep things off permanently, reality shows and get-thin-quick products, books, DVDs, diets, and so on convince us otherwise. That if it doesn’t happen right away, then it’s not going to happen and we might as well through in the towel. And boy, does this work in the other direction, too. That if you ate a piece of cake at the office, then you might as well throw in the towel and binge for lunch and dinner. And forget about that planned exercise!

So, I have been definitely fighting the all or nothing mentality since I first saw that positive pregnancy test. Only this time, it feels worse, because I find myself thinking a lot of the time “Why bother with exercise? I’m just going to gain weight and get fat anyway.” Or “It’s ok that I eat this; I’ve been feeling so crappy that I deserve it.  When you know that for the next six months, you’re going to get bigger and gain weight, it makes it very difficult to convince yourself that keeping fit is in your best interest. After all, what’s the point? There’s no physical reward (e.g., low number on the scale, fitting into those size 4 pants, etc.) to it.

I’m pretty sure this is how a lot of women end up gaining a lot of weight during pregnancy, especially ones that struggled with their weight to begin with.

And the fact that I have pretty much everyone in my life telling me they gained 80 pounds because they ate blue cheese dressing by the handful (true story), or that “the first trimester sickness is just the beginning…wait for the swollen ankles, the bloated tummy, the puffy face, being unable to sleep because you’re so large…” (I hear that on a daily basis). So you can see how it’s easy to just give up and “accept your fate,” it seems, right? It’s like everyone around you just tells you to forget about it, eat what you want, enjoy this time, and get ready for the pounds to pile on – it’s inevitable.

It’s easy to get there. Very easy. I’ve spent the past few days feeling sorry for myself because I can tell that my tummy is getting bigger, though I’m not sure if it’s just weight gain or actual pregnancy tummy. Either way, I’m at that point where I’m starting to look like I’m letting myself go, and not quite pregnant. Not a great place to be!

Well, by Sunday, I’d had enough of feeling sorry for myself, and strapped on my running shoes and went for a 2 mile run. It was great to get outside (albeit hot, windy, and smoky due to the Arizona fires), but during that time, I reminded myself that I don’t have to be the status quo. I don’t have to eat salad dressing by the handful, and I don’t have to give in to every craving. I don’t have to accept my fate of looking like a beached whale in my third trimester, and I certainly need the exercise and motivation. I also don’t have to give in to my fears of giving up my life and losing myself in mommyhood.

So, it’s back to basics and making a workout schedule and tracking my eating. And I made a deal with my hubby… he spends about $50 a month drinking beer after mountain biking every Wednesday, and I love that he does it because it’s a hobby and it’s with his friends, and he should do those things because it makes him happy. So mama? Mama is re-joining the gym and taking classes, getting access to a pool (and swimming which will be great once I do get a big tummy), and best of all…. having a place to drop off Baby Marathoner while I work out. :) While I probably will avoid the major butt-kicking Ultimate Conditioning class from hell that I took last summer, I am really looking forward to spin class, prenatal yoga, and getting my butt back into gear!


fancy nancy said...

Fight the good fight!!! I remember feeling this way but once your belly you have a baby bump...I felt much better. I looked less like I let myself go and more like cute preggers lady! I loved being pregnant but definitely had a game plan for post baby. I took spin right up until the day before I had her and all the while spoke with a trainer at my gym for a post baby plan. It was hard at first to drop her off but it was just what I my butt kicked back and felt like myself again in no time! I had a c-section so I needed a little extra time off but I made it back with 20 extra pounds off! Stay healthy and do what makes you feel like you....and if you need to wear a sign that says, "I haven't let myself go I'm pregnant" or "Child growing inside...what's your excuse" then do it!!!

Karen@WaistingTime said...

Yay for mama moving her body! When I was pregnant it was in my pre-exercise life. But I have to think you'll feel better (physically and emotionally) if you keep up with whatever you feel capable of doing. And it is NOT inevitable to gain that much weight! Do not accept that as your fate, Anna.

marbear24 said...

Ah. You know, that one of the things I'm scared about battling with myself about when I get pregnant. I'm sure you)kk do great and I will turn to you for inspiration when my time comes. Swimming is GREAT. Let me know if you need workout info, etc... for the pool!

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