In 2010, I reached the highest, most disturbing weight of my life. I was big, uncomfortable, and unhealthy. This kick-started me into one of the healthiest phases of my life. I had friends paying hundreds of dollars for fad diets. I went a different route and refocused myself on nutrition and exercise. Over the next few months, I lost over 30 pounds and felt better than I had in years! Healthy became natural and easy: I didn’t crave junk food at all and I loved exercising! A few months later, having maintained my weight loss, I learned I was pregnant.
What a blessing, and how wonderful to know that I was beginning this pregnancy in great health! As a juvenile onset/insulin dependent diabetic, this was a high risk pregnancy from the beginning. Blood sugar levels were the priority and (surprisingly) weight gain was not much of a concern at all. My doctors were so focused on food intake, including extra snacks and increased carbs, that I gained 12 pounds in my first trimester! During the phase when most women lose, I gained! I continued to gain throughout the pregnancy. My doctors never brought it up, and never seemed worried about it. They were pleased with my progress, diabetes management, and overall health. This was a relief, but I was worried about the gain and mentioned it several times. Each conversation resulted in a nod and “you’re fine, don’t worry about it.” Although it was nice and reassuring, I still wasn’t convinced.
The last month of pregnancy, I was very swollen (especially with the Arizona summer heat), and at my highest weight as I gained 60+ pounds! The worst moment was seeing the words “morbid obesity” on my chart at the delivery hospital! Didn’t they know it was just because of the pregnancy?
After the birth of my beautiful and healthy daughter, I once again faced this gruesome task. I lost 26 pounds in 6 days after delivery! I was hopeful, but I got stuck after that. I knew what I needed to do, and I came into this with a great perspective: it took almost a year to gain it, so I would give myself a year to lose it. My target date was my daughter’s 1st birthday.
I was tempted at times to try the fads, but breastfeeding wouldn’t allow it. I had to focus on health/fitness. Activity was tough with a baby and a military husband, so I focused on what was possible: portion control, healthy snacks, and fitting in exercise whenever I could (which sometimes meant just walking “laps” in my house). I am happy to say that at her birthday party, I was only 5 pounds higher than my pre-pregnancy weight! I am still working on it, and still have a long way to go. The main thing is for my kids to grow up in a healthy household. Weight will always be a challenge for me, but a fun, active lifestyle will be rewarding for all of us!