Thursday, June 5, 2008

Losing It Faster

Last time I was pregnant, it took me 2 days to lose the first 20 pounds and about five months to lose the next 24. The four that were left came off s.l.o.w.l.y over the course of the next four months.

I worked extremely, extremely hard to get the weight off, but truth be told, I was relatively happy at my four-pounds-heavier weight. I looked roughly the same, felt ok in a bikini and fit into all of my old clothing. The fact that the rest came off was kind of just a bonus.

It is hard to say why I wanted to lose the weight so badly, but this article in the Globe today is making me wonder if perhaps some of the pressure I felt was celebrity-driven.

But I think not.

It's true that celebrities lose the weight ridiculously fast. My guess is that they do so because a.) They have chefs and b.) They did not gain that much to begin with. But this article kind of annoys me to be honest. The gist of it seems to claim that "real moms" feel the same pressure as celebrity moms to lose weight quickly and that is not a fair expectation. That is true. But I think it depends on the person.

For me, losing the weight is part of my personality. I am a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to my body. As I have said many times before, my life goal is to focus on the big three: my family, my writing and my workouts. If the house is a mess, so be it. If we order take out, I'll live. Those are my three priorities and the rest is unimportant.

And while I understand that many other people place higher priority on the cleanliness of their house and getting good food on the table, I have to wonder about this notion that mothers "do not have time to lose the weight." As much as this article takes some pressure off women, it also does them a disservice by suggesting that taking the time to lose baby weight is any less than what we deserve.

I am going to find that damn hour to workout if it kills me. It has to be somewhere. I deserve that time to myself. Maybe I am reading too much into the piece (this is entirely possible given my hormonal state), but I felt like the suggestion was that in order to be a good mother, one had to keep the baby weight. And while I kind of understand the general premise--less pressure=good, right?--I am also kind of repulsed by the idea of offering women an excuse to be 30 pounds overweight for FIVE YEARS. I am sorry to say, but that is just not healthy. Yes, we may not all be size twos. We may not always be flaunting our rock hard abs, but is it wrong that to expect that moms should have the time to lose weight?

The article suggests that the only reason to lose the weight is to look "hot." And while I will readily admit that is one of my main goals, I am also in it for my health. My blood pressure is always 100/60. My blood sugar for this pregnancy was 74. These are good numbers. The reason? I find the time to work out.

There has to be a balance. Yes, it is insane to expect us all to look like Heidi Klum six weeks after birth, but it is also not healthy to be obese and blame the baby. Here is my advice: drop those vacuum cleaners, mops, brooms and cooking crap and get to the gym. Health is number one.

Some weight it fine, but blaming the baby when the baby is at college is just wrong.


Kristi said...

Like most other things that have to do with mothers seeking "me-time" the idea of them spending time losing babyweight by working out is most defintely seen as "selfish" (which of course you would never hear about a father seeking to lose weight to be healthier and see his kids graduate college). I have no idea how I'm going to find the time to lose my baby weight (which is escalating at a frightening pace) with two newborns and a toddler in the fall, but dammit, I'm going to try.

irish twins said...

I just have to say that I appreciated this post. For me, losing the baby weight was battle as well. However, with 2 kiddos born less than a year apart (ages 2& 1), my exercise time is my sanity time. In addition, I think it sets a good example for my kids. Thanks to a double jogger and an elliptical machine in our spare room, I lost my baby weight 5 months after #2 was born and felt good about myself. Don't worry, you'll lose it after baby #2 arrives just like you did after #1. :-)