Fit, Fab, and (Not Quite) 40 – Pt. 3

This week marks week seven of the new healthier me.  It seemed like a good time to reflect and think about how I got here in the first place.  After all, I didn’t gain weight overnight.

A younger and thinner me at 28.

When I first started dating my husband in 1998, I was at a healthy weight and BMI.  Then, over a two year period, I put on 20 pounds.  How did it happen?  I started eating without thinking.  Chips (not baked) and salsa was my favorite late night snack, with mounds of sour cream no less.  I also ate lots of cookies – with frosting sandwiched in between them.  Oh yeah, baby!  We loved to play poker with friends on the weekends, so beer was a significant part of my “diet” during that time too.

Once we were married and decided to have children, I lost about 10 pounds by cutting out the junk, including the beer.  By the time I got pregnant, eating healthy was second nature.  I gained only 22 pounds, and Michael was 9 lbs. 5 oz. at birth, so a lot of it was baby.  I took off the rest easily within a month. Fourteen months later I was pregnant with Liam.

A little after eight weeks into my second pregnancy, I was diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum and lost over ten pounds.  Unable to keep down much of anything for five months, I was sustained mostly by IV fluids (or as one Doc in the ER called it, “Twinkie in a bag”).  Once the worst of the illness passed, I gained slightly over 20 pounds and lost it quickly after Liam’s birth (He was 8 lbs., 10 oz.).

Me - 8 mos pregnant with Michael. Not too bad.

Here’s the difference: I nursed Liam, and everyone knows you need 250- 500 extra calories a day, right?  And I was hungry – really hungry.  So I began eating more.  I just didn’t know when to stop.  Don’t get me wrong – I don’t regret nursing.  In fact, I loved it.  But everyone knows sleep deprivation (one of my triggers) is a normal part of caring for an infant and 18 months later I was seriously overweight. 

Then began the yo-yo dieting.  I lost 28 lbs. over a period of about four months. Then I slowly put about half of it back on over a year, which brings me to my current situation.

My first weigh-in was at four weeks and I’d lost five pounds.  Ok, I would have preferred ten or so, but at least I was headed in the right direction.  My trainer James reminded me that I was gaining lean muscle at the same time and I needed to take that  into consideration as well.

Love the kids. The body...not so much.

This morning I weighed myself and I’m now up to 11 pounds (or down, depending how you look at it).  James continues to challenge me at the gym.  I even fell down during our workout last Tuesday.  That‘s right – my butt hit the floor after doing lunges.  He didn’t want me to mention that part in the blog (sorry James), but it was funny!  Once he saw that I was ok, he laughed with me.  You know what the best part is?  I’m having fun…really!   

Next week – pix from the gym (yikes!) and tips and tricks to making wiser food choices.

Jill Prouty

Jill is a reader, writer, and professional librarian who enjoys spending her free time with her husband of twelve years and their two sons. She has an MSLS from Clarion University of Pennsylvania and a BA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.