Believe it or not, I am constantly writing posts that never make it to this blog. There are two in particular that I’ve intended on posting for over month, but I just can’t seem to wrap them up. One of the posts is difficult for me to write because it requires me to talk about relationships within my family. I haven’t figured out how to walk the line between candidness and brutal honesty. I don’t want to disrespect or hurt people whom I love by talking about the lower points in our relationship, but it’s hard not to acknowledge those points when they play a role in our current dynamic.
Another part of me feels like it’s unacceptable to air that dirty laundry on a platform like this due to fairness. Is it ethical to air my grievances against someone who doesn’t have an equal opportunity or platform to tell their side of the story? Does it violate their right to consent to have these issues discussed publicly? Do they have that right? Does my right to talk about my feelings trump someone else’s right to privacy? What does their right to privacy entail?
I’ve tried writing the post as if I never intend on publishing it. I figure it may be cathartic to address my issues with these people by writing down how I feel, and one day that may help me address the issues face-to-face. I still struggle to find the words though. I have trouble pinpointing exactly how I feel and why I feel that way. Is it because I’m unsure or because it’s too painful to address the issues head on? I don’t know.
In happier news, my little Noah celebrated his first birthday recently. I can’t believe it’s been a year since he came into our lives. In some ways it feels like we only just brought him home, and in other ways it feels like he’s been here all along. He’s developing into such a sweet, friendly, and playful little boy. He’s rarely seen without a smile, he laughs freely, he’s affectionate, he’s sociable. He’s everything I hoped he would be and more. He keeps me in a constant state of pride and wonder. As I told Robbie recently: Noah is the coolest thing we’ve ever done.
To see more picture from Noah’s birthday, click here.
Aside from the obvious accomplishment of keeping my kid alive, happy, and healthy this year, I also hit another milestone: I breastfed for a year. It wasn’t an easy journey. Pumping was my biggest obstacle. I hated pumping. I hate pumping. I had to resist the urge to light my pump on fire and watch it burn when Noah’s pediatrician said we can transition him entirely to whole milk. I sing Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah on my way to work now that I don’t face a day interrupted thrice by pump breaks. I’ve never felt more efficient. I’m like a machine. Which is kind of funny because I was much more similar to a machine when I was pumping. But now I’m a WORK machine. Getting. $#!+. Done.
My third, and most baffling, accomplishment of the past year has to be my weight loss.
I am 23 lbs lighter than my pre-pregnancy weight, I’m down 3 pant sizes, and I’m still losing. The most obnoxious part (I can’t help but feel obnoxious when I talk about my weight loss) is that the only thing I can attribute my success to is breastfeeding.
It was about September when I first noticed that I was dropping weight. We were having family pictures made with Robbie’s dad, and I had trouble finding something to wear. All of my pants were baggy and unflattering. After sharing my insecurities, Robbie’s step-mom offered me a pair of her pants to try on. They were a size 8. I was afraid to try them.
Anybody who’s battled with their weight can relate to the feeling of trying on a smaller size than you’re used to. A tiny part of you is hopeful that what you’re trying on will fit; you dare to imagine the feeling of euphoria you’ll experience if it does. Then you start to bargain with your level of satisfaction. Okay, I’ll be happy if I can just slide the pants on. Or I’ll be happy if I can just get them to button.
Most of the time the experience ends in disappointment and utter deflation. But not this time.
The pants were a tight fit, but they fit. I tittered on the edge of elation and disbelief for the rest of the day. I’ve never fit into a size 8 before. It’s always been my backup-dream-size. That’s right. I have a backup dream size. My “I’d-really-like-to-be-a-6-but-I’ll-settle-for-an-8″ size. (Side note: My dream size was derived from that scene in Pretty Woman where the personal shopper correctly guesses Julia Roberts’s size to be a 6. I understand it’s unhealthy to buy into Hollywood’s beauty norms, but this particular derivation falls within a healthy range for my body type.)
I wasn’t doing anything to lose weight at that point in time, but I was still regularly breastfeeding. Noah started becoming more active, so my activity level increased along with him. The weight continued to inexplicably fall off.
By January I comfortably fit into a size 8 and had dropped almost 40 lbs in just shy of 10 months. In March 2012 I weighed in at 172, in April 2012 I weighed 164, and in January 2013 I weighed 134. I’ve lost a little more since then.
As I neared Noah’s birthday I knew that my breastfeeding activity was going to greatly decrease, so I started tracking my food and fitness on My Fitness Pal to start getting my healthy living on track. I am now down to nursing only in the morning and evening, but I’m strictly monitoring what I eat and trying to be as active as possible in order to maintain my weight loss.
I feel great about my body and I’m really hopeful that this is finally my time to be fit and healthy. But I’m also afraid that any day I’ll wake up and the weight will start coming back. I’m afraid that despite watching my food intake and trying to exercise, my body will go back to the way it was. A part of me feels like I don’t deserve this weight loss because I didn’t really do anything to earn it. I feel like it’s been given to me on borrowed time, and pretty soon I’m going to have to give it all up and go back to the way I was.
I know how irrational that sounds, but this whole weight loss experience has been irrational to me. Who knows, maybe this is my payoff for many years spent crying, praying, and out right hiding inside because of my body insecurities. I tell myself that ultimately I’m the one in control of my body, but am I really?