Saturday, June 16, 2007

Long, rambling post about weight

I cannot believe how much my child eats....and no matter how much I give him, he almost always wants more. He has six teeth and is able to feed himself finger foods pretty well. His favorites are sticks of bananas and cooked yams and thin slices of cheddar cheese. Today I gave him little blobs of homemade hummus on his tray. I also give him strips of homemade waffles and homemade graham crackers (softer and thicker than store-bought graham crackers). I am glad he is enjoying food and gaining weight.

I, on the other hand, need to go the opposite direction on the scale. Recently I found Blest With Sons' ten-month pictorial weight-loss chronicle. She lost 78 pounds! I am so impressed...and inspired. I try to eat pretty healthy, but I know I could do better, and my only official exercise is a daily walk. For the first few months after Baby Boy was born, I steadily dropped some pounds, but I've totally plateaued for the past, oh, five months at a number much higher than I wish it were. Maybe someday I'll get brave enough to post my actual weight here for accountability, when I finally decide to get serious and lose thirty pounds. I still haven't figured out why I gained over sixty pounds when I was pregnant. Waaaaah. My body will never be the same again. Okay, I'm pulling myself together now. :-)

My main reason for delaying getting serious about losing weight is that I am still breastfeeding, and I'm worried that my milk will dry up if I exercise a lot and change my eating habits. But I really want to get down to a reasonable weight before getting pregnant again (and gain not more than thirty pounds during pregnancy next time around). So now I'm torn between wanting to nurse my baby as long as he wants and needs (I've always thought I would breastfeed for at least eighteen months) and losing weight. I am pretty sure (at least I'm hoping) that my body is "holding on" to five or ten pounds while I am lactating. I've talked to lots of women who say that was the case for them. So maybe when I stop breastfeeding, at least a few pounds will come off relatively effortlessly.

My husband is so sweet; I truly believe that he thinks I am beautiful no matter what I look like, but I need to lose weight for me. I want to be healthier and have more energy; I want to feel pretty and not frumpy. I want clothes to fit me again.

But to be completely transparent, I'm afraid to start trying to lose weight in case it doesn't "work," and then I'd be so disappointed.


Stephanie said...

I always lose weight best when breastfeeding, in fact I am excited for when I will be breastfeeing again so I can use that to get down to my goal size 6!

Making milk burns about 500 calories a day and if you cut back on the calories you consume you can use this to your advantage! :-D

Long ago, I read a study on a breastfeeding website, that a woman can eat as few as 1500 calories a day without affecting milk production...below 1500 and milk production was affected.

When I am breastfeeding and want to lose weight, this has always been my consume at least 1500 calories a day in the form of protein, fat, veggies and fruit and only 1 carb food (I always lose weight better when I limit the carbs).

After having my first son I got down to my pre-pregnancy size 10 before he was 6 months old...but then after having my second son it took me almost a year to get back down, but I gained 50 lb. with that pregnancy and only 28 with my first. With this current pregnancy I'm not going to allow myself to gain more than 25 pounds...I'm 12 weeks along and I have gained only 2 pounds, so far so good! :-)

For exercise, moderate paced walks for at least 45 minutes to 1 hour are what is best for least that's what the studies say. I don't much like running or jumping or lots of cardio...esp. when breastfeeding and my D sized "girls" don't want to stay put, KWIM ;-) I Love Strength training though, it increases your muscle mass and more muscle means a faster metabolism which means you burn more calories...that's why guys tend to have faster metabolisms, they have more muscle :-)

Just make sure you drink plenty of water when you exercise and don't skip any of baby boy's meals and you shouldn't have any milk production problems...I breastfed my first son for 8 months and my second for 16 months, so I do know a little bit about it :-) If you start having problems, cut back on his solids a bit and feed him once during the night...don't go longer than 6 hours without feeding him. Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing talks a lot about this...and I know you have that book ;-)

Good Luck! :-)

Melissa said...

Hi Stephanie,

Thanks for your comment! It is very encouraging to me. I have read before that eating too many carbs can prevent weight loss, but I sort of forgot, so thanks for the reminder. Do you really only eat one carb food a day (not counting veggies and fruits)? I think I read a while back on your blog that you only have one small piece of fruit a day, too.

Thanks for the idea about strength training, too. I don't really have the time or money right now to join a gym, but I am planning to look into getting some home weights and/or other equipment.

Stephanie said...

Yeah, I usually eat 1 piece of fruit...I like apples and lately I have been eating a lot strawberries from our garden.

I don't so much limit myself when I am pregnant...I just have a moderate carb intake. A piece of toast with breakfast, maybe a baked potato with dinner...but nothing much more than that. Eggs are brain food...they make smart babies! So when I am pregnant or breastfeeding I'll eat up to 3 eggs a day...very easily digestable protein and with lots of nutrients. Lunch could be something like tuna salad or cottage cheese and fruit and then dinner is usualy some type of protein with a fresh salad and sometimes a potato or bread and butter. For snacks I love string cheese or raw veggies with a bean dip, like hummus or a mexican bean dip...I also love plain whole milk yogurt as a snack. I go for equal potions of the protein/fats/dairy and veggies and then use carbs and fruit as condiments.

prayzgod said...

Wow, my baby still has no teeth. My kids tend to stay toothless until about a year of age though. :-)

Mine likes some finger foods as well - she gums them.

Anonymous said...

Don't be discouraged...I too gained 60 lbs with my 1st child (boy), and didn't know why except that I was just so hungry ALL the time. Now I reqalize that he and my body must have needed it (he has an extremely high motabolism for a little boy (almost 4) and has ALWAYS eaten much more than other children his age. Looks to me that youre little guy is a great eater too.

I managed to keep my weight gain for pregnancy #2 & #3 at a much more manageable 30lbs. Remember too that you will be chasing around child #1 while you are pregnant next time and just won't have as much time to be sitting down and eating! :)

Melissa said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Anonymous! It is always great to hear from mamas who gained a lot the first time around, but were able to limit weight gain with subsequent pregnancies.