Monday, February 11, 2013

What's there to lose?

Even as I type this post and contemplate my decision, I think I have made it, but I need to get the thoughts out of my head.

Lately I have been tormenting myself on the thought of losing weight.  For the record I am very near my pre-pregnancy weight.  My clothes are fitting.  I'm feeling good.  I feel like "me" again.  But even before pregnancy I had this "goal number" in mind.  A number that I would like to reach on the scale and comfortably maintain.  While I feel that I am a healthy weight, I can't help but desire to be a little lighter. 

Lucky for me, I lost the baby weight fairly quickly, and I honestly don't feel like my body looks much different.  But now that I'm back to where I once was, I am also back to wanting that smaller "ideal" number on the scale again.  And I'm trying to choose if it is right for me or not. 

First, why do I want this number.  I'm healthy.  I eat well.  I exercise in moderation.  I have energy and I don't feel deprived.  I enjoy desserts as well as salads.  If I am happy, why rock the boat?  Is it because I want it, or because I feel that it is what society expects?  Or am I just trying to keep up with my sisters?  Do I just have this ideal image of a new mom in mind that is super fit and has it all together (that is so clearly not me!)?  And is it wrong to strive for this ideal image, or should I just be happy where I am?  So many questions!  I just want to know my motivation behind my desire to lose weight.  After all, if I don't have a strong motivation, I likely won't commit to the process of losing weight.

Then there is the question of how to lose weight.  In my lifetime I have never consciously made a decision to lose weight.  Usually I make a decision to get healthy and the weight comes off slowly.  Since I am breastfeeding, that adds another element to weight loss.  It isn't just about counting calories.  In fact, one article I recently read stated that adding calories helps nursing mothers to lose weight because it allows the body to release maternal fat stores.  So far, nursing and eating healthy (with many sweets mixed in) and hitting the gym one or two times a week has afforded me to lose about a pound a week.  Not bad for not really trying, right?  However, I am afraid the weight loss may be slowing down, and my eating is picking up.  I certainly do not want to move in the other direction.

So that is where I'm at.  My ideal number is at least 10 pounds less than where I am resting.  Do I need to adjust my ideal, or should I go for it?  In a sense, if I go for it, then I can check it off my bucket list, see if I'm happy there and at the very least I won't have to keep thinking about it for the next 3+ years. 

Oh, I hate talking weight issues.  I hate thinking about weight.  But I have to get it out of my head and on to paper (or screen) so I can process this.  My gut is to keep doing what I'm doing and see where I land at the end of this journey as a new mom.  I should be grateful to be back in my old body, and maybe in a year when nursing slows down, or even after Eleanor is six months, then consider a more rigid weight loss plan if it is right for me then.  I just need to make up my mind so I can quit the inner dialogue of weight loss torture.

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