“Hi, my name is Jenny. I weigh 153 lbs. How about you?”
Does this strike you as an odd conversation starter? It should. Most women I know would be affronted by this statement- and the following question. However, if we were forced to speak what was on our minds, this is probably exactly how our conversations would have to begin. Women, particularly women who are in the pre/during/post pregnancy stages, practice this unique ability to be both obsessed and exert complete avoidance of the weight topic. We talk about what color we’re going to paint the nursery- Mint Chocolate Chip or Grass Green?- how our hips ache after standing in line at the supermarket, how we hate/love when absolute strangers smile both with joy and sympathy at our condition. But the topic that’s shrouded in secrecy, and forgive me, straight up lies, is our weight gain or lack there of. In fact, I was planning on writing this post a month ago and just couldn’t bring myself to do it. What’s the deal? It seems to be taboo, unless we’re sharing tips on how to avoid the unwanted baggage and how to work it off after we deliver. “Yeah, I gained a little over the suggested weight- but, I’m starting Yoga in the fall and am on the elimination diet! Well, kind of. Except for cheese. And ice cream-low fat of course. Oh, and yogurt-That’s good for you, right?”
Oh, please. Let’s not kid ourselves.
This is not the place where you will find reviews for the Carb Lovers, South Beach, Atkins or Baby Food Diets. I won’t be writing fun facts on how to sneak in some pilates while your kid naps. I won’t be “de-toxing” from anything by drinking a strange concoction of lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper. I’ve gone through enough in the last few months. I’m simply doing what we’ve all been lead to believe is something that women should never do- I’m going to tell you how much I weighed before I got pregnant. How much I gained during pregnancy. And how much I weigh now, four months later. I’ve chosen to “out” myself, if you will, for the following reasons:
1. Women feel like carrying, creating and protecting a human life is not reason enough to procure some extra poundage- they need additional excuses and avoidance methods to cover the shame. Shame of what, exactly? For seeking solace in Ben and Jerry when the new Spring J.Crew catalogue arrived just in time for your 7th month of waddling? For a medical condition that causes water retention? For no logical explanation because you’ve eaten nothing but carrot sticks and yogurt? Let’s let it go, ladies. Let’s let it go.
2. I can’t remember my own anniversary some years, but ask me how much I weighed at different points in my life and I’ll tick them off like an Auctioneer. High School Graduation? 127 lbs. Freshman in College? 146. My wedding day? 116. I bet you can, too. We cling to the “good number” years. That’s bologna. I may have weighed 120 lbs at fifteen, but I also shopped at G&G and Wet Seal for the newest baby-tee, wore navy nail polish with silver sparkles and was convinced I would never marry, living life as a wandering musician and poet. I’ll gladly taken the progression of my life, even if it comes with an extra few pounds.
3. The less we talk about it, the more power it has. I’m refusing to feel badly about some numbers on my scale. In fact, I’ve refused to weigh myself pretty much since I came home from the hospital, but for all of you and this post, I broke my resolve. The things I do for you.
4. I will not raise my daughter with the idea that her weight determines her worth. In order to do that, I can’t be obsessed with my own.
Please know that I am not saying you should be unhealthy- and I will leave it at that, and to your own convictions and your doctor’s guidance.
So, drum roll please:
I weighed 142 lbs before pregnancy
I weighed 196 lbs on the day before delivery
I, currently, weigh 153 lbs, four months after delivery.
There. That wasn’t so bad.