Beth is brand new to FIT4MOM's Body Back program. Join her as she documents her Body Back journey for the next eight weeks. Body Back is about empowering, finding balance and making lifestyle changes... All in a supportive, all-female setting. Welcome to Beth's journey.
I don’t think there will ever be an “off day” that doesn’t have to be followed by an “on” one. Or a carb-heavy meal that doesn’t result in a garden salad (hold the dressing please) follow up. And that sucks. Those splashy headlines of stars who lose the baby weight before their first obligatory Starbucks run…that must be nice. Those women who credit breastfeeding for the baby weight just “falling off”… super.
My problem? I can’t blame my beautiful babies for the weight. Well, not all of it. Instead, I just look to a lifetime of learning the hard way. I have never really not been on a diet. And I mean that. A lifetime of diets—twenty-some-odd years or so. In high school, it was skipping lunch, snacking with friends and being just barely comfortable in my skin. In college, my junior and senior years were spent sick and hungry, but thin, with Atkins to thank for my 25 pound weight loss. After college, I moved across the country and found a gym, but lived with my now-husband and watched the scale slowly climb as we worried less about our looks and more about building our careers.
It wasn’t until I got pregnant with my first son that I realized I was going to have to figure out a new way of operating. I committed to working out, beginning at the start of my pregnancy, and stuck with it until two weeks before delivery. I gained baby weight, but felt strong and capable—no small feat when handed a newborn for the first time. After my son and I found our rhythm, I found that I was back to where I started—still heavier than I wanted to be, with no clue how to change it.
I knew what didn’t work. Skipping meals, eliminating entire food groups—that didn’t work for me. So I started eating real food—the kind that lives on the outside aisles of the grocery store or at the farmers market. A trip to Target, a store I love more than anything, no longer took quite so long because I wasn’t shopping those endless aisles for food. If it came in a box, I didn’t count it as food. And it worked. But it wasn’t a magic bullet. There were no immediate Starbucks runs where people stared (well there might have been, but only because I probably had a crying baby in tow). There was just me and my scale, my fridge and my kitchen, in a battle of wills—that I was FINALLY winning.
I lost the weight. Life went on.
But it’s not easy for me. And it’s not fair that it is for others. There isn’t a day that I don’t think about what to eat, how much to eat, when to eat, etc. And if I think about the endless process of checks and balances—well, it’s easy to get beat down, to lose motivation and to want to quit. But in my experience, the easy stuff doesn’t mean as much. And if it was easy, everyone would be satisfied with their looks, their lives and themselves. So, I work at it. And I succeed and fail on a routine basis. But I’ve learned (the hard way) that it’s a marathon, not a sprint, and that each meal is a chance to start fresh; each day is a blessing.