Day 11: On Baby Weight

January 25th, 2016

Nira at Granite Park

Nira at Granite Park

I‘m taking part in a 30-day writing experiment. The theme for me is “personal, not pretty.” See Kale & Cigarettes for details and the Facebook Group to read stories by other 500-words-ers.

The last time we did a 500-words-a-day dealio, I semi-cheated a few times and went back through my “half-assed drafts” folder to retool and then post things I had written already. I didn’t really consider this cheating, because I had, in fact, written them, and no one had seen them yet.

This time, however, I committed to myself to write brand-new stuff every day. And to write about things that feel personal and real—not just a version of myself spin-doctored for public media consumption. It’s a challenge, coming up with something to write about every day, because some days, nothing happens. Some days, I don’t even leave my house.

Yesterday, for example, the only time I left my house was to go for a walk with the girls and my husband and my visiting friend Nira. With ergos on, we headed over to Granite Park to trudge through the snow. By the verb I chose for that last phrase, you can probably guess how I feel about snow. Nira probably would have chosen a verb/adjective combo like “happily romp” and Jon something basic like “walk,” as if trudging through 9 inches of snow with enormous heavy boots on is just not a big deal at all and isn’t pretty much exhausting and defeating and humbling all wrapped into a package of “slightly hungover and this sucks.”

Guys, I am having a very hard time losing my “baby weight.”

Baby weight is a total misnomer, in my opinion. It implies that you gained weight when you were pregnant, and never lost it. That’s not what’s going on here. I lost some of the weight in the places I gained it whilst pregnant, and gained it back in other, totally unrelated places at the exact same pace. I know this is true because there was a brief moment, about 3 months after I gave birth, where I was able to squeeze into my biggest pair of jeans for a hot minute. Now, that’s a lost dream. Things just fit very differently than they used to. Mostly, they don’t fit at all.

I was always very, very skinny when I was a kid. I had an eating disorder for a while, and then parlayed that into a long stint as a vegetarian (technically I was a French-fry-etarian). I went to a high school that was the opposite of the type of place you see portrayed in movies, where mean girls bully the chubby girls and everyone is bulimic. In my high school, it was cool to be athletic, and the hot girls were the ones who killed it at field hockey. I played field hockey, but I was the gangly, awkward one who everyone cheered loudly for when I actually scored a goal, because it was not expected of me. I wasn’t hot. When other girls were wearing Guess jeans, I was wearing long underwear under my baggy pants from The Limited to try to look a little heavier. I was drinking milkshakes every single day to try to gain weight (especially in my boobs). This went on for a long time.

Well into my thirties, I never thought for a second about my weight. And while my friends got pregnant and had kids, then struggled to lose weight, I have to admit that I often thought “How dare you complain about being fat when you have a beautiful baby.”

Oh, Joslyn.

Let me be very clear about this. I would gladly be a waddling obese diabetic as a fair trade for these two beautiful children. But, you know, it would be nice to be able to wear something besides the very largest size leggings Lululemon makes. And to be able to go for a walk in the snow with my husband and the girls and not start crying at some point because he is skipping up hills while I am trying not to hurl. 

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