“Please step in the scale.”
The aforementioned words terrify me.
God, I actually can’t wait to not hear those words once month/twice a month/and soon to be once a week.
For when I do hear them, fear rushes through me as if I were back at Weight Watchers meetings. Those WW receptionists, oh those WW receptionists…they guarded my most treasured secrets. They could tell if I went to the gym or not, drank enough water, or actually stuck to my plan. One would hear “great job this week” if you lost. If not, they would keep their eyes down, and hand you back your weight tracker. Or, worst of all, one would hear the words that would make even Voldemort himself shutter upon hearing: “did you expect to gain this week?” Yeah, tell me that’s not an ego killer. Whenever I heard those five little ugly words crammed together in a sentence, my gut would sink, and I’d reprimand myself during the entire half hour meeting.
So as to avoid any more self-flagellation, I eventually left Weight Watchers, and stopped stepping on a scale. I stopped caring about weight in terms of my numerical value. I cared more about how I felt, how I looked, and if I were eating wholesome foods. Even when I landed a job on television, I decided not to diet. (Yes, I know. Rebel, right?) I mean, I did care about my weight, but I thought the best idea was to just make better choices.
After finding out I was pregnant, I diligently attended my monthly doctors appointments and I, understandably, had to step on the scale each outing. In the beginning, it didn’t bother me much at all. I gained very little, and one month I even lost weight. I wasn’t trying, and to be honest, I probably was eating a little more than I normally would have. My WW nightmare was a long way away.
Then, the second trimeter started, and over one month I gained 5.8 pounds. I was shocked, but knew that this was normal. After the new year I gained 15 more pounds, and since, at each consequtive doctors appointment, I’ve seen the scale creep up. It was at this point that I started to relive my WW anxiety. Then it happened. Yup, it. That awkward moment when things got real. At my most recent checkup, I passed my comfortable weight gain limit. My doctor assured me that I am fine, and to keep up with the exercise over the next few weeks. But I knew there was more to it. Suddenly, I started seeing things, making connections, and piecing the puzzle together like Benedict Cumberbatch in Sherlock. (Yes, I still believe in Sherlock)
I’d seen it, and the worst part was that I knew it. I’d drifted from my pregnancy diet – which is supposed to be chock full of green vegetables, protein, and dairy. The required two hard boiled eggs per day turned incredibly boring. What’s more is that I’ve hated kale, spinach, broccoli and every other possible “good for you veggie” this entire pregnancy. Evil had won. Moriarty handed me the candy and I just capitulated. Over the past few weeks, I have most certainly slacked, and have had my fair share of carbs, sweets, and pat myself on the back whenever I made a healthy choice – like peaches on my waffles. (Did I mention the syrup on top of them? No? Well, lets just keep that a secret between you and I, shall we?)
Well, this carb loving mom-to-be sure did learn a lesson. A very valuable lesson:
Just because I’m growing a tiny baby, does not mean that I can become the carb monster who vanquishes pasta and/or destroys all bread or candy within a twenty five mile radius. Much to my surprise, babies are not made on ciabatta and Reese’s pieces alone. They actually require these strange substances known as protein and calcium. Who knew?
So to combat my inner carb-zilla, I have begun tracking my eating habits on My Fitness Pal (free website, and amazing iPhone/iPad app) so that I can hold myself accountable. I adjusted the settings so that it reflected my new weight, and so that it knows I do not intend on losing any pounds. If I were to stay the same, or gain a few more, I’ll be fine. Honestly. But I don’t think I’ll be happy with myself if I gain another fifteen pounds over my last month.
The funny thing is that, at this point, Itty Bitty’s main job is to get fat. During pregnancy, babies organs and bones are created, and they start to get super long. The last couple months of incubation are spent getting stronger, lungs becoming more efficient, and their skinny long bodies starting to deposit that adorable squishy baby fat we have all come to love. My job, is to put down the pizza and (3) (ok, maybe 4) (fine, 5) cupcakes, and make sure that the squishyness stays more on my Itty Bitty, and less on me.
Getting rounder, bigger, and fuller is part of being pregnant. I understand this, and am not going to beat myself up by any means because I have to step on the scale. I also know that a diet full of late night chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, Skittles, and Felinni’s pizza isn’t good for me or my baby. Luckily, I have a few weeks to change things up, and get back on a wholesome track.
And it’s good to be reminded that some weight gain is good during pregnancy. There’s a lot going on in our bodies at this time and despite our inner hated for it, we actually need to gain the weight. For example, here is an approximate breakdown of the weight gain while being pregnant:
- Baby- 7.5lbs
- Placenta- 1.5lbs
- Amniotic fluid- 2lbs
- Uterine enlargement- 2lbs
- Maternal breast tissue- 2lbs
- Maternal blood volume- 4lbs
- Fluids in maternal tissue- 4 lbs
- Maternal fat stores- 7lb
My baby doesn’t weigh 7.5 pounds (yet) but I assume that many of the other numerical values are pretty true. That breakdown already accounts for thirty pounds! Thirty pounds that a healthy, average mother, is supposed to gain. I’m not going to lie, I’ve already gone over this. My maternal fat stores are probably a bit higher, thanks to my recent sweet and carb loving habits. Well, habit is probably putting lightly. More like obsession.
I succeed best when I do not look at the scale, so, going forward, I’m taking a new approach. I’ll be eating well, getting in my exercise, and when my doctor asks me to, “please step on the scale,” I’ll ask to have my hubby to track the weight. Not me. No sir. All set darlin’. Because if the doctor isn’t alarmed, then neither am I. As long as I feel good, and am being good to my tiny baby and myself, then I’m on the right track. Otherwise carb-zilla is gonna come roaring back and, that, my dear reader, is good for no one within a twenty five mile radius.
What is your current guilt food, whether you are pregnant or not? Mine are the cheap bags of jellybeans at CVS. Easter Candy is the death of me!