Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Losing the (baby) weight

I have not mentioned this before, but I have been working to shed the baby weight from my pregnancy with Chloe since September 2016 when she was 4 months old.

I am currently 30 lbs down from when I started going to Weight Watchers again 7 months ago. I did THM between birth and going back to WW, but had stalled.


I followed "Trim Healthy Mama" while pregnant to keep the weight gain healthy without having to count calories or keep track of how much I ate, so I got back to my pre-pregnancy weight pretty quickly, but that still left me with extra weight from previous pregnancies when I wasn't so diligent. I don't think I have made it all the way back down to my 'happy, healthy weight' since after Miriam (ten years ago!), but I am happy to report that I am now less than 10 lbs from being back down to my Weight Watchers lifetime goal weight, which means two things: I can almost go to meetings free again, and I am likely to get pregnant any day now, ha!

Even after I get back to my WW lifetime goal weight, that is the highest healthy weight for someone my height, and I should really go on to lose a few more lbs beyond that. My plan is to keep losing until I get pregnant again, and then to once again be careful in my food choices while pregnant to make sure I don't use pregnancy as a carte blanche to gain unnecessary weight.

Being pregnant is certainly not for the faint of heart! As I like to say, while children are a blessing, pregnancy might be part of the curse. If I could have babies without being pregnant I would sign up in a heartbeat! Over the course of 9 full-term pregnancies, I have literally gained and lost hundreds of pounds. The gaining comes easy and fast, but the losing takes concerted, active effort, especially in a house full of hungry growing kids and a physically fit husband who can eat the fridge every day and stay lean as they do so, while I have to make careful decisions about every bite I take or live with the consequences. 

There is an idea out there that if we eat healthy, nutritious, balanced foods it is impossible to become overweight. Let me cue you in on a secret: that's not true. At least not for me, and most childbearing moms. The human body is designed to make pregnant moms pack on extra pounds, to make sure that should mom fall on hard times while breastfeeding, there is enough in store to keep baby fed even during lean times. Those same hormones that like clockwork lead to ovulation and pregnancy, grow a baby, bring on labor and birth, stimulate milk production etc. are also busy at work putting extra fat on mom for times of food shortage that we do not experience in 21st century America.

For me, whatever I weigh the day after I give birth is what I would weigh indefinitely if I did not actively work to lose the baby weight. And so, since I thankfully live in the land of plenty and don't HAVE to suffer hunger, I am responsible for making myself go without in order to use up those pesky stores in all the wrong places. And yes, that includes going hungry in order to lose the excess weight!

I really appreciated this sermon my husband preached:

There is a very strong correlation in the Bible between drunkenness and gluttony. I guess it only makes sense since both feed the flesh and cater to our literal appetites.

(Deuteronomy 21:20)  And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard.

(Proverbs 23:20)  Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh:

(Proverbs 23:21)  For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.
(Ecclesiastes 10:17)  Blessed art thou, O land, when thy king is the son of nobles, and thy princes eat in due season, for strength, and not for drunkenness!

Recently, I stumbled across some of the questions Alcoholics Anonymous uses to determine whether someone is an alcoholic, and was shocked to find how many of these could equally apply to habitual overeating and/or binge-eating, or what the Bible calls 'gluttony':

Have you ever decided to stop drinking overeating for a week or so, but only lasted
for a couple of days?

Do you wish people would mind their own business about your drinking weight — stop telling you what to do?

Do you envy people who can drink eat without getting into trouble?

Have you had problems connected with drinking your weight during the past year?

Has your drinking weight caused trouble at home?

Do you ever try to get "extra" drinks foods at a party because you do not get enough?

Do you tell yourself you can stop drinking overeating any time you want to, even though you keep getting drunk overeating when you don’t mean to?

Have you ever felt that your life would be better if you did not drink overeat?

Have you ever felt remorse after drinking bingeing?

Have you gotten into financial difficulties as a result of your drinking eating habits?

Has your ambition decreased since drinking overeating?

Does drinking your weight cause you to have difficulty in sleeping?

Has your efficiency decreased since drinking overeating?

Do you drink binge to escape from worries or troubles?

Do you hide how much you drink eat?

Has your physician ever treated you for drinking your weight?

Have you ever been in a hospital or institution on account of drinking your weight?

Being a food addict is real. It is a sin. As with other substances, addicts want to shift the blame to anything and anyone but themselves: cost of healthy eating, metabolism, age, physical limitations, lack of support, medical conditions, hormones... the list is endless. Unlike other addictions like drugs and alcohol, we must eat multiple times each day and thus cannot cut out food altogether, making it that much harder to gain control over food rather than letting it control us.

The truth is, we need to take responsibility for our own actions. There is a lot of freedom in realizing that each of us has the power to take our lives in whichever direction we want. As the saying goes, "You can have anything, but you can't have everything." It's all about choices.

When we choose to eat our fill at every meal every day, go back for seconds more often than not, have dessert at every opportunity, gorge ourselves at every party or meal out, choose pizza over salad every time, drink our calories rather than water, sit on the couch rather than go for a walk, and go out to eat for a date rather than ride a bike, we are choosing those things over others we can no longer have, whether that be feeling and looking healthy, being happy with ourselves, being able to have babies, or staying active with our loved ones instead of tiring out just from being alive and breathing.

When we choose the negative consequences of overeating over the effort it takes to keep or attain a healthy weight, we are also making this choice for our loved ones. Parents worry for their morbidly obese children on their way to a heart attack. Husbands and wives often feel ripped off when their spouse is letting themselves go, or making it impossible for both of them to have (more) children. Kids are learning poor eating and exercise habits from childhood, setting them on a path to lifelong obesity. There are too many negative consequences to list them all here, but as with all sins, they go beyond just one person - they affect everyone around us, too.

Food is like money - once we spend it on one thing it's gone and we no longer can use it on something else. To make a big purchase (eat extra), we will need to skimp in another area (have modest meals the rest of the day). Of course, we can choose to go into debt (gain excess weight), but in the long run to recover from that we will need to spend less than we make (eat less than we need) to create a surplus (caloric deficit) and pay off our debt (lose the extra pounds).  The more in debt (overweight) we are, the longer it will take to get out of it.

Losing weight is hard. 

Being overweight is hard. 

Choose your hard. 


  1. So true! It's a struggle! Congrats on being so close to your goal! I am also 10 pounds away from my lifetime goal! But I just found out I am pregnant again! Lol.

  2. You look great! I know the feeling....I lost all the baby weight up until baby #4, then baby #5, 6 and 7 have given me an extra 15-20lbs each. ....and my husband eats whatever too and looks like a fitness

  3. Thank you for this post, Zsuzsa. I too struggle with obesity and overeating and I need to be harder with myself and not make excuses anymore for my eating habits, especially since I am single and have never been pregnant.

    I can't even imagine what you are going through in this area and I am sure there is some grace for you since you are much more hormonally challenged than me. I pray that God will help you to not gain too much weight during your next pregnancy.

  4. I choose losing weight. I am 2 months post partum and this morning looked in the mirror like "i can't keep putting it off & ignoring it" and lo, your blog post was perfect timing. It aint easy, but neither is being overweight trying to take care of the house & kids. Thanks!

  5. Excellent article! Everything here is so true and motivating!
    Another way that being overweight can effect your family (and I have known more than one family who has experience this problem) is in your senior years. Grandma cannot go to live with her kids or grandkids because she is too heavy for them to take care of her (they physically can't dress her or help her to the restroom, etc.)so she has to spend her final days confined in a facility. Such a sad end!

  6. Losing weight is an excellent lesson in self discipline. Saying no to ourselves when there is plenty to go around and then some is difficult but it can be done. For me, I need to get into a certain headspace for losing weight or it won't work for me. I usually need 2 to 3 months to convince myself. I know that may sound odd to some people, but it's how I am. Anything I have ever been successful at, I have "headspaced" for a time beforehand and it's taught me to be less impulsive with other things in my life and that getting what I want takes time and effort.

  7. This article makes some really great points. It contains profanity though so please proceed at your own discretion.

  8. 1. I dont know if you realize what a blessing putting your life and family is for me, even with all the hatemail you endure.

    2. Looking at your Easter post, I was thinking Wow! She looks like she has more energy and has lost weight! THEN I saw your weight loss post. Congratulations!!

    3. Since it's on the topic, I've been wondering if your husband has done a sermon mentioning eating disorders? I 'had' eating disorders for most of my life and not only did I CHOOSE that lifestyle, no matter how compelled I felt or how natural it felt to me(despite being unnatural) it was a very sinful, depraved lifestyle. (so many similarities to sodomy) No matter how much counseling, etc, I only ever found relief through Jesus, and I would relapse when I neglected to read the Bible or listen to sermons or pray. When I went back to the Word, it literally felt like filling a starving belly and was truly nourishment for my bones. I only ever heard any preaching on 'eating disorders' once in my life....

    4. It is SO hard feeding my family and trying to control myself too. If you ever get the opportunity, could you post a mention on how you survived when you had only toddlers and babies and (I think) your husbands erratic work schedule? I REALLY struggle with timing. o_0

    Thank you so much for these posts! All of your children are so beautiful!!!

  9. You're doing great! I really enjoyed this post. I also struggle in this area. I find I have to constantly ask myself if what I'm about to consume is worth eating. Overeating is enjoyable in the moment but met with feelings of guilt afterwards.

  10. You wrote this article for me!! :) Great stuff, thank you!!

    I experience exactly what you describe - any weight lost is that lost at birth, and the rest just stays there forever. Very exasperating, especially as a friend of mine told me that all of hers (and more) came off with just breastfeeding! Ack! :)

    Thanks for the encouragement - I need it!

    I just read an awesome book - "The Obesity Code." It's all about the history of weight problems in the U.S. (and worldwide), and has so much awesome information and insight. I'm trying some of its techniques to see if they help too.

    Thanks for posting!!

  11. My goodness. You blog is hitting home for me today like no other. I often read your blog for Family and child rearing tips (not a mom yet but i'm hopefully god will bless us soon). and often i disagree on some of your families views but i figure god made us all different for a reason and that shouldn't stop me from enjoying your blog and learning from such an experienced women and momma. But this blog today was a slap in the face (in the best way) for me. That list from AA that you altered hit home i tell ya. It's such a great way of looking at it. Food has always been a struggle for me. I'm a smart educated women and I know overeating is not what i should be doing and i have been making great strides to eat more organic nutrient rich foods in our home. but organic and natural still has calories so slow changes are whats happening. but this list ... i tell ya its a good one. thanks for the dose of reality. i appreciate!!

  12. That sermon was fantastic. Pastor's words are going to be playing in my head...especially when I get that ice cream craving right before bed!! I needed this blog post and that sermon, I've been focusing on exercise so much more lately, this served as a good motivator to keep working hard.

  13. Do you find that you can't lose weight until you were down to just a few short nursing sessions / at the one-year mark post Partum?


Your KINDLY WORDED, constructive comments are welcome, whether or not they express a differing opinion. All others will be deleted without second thought.