New Year seems like an appropriate time to talk about weight loss.
Weight can be a touchy subject so I had maybe better add a disclaimer. I am writing about my personal experiences with weight gain and loss. I am writing about it because I think about it. I include numbers because I think about the numbers. I think people should decide their own healthy and happy weight.
I’ve never been small. I’ve been a size 14 most of my adult life and I’ve always been fairly content with my size. I’ve always been pretty heavy for my 5ft 5 too, around 11st 7lb. I’ve often thought I could do with losing a few pounds, but I never really dieted as such.
Then I had children.
My first pregnancy I regarded as a license to drink chocolate milk. It was brilliant. Whatever I fancied I could label a craving. Everybody knows pregnancy cravings must be respected. If I’m honest, I don’t think I ever really craved anything when I was pregnant. I just allowed myself to be greedy.
Unsurprisingly, post pregnancy, I found myself shopping for size 16 clothes and weighing in at 14st.
I was no longer content with my size.
The trouble was that there was no way to lose the weight just by exercise. I had a new baby and was trying to breast feed. I couldn’t find the time to exercise.
So exercise took on a new meaning. I walked. I walked and I walked. I walked in the sunshine, I walked in the rain and I walked in the snow. The great thing about small babies is that they love to sleep and they love to look at stuff. My baby son loved his buggy.
I did a bit of running too and started going to the gym a couple of times a week.
I also discovered the My Fitness Pal app. I counted calories and I tracked steps and gradually I lost weight. Danny turned one and I was down two stone.
Hurrah for me.
Then came pregnancy number two. I lost the baby very early. To be honest, at that point my weight was the least of my concerns.
Pregnancy number three had the very happy outcome of our daughter. This time I was more careful. I did not drink my own weight in chocolate milk. I accepted that I would gain weight, but I wouldn’t go wild this time.
Ellen was born and I was 14st 8lb.
I felt like I had been cheated out of 9 months of chocolate milk.
Back to my fitness pal. Back to the pedometer.
It was harder to walk everywhere this time as I had a 2 year old as well as a newborn. 2 year olds don’t like to walk for miles, or to sit in buggies for any length of time.
I got into running, I entered a marathon. I did too much too soon and never got to the start line of the marathon.
Ellen turned one and I was still 13 stone.
When I got the cargo bike and started using it five days a week getting Danny to nursery, I finally started to lose the weight. Six months of using the bike for transport and I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight.
Hurrah for me.
But here’s the thing. My weight no longer just hovers around 11st 7lb. Instead, it likes to creep its way up to 12 stone. Maybe this is due to having children. Maybe it’s due to reaching my 40s. Maybe it doesn’t matter why.
I don’t want to be skinny but there are some weight related things I do want:
- I want to go back to being content with my body.
- I want to set an example to my children of healthy eating and healthy weight.
- I want to race time trials this year and be as fast as I was before I had children.
- I want to cook one evening meal which everyone eats.
- I want to be able to drink wine and eat cake occasionally.
So my challenge for the start of 2017 is to find a way to balance all these wants.
Right now, I’m going to give this some serious thought. While enjoying a slice of Christmas cake.