I was going to finally do the long-promised planner post -- I even took pictures in daylight today! -- but both Laura and Ana wrote about weight loss recently, and I feel moved to add my current thoughts. My relationship with weight is perhaps more complex. Less than 4 years ago, I struggled with hypothalamic amenorrhea and ended up having to gain a few (undesired, but somehow necessary) pounds to get pregnant without having to resort to injectables or more heavy-duty interventions. I was never underweight, but ran lots of miles and probably didn't eat quite enough to compensate.
During the TTC process, I think I gained something like 7 lbs, bringing my BMI from something like 19.5 to 21. This doesn't sound like much, but I hated those 7 lbs on my (short, compact) frame. They were SO worth it, don't get me wrong! I would have done it again in a heartbeat had I needed to. But I never felt particularly attractive in those days.
After the pregnancy, I drifted back to my old ways, at least somewhat. I definitely ate more than pre-Annabel, but got back into the swing of things with running. By the time she was 3-4 months old, I had started training for my first postpartum half marathon, and ran it in October of 2012. I don't remember making any real effort to lose weight, but I was running, working, pumping -- and it just happened. Over the course of those months breastfeeding, I ended up back at my previously "infertile" weight, and even lost a little bit more after weaning.
By the spring of 2013, I was running a fair bit, even thinking about the Miami Marathon (or half) in 2014. I was regularly tallying 25-30 miles a week, and just decided not to worry about fertility. I felt good and just wanted a break from feeling guilty about what should have been considered a very healthy pastime.
THEN I got pregnant. One ovulation, one month after my breastfeeding days ended. And fast forward a few short months, and now we have Mr. C! So I guess my hypothalamic amenorrhea was cured by pregnancy (of note, I know several women who have had similar experiences). I consider myself so incredibly lucky to have had two healthy pregnancies, and thrilled that I didn't have to experience a long TTC process (or any TTC process!) with #2.
SO, here we are, and Cameron is 3.5 months old. It may be a short time span, but I am pretty sure that by this time with A., I was starting to feel 'normal', and even good about my appearance. In this post, I went shopping when Annabel was 4 months and actually enjoyed it. And so I am puzzled why right now, despite exercising and not eating all that differently from back then, I am not making any progress to shed those ~7 lbs. I actually wore pants today that definitely felt TIGHTER than when I bought them over a month ago. And to be truthful, I'm not any more comfortable with them now than during my TTC days.
I don't care about weight as a number at all, as I'm in a healthy range. This is pure unapologetic vanity, and I want to fit back into my clothes and feel 'normal' again. I am not willing to be hungry all the time to get there, nor do I have lots of time to spend on additional exercise (obviously). But clearly, something has shifted, and needs adjustment. By my analysis, these subtle (or perhaps not-so-subtle) factors have changed:
* I am running fewer miles. As I mentioned, I was training for a half marathon. Now I'm getting in ~12 miles/week rather than 20-30. I'm doing other workouts sometimes, but they are short (30 minutes) and I'm not always consistent with them.
* I COMMUTE now. I used to have more time because I didn't have to spent 30-45 minutes in the car each AM and PM. This is completely sedentary time unless you count going on and off the brakes on stop-and-go I-95.
* I have an office. I do go back and forth between said office and patient rooms, but it's probably not that many steps overall. Therefore, I'm more sedentary at work than I used to be.
* I eat in the cafeteria at lunch instead of bringing it. I generally get salad and soup, or salad plus chicken or something, but it's still not homemade food and I don't know what's in everything. I also have a habit of bringing something less-than-ideal back to my office for an afternoon snack (pretzels + a mini container of pb = my current favorite).
* Our nanny does the cooking instead of me most nights. However, I don't really think this is a factor as she cooks similarly to me and often follows Cooking Light or Real Simple recipes just like I used to.
* I'm older. Seriously, maybe 34 vs. 32 makes a difference. It can't be helpful.
I also have milk supply paranoia -- I tend to want to eat every time I'm hungry because it seems like the right thing to do to keep my supply up, and I
I suppose I'm left with a few options:
1) Ignore the issue for a little while longer and hope it sorts itself out. I don't love this option because I really don't want to gain any more.
2) Try to make some subtle changes and see what happens. Things I am considering: some healthier snacks to keep at work, perhaps lengthening some runs by a mile or so, etc.
3) Increase awareness. I'm considering one of those fitbit/jawbone type devices that are all the rage these days. And maybe I would benefit from writing down my intake for a while/trying a logging app. But, I don't want to become obsessive and I hate that the apps can be so inaccurate. (Plus I refuse to measure every bite. Or any bite, really. I'd have to estimate.)
4) Go paleo. Okay, not really. But SOMEDAY -- when I'm no longer breastfeeding -- I just want to see what it would be like to eat more in that style. I do think I eat too many processed grains and such. I could never give them up forever, but it would be an interesting experiment.