But I received an email from a friend this weekend that put it into new light for me; namely, how do some women (read: the Bikini Babes) snap back into shape so quickly post-baby, and some women don't? It's kind of like a genetic lottery, it seems - depending on your numbers, either you are blessed or cursed with an inherent predisposition to either keep weight on or shed it quickly. I like to think that I'm from hearty Irish stock that needed to keep weight on in order to survive cold Irish winters.
Of course, that doesn't explain the Tollhouse cookie ice cream sandwich I ate yesterday, but whatever. I'm not a geneticist.
But I'm also not 100% happy with my body, either. Cold Irish winters aside, I wouldn't mind not feeling the need to dive immediately underwater at the start of swim lessons. I wouldn't mind fitting into more than 30% of my current clothing selection. I would like to not sweat while I eat (editor's note: this not only doesn't happen, but I shamelessly stole this line from Jen Lancaster. Sorry, it just seemed fitting. And hilarious, much like Ms. Lancaster herself.)
And over the weekend, I ran across this old photo of me, circa 2006:
Not "Wow, I was so happy!" but skinny. Because I think we're all old enough to know that the number on the scale does not dictate happiness.
And let me tell you, it was a low number on the scale when this picture was taken. We were three days out from the wedding, on honeymoon in Oahu at the (now closed) Dole Pineapple farm. And despite the large smile on my face (attributed mainly to large, soft-serve pineapple ice cream cone in front of me), I was not a happy camper. At all. In fact, that ice cream cone was probably the only thing keeping me going at that point. Our wedding had been a disaster, I was still shell-shocked, and every time I closed my eyes, I saw Storm Troopers.
(if you don't know the story, I'm not even going to get into it. Sorry.)
So yeah, in terms of weight, I don't see a happy person in this picture, just a skinny one. And not surprisingly, the 22 lbs I had lost for the wedding came back within a year, plus ten more.
Which is why when I ask myself in present time, "Should I lose weight? Should I jump on that wagon again?" the only response I keep coming up with is...no. I just don't care. Now, that kind of a response is a bit of a red flag for anyone in the field of psychology. I don't care? First thought: depression. But I did a full-body scan for any symptom of depression (Mood = fine, sleep = great when I can get it, appetite = normal, energy = good, no suicidal thoughts, feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness. Depression scan = a-okay) and came up with nothing. I think it's because at this point in the game, I know that losing weight doesn't make your life better, and gaining weight doesn't make it worse. It's just a number on the scale.
So what is the point of this whole post? Well, I would like to feel healthier. And right now, the only number I'm looking at is my BMI - body mass index. Which is saying that yes, I am overweight. Despite the fact that I am four pounds below my pre-pregnancy weight, I am exactly 15 lbs heavier than a 'healthy' BMI of 25.0. So me minus 15 lbs = healthier, yes? Sounds doable.
I think is a great starting point. This is reasonable goal, one that will hopefully see me fitting into my clothes better, feeling less self-conscious at swim lessons, and producing an over-all increase in energy throughout the day.
I don't want to become a Diet Zombie -- you know, the girlfriend who has that slightly crazy look in her eye whenever you sit down at a restaurant. The one who watches you bring you fork to your mouth with a glimmer of both intense jealousy and slight disgust. The one who never stops talking about her cardio routine or last workout. I've been that person and I don't like it.
I want to eat healthier, be more active, and just see what happens. As a fan of the scientific method, why not?
And I'd like to invite you to join me - maybe you are a new mom, too, that pulled an unlucky number in the genetic weight lottery. Or maybe you are having a baby and are worried how you are going to shed not only your baby weight but also your rekindled love for double-stuffed Oreos once the little fella joins us. Or maybe you don't have kids at all, but wouldn't mind feeling healthier. Whatever the reason, just do it.
The rules: every Wednesday, I hereby dub it "Weigh-in Wednesday." I'll be posting my stats, as well as a recap of the week. Feel free to share yours, or just read about my progress (or lack thereof - ha!). I'll also be posting a recipe or work-out that I found helpful, and if you've got one, please share it. But no processed diet plans -- Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem, etc -- I think they are all gimmicks. If you want to lose weight, then let's do it the natural way: fewer calories and more exercise. Considering dieting in this country is a multi-billion dollar industry, I'd like people to learn the right way to eat (myself included) and not rely on a program that works up until the moment you go off of it. (Weight Watchers is kosher, in my opinion...you eat real food and learn portion control.)
I figure we can do this until the end of the year and then actually be ahead of the game come New Year's. So, let me know what you think. It will be an interesting experiment!
Today is Monday and my BMI is currently 27.4.