Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A rollercoaster of a post

You are going to be so jealous of me, and pity me so much, all within the space of a few measly paragraphs. Maybe less!

I gained either 25 or 35 pounds during my twin pregnancy, depending on whether you count the 10 pounds that I lost from barfing during the first trimester, and then regained.

A week after I gave birth to said twins, I stepped on the scale and learned that I had lost all of my pregnancy weight.

Since then, I've gained 10 pounds. Actually, I gained 10 pounds rather promptly after that. In spite of my learning that breastfeeding burns calories and helps you lose weight, and that breastmilk cures pinkeye, waxes your floors, buffs your hubcaps, and fellates your husband for you (ok, I made that last part up), it apparently doesn't burn enough calories that the new mother can consume two of her friend's homemade-but-professional-quality chocolate chip cookies....with each meal. I feel cheated.

So, once I realized that I was basically heavier four or five months postpartum than when I was four or five months pregnant, I set about to lose the weight, all by myself, without the assistance of any formal program.

Surely, my naturally sensible sensibilities would serve me well. I knew I had to get exercise. I knew I had to eat soundly, but that I shouldn't be too restrictive, lest I set myself up for failure. I should clearly factor reasonable treats into my eating plan.

M&M's Fun Packs, at 90 calories, are clearly reasonable treats, no? Ditto miniature Butterfingers, miniature Nestle's Crunches, and bags of pretzels. Oh, wait. Bags of pretzels aren't reasonable treats. But that's ok; I don't polish one off in one sitting too frequently. And it's important not to deprive yourself on special occasions--such as Sundays, for example, or when the local restaurant serves chocolate chip waffles as a special. What happened to my bag of Butterfingers? Who ate them all?

Do you see where this is heading?

Where this is heading is that I had a few hours to myself, and used it to clean out my closet. And realized how much stuff not only doesn't fit anymore, but REALLY doesn't fit.

I took a good long look at what I was doing, and I realized that, after 30 years of age and a twin pregnancy, I can't do this anymore. I am no longer the girl who can eat anything and get away with it.

So, last Thursday, I signed up for Weight Watchers, spontaneously. And, since then, I've lost two pounds. One of those pounds may be due to the enormous chunk of skin that one of my children gouged out of my nose mere moments after smiling and cooing and gazing lovingly into my eyes, but, hey, a pound is a pound.

The first few days were really hard. I'm allowed 19 points a day. A cup of tea with milk and sugar is two points. A regular bagel with butter is nine points. NINE. As surreal as the Fellini film upon which the musical of the same number is based. (You don't get the reference? 8 1/2, ok? The film is 8 1/2; the musical is Nine. There; now you can go to cocktail parties and be as faux-pretentious as me.)

Have I mentioned that I rank artificial sweeteners somewhere near the Olive Garden and unwanted dinner-hour telephone solicitations on the List of Things That I Don't Like?

But, I want my ass back, if only because I'm too cheap to go out and buy all new pants.

And, since I'm not a cheerleadery-meetings sort of person, I'm doing it alone, online, with only the other sarcastic, antisocial weight-denialists for company. So, to keep myself vaguely accountable, I will attempt to update you all on my progress. Wish me luck! And Happy Halloween!


Blogger Mignon said...

Hi. I am sarcastic anti-social weight denialist. Nice to meetcha.

So, "breastfeeding takes all the weight off" is complete crap. For me, it kept All The Weight ON. It was like, my body couldn't keep up with the manufacturing of all those calories unless it had extra stores of fat from which to draw. I believe this is true for many of us. Not until at least six full months after I stopped breastfeeding did my body finally feel like it was back into a regular rhythm. And at that point some of the weight and cravings started to skedaddle.

So you go ahead with whatever dietish plan you concoct, but don't beat yourself up if it takes longer than you expect. In fact, don't beat yourself up period. That's just for dumb Brad Pitt movies (that's about as faux-cinema-pretentious as I get).

5:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good luck! I just joined Ww today. Only I am doing the meeting thing- because if I have to go weigh in, in front of people, there is more accountability for me. But I'm not sure why you only get 19 points... did you quit nursing? Because I am still nursing and I get 36 points. Hmmm

6:07 PM  
Blogger Arabella said...

Good luck to you, too, Tara! And, yes, I stopped nursing, so that must explain our different point allotments.

Mignon, you just made me feel much better. I expected the sweets cravings to subside right after I stopped nursing, and they didn't. I've never wanted sugar so much in my life. I'm glad to hear that it takes time even after you stop.

10:42 AM  
Anonymous TB said...

Yeah, I noticed my metabolism slowed waaaayyyyy down right around the time I hit 30. And then gravity started working overtime too. It sucks big juicy ass.

I'm one of the lucky few who is enjoying a speedier metabolism thanks to breastfeeding. But that means that as soon as I wean Myles, I'll be joining you and Mignon in the back of the virtual room cracking jokes and not listening while the WW leader talks.

8:46 PM  
Anonymous wordgirl said...

Weight Watchers is definitely NOT just for those with extreme and lifelong weight issues. I gained 60 pounds with each pregnancy (yes, I lost it all), but it was way easier to lose baby weight for me than the measley 10 I'm trying to drop right now. According to some antiquated height/weight charts I'm very normal, but I'm not what I used to be and I can't stand it. I'm right there with you, Arabella. I know you'll lose what you want to/need to in a healthy way. Good luck!

10:40 PM  
Blogger ptg said...

I'm too much a tightwad to get fat, and too masculine to get pregnant. The only times I had a weight problem were when I lived where good food was cheap.

In about four years of living in Mediterranean countries, I went from 160 to well over 300 lbs. On returning to the US hinterlands, where good food is not only expensive but scarce, it only took about two years to lose half of my body weight.

The Wallet Watchers Diet, I recommend it wholeheartedly.

12:17 PM  
Anonymous Elizabeth said...

I'm doing Weight Watchers too. Don't forget, you also get 35 points a week extra, I just add 5 a day to my total. There are also points for exercise, but, um, yeah. I don't really do that :) You'll do great!

8:50 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Harridan said...

I find it hard to imagine you needing WW! I guess I have the speedy metabolism, too, because I'm within 2-3 lbs. of my pre-pregnancy weight (on a good day, first thing in the morning). I've always heard that your body keeps about 5 lbs. in storage while you're nursing just to be sure it can keep rolling on even if the rest of you goes into starvation mode.

Since you hate the artificial sweeteners, might I suggest Trader Joe's stevia? It's all natural, plant-based and you might also know it as xylitol (it's in some sugar free gums). If you like, I will mail you some. There are other natural sweeteners with fewer calories in natural food stores, too.

There is no way in hell I could ever stand on a scale in front of a peer group. No. Effing. Way.

9:30 PM  
Anonymous Claudia said...

"and fellates your husband for you" - - ROFL! Perfect, now if the nurse had told me THAT when I gave birth to my babies I would have had them (and any other baby on the ward) sucking like pros in under 2 minutes flat. Darn the hospital suits and the things they don't want us to know. ;)

As for the diet. Kudos to you. I'm on a physician 'prescribed' diet thanks to hypertension and lost 11lbs in 9 days. Now the scale stubbornly refuses to budge and all I want is that new MilkyWay with mint and dark chocolate. *whines *

Good luck's to fun snacks and busted scales.


9:00 AM  

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