On Oct. 17, 2006, I found out I was pregnant. We had been trying for 18 months. I was just 20 pounds from my goal weight when I got the news that motherhood was about to turn my life upside down, but who cared? I was baking a baby bun in my oven. Screw you, PCOS, Insulin Resistance, and hypo-active thyroid. We won.
And? I was going to look super cute doing the first time mama thing. For the first five months, I did okay even though the pregnancy sucked. I was diagnosed with hyperemis and hospitalized three times for dehydration, but I was still in the “You’re Pregnant?” category for much longer than I had ever imagined. Of course, that all changed when my body decided pregnancy sucked even more, and I gained 20 pounds in the last four weeks, and despite already being on bed rest, my blood pressure spiked to dangerous levels. Buttercup was born 37 weeks early on June 12, 2007 after an emergency induction. And after squeezing 6.7 pounds of baby out my hooha, I walked out of the hospital 45 pounds heavier than I had been before this whole business began.
But still, I had high hopes (read: expectations) that I was going to lose it all as fast as I gained it. All I needed to do was work out and eat right. And that brand new jogging stroller was gonna earn it’s keep.
Of course, nothing ever goes as planned. And I sure as hell wasn’t planning on being hospitalized three times in the first six weeks of Buttercup’s life for what my midwife referred to as the worst cases of mastitis she had seen in her entire career. I hadn’t figured on the breast reduction I had in 2002 being a factor in my breastfeeding, but there it was, and I had to wean myself and put her on the bottle to keep myself out of the hospital.
I did lose about 15 pounds without really trying after getting back home and settling in to the new routine. But walking, working out, and eating low fat anything did nothing for the muffin top that had claimed my waistline. I had plans to join a gym and get serious but instead found myself burying my father, taking in my youngest sister and my mother, and forgetting about the scale when Buttercup was just five months old.
Working out? Giving a damn about the size of my ass? That all went out the window. I was too busy taking care of my mom and sister to focus on me. Especially when The Husband came home 5 months after that to tell me he had gotten a job in Arizona.
Cross country moves and retaining sanity are not ever to be placed on the same list. Not when said Husband has to leave six months before you and your child can join him and you are left to pack up the house back in Michigan.
Buttercup and I arrived in Arizona on March 18, 2009, with my mom and youngest sister, of course. I started this blog and the twitter account not too long after that. And Project Baby (F(Ph)at was born. If I couldn’t lose it on my own, maybe making myself accountable to all of the Internet would fix me.
Did I take consider my health issues? No. Of course not. I just figured if I wanted to do it, I was going to do it. That’s how the rest of the world operates, right? Of course it does. But the rest of the world wasn’t living in this body.
I finished Baby F(Ph)at on July 27, 2010. In the year it took me to write the book, I had tried a shit-load of eating plans, worked out until I was blue in the face, and lost a grand total of 16 pounds. But I still considered the journey a success. I had discovered clean eating. I had a lifestyle. Diets could and forever more kiss my ass.
A lot more trial and error and a few more tweaks to my eating habits (namely going gluten, sugar, and dairy free) and suddenly I was all LOOK AT HOW HAWT I AM NOW! And The Husband was all RAWR whenever I entered his line of vision. Which was always. Which was nice.
Then today happened.
I got as naked as she was the first time I saw the daughter my body had nurtured into existence, walked up to the scale, held my breath and closed my eyes as I stepped on. It’s a ritual. If I deviate from one step, the Scale Gods automatically slap fat back onto my ass and then force me to look at the number and deal with it, probably not unlike the Aztec sun gods would punish them for a poor live sacrifice by granting them a crappy harvest or something. So I count the appropriate number of held breaths before looking down…
And breath a sigh of utter relief. I had finally found the me that was there all along, hiding beneath the 45 pound muffin top motherhood had super-glued to my body just to prove a point.
And it only took 1,350 days to get here.