I’m just going to say it: I was a chubby teenager. I was afraid to believe it then, but the pictures are proof. From the ages of 14-19, I was 30-40 pounds overweight. I blame it on puberty, denial, and a daily afternoon snack of a half-box of Cheese-Its while I watched TV in my bedroom. I hated my body and myself back then, and sometimes I still do, even though I now weigh almost 50 pounds less.
After my freshman year of college, I decided to lose the weight and I did, over the course of about a year. But it created a sort of monster in me. I began obsessing over my weight, food, calories, and exercise. A daily caloric intake of 1000 calories and three hours of exercise after classes was nothing for me. They got to know me very well at the gym! Gaining one pound on the scale was enough to make me collapse in tears, and to make me work even harder. My mom worried that I was overdoing it, and I definitely was. It consumed my life.
And for most of my adult years, that is how I have lived. Counting every calorie. Exercising too much. A slave to the number on the scale. I did manage to take a break from it all during my first pregnancy, but that does not mean I didn’t occasionally panic as I packed on the pounds. I did. A lot.
But when my daughter turned a year old, after I had dieted like a crazy woman to lose the baby weight, I knew it was time to stop. It wasn’t healthy. It wasn’t normal. And it wasn’t the example I wanted to set for my little Cupcake as she grows up. So I declared that I was “divorcing” dieting. I was done with it. My only focus was to be healthy. Eat well, exercise regularly, and hope everything evens out in the end.
But now I confess to you, after six months, I have suffered a dieting relapse. I can’t help myself. In my last pregnancy, the one that ended far too soon, I had already gained five pounds in the five weeks since I had conceived. That’s too much too fast, I know! But I don’t have any excuses because I don’t know what happened. I didn’t eat any differently for either pregnancy and yet I gained weight very early on for both. It strikes me as highly unfair that, for this pregnancy with my tiny Teddy Graham, I’m a couple hundred dollars broker (is that a word?) and five pounds heavier, and I don’t even have a baby to take home.
So now I feel desperate to lose this weight before we officially start trying again for another baby. I know that dieting while TTC can have its own effects on my fertility, so I have to do it now. The urgency of the matter is getting to me. To be at my goal weight, I’ll need to lose 3-5 pounds in the span of 2-3 weeks. Even if I calorie restrict like crazy and hit the treadmill hard and frequently, I don’t know if I can do it. But I’ll try. This is not something I’m proud of. Crash-dieting is not the way I would recommend losing weight to anyone. But it’s the only way I know how to do it in such a short time. It’s the only way that has ever worked for me. And it’s the only control I have in my life right now.