Thursday, June 17, 2010

Maybe Not Unthinkable, But Definitely Unpleasant

I went to a kickboxing class at the YMCA this morning. That makes two days in a row that I put Brody into Child Watch and got a workout. Yay, me. Which probably means that I won't go again for the next six months. (At least, that's how it usually works.) But I do fully intend to keep this up...

Let me back up. Since I started Weight Watchers three months ago, I have lost almost 25 pounds and made it down to my goal weight. Yay, me! I am back below where I was before getting pregnant with Jake. I weigh what my driver's license says I weigh! I kinda thought that was never going to happen. Really, when I set that goal weight, I never thought I was actually going to reach it.

I ditched my everyday jeans awhile ago, and went down to my thinner ones. They're currently being held up by a belt, but it ain't pretty. So, I ordered some new jeans from Gap online (I love my Long and Leans, and I use our Gap Visa card for almost all of our purchases so that I can earn rewards points to spend at Gap. And if I order online, it lets me combine promotions, which they don't let me do in the store, so the jeans ended up costing me almost nothing.) Anyhow, before I digress into a full-on Gap commercial, let me tell you that I ordered the jeans in the next size down, and they arrived in the mail yesterday. And I think they're still too big.

All good news (well, except that I had to go back to the store and try to exchange my jeans). So I went to Gap to try on the jeans, and found that the next size down really did fit better. Feeling crazy, I decided to try the next size down from there. They were too small. I could button them, though, which was a nice surprise, but clearly they were not the size that I should be wearing, which I was totally okay with. So, apparently, I wear precisely half the size I used to wear, or half the size of the jeans that I squeezed into on my "skinny" days. (I am going back and forth as to whether or not I should just write what size this is, but I think I'm gonna stick with "not" in order to avoid alienating any people that fit into one of two groups: a) those that will read it and think, "She only wears a size X? That skinny bitch has no right to complain about anything!" and b) those that will think, "She still wears a size X? And she thinks that she should look good in a swimsuit?")

Which brings me to what happened next: I decided to try on a swimsuit. I must have been feeling cocky about my jean size (I know it's just a number, but it was such a nice, low number!). I say cocky because I have always, always hated swimsuit shopping; it's one of the worst things that a female has to experience. In the past, I have gone into fitting rooms with a dozen or more swimsuits, only to eventually emerge with maybe one that didn't make me want to kill myself. On a really good day. I don't know what possessed me to try it on a swimsuit on this day, but I did.

I fully expected to be less-than-thrilled about my nowhere-near-flat stomach. I've had two babies, and I am beginning to accept the fact that my stomach may never recover, no matter what I weigh. I'm trying to accept it, so I found a black (dark colors make you look smaller) tankini (to hide the tummy) that looked super cute on the hanger. And I picked out a larger size in the bottom than the top, because I was trying to be realistic. And it fit. But it made me want to cry. My bruised legs (I don't know why I bruise SO easily, but I do), my not-smooth thighs, my butt chunks hanging out of the swimsuit (Jake coined the term "butt chunks" and I still like it better than butt cheeks). And I have no boobs. Seriously, of the 25 pounds that I lost, I think 10 of them came from my boobs. And those of you that know me, know that my boobs never weighed 10 pounds, even during the pregnancy or breast feeding stages. So, they currently weigh about negative five pounds, give or take.

Needless to say, I did not buy the swimsuit. I tried not to sink into a depression because I really, really don't want to have body image issues. I just want to go back to being very happy about all the weight that I lost and how much better I'm looking in regular clothes. Or even nude. Just not in a swimsuit, apparently.

So I got to thinking. Is this really as good as it gets for me? I'm not getting any younger, and I have had two kids. I don't really want to lose any more weight, and in fact, Weight Watchers won't let me lose more than a couple more pounds before I would be considered "unhealthy" for my height. I know that I haven't been going to the gym, but I have been walking much more (while pushing a stroller, or even some days a double stroller with more than 40 pounds in it). I went through a period where I was exercising pretty regularly at home- sit ups, push ups, leg lifts, stretching, etc.- although I have kind of let that fall by the wayside over the last few weeks. And I'm eating much healthier. So I should be much healthier, right? And more physically fit?

Well, I decided that I needed to make it over the next hurdle, and actually head to the gym to find out. Yesterday, I spent some time on the stationary bike and then the elliptical machine. (BTW- Brody did not love being in the Child Watch program, but he tolerated it, well enough that I figured I could head back the next day.) I felt really good after exercising, and was experiencing an endorphin high well into the afternoon. But I was starving. Seriously, I only earned a few WW activity points by exercising, but I think I ate an extra 10. Kind of works against the goal of maintaining my current weight, but whatever. Maybe I just need to workout more regularly to get used to it.

Today, I decided to be even more adventurous and return to the kickboxing class that kicked my butt the last time I went, which was almost exactly a year ago. The one that is led by an ex-Marine who apparently NEVER tires. And I learned a few things about myself. I am really not in any better shape than I was a year ago. THAT was a huge disappointment. And, there are some things about my body that have not recovered from pregnancy. For those of you that have not given birth to two children vaginally, this may be TMI. But I know that some of you will understand when I say that I cannot do jumping jacks without peeing my pants. THAT was a surprise, and not a pleasant one. But, I figure it could be worse (if you don't believe me, check out this hilarious but slightly depressing post from another mom, And Then The Unthinkable Happened).

So, what does this mean? It means that, although I have reached what I thought was the magic number on the scale, I haven't actually met my goal of being fit, healthy, and satisfied with how I look in a swimsuit. It means that I have more work to do. And I'm okay with that, because I know that I'm still working on establishing more healthy habits that make my feel good about myself. (Even if I'm not okay with peeing my pants.)


  1. I think we're all just built to have body image issues no matter how hard we try. You know I've had plenty.. but good on you for getting back to the gym.

    I myself have so far stuck to my goal since I moved. I saw a therapist - and when I mentioned moving and that I intended to workout everyday at my new fitness center.. she asked me to clarify my goal, and rethink it. I understood what she meant, and my goal became to exercise before work everyday - Monday through Friday. Instead of saying everyday - missing one of the days on the weekend and then giving up because I already ruined my goal - instead I've stuck with it. Tomorrow will be the end of week 2, 10 days I've been going back non-stop, doing cardio and some weights/machines. I'd like to see results faster, but I've never gotten fast results before, so it's time to not expect them now. But I'm just sticking with it. I have San Diego in a month, and I want to feel a little more comfortable in my skin - and then I have Hawaii in December, and I would like to actually buy a bathing suit (I don't own one) and go lay out on the beach within feeling the sting of of my body issues).

    Just remember you're as good as you want it to get. If you want to be better, be more toned, firm.. it's going to take more than just cardio. Just don't get all Madonna on me and turn into a piece of gristle.

  2. Christy,

    I wandered over from The Frugal Girl. Congrats on your weight loss! It sounds like your two vaginal deliveries did a number on your pelvic floor and abdominal muscles. You might want to ask your Ob-GYN (or midwife, whichever you use) if they can refer you to a physical therapist who specializes in "female issues". The area of GYN PT is a little bit new so you might have to work to find someone. However since there is one in my little town, I bet there is at least one in LA.

  3. I think you're right that this is something I should look into. My plan is to try some kegel exercises on my own first and see if it makes any difference. I was just surprised that this was even an issue- I had no idea! Guess I'm not really jumping around too often. :)