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December 8: Losing Weight, Regaining Myself

Day 8: Re-finding myself as I look at the reasons I’d gained weight

otherfamily_cropAbout three months ago to the day, my family celebrated little Zoom’s first birthday. It was a lovely event. Family and friends came over for an elephant themed party. I owe you guys some photos of that party.

There is likely a reason I’ve haven’t posted those photos. When I went back and looked at myself I was shocked.

At the time, I no longer fit into my clothes. In fact, I had gotten so heavy that I did not own a single pair of pants that fit me, and I’d moved on to wearing dresses because it was all that fit.

Now I see that I’d been eating because I was still upset and confused about the traumatic events that surrounded Zoom’s birth. There was so little I could control over those 56 hours. I’d gone in to labor naturally, and then labored for 56 hours. The doctor quickly decided at about hour 54 that I would need a cesarean. When Zoom was born, he had respiratory issues and was in the hospital for six days. He did not come home with us. None of this was in a birth plan, anywhere, except in the back of my mind as the things that just couldn’t happen, ever.

Every pregnant lady probably has one of those “in case” discussions with her partner, husband, coach. I’d told Sean one night “If for any reason they have to take the baby away from me in the delivery room, you follow the baby. I’m strong, I can be alone, I won’t be as scared as the baby. You go with our baby and talk to him. He knows your voice and knows you will keep him safe.” I get tears in my eyes now knowing that something I said as a “not a chance in the world this will happen” discussion is what ended up happening. Just before I went in to the operating room, I told my doctor that I could only do this if Sean was allowed to leave with the baby and my mom or sister was allowed to come in after he left with Zoom. And that is how it happened. My mom came in and stayed with me as Sean took our baby to the nursery.

A year later, food had become a way to control my environment. And based on the terrifying events of Zoom’s birth, the world had become a scary, unpredictable place. Food was predictable. Feeling full was predictable and comforting. I was holding on to what I could to keep going.

Nearly 12 weeks later, I’ve lost 9.42% of my starting weight, meaning I’ve lost about 13 pounds. It may not seem like a lot based on “Biggest Loser” standards, but a 10% loss is good. It means nearly 2 pant sizes on me. I’m 4’10” tall.

For me, this weight loss has been a great deal more than losing 13 pounds. I’m regaining “Me.” The parts of me that got lost somewhere on September 9, 2010 before Zoom was born, as the cesarean was becoming a reality. The parts of me that battle to re-believe that I am strong, that I am capable, that I am in control. The parts of me that are fierce, unstoppable, and excellent. The woman who excitedly stated to the front desk at Labor and Delivery “I’m here to have a baby,” is re-awakening to all that it means to be alive. She is here, she is brave and she ready to take on the world.

weight loss challenge

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  • Jenna
    December 9, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    I really loved this post Paula. I think identifying the reasons we gain weight is essential if we want to keep it off. I know all about the “preferring dresses to pants” mindset. I really see a huge difference around your eyes (when I lose weight, I feel like my eyes have some more room to breathe). Keep going 🙂

  • Paula
    December 12, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    Hi Jenna, Thank you for commenting – it’s been helpful having a “challenge” to keep me on my toes.

  • Liz
    December 15, 2011 at 9:18 am

    Congrats on your weight loss! It sounds like you are heading the right direction! You look great!

  • Paula
    December 15, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    Thanks Liz! I’m going to keep going until April 15!!! It’s a long haul, but I know it’s making a difference in the way the whole family is eating and thinking about food.

  • Brian Miller
    April 19, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    good for you…this is awesome…great job on the weight loss…and you know the best thing for your family is a healthy you…smiles.

  • emily wierenga
    April 20, 2012 at 2:43 am

    hey paula, i love this, that you are loving on yourself in this way. i would be honored if you’d let me share this over at my eating disorders site at some point… if so, could you email the post to me? wierenga.emily@gmail.com. thank you friend. e.