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My Kids Are Making Me FAT*

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

*If you are a regular reader then you are familiar with my tongue-in-cheek writing style. If you are new, please turn on your sense of humor and then read this starting with the title. 

Jastrow (2005),
via Wikimedia Commons
So I am trying to get back in shape after gaining 50 lbs during my last pregnancy. Six-months postpartum, I still have 25 pounds to subtract. I am trying to do this the "right" way with exercise and good eating habits. I am not fasting, fad dieting or getting anything stapled, tucked, or sucked. 

A couple of months ago I signed up for a marathon training program for walkers. It's been going great. I am feeling good and my clothes are fitting better, but when I step on the scale the number is the same (no, I will not disclose that figure). 

Yes, I know I am building muscles and that it weighs more than fat. Yes, I know that I should be paying more attention to how my clothes are fitting than to the scale. But something about hitting a plateau this soon was bugging me. It kept nagging at my brain until I had a eureka moment one day last week...MY KIDS ARE MAKING ME FAT! 

Before you burn me at the stake for speaking blasphemy, let's take a look at the evidence: 
  1. Stress. Raising kids is a joy and it's also stressful. Stress releases a hormone in your body called cortisol. Cortisol causes your body to go into survival mode which can manifest in increased abdominal fat. I definitely look like I am smuggling a life-preserver under my t-shirts. It's not cute. Time to step up the yoga so my body feels relaxed even if my nerves are shot.

  2. Snacking: Kids grow at a rapid rate and eat constantly. I realized I was eating constantly too even though my caloric needs are about half of what my active 3 year-old needs. If she asks for a almond butter and jelly or grilled cheese sandwich, I'd fix one too when I don't need to eat and should be avoiding breads and dairy. I'd also find myself finishing her leftovers. Her fuel is my fat.

  3. The eating for two myth: I indulged in too much with this last pregnancy. I was always hungry for some reason (I am told it was because the baby was a boy, but I am not sure how much truth there is to this old wives tale). Now I am breastfeeding and I have to consume enough good fats (think avocados and nuts) to plump up my little guy. The reality is that I only need about 200 more calories to do this. I need to say no to second helpings!
Clearly my kids aren't making me fat. They are not tying me to a chair and shoveling food and desserts down my throat against my will. Will is the operative word here. I have the will power over what I eat. If I am going to drop 15 lbs on the next 6 weeks, I am going to have to buckle down and pay attention to what I chew. Otherwise, I am sabotaging all the walking I am doing. Sure, I am not gaining any weight, but I am not losing any either.


keyalus said...

I totally agree with all 3 of your points! I was just reading an article this morning about nutrition needs in your 30s and they pointed out how stressful raising a family etc can be and how that raises cortisol. They didn't mention the not getting enough sleep part that goes along with toddlers either - that messes with your natural hunger controls.

Also, if my intuition is right, this one is a girl. I have not been anywhere near as hungry as I was during my pregnancy with my son. I don't feel that need to eat every 2 hours at all. There was actually a study about baby boys having higher metabolic needs so moms might need to eat a bit more!

Kimberly Grabinski said...

It's definitely the kids FAULT though LOL. My daughter was almost 3 before I really found the time and commitment to change my habits.

Maureensk said...

Yep, kids are rather fattening! :-) 15 pounds in 6 weeks is a big goal! Good luck with it and your marathon training!

Anonymous said...

Yup, it's the kids fault. I'm going through my second pregnancy right now, and I can't tell you how much I felt like this little guy is making me eat, and he's not even out yet! And yeah, the 3yo eats so much I'm wondering where does it all go!

Mum TOI said...

totally feel what you are writing. i've been feeling the same since April. I started Pilates and slowly I am building my stamina back. Recently a friend asked if i am pregnant. well, she could have being discreet to keep her mouth shut because I am not pregnant and i know I am fat.

I am taking care of what i eat too, so good luck in your healthy eating and working out adventure.

Lee-Ann said...

LOL I totally blame my kids for my fatness! *joking* I always gained weight breastfeeding, I think I took that "must eat extra calories" thing way too far!

Kim said...

Oh I know this frustration so well. I too had to get conscious of all the same things. Bread and snacks were sabotaging me. I hate the scale even though I can't stop weighing myself.

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