Gaining and losing, an unpopular problem

I have a weird problem that I am reluctant to blog about but in the interest of being authentic, I am going to talk about my weight.

Everyone remarks how quickly I have lost the baby weight after both of my kids and this is true. I wrote a little about it in my post about my favorite postpartum products. In that post I also mentioned that I don’t really exercise or eat differently, which is all true. In fact, this is TOO true. I am not reducing my caloric intake or doing a work-out program (I can’t say I’m not exercising at all, because carrying a 30 lb toddler and a 16 lb baby around all day long is definitely some kind of exercise).

But, I am still losing weight. And sometimes it worries me.

I am now below my pre-pregnancy weight from either of my pregnancies and still dropping. All my pants are loose. At the risk of TMI, my underpants are loose, too.

I’m not losing my hair. I have always had milk supply issues while breastfeeding so it doesn’t surprise me that I have supply issues now, but so far we’re having to supplement less this time with my daughter than we did with my son. I take the hair and the milk supply as positive signs, meaning that my body isn’t in some kind of emergency-starvation mode, right?

But still, sometimes it worries me.

I am hungry ALL THE TIME.
I do try to eat as much as I can, but I am on my feet and moving kids here and there constantly, so there’s not always a lot of time to eat. I carry snacks like peanut butter and cheese and crackers with me in my purse. I eat them all the time, and I eat regular meals.

I am not a huge fan of sugary or fatty foods. I do crave sugar and fat sometimes, and when I do crave them I eat them – I don’t abstain. I usually eat a moderate amount and the craving leaves and I don’t have a desire to eat more. I can’t eat a lot of sugar before I get “sugared out”. I have a slightly higher tolerance for fat, but not much. I do love good fats like nuts and olive oil. I don’t avoid anything except high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, and meat (which I do not like).

I guess I am writing this to be honest about my own concern and to ask for understanding.
I am afraid to bring this up to people in real life because this is a very unpopular concern to have.
“What – you have trouble GAINING weight?! SHUT UP!”
I realize that most people have the opposite problem and probably see this as a stupid concern.

But think of it this way: whether you weigh too much or too little, you are concerned about your body, not sure why it is acting differently than it did before, uncertain how to fix it, and wondering if it is affecting your health. That is how I feel, too. It is my problem and I am admitting it.

Maybe I just feel that if I put it out there, on the internets, that I can prove to someone that I’m not doing this on purpose. That I realize this is not some kind of sick contest where we all try to lose our baby weight as fast as possible. That I want to honor my body and I’m not sure how to do it. That I think everyone with a few extra pounds from their babies looks gorgeous and I want to look that way too. That I kind of liked some of my pregnancy curves and I wouldn’t mind if my hips had hung around after the babies were gone. That I wish I didn’t unintentionally stab my kids with my jutting hipbones. That I’d like to have a little bit of comforting mommy-softness for them to remember.

But I am thankful for all the things my body is capable of doing. I am very grateful that it keeps going even when I get very little sleep. I am glad I am strong enough to lift my kids and their enormous double stroller, and the groceries, in and out of our car. I am blessed to have a husband who loves me the way I am, with my ever-shifting shape. It’s like he married several different bodies, poor guy!

The moral of this story? Maybe it’s acceptance. Less judging each other for our sizes. More loving our bodies, with or without curves. Me learning to eat more or something. I don’t know – what do you think it is?

UPDATE: If it makes anyone feel any better, I still have the post-pregnancy belly pooch, regardless of my weight. I don’t care how small you are, I don’t think anyone can escape the pooch if you’ve had two babies in two years.

14 thoughts on “Gaining and losing, an unpopular problem”

  1. i think you have a thyroid imbalance which can easily happen after a woman goes through pregnancy. its a simple blood test to find out, but those were my symptoms in the past (almost exactly) and thats what the problem was.

  2. I just read a blog last week by a woman with this same problem (wish I could remember where I found her post! Sorry!). She said that she discovered a gluten allergy and learned that it was preventing her body from absorbing nutrients. Have you ever looked into gluten being the issue?

  3. I am SO glad to know that – thank you! Have you had your thyroid checked? I haven’t, but the next time I go to the doctor I might see if they will do it.

  4. I did go off gluten for a short time years ago when I was having stomach issues and I didn’t notice any weight gain (or difference in stomach issues at the time), but that was before kids and it wasn’t for very long (like 10 days maybe?). Do you know how long I would have to do it to tell?

  5. One other commenter recommended that too – don’t know why I hadn’t thought of it before now! Next time I go to the doctor I will see if they can do it!

  6. Thank you for posting this.  You know, breastfeeding made my metabolism completely out of control.  I lost the baby weight super fast and kept losing, too.  I felt like I was always hungry and could never get satiated. I pigged out and couldn’t exercise at all without feeling hypoglycemic.  Around when August turned one, people were actually treating me like I had an eating disorder.  (Giving me knowing looks and telling me to “be careful” WTF!!)  Not that I looked extremely, terribly thin, but all of my clothes were big and my curves were GONE. 

    All that to say, slowly over the last nine months since I stopped nursing, I have gained some weight back (our cruise we went on this summer helped quite a bit :).  My metabolism feels more normal.  I did have my thyroid checked for these reasons after Aidan was born, too, but it came back fine.  Hoping this will be the case for you, too!  You aren’t alone!

  7. I am almost 40 and weigh between 105-110. I have 3 children (21, 19 & 17) I gained an average of 50lbs w/ each baby and dropped it all within 2 weeks every time. I do know that I have a thyroid issue but am not medicated for it. It had been over active for years & after I took meds for a while I was told it was under active.
    My 17 yr old son weighs *maybe* 95lbs. He recently had thyroid testing along with all kinds of other tests to check of the gluten allergy & some other digestive issues. Luckily for now, they say he is just a late bloomer.
    It wouldn’t hurt to talk to your Dr. about your concerns.

    visiting from #commenthour

  8. That is good to know! So if it is thyroid, I have a choice whether I need to medicate? I am not a huge fan of meds. I have been told I should check my thyroid but I am not sure what a doctor would do if it is the thyroid?

  9. You know, it might be the thyroid thing (and knowing how your mom is super slim seems to suggest it could be a family deal), but maybe not. I don’t tend toward thinness at all, but about 9 months after baby I was a good 10 pounds under my pre-baby weight. I think for me it was a combo of stress and nursing. Like you said, for many it’s an envious problem, but for me (like you) it was quite disconcerting to feel like the body was doing its own thing independent of my efforts to nourish it.

    Do check out the thyroid thing, but also be patient with your body finding its new, post-baby, normal.

  10. I hope people don’t say hateful things. One of my friends has the same problem–can eat virtually anything and stay thin as a rail, much to her dismay. She has heard all kinds of thoughtless remarks. I wish people would just offer support, whatever the issue. (and I hope there is not something more serious going on with your health)

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