by Nicole Loughan


My Life Long Battle Continues

I can’t wait until I can be counted among the ranks of the overweight again. It is such an improvement over my current status as part of the obesity epidemic. I have been carrying extra weight since July 30th, 1980. I was born nine pounds three ounces, two pounds over my ideal baby body weight and that was probably the closest I ever got. A few extra pounds was alright with me but having a baby put me in a weight category I was not very comfortable with and like other moms I found it hard to get fit when I added children to the weight loss equation. Everything a mom does from working out to eating right has to have the kids factored in. After three false starts, my husband and I are finally on our path back to BMIs under 30. Read on to find out how.

False start number 1 – The liquid only diet. – Being able to do everything at home was a plus, though we always had to Baby Bulge Epidemicmake two meals as the kids would never stand for a reduced fat shake for dinner. I lost weight fast, but it left me feeling like a character in a Dickens novel. We started at the beginning of winter and my husband, akin to Ebenezer Scrooge, refuses to bump the thermostat over 63 degrees. I was always cold and the lack of solids left me feeling like Oliver Twist begging the schoolmaster for a second bowl of gruel. After a few weeks my hunger got the best of me. I mark the end of this diet as the day after Thanksgiving when I was left alone with a day old pumpkin pie.

False start number 2 – The group approach – Weight Watcher’s has this great thing called “Mom, Dad and Me.” I was so excited to bring the kids and get the support of the other mommies. However, at the first class I was the only person who came with children. The leader put on a movie for them and brought out a box of toys. The class was very accommodating, but no amount of planning could take into account that this would be the first day my son would learn he could scream. As soon as the leader opened her mouth he started yelling, testing different volumes of scream until he let out a shrill one so loud it startled my daughter and she began crying. Her crying set him off and they decided they should do it together, she taking the high notes and him taking the low. After several minutes of non-stop screaming the leader politely told me, “you can leave if you need to I understand.” Which I felt was a nice way of saying “scram lady.” We left and as soon as we were on the other side of the door my kids started laughing. They may have found it funny but I was so stressed out I took us two doors over to the Panera Bread and ordered a Greek salad with a side of chocolate chip cookies.

False start number 3 – Boot camp – I decided to try the child watch at my local gym and enroll in an intense workout class where a drill sergeant like woman yelled at me to run, do sit-ups and lift weights. Before the class I looked for somebody at approximately my level of fitness to make my workout nemesis and motivate me. I found her, her name was Judy and it turns out Judy was a beast. Keeping up with her nearly broke me. When I left the class I ached in muscles I didn’t know I had. To make matters worse when I got to the child watch my daughter was so upset she threw up on the floor. I spent the next day lying on the rug with a heating pad under my back and ice on everything else. I was too tired to cook that night and ordered a pizza.

Losing it at last: My husband and I took elements from each of these approaches to find something that worked for us. A mixture of meals from both Weight Watchers and the shakes from the liquid diet worked and less strenuous classes at the gym were a win. But the real kick starter was my husband winning a healthy cookbook in a work raffle. It was from the “Hungry Girl” series and it had many recipes we could make for the whole family. We also signed up for Spark People, a free on-line fitness site. It has tips, blogs and a database of nutrition information for almost any food you can think of. There are workout videos posted there too for when I can’t get to the gym. With all of this I am mere ounces away from that overweight mark. I am excited to be getting into better shape with my husband, but even more I am excited to be doing it for my children. Like other moms I want them to see me at my best and I want them to know what healthy eating looks like. They have given me the motivation I need to lose the pregnancy weight and move on to that baby fat I have been hanging onto since 1980.