I signed up to be a contestant on Atlanta’s Biggest Loser.
Now, the odds of my being chosen are slim to none. First, I don’t live in Atlanta. I live in
Hickville the mountains, 3.5 hours north of Atlanta. Second, I recently gave birth and am still breastfeeding. That alone is probably enough to disqualify me. (Although, I did read the rules VERY closely, and never saw anything about breastfeeding moms being disqualified.)
I am really struggling with the fact that I’m stuck at a particular weight.
What most of you don’t know is that for almost 15 years, I struggled with an eating disorder. I’d flip flop back and forth from anorexia to bulimia. It got really bad. When I met Gene, I was at my lowest weight. At 5’9″, I weighed less than a hundred pounds. Size 0 clothes hung on me. It was bad. I had a choice: Fix the problem, or be hospitalized and fed through a tube. With Gene’s help, I fought. I fought hard. It was a long, hard battle, and I relapsed a lot. But, by the grace of God, I finally overcame it after Lucy was born. (Note: February is National Eating Disorder Awareness Month. I plan to post my entire story on February 1st.)
Now, here I am, at over 200 pounds. It makes me sick to look in a mirror. My maternity clothes have become my regular clothes, and I am disgusted with myself. I hate everything about the way I look. In all honestly, I am thankful that Parker is exclusively nursing. I could easily fall back into old habits. I fight myself every day, forcing myself to eat good, wholesome food so that Parker can get the nourishment that he needs. I have always been able to “flip the switch” on the eating disorder when it came to my kids. When Zander was a baby, I purged once and I felt so guilty about it that I never purged again while nursing. (I never purged while pregnant. Ever.)
So, I guess my problem is, how does a breastfeeding mom lose weight? Everything I’ve read says that a nursing mother must take in an extra 500 calories. But, everything also says that breastfeeding is a great way to lose weight. Apparently not after your fifth baby.
Weight watchers, Jenny Craig, and all of those won’t allow me to join because a) I’ve had an eating disorder and b) I’m breastfeeding. We live on a mountain (literally) and don’t have sidewalks. There’s no where I can walk without packing all 5 kids in the car and driving 20 minutes to the local park.
What is a breastfeeding mother supposed to do? How can I safely lose weight without hurting myself or depriving Parker from the nutrition he needs? How can I be so vain – even after all these years?
I’m a mom. I have battle wounds – stretch marks out the wazoo. I’m ok with that. I know that after 5 pregnancies, my body isn’t going to look the same. But the weight really bothers me. Why is that? Why can’t I look at my body and say, “I’ve given birth to 5 children. I have nothing to be ashamed of and everything to be proud of”? Why on earth is that so hard? How do I overcome this?