February 17, 2020 (Baby Weight Battles)

I’ve started making mom friends, despite my best efforts.

Generally at school and around town, I keep my head down. I don’t really go out of my way to talk to strangers. I’m just sort of a person who keeps to herself. In fact, I wear a hat a lot of times just so I can look down and avoid people’s eyes.

In the old days, I did that so I could hide from former clients or other people who knew me through my work.

Now I do it just so I just don’t have to talk to people.

But it is inevitable that you’ll start talking to people at the playground or at school or other places where the kids are brought together (birthday parties, events, games).

So I’ve started talking to other moms. They are all at varying stages of the mom journey. Some are on their last kid, and some are on their first.

All of us are getting older. And most of us (though not all) are struggling with the way our bodies look.

Not all of us have a lot of weight we want to lose. I feel like I am at a healthy weight, for example.

But it is the placement and location of the weight that I am not that happy about.

And I know from talking with all these mom friends that I am not alone.

I don’t think any woman should feel pressure to lose weight post-baby, so long as she is otherwise healthy and physical able to do what she needs to do. I wish magazines would stop posting these air brushed photos of celebrities in a bikini just weeks after giving birth.

For the normal human, there is little to no chance of recovering from a birth that quickly.

Not to mention that it is really likely that women who do lose tons of weight quickly are probably not nursing, as rapid and dramatic weight loss would be very likely to harm milk production (you have to eat to produce milk and you have to have enough body fat to produce milk).

I was talking to a mom last week who let it drop that she had started using some kind of diet pills to jump start her weight loss plan. I listened to her quietly, without telling her what I really thought, which was that I was worried about her use of the pills. Diet pills are a short term solution, to the extent that they are effective at all. Many pills are actually harmful.

Most people who use diet pills gain any weight they lose right back. My friend admitted that the pills only work for a few months, and then she has to find other ways to lose weight.

What, like diet and exercise?

What bothered me most was the pressure she must have been feeling about her weight to take what I consider the drastic step of buying and using legal drugs to help lose weight.

I was listening to a podcast this week in the financial independence genre. The guest was talking about how much easier it was to lose weight and keep it off after he quit his job. High stress jobs suck the energy out of you. We as parents understand this too. We expend all our energy on our children, so there is little left for us.

Discipline and will power require your energy. When you have no energy leftover after work/kids, you have no discipline, and no will power.

In the podcast, the man talked about how much easier it was to pass on fast food and make good choices at the grocery store when he stopped investing so much of his mental energy into his high stress job.

While I am working at home part time, I find this also to be true.

But when you are a parent who is also working, there’s no energy leftover.

So I get it, why my friend turned to diet pills to jump start her weight loss. I understand.

But it isn’t a long term solution at all. Each time we try to lose weight and fail, our confidence is shaken. We started to wonder whether it is really possible to lose weight, or to be happy with how we look.

The thing that gets me though is that we set ourselves up for this failure, for this harm to our confidence, by putting ourselves in a situation where we are likely to fail.

You are setting yourself up to fail at losing weight if you don’t make long term changes to your diet and physical activity, regardless of what your strategy for losing weight is (fasting, keto, pills, marathon training, etc). You can’t do anything for just a few weeks or even a few months and expect to succeed.

So, to all my friends out there who are feeling stuck in their mom/dad bods, I feel you. I’ve been there.

I also understand the struggle you have with being able to start a diet or exercise plan and stick to it.

Just remember! If you have kids and/or a demanding job, the cards are stacked up against you, because so much of your energy is diverted elsewhere. Keep this in mind when you are struggling. Eventually you won’t have small demanding children. Eventually you’ll get to a place where work isn’t so stressful. And a lot of this will become much easier.

And to my friend, who is taking diet pills…..I really hope you get the results you are looking for, and that you manage to make the changes you need to in order to keep that weight off.

Just know this–I think you are a beautiful woman right now, just the way you are. You have an amazing smile, and your positive energy and outlook on life shines right out of you. This won’t change when your butt gets smaller.

Read my digital journal for more about my life, my kids, and personal parenting struggles, located here: https://momadviceline.com/category/personal-parenting-journal-emilys-life/