Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Weight and See


Couple of interesting conversations going on about weight loss and body image and vanity going on at Betty Beguiles' place and Betty Duffy's and Bearing's.

I've been losing weight lately, mostly through the expedient of eating less. No snacking after dinner, light breakfast, etc. I don't have the time to squeeze in lots of exercise right now, but there's no opportunity cost to not stuffing your face. It has not yet ceased to amaze me that my figure is still there and still recoverable. There is probably an element of vanity here; I concur wholly with Bearing when she says:

Yes, yes, we're all supposed to pay lip service to "health" as the reason to become physically fit and lose weight and all that sort of thing. I've done it myself. But admit it people.

You (yes, you) want to have a hot body.

Yes, I want to look good. I don't want to look "hot" for anyone but Darwin (and I do mean that), but yes, for him, I'm not averse to being a siren, sure.

As I've lost weight, my ten-month-old has stopped gaining weight. This is likely unrelated to my weight loss, as even stuffing her with pureed turkey and chicken and potatoes and rice cereal for a month hasn't fattened her up; she stays resolutely petite, though her hair has gotten very thick and she's added a few more teeth. She's exceedingly healthy, all fourteen pounds of her. But when, at her last weight check, the doctor suggested supplementing with formula and theorized that perhaps my milk wasn't providing enough nutrition for baby, I had to consider -- would I want more nutritious milk at the price of regaining weight, especially when the baby is getting older and going to be eating solids more and more? And I don't know the answer. It's not as if I'm her only food source. She nurses more for comfort these days than for nourishment (especially if it's right after a filling meal of yogurt and chicken and "tender pureed green beans").

I haven't parsed all this in my mind yet, let alone figure out where health and vanity start butting heads. I will say, though: I've been amazed (and that's not too strong a word) to see contours of my body I'd forgotten I had reappear, as if there's a whole new healthy self emerging. Vanity, perhaps, but also wonder and delight at the thought that this is ME! And that's not to be lightly brushed off -- God made my body, and it is good.

6 comments:

AmyRobynne said...

I have a 9.5 month old (baby #3) and unlike my earlier pregnancies, my weight hasn't fallen off before hitting the 9-months-on-9-months-off timing. I gained less and started lower this time, too. I'm actually up about 5 lbs from where I was 1 week postpartum (which was 5-7 lbs over my starting weight). I'm not really exercising and eating over-much so I'm not surprised, although somewhat disappointed.

I'm never sure if I using breastfeeding as an excuse to eat or if being the primary sustenance for my child really is the reason I keep eating and I need it. My son is 18.5 lbs, which is considerably lighter than either of his brothers were at this age. He's just now beginning to want solids, crawling, pulling up, and getting teeth. Over the next couple months, I hope to be outside walking and biking (since it's FINALLY nice in MN) and giving him more solids, so I guess I'll see whether my weight drops as he becomes more independent.

bearing said...

"There's no opportunity cost to not stuffing your face."

ROFL. Yes there is. The opportunity cost to not stuffing your face is stuffing your face.

Of course when you put it that way, instead of phrasing it as a billboard-sized photo of a delicious bacon cheeseburger, it doesn't sound so good...

Dobrovits Family said...

Have your other babies been petite but exceptionally active and healthy?? Is she spending all day cruising around the furniture and chasing older siblings?

If so, chalk it up to genetics and lots of movement and carry on...

If not, consider adding some good fats (avocado, olive oil, etc. ) to HER food and yours (ie mix olive oil into the green beans, spread avocado on toast for her to gnaw).... Also, I don't know if she has started skipping her early morning nursing, but that 5 or 6am feeding is critical for getting calories into her before the busy day begins and keeps telling your pituitary gland that baby is still little and needs you to make lots of milk...

Also this long leisurely half -asleep feeding helps make up for the shortened nursings that happen at this age due to distractibility and baby working on physical milestones...

Just a few thoughts from a mom of 6 ( and 15 year LLL Leader) who has very tall skinny children...

Although my 17 yo is now 230 lb at 6 ft 3... He is a lacrosse defenseman and covers the net just by standing in front of it!

Carla
www.bringinghenryhome.blogspot.com

Gail F said...

I don't see why your milk wouldn't provide enough nutrition, unless you were actually malnourished. I am not a lactation consultant or anything, but from my understanding of breast feeding, the baby gets what he/she needs at the expense of the mother, if need be. If you are getting a healthy diet you should both be fine, especially if she is eating lots of solid food. Doctors say stuff like that so they sound as if they have an answer -- IMHO! Some kids are just small.

Jenny said...

I can't remember how much my oldest weighed at 10mo, but I do know she didn't weigh 20lb until she was 18mo. She is now at the ripe old age of 5 years and 8 months and weighs a grand total of 34 pounds. She is very active and healthy, but doesn't have a huge appetite and remains quite petite. It is hard not to worry about her, but I think she is just a small kid. Now my own 10mo boy seems huge in comparison to my girls. He is already over 20lbs.

And one of the best benefits of breastfeeding is looking better than I did in college and still eating dessert most every day! If that's "selfish," I guess I am. :)

Jamie said...

It's always a little dicey leaving unsolicited breastfeeding advice, so feel free to delete this comment with snorts of exasperation. That said--

Rapid weight loss shouldn't affect the quality of your milk, but it can affect your milk supply. Weight loss of about a pound per week is usually compatible with breastfeeding. As you probably already know, dwindling supply can be a self-perpetuating spiral: she nurses less because you have less milk, and then you make less milk because she's nursing less. There are some fairly painless things you could try if you were interested: offering more often, even for quickie two-minute feeds; brief breast massage before feedings, and breast compression during them.

Another thought is to look again at the calorie density of the solids she's eating. Green beans offer bulk without many calories, as do rice cereal, crackers, and other popular baby foods. Does she like avocado? It's a great food for slow-gaining babies.

Good luck sorting it all out!