Like many other mothers, I gained weight over the course of pregnancy. My weight gain was practical, around fifteen pounds while baby grew, contently. Then, I delivered prematurely at 34 weeks. The stress of my baby’s two months stay in the NICU added another ten pounds. After my son died at 2 months old, my weight gain continued with another fifteen pounds. Now, I’m forty pounds overweight. My grief has become too large in my life and it has taken over my ability to make healthy decisions. I have become too large in my own life and I want to set a goal.
What has me down is my poor self-image. I always kinda strutted around the Earth, no matter if I was a size eight or a size fourteen. But, I don’t strut anymore. My grief weighs me down and I weigh me down. Around a month ago I noticed my stomach getting softer and my legs looking more dimply. It became more obvious when I had to commit to the next jean size up, size sixteen…which is a hard one for us women, for me, to admit. I have never been this heavy. I have never been this size.
This past nine or so weeks has been difficult, to say the least. I have the post-baby body and no baby to smile lovingly upon. I feel like strangers look at me and inwardly comment about my oversized legs and wide-ish butt and wonder why I can’t seem to get my act together. I wonder the same thing. I feel ashamed for feeling ashamed about my body when my heart is so very broken for my gone baby. Why does weight matter when something so devastating has happened? I think I have the beginning to an answer.
I am working through grief every single day. I am working to find me and my new normal. I am working at my marriage. I am working at being a presence in the lives of the other people I love. I am working at being a childless mother. All of this takes effort and I rarely seem to be able to follow through with any of it. I am beginning to acknowledge that the work in my life is even more challenging because I don’t recognize me in this body. Could physically eating more healthy help me feel better emotionally? The mind-body connection is very real and I believe in that, but that is true in normal circumstances. This is different. Me and my husband are enduring the unimaginable, the abnormal; the loss of our son. So, I’m curious if the tie between the two could ultimately be of help to me.
Forty pounds overweight. This number sounds insurmountable; might as well be one hundred. But, I do have a goal. I want to lost five pounds. Just five. I want to recognize myself again, I want to strut again, and I want to feel good again, even in a very small way. My hope is that by losing this five pounds, I can feel myself more clearly, grieve in a more meaningful way and rebuild some of the life that has been taken from me.
I need me to be strong and I need me to commit to this goal. Here goes everything.