Growing up, I was an overweight kid. I mean, OVERWEIGHT! Let's put it this way, I weighed more in the third grade than I did before I got pregnant. In fact, the school nurse had a meeting with my mom about it. I remember hearing them in the other room and the conversation went like this:
Nurse: Mrs. Balagtas, Bernadette is in poor health. She has problems breathing.
My Mom: Burnuhdet kin REED!!!
Nurse: Not READ, BREATHE.
My Mom: Ooooh...
Throughout my life I've struggled with my weight and right now isn't any different.
I gained 38 lbs. while I was pregnant with my baby. After she was born, I lost 19 lbs. by my 6 week check-up. "This is going to be a cinch to lose!",...so I thought. I breastfed and heard of all the encouraging stories of women who lost their baby weight all because of breastfeeding. This was certainly not the case for me. I gave myself a break. A very good friend of mine said, "It took 9 months to put on so it should take 9 months to take off." Amen to that!!! So I have 9 whole months?! This is going to be a piece of cake. In the famous words of Rob Schneider in every Adam Sandler movie "Yu kin doo eeet!" Unfortunately, 9 months came and went. Hello 19 lbs. So then I gave myself an extension. Okay, by her 1st birthday...Still there. So then I gave myself ANOTHER extension. Okay, by MY birthday! I learned very quickly that the worst kind of promises to break, are the ones we make to ourselves. I felt very defeated.
I never realized how unhappy I really was until one day my daughter was staring at an engagement picture of me and I said to her, "See, that's skinny mommy." And my daughter looked at me confused like, "What are you talking about lady?!" I felt so embarrassed. Here I was, telling my daughter that in some way THAT mommy is better just because she is skinny. Okay, she probably didn't interpret it that way but that's what I felt at the moment. I knew right then I had to do something different. Immediately after my birthday I made a promise to myself not to LOSE weight but just to be healthier. If weight-loss came along with it, great, but I didn't want that to be my main focus.
Working out was an issue because I always had my daughter with me so I got a jogging stroller. My husband has also been very supportive with watching her so I can make regular trips to the gym. I have improved my eating habits. Don't get me wrong, I have a treat every now and again (especially with Halloween candy everywhere) but I try not to deprive myself to the point of misery.
Here's the ironic part, after all of the exercise I GAINED weight. When I stepped on the scale, it didn't even bother me that I went up 2 lbs. I knew I was doing what was right for my body and I was okay. My clothes fit better and I FELT better. I want my daughter to grow up and learn healthy habits from "happy" mommy, which is who I am today.