Breaking Point to Finally Get Healthy – Guest Post
Today’s guest post, “My Breaking Point to Finally Get Healthy” is part two of Emily’s story. As part of our commitment to motivate and inspire moms to prioritize their health, we’re sharing stories from real moms. If you missed Emily’s first guest post, click here to catch up.
written by Emily, wife and mother
They lie to you. All those baby books and parenting websites, they all lie. They all say that nursing your babies is the best way to get the weight off after a pregnancy. Even the celebrity moms seem to prove how easy it is. The supermodels with their bellies tightly toned just weeks after birth, they laugh in their interviews and say, “It was so easy! It was the breastfeeding, it’s so weird, I nurse this baby and the weight just falls right off!”
I have never been hungrier in my life than when I was nursing my babies. Nothing would satisfy and I thought about food constantly. The only thing that almost worked to fill the void in my stomach was oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, lots and lots of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. I would make a large batch every couple of days, sometimes just eating the dough because I couldn’t wait for them to be cooked (plus everyone knows cookie dough just tastes better anyway, right?). Looking back and knowing what I know now about nutrition, I can see exactly what my body was begging for and what choices I could have made differently, but in the moment all I knew was that I needed to make more cookies. And I certainly wasn’t losing any of the baby weight!
One morning when my youngest baby was about a year old, I woke up and had a shower, just like usual. I came into my bedroom to get dressed, just like usual. I always stopped the same place to drop my towel, right in front of my closet, which unfortunately also was right in front of my full-length mirror, one of those cheap mirrors that comes with hooks that you can hang over your closet door. That morning I caught a glimpse of my body one year after baby, and that one view was enough. Before I realized what I was doing I had pulled the mirror off the door and held it tightly in both hands. I was going to break it, I realized. I wanted to break it so badly so I would never have to see that again! Instead I slowly and carefully set it down, and later I moved it to another room. I now had to go out of my way to use it, no more accidental views of what I didn’t want to see.
I don’t know about you, but I really don’t think it’s normal to find yourself that out of control, ready to destroy something just because you didn’t like what it showed you about yourself. This incident scared me, but it also made me realize that I needed to change, and I needed to change right now. No more waiting, no more excuses, I simply couldn’t continue feeling this way about myself. That was my breaking point to finally get healthy.
I also realized that if I was going to fix this, I needed a plan. I couldn’t just say, “Oh, I’ll do better!” and hope for changes, I needed a concrete plan full of action items, things I could cross off a list.
I had a few exercise DVDs that I had collected over the years and I decided to wake up before my kids each morning and do one of those DVDs five days a week. I also hid my favorite cookie recipe and decided to do a total food overhaul. I had no idea where to start, so I decided to start at the library. I checked out book after book after book on health and nutrition, soaking up everything I could learn about food and how it affects our bodies. The more I read the more I realized that I didn’t want to eat processed food any more. I found out so many things about what is done to our food in factories and laboratories, and I didn’t want those things going in to my body. I started to slowly eliminate processed food from our house, and it wasn’t long before my body began to change, too.
To be continued…
*Note from Fit for Expecting: This story is from Emily’s perspective and in her case breastfeeding on its own did not help her lose weight after pregnancy. Breastfeeding can help women lose weight, but it doesn’t always happen and if it does, it’s often because of a combination of factors. Several factors contribute to whether or not a nursing mom loses weight, including but not limited to: weight gained during pregnancy, genetics, lifestyle (diet and exercise) and certain medical conditions.
If you have questions about breastfeeding and exercise, read this.