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Weighty Issues


When I got pregnant with Ben, I used it as an excuse to indulge in all of my favorite crappy foods. Cheese sticks, pizza, Steak -n- Shake, ice cream, McDonald’s, you name it, I ate it. And loved it.

In my defense, I was 20 and able to eat pretty much whatever I wanted anyway, so it wasn’t a stretch for me. What was a big surprise (to me anyway) was that I then gained about 70 odd pounds. I don’t really know the precise number because I eventually stopped looking at the scale go up when I’d go in for my weekly weigh-in’s torture sessions.

10 pounds of that was water weight (I was swollen like my pre-eclampsia sisters) because it was damn hot that summer, and 8 lbs was baby, but the rest? Fat. All fat.

For the first couple of months, I tried desperately to lose the weight: I joined a gym, ate better, you name it, I tried it. And the scale moved upwards again by about a pound. This was enough to throw me over the edge and I gave up. Eventually, my metabolism kicked in and I lost most of the pounds, and dieted away the rest of them.

Then my thyroid went wacky, but was undiagnosed, and again, I couldn’t lose the weight no matter how many hours I spent at the gym. In fact, the scale moved up again and I was beating my head against the wall trying to figure out what the hell was going on. Despite both of my parents having thyroid issues, it never dawned on me that I could have the same problem. Because I am brilliant.

By the time I got pregnant with Alex, several years later, my thyroid issues had been diagnosed (thank GOD I was suffering from an inability to get pregnant, or it would never have been picked up. Doctor’s don’t seem to be overly trusting of women who are “tired all the time” and “gain weight easily.” I’m altogether certain that my own doctor would have told me to “eat less” and “exercise more”–not bad advice, medically speaking, but I already WAS doing this) and I was down to what I weighed when I got pregnant with Ben.

Because I am (as previously mentioned) an idiot, I never thought to get an endocrinologist at this juncture, assuming that my OB would monitor this closely. Oh! how wrong I was, and Oh! how the pounds packed on no matter how often I was christening the porcelain god.

The thing is, when you’re either a) getting fatter or b) pregnant, people always assume it’s because you’re eating like a teenage boy. No matter how much you don’t eat or how well you do eat when you’re able to hold it down, people don’t believe you when you tell them what’s going on. They think you’re hitting up Krispy Kreme’s all day, every day. For example, when I was at one of my sicker points from about 6 to 9 weeks (I heart you hyperemesis! Can we be BFF?) I gained 11 pounds in 3 weeks.


I’m pretty sure that the only person who believed me was The Daver, because he knows that I wouldn’t lie about that stuff. If I was eating garbage, I’d have owned it. I have no reason to deny it to anyone else. I heart junk food, and would eat it more often if I could get away with it and still fit into my size 8’s. I loved him for that.

So again, after making a huge effort to eat well (although exercising was out of the question because at about week 10 into Alex’s pregnancy, my hips stopped, well, working and walking became excruciating) I found myself at the time of delivery at about exactly what I weighed with Ben, minus 10 or so pounds of water weight.

I resolved to breast feed those pounds off, just like La Leche League said I could! And nurse I did: 10, 12, 17, 20 hours a day, all while eating about 900 calories a day FROM DAY 1 POSTPARTUM. I joined a gym 6 weeks after he was born and went for at LEAST an hour a day 5 days a week. I wasn’t hungry, so I didn’t force myself to eat, and you can guess what happened to the scale, right? I gained 4 pounds.

I gained 4 pounds and my heart was shattered (to be fair, I had a bout of PPD issues that I was dealing with too and was sleeping very, very little.) I felt like a failure, like I was destined to be a fat chick for the rest of my life, and ended up crying my eyes out in the Gap when I went to buy non-elastic pants: I’d gone up 4 sizes since I last wore real pants.

All I wanted was some external validation from someone outside of my head to tell me that yeah, dude, this isn’t your fault, and I couldn’t seem to get anyone to tell me that.

My validation came many months later, in October of last year when I went into my OB’s office to have the PA look at my boob (not mastitis, it turns out, but a spider bite.) and she drew some labs to check my thyroid. Turns out where normal range is something like 0.4-2.0 (for people with previously diagnosed thyroid issues) and mine was….


Um….yeah. No wonder I wasn’t doing well, even though I was on Weight Watchers.

Since then, I have been in titrated treatments and have finally found a decent dose for me (although I need a repeat blood draw soon) and have lost 21 of the pounds I’d gained, and that coupled with a 16 pound loss after Alex was born, means I’ve lost….simple math, Becky, you can DO it, 37 pounds since last March.

I hit a plateau in Weight Watchers in November, so I went off it in January (because why fucking bother?) and lost a couple more pounds.

Last week, after 2 weeks of going to the gym 3-4 times a week, I started back on Weight Watchers, telling myself that if I didn’t lose even a pound in 3 weeks, that I wasn’t going to bother. The scale had to move in the right direction if I was going to measure every damn thing I put in my mouth, right?

Today was the first day that I had to weigh in, and I wasn’t expecting much to happen. I’d been working so damn hard for so damn long to see results go in the wrong direction, and that’s just so fucking discouraging.

After months of no real progress, I have now lost 2 pounds. In a week.

What’s interesting to me right now is how much better that makes me feel. It’s such a minor change, really, in the grand scheme of things. It’s not like I lost 20 pounds in a week (although that might be cool, too) and it’s not like I’m not aware that the first weigh-in is typically the one where you lose the most.

It’d be one thing if I’d gained the weight the old fashioned way (eating my brains out) and I would say things like I did after I had Ben, “Damn those cheese fries we’re easier to put down than to take off!” and feel like at least I enjoyed the hell out of eating like shit.

Remember how fun it was, Ashley?

Maybe I can get the rest of this weight off before Alex’s 15th birthday, right?

37 lbs down, 17 to go.

Now if I could only tell my body to remove some of this booby fat, I’d be thrilled. My enormous breasticles seem to be my children’s gift to me, but I want to exchange them for a slightly smaller size now. They’re ridiculous.


So what can buoy you out of the depths of despair and give you a sense that the Universe sometimes does really like you?

19 Comments to

“Weighty Issues”

  1. On April 30th, 2008 at 10:56 am Kyddryn Says:

    I don’t even try to be buoyed any more. I just muddle through until I either feel better about myself or find something else to be miserable about. Cheerful, me.

    I miss the gym – I was going, then stopped, then started, then stopped…it’s not so easy when you can’t bring the kid if he’s sick and then you get sick, and…excuses, excuses. I am actually planning to start again next week, because I actually LIKE going in and feeling my blood circulate out of my ass and into the rest of me. Also, in the last month or so I’ve only lost six of about 128 (exactly) pounds that I want off me, and it’s not going to go any faster without moving a bit.

    It goes on so easily…sigh. When I’m done with this process, I am certain I’ll look like I’ve been melted over high heat and will have to have pounds of excess yuck removed…and while I’m at it, why not get the old boobs a little perkier, right? Right? Hey, c’mon…it may be sad, but it’s one of the few things I can think of as a motivation for being in this process…because living to see my son hit puberty apparently isn’t enough.

    The Universe DOES like me, even when I don’t like it back. I know this because it’s a beautiful day (every day is beautiful, no matter what the weather – disgusting attitude, no?) and I notice it. Also, it gave me the Evil Genius, which makes up for every bit of hell I ever went through or will be going through, even when he’s a complete ass.

    Shade and Sweetwater,

  2. On April 30th, 2008 at 11:05 am Pauline Says:

    yeah, Becks!! I’m so happy for you. That’s awesome!

  3. On April 30th, 2008 at 11:15 am b Says:

    Congrats on the weight loss, and finding the right dosage of thyroid med!!! You’ll keep dropping it, those other pounds will be gone in no time. If you figure out how to get rid of booby fat..drop me a line. Mine are “ridiculous” too!!

  4. On April 30th, 2008 at 11:27 am Natalie Says:

    Good job!!!

    I know what you mean about needing to see at least a LITTLE change. I think that’s what killed me… I did everything right for weeks to get this weight off and the scale didn’t MOVE. I finally got pissed and gave up. Snort. Not that that’s going to help me at all…

  5. On April 30th, 2008 at 11:31 am Heather Says:

    Wow, you’re doing so well! So awesome. I am thinking about going back to WW myself… I am going to go and check out a meeting on Friday to see how much I hate the leader. I have this issue with hating leaders…

  6. On April 30th, 2008 at 11:44 am Ashley Says:

    That’s awesome dude. Good for you!! And the pregnancy days with Ben were our glory days I and will cherish them always…

  7. On April 30th, 2008 at 11:52 am Sara Says:

    I gained 60 pounds the first time around, and then put back on every pound of it I had lost with the second. Pregnancy weight sucks to lose.

    Congratulations on the 2 pounds! That is so exciting!

    And all you with boob fat issues? Let’s look into a transferal, because my kids thought that I should gift them, not the other way around!!!

  8. On April 30th, 2008 at 2:51 pm Karen Says:

    2 pound in a week is pretty freaking awesome.

  9. On April 30th, 2008 at 5:27 pm Five Husbands Says:

    Congratulations Becky – you continue to amaze me and I am one jaded chick.

  10. On April 30th, 2008 at 6:01 pm Ames Says:

    Congrats on the 2lbs, that is really awesome!

  11. On April 30th, 2008 at 8:07 pm magpie Says:

    Congratulations. I envy you.

  12. On May 1st, 2008 at 6:25 am heather Says:

    I always hear women talk about how when they lose weight the first place it comes off is there jubblies. Not for me. I just look even more top heavy and ridiculous. To be fair, my husband likes it. But he isn’t the one who has to wear them.

  13. On May 1st, 2008 at 12:28 pm birdpress Says:

    I’m still trying to get over the nauseating idea of a spider bite on the BOOB!

  14. On May 1st, 2008 at 6:59 pm Dolores Schwartz Says:

    I am thinking about going back to WW… I suck right now and I am in a rut… Maybe just maybe this is my year to shed about 100 pounds…. Yeah no kidding… I am huge man… One day I will get sick of being a tubby… HAHA… GO BECKY GO!!!

  15. On May 3rd, 2008 at 8:07 am Leslee Says:

    Congrats on the weight loss and thyroid stuffs.

    One of these days I’m actually gonna get off my lazy ass and use the work out shit I purchased when I was on my LOSE WEIGHT NOW kick. Heh. I gained 100 lbs with Alex and lost exactly 10 when he was born. I lost about 50 lbs when my ex-husband was in the ARMY, put some back on and then proceeded to lose it when we first seperated (for the last time). Now I’ve puffed back up and I just need to get my ass off the couch and put down the ice cream. o_O

  16. On May 3rd, 2008 at 1:19 pm pamajama Says:

    Every single day I feel better when my husband actually comes home. I’m not sure why he keeps it up, but he’s very regular:’)

  17. On May 5th, 2008 at 8:08 am MsPrufrock Says:

    Lucky biiiiitch! I hate myself enough that I never look in the mirror and have not been in a photo for months. I’d prefer years, but you can’t always control getting roped into photos.

    I’m glad you have found something that works for you, knowing how utterly depressing extra weight can be. The boob thing though, srsly, I’m so with you on that. I hate them. There’s a lot of hate in this comment, sorry.

  18. On May 19th, 2008 at 6:10 am Blogging: Not All Comments Are Welcome - MomGrind Says:

    […] Becky, whose blog Mommy Wants Vodka is SO FUNNY, and insightful, and thought-provoking, that I am just so grateful to Chris for including her in his blogroll and thus introducing her to me. When she asked What’s Writing Got To Do With It?, it made me think about the ever-present tension between writing for the sake of writing, and writing for other, less noble reasons. […]

  19. On June 13th, 2008 at 6:04 am Could MomGrind Use A Little Profanity? - MomGrind Says:

    […] A few fairly recent examples are these posts by Naomi Dunford, Heather B. Armstrog, Sweetney, Becky, Dave Navarro and Jenn […]

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