Fact or Fiction
“Oh, we call that your fighting weight,” my dietician Gretchen said to me during a session about six months into treatment when I was trying to explain to her “that feeling.”
“My body just feels right”, I told her, “I feel strong, fit and tight and I know exactly what the scale will read.” What Gretchen was helping me to understand was not only was I starving my body, I was starving my brain, and my fighting weight was nowhere near my healthy weight.
But even years before anorexia, Gretchen, or, the term “fighting weight” were a thing in my life, it was exactly the feeling I was striving for, especially after having the baby, (anyone who has given birth knows ” fit” and “tight” are not exactly the words that describe a post-partum body). I felt fat and I had no intention of staying that way. I had read some random statistic, probably in People magazine, which reported that any weight a woman still carried six months after giving birth would most likely stick with her for life. Oh hell no .I gave myself twelve weeks of maternity leave to get back to my pre-Dylan weight. My goal was to sail back into the office sporting my favorite pair of black Gianni flat front pants (I believed pleats accentuated my stomach) looking and feeling like I hadn’t just birthed an adorable little human.
I’ve been wracking my brain on this and I cannot remember my eating habits during this time. Weird. By and large, I can recall my eating habits and behaviors in specific detail at any point in my life. My guess is that I still had a healthy, nourished brain that realized food restriction while nursing was not good for me or the baby. Exercise though, THAT I remember. After the initial “WTF have I done” new parent panic wore off, I bought a baby jogger and Dylan and I went on long walks every day up the steep hills in the neighborhood, our dog Zoey trotting happily along. In addition, a few years earlier, I had purchased an at home exercise program called THE FIRM which I dusted off and diligently worked to step, strengthen and tone the weight away with Dylan watching from his swing, legs kicking in encouragement. Then there was my mom. The woman was chomping at the bit to spend any time she could with Dylan. She would pop in daily, casually plop herself
on my couch saying,” I was in the neighborhood and thought you might want some time to yourself, so go on.” Time to myself mostly entailed hitting the recreation center for some treadmill time. I had no excuse. Okay, I had just had a baby which of course I realize now was the best excuse but back then I didn’t see it that way. I wasn’t working (outside the home anyway), I had willing/persistent child care and I had a lot of weight to lose. Not to take advantage of that made me feel lazy. There's that word again "feel". Was I fat or did I just feel fat? Was I lazy or did I just feel lazy? Those feelings, I'd come to find out were a force to be reckoned with.