The Mom Body Image Roller Coaster

The Mom Body Image Roller Coaster.

I’ve struggled with depression for many years. And with it my weight.

And of course pregnancy and motherhood brings on a whole new level of mental and physical challenges.

Back in 2005 when my husband and I were trying to conceive our first child (for a year) my sadness crept in and my weight crept up. We finally sought fertility treatments and thanks to IUI, I conceived Ronin (now almost 5). I absolutely weighed more than I wanted to at that point, close to 200 lbs.

I’m 5’8″ and my ideal weight is around 150-160, a perfect size 10. I’ll never be a size 2 and that’s OK with me.

With my first pregnancy, I gained somewhere in the vicinity of 60 to 70 lbs. I truly stopped counting I was so disappointed in myself. After Ronin’s birth I was right around 230 lbs and lost my confidence. Its not about a number, but more about the way I felt.

Ends up part of the weight issue was related to my antidepressant medication. I changed from one med to another and lost 20lbs in less than a month. It was just THAT medicine.

This was just prior to trying to conceive again. With Ellie I was on a better medication and they discovered I had pregnancy-induced hypothyroidism. With the combination of taking synthroid and healthy eating (I ate A LOT of Dairy Queen during pregnancy #1), I only gained 12 lbs. Again, it wasn’t about the number. I was already overweight and didn’t need to gain very much. It was about how I felt, which was much better at 40 weeks pregnant and 212 lbs.

Ellie is now 2 1/2. My weight went down a bit post pregnancy but then started creeping back up again after another change of meds and bouts of postpartum depression and mania.

On the Left: May 20, 2012
On the Right: August 10, 2012

On May 20 of this year I attended the Seattle Mom Prom, a fabulous charity “girls night out” to benefit Postpartum Support International of WA. I stuffed myself into my prom dress and did have a good time, but when I saw the “prom photos” I felt so sad. I didn’t look or feel the way I wanted. I had been struggling emotionally and physically for several months. And seeing those pictures (and talking with a good friend Julie) helped me commit to making a change.

On May 21st I weighed 193 lbs and started a new diet with my husband and some good friends. Today is August 30 and I’m down 25.6 lbs to 167.4. Again, its not specifically about a number. Its more the way I feel.

I’ve gained more confidence.

I’ve had a wonderful support system and bond with my husband and friends as we take this journey TOGETHER.

I’m more motivated. The house chores are getting done more often. I’m actually blogging.

I’m happier. I’m not dreading the sun rise anymore.

And my husband has been bragging about me, how happy and motivated I’ve been, and the way I look too. That feels really good.

I’ve even been able to go through old boxes of pre-kid clothes and find things that fit me again! Score!

This week I also had the chance to attend a local Lee Jeans “Find Your Fit” Style Party in the Seattle area. This was especially exciting for me right now because of the weight loss. When I started losing weight in May I was a size 16 and just recently I’ve been fitting into size 12! It was a lot of fun talking to the Lee Stylist and trying on several pairs of Lee’s Fall Line of jeans. I ended up with a Size 12 “Perfect Fit Mila Boot Cut” jean in dark denim. They have this awesome mesh lift and shape panel around the tummy.

What do you think of my new jeans?

 

At the Lee Style Party: August 27, 2012

In a future post I’ll share a bit more with you about exactly how my husband and I have lost the weight. I’ve had several friends asking for details and I’ve been sharing info and links privately. But I figure, its working for me, and might work for you. So I’m happy to share.  :) (Click HERE for my post about HOW we lost the weight.)

Oh and a little style tip I learned from the Lee Stylist. Gold is IN for Fall. Gold jewelry, gold accessories, bags, purses, shoes, whatever. She said to go for gold!

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About Cristi Comes

Mom. Wife. Writer. Advocate for mental health, suicide prevention, self care, self image and style. Technology and social media lover. Board of Directors, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Washington State Chapter. Warrior Mom Editorial Leadership Team Postpartum Progress.

Comments

  1. You look gorgeous! I am right there with ya. Between babies, depression and meds to help that depression my body is not what I want it to be. I trying weaning off my meds and trying to focus on healthy eating and lifestyle.

    I would love to read about what you have done and see if I can incorporate any of it into my life.!
    Jenn@Fox in the City recently posted..NormalMy Profile

  2. You look great! And not because you’ve lost weight – though you do look fab – but because you look happy. And that makes me happy :)
    Robin | Farewell, Stranger recently posted..Grace in Small Things: #7My Profile

  3. It sounds like we have a lot in common. I was diagnosed with depression about 4 years ago now. I went on an AD and started feeling better. A year ago, I thought I could go off of it but fell down that same pit of despair. I am now back on the meds and will never go off of them. (I learned my lesson.) In February I weighed in at 176, an all time high for me. I decided to try a weight loss program (ViSalus) and started seeing the weight loss come off. I am now at 157 and my goal is 145. I also feel better…curious as to if you are doing ViSalus.

    It was great meeting you at the Lee Jeans event. I so enjoy meeting local bloggers. Congrats on your weight loss! You look great in your new Lee Jeans!
    Tammy recently posted..Weekend Wrap Up – Football, Latte’s, A Nap and Cleaning!My Profile

    • I’m so glad ViSalus is working for you. I actually briefly tried the shakes earlier in the year but it wasn’t for me. We’ve been doing Dukan Diet. I need to post about it soon but got distracted by suicide prevention week. Next week for sure! Great meeting you too!

  4. Man! I can’t believe it took me so long to jump into this mom/ blog world! All those years I felt SO ALONE… what a WASTE. Just knowing that there are others (and LOTS of others) out there struggling with similar issues and SHARING their struggles. When my first son was born I was working at a job that made me want to kill myself (I’m not exaggerating. I wrote about it here: http://www.quackbaby.com/7/post/2011/10/the-anger.html) and I lost the baby weight right away. People would say “how do you look so good?” and I would say, “um, the stress?” Like you said, it wasn’t about the number, it was about how I felt. With my second son, the pounds just stuck and I found myself identifying as an overweight, out of work, totally worthless piece of shit. In any case, thanks for sharing your story and I look forward to becoming a regular at your site!

  5. Morgann
    Twitter: Glitteringrey
    says:

    Hi Cristi, we have a lot in common! My first pregnancy gave me the gift of hypothyroidism (awesome!) and third left me w/ depression. I was always able to shed the weight from each pregnancy before the next, but I’m nowhere near where I want to be. Depression under control (though I’ll be calling my dr about the meds on monday….maybe thats why I’ve gained 10 lbs in 6 mos?? But…I suck it up, and as I tell my clients, you have to dress the body you HAVE. Whether you like it or not, it’s yours. You have the power to change it, but for now, look and feel the best you can with what you’ve got.
    xoMorgann
    I look forward to the guest post! Lets aim for July?
    Morgann recently posted..How to Score The Best Deals @ Nordstrom RackMy Profile

    • You know, the meds could definitely affect your weight. But you’re right, we do have to dress the body we have now and try to feel good in our own skin. Btw, you look great! And looking forward to your guest post. July is great. :)

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  1. [...] recently shared with you my struggles with weight, body image and self image in the The Mom Body Image Roller Coaster. And in that post I promised to give you a bit more info about how my husband and I and some [...]

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  7. [...] (and mental health) when I started my Dukan Diet. It was the day that I took control of my own body image roller coaster that I had been on since having kids. The postpartum period was difficult for me but last [...]

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