But I Had 5 Kids :: Making Excuses for My Weight

When you finally establish care with a primary care doctor who’s NOT your OBGYN, and the convo goes a little something like this:

Dr: “And, let’s talk about your weight. How do you feel about it?”

Me: “Well, I’ve had 5 kids in 7 years, so….” {waits for an understanding nod}

Dr: {waits for a legitimate excuse}

{awkward staring contest ensues}

Me: “Ummm, but, yea, I could definitely lose some weight though.”

Real Talk

I, unfortunately, was one of those first-time preggers girls who used the belly as my excuse to eat whatever I wanted. Want a second helping? Oh, it’s for the baby! Feeling that rumble in my tummy? Need to eat the chocolate bar I was craving. Two scoops or three? Is that even a real question?! I played that pregnancy card like no other when it came to food, and I enjoyed doing so. But once the pregnancy was over, the cravings left but the weight stayed…and lingered.

I gained 70+ pounds during my first pregnancy. The typical 20-25 lbs. disappeared shortly after, but most of it stayed. Then, we got pregnant so quickly for number 2 that I never really had time to lose weight from the first pregnancy. Now, I was a little smarter the next go-around. But, I still succumbed to my cravings and still used the bump as an ultimate excuse to feed my baby.

My husband and I knew we wanted a third and even a fourth (we’ll call the fifth a happy, quarantined surprise), so I never really was able to convince myself to put in the time and effort to lose the weight because not all mothers can lose the weight easily. What was the point of all that hard work if it was all going to come back again? The reality, though, was even if I knew more babies were in my future, I should have maintained healthy habits for future healthy pregnancies. It was just really hard to get on board with dieting in between pregnancies when I already had so much practice in developing a bad habit under my belt (and hanging over it). I got comfortable, therefore, I became stagnant convincing myself that once I was done for good, then I would diet. Yea, suuuuuure.

Denying the truth doesn’t change the facts.

This mentality stayed with me post-partum. My denial wasn’t immediate. It slowly crept into my head. It took on several forms:

“Oh, I JUST had a baby; I’ll give it some time” – a perfectly acceptable and logical reason to not feel bad about my weight while in my post-partum phase.

“Oh, I’m nursing, so I need to take in more calories.” – another reasonable justification but a gateway to potentially forming a dangerous habit.

“Oh I just had a baby 6 months ago.” – denial.

“Oh, I just had a baby a year ago.”—more denial.

“Oh, I had 5 babies in 7 years.” – if you looked up my Life360 location it would be in DENIAL.

Enough is enough!

Here I am, exactly two years later since my fifth (and final) baby, yet I’m still weighing in just as I did five babies ago. I guess you could say I got too comfortable and allowed years of preggo-cards to make me feel better when really I wasn’t doing better. If I’m not going to show up for myself, who else will? If I’m not going to take care of myself, who else will? If I’m not going to set healthy standards for my family and for myself, who else will? A very simple question with a deafening impact from my doctor is what finally kicked my lazy self into gear. My husband understood that I had five babies; my friends seemed to understand; my coworkers understood and were supportive; but, the health professional did not, and her response (or lack thereof) was exactly what I needed. Her silence was proof that everything I was stumbling to say regarding my weight was not acceptable. Her pause to wait for a suitable excuse was clear that there wasn’t one and that she was not going to tip-toe around my feelings even if I wasn’t going to like what she had to say.

Let’s face it. Kids take so much from us mothers already, especially our bodies, but why not give this back to ourselves? Don’t get comfortable with change when the change is ultimately a detriment to your physical and mental health. Put in the work now to reap motherhood’s benefits for the long term. Don’t let motherhood convince you this is how you’re supposed to look and feel. Don’t let motherhood be the reason you don’t like any part of yourself. Show your kids and yourself that you have the power to change bad habits into good ones and that only you can control how you look and feel!

We can do this!

Wife to my high school sweetheart, Ross, and mother to 5 children: Trip, Conner, McKenzie, Piper, and Sutton, I am a born and raised Southern Louisiana Lady. I am a graduate of Mt. Carmel Academy, received my Bachelor’s in English with a concentration in Secondary Ed. from LSU followed by my Master’s of Education from UNO, and for the past 15 years, I have been outwitting high school boys as an English teacher at Holy Cross School. When I’m not grading papers, driving to baseball practices, or making grocery runs, I can be found cheering on my LSU Tigers, cutting up with my girlfriends, and attempting DIY projects around the home. I’m all about sippin’ some wine during the sunset while the kiddos play in the yard and the hubby works the grill. I’m living my best mommy life these days and am always happy to share the journey with others!

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