Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Weighty Issue

how's that for a melodramatic title?

Several people have shown concern about my weight lately. People have been asking-some pretty rudely-if I am eating AT ALL (I know they are just concerned, but I really resent that implication) and telling me I'm just too skinny.

The thing is, this is a delicate topic. Would I like to gain five (maybe ten?) pounds? Yes. Do I feel like telling everyone I know that? No. It's just in a culture that is mostly concerned with loosing weight, I know that hearing me complain about a struggle/inability to gain weight is like a slap in the face to some people. I do NOT want to be insensitive. However.....

I know I don't look my best right now. I know my body would function better with a few extra pounds. I know I'd have more energy. I know it would be good for Ann Peyton. You don't have to tell me. Weight gain/loss/maintenance has been an interesting journey for me....

When I was in high school my mom still packed my lunch (yes, I was a bit spoiled). My lunch usually consisted of the following:
- one (or usually two) PB&J or turkey sandwiches
- one fruit
- one veggie
- chips/popcorn/other salty snack
- dessert
- one other "treat" my mom knew I liked (a boiled egg, Suddenly Salad, ect.)
Additionally, I would sometimes buy cheese sticks or another snack to accompany my lunch and I ate a snack during our morning break. People could not believe I ate so much and I know some of my "friends" really thought I barfed the lot of it. But this was when I was involved in competitive cheerleading and our coach liked to make us run suicides and do literally hundreds of crunches and about half that many push ups. I had to replenish my calories from somewhere! Around this time I could also eat a whole large pepperoni pizza (minus crust, of course) and top it off with some ice cream. And I never broke 100lbs. I was VERY active and I had a high metabolism.

As a side note: it's really hereditary. My dad's father and mother were 120lbs and 100lbs, respectively, on their wedding day (my mom shared this little tidbit when I was fretting about why in the world Ann Peyton was only in the third percentile).

In college, I didn't have near as big of an appetite. But I wasn't near as active, either. I still probably ate more than most of my friends, though, definitely as much. But when I made my debut (my sophomore year), rumors flew that I was anorexic (honestly, the Bulimia slander made more sense). That really hurt. It still kind of does.
Admittedly, I do look skinny. The bird neck is not a look I wear well. But struggling with an eating disorder? I was not.

The summer before this (the summer after my freshman year in college) I served as a missionary in Tahoe City, California. It was a good, life-changing experience (I'll do a post about it one day, I'm sure) but it was one of the (if not the) hardest things I've ever done in my life. I was terribly homesick and I lost a good bit of weight (5 to 10 pounds is a good bit, if you're around 95). It also didn't help that it was really the first time I'd ever had to cook for myself and that I got sick and no one felt like it would be okay for me to take it easy and rest for a day or two. It was a pretty rough patch on all fronts. The standing joke was that I needed to ride in a car seat in the huge van we used, because under California legislation, based on my weight, I was supposed to. Funny, kids. Anyway, I worked really hard to put the weight back on as soon as I got home.

I was very comfortable with my weight when Peyton and I got married. I really felt it was my ideal.
Then something happened....

called an Annie Baby. My pregnancy was the first time in my life I broke 100lbs. I ate ALOT of food and not always the best kinds (think entire rows of Oreos). But, I only ended up gaining between 25 and 30 pounds. I measured small, but of course, I felt huge. It really didn't bother me too much, though. I gestated a healthy baby and that was all that mattered.

I lost a lot of the baby weight really quickly, due mostly to breastfeeding, I think. This is where I began to have problems. My appetite was not as strong, but my need for calories was even greater (I think you need 300 extra when you're pregnant; 500 extra when you're breastfeeding).

I can still put away some food (ask ANYBODY who frequents our Grove tent and devotes more time to making fun of my consumption than to cheering on the Rebels). I guess I'm just not keeping up with Ann Peyton.

I know that I'm too sensitive, but people's remarks have really hurt me lately. I have even thought "maybe I have lost too much weight and I should stop nursing". I'm really glad I didn't let that thought stay too long.

So here it is: I would like to put on a few pounds. And I am trying. I think my health would benefit and I KNOW my looks would. But, I've had to realize something. I appreciate people's concern; I really do. But until my DOCTOR or my HUSBAND express similar concerns, I am going to continue to do what I believe is best for my daughter. It's worth a little judgement.


The Niemeyer Nest said...

Breastfeeding takes a lot of energy. I weigh about 5 pounds less than I did before Evie. However, I still need to firm up! I have noticed that it makes others feel better to comment - good or bad about others. Try not to let it get to you.

Mary Louis Quinn said...

You are just a small person naturally. Why don't people get that? I too have had several comments about being too thin since I have been back at work, and I am not...believe me (I have the post-pregnancy belly flab to prove it :) ). But since I'm nursing I think my face has thinned out and I do weigh a little less than I did before I got pregnant. And I think once people are used to seeing you with 25+ lbs during pregnancy, and you are all of a sudden small again afterwards, they have trouble remembering that you were that size to begin with. That run-on sentence probably didn't make much sense. All this to say, don't worry about what other people think. Although comments can be VERY annoying, you know you are healthy and your baby is healthy, and that's all that matters.

Allison said...

i mean, you're a small girl! i can't believe people are accusing you of an eating disorder. people just need something to complain about, and they look everywhere they can. it's just ridiculous. i'm in disbelief.