Monday, August 11, 2008

My Plan

My ob/gyn and I have had a running joke since I was pregnant with Zoe. It would seem that I have found the "plan" that works best for me in my battle with losing weight: getting pregnant. Last month we touched on this again because as of that visit I had not gained a single pound for this pregnancy. In fact, since January of this year I've actually lost 40 pounds and for the most part I think it is directly from being pregnant and especially from being diagnosed with gestational diabetes.

Now don't get me wrong, I am not suggesting that if you want to lose weight you should go get pregnant - although I have joked that all I need to do is get pregnant about three more times and I'll be looking HAWT. I'm also not suggesting that being diagnosed with diabetes - gestational or otherwise is not something to take very, very seriously because it is. Actually, my diabetes and my concern for how it will affect me and my children has been a catalyst for my weight loss and change in eating habits.

I did great when I was pregnant with Zoe. I'd have to go back and look at my notes, but I think for my entire pregnancy with her I only gained 10 pounds and that was at the very end. My doc wasn't concerned because, lets face it - as long as I was getting the nutrients we both needed I didn't need to gain any more. I lost those 10 pounds and more almost right after Zoe was born. Part of it was the extra blood and placenta, and part of it was the breastfeeding. I was looking better than I had in years and feeling great... and smug. So smug that I started loading up on my carbs again. I made up for lost time and embraced my pastas, rice and sweets. I used breastfeeding as an excuse because I needed to keep my calorie intake up and continued to do so after I stopped breastfeeding.

And then in January I had my eye opening experience that I needed to lose the weight I had gained if I wanted to be able to keep up with Zoe and be happy with my appearance. I put myself on Weight Watchers and lost about 15 pounds. But that weight soon came back after a few set backs and I lost my momentum again - until May 1st when we found out Finn was on the way. Right away I cut back on my carbs because I knew that the chances I'd have gestational diabetes again would be very high and I wanted our baby to be healthy.

When I was officially diagnosed I got even more proactive about it and started monitoring my blood glucose levels. I've been eating breakfast, lunch and dinner and two to three snacks per day. I don't drink juice. I stay away from soda for the most part and drink tons of water and crystal light. My portions are smaller and more well rounded and I feel more full and nourished after my meals than I did when I'd wolf down a cheeseburger and fries. I feel healthy and proud of what I'm doing and I'm glad that I'm setting a good example for Zoe.

I'm told that if I'm able to continue losing weight the way I've been doing that Finn and I will be all the more healthier. As long as I get enough carbs and get all the nourishment and vitamins that Finn and I need to be healthy, there is absolutely no harm in losing weight. That said, losing weight right now is not my goal - it's just an added benefit. I don't weigh myself on a daily basis. The only time I step on a scale is when I'm at my doctor's or diabetic counselor's office. I do not obsess. I do not stress. I won't beat myself up if/when I gain weight. I just take care of myself and Finn with the tools that I was given upon learning about diabetes.

So, yeah.... I don't plan on getting pregnant three more times. What I do plan on doing is continuing to behave as if I live with diabetes after Finn has joined us. The fact is, if I don't monitor my carbs and make an effort to continue to lose weight I will end up with diabetes and I will face various health issues as I get older.

This is the plan that works for me -
Count carbs, not calories.
Listen to my stomach when deciding how much to eat, not my brain.
Don't skip meals.
Don't waste carbs on juice, drink a lot of water.
Have a supportive husband, friends and family.

Being diagnosed with gestational diabetes is never easy, it's a lot of work.... but I do think I am grateful for this diagnoses and I am grateful for what it has taught me. I feel like I am more in control of my health than I ever have been and I feel good about that.

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