It’s a bit of a taboo subject for a woman I think. In fact maybe for anyone. Struggling to gain weight? Really? Nah, surely you mean you are struggling to lose weight? You must have got that wrong.
Yes you did read it right. I do have issues with struggling to GAIN weight and it was something I wasn’t really sure about writing about. In fact I polled on my Insta stories to see what people thought. Moaning about struggling to gain weight is a bit like your gorgeous friend taking a million selfies and still saying they look ugly. You reassure them they look great but secretly want to punch them in the face. Those people are just annoying. I’ve been one of those people on the receiving end, so yes I know.
Struggling to Gain Weight
The thing is the struggle is my reality. And for all the people who say STFU moaning and roll their eyes, I don’t think they’d get away with doing that to someone who had a genuine issue losing weight or struggling to deal with their post partum body. Body positivity and acceptance is so strongly promoted on social media by so many influencers at present and that truly is great. It’s needed and makes us feel normal as mothers and as women. As long as you can include the skinny, minnies who are possibly at the other end of the scale!! But can you?
I seem to have the same pattern after my three babies. I get pregnant and obviously gain weight; around 10-12kg. I have my babies and begin the slow deflation process and the weight begins to fall off. It’s pretty steady and I’m often left with some weight to lose for a bit. Then something changes. I recover and I can go back to the gym. I up my training. I’m still breastfeeding. I’m busy. I’m solo parenting. I’m not always sitting down for long periods of time. Hitting 10-15k steps a day, depending on what we are doing. It’s hard to eat enough. It’s hard to breathe!!
Constant activity and increased training is obviously burning the calories and I lose my final baby weight and often a bit more. I said after the gremlin I didn’t want it to happen again and it did and it’s happening right now with the little man. My mum walked in recently and was like oh my god how slim are you? You’ve lost weight. I hear it. I hear it everytime.
The thing is I KNOW what I should be doing. I’m a dietitian. I’ve given healthy nutrition support advice a million times. I know what to do. Increased snacks. Fortify food. Bigger portions. Eat more after training. Up the protein. Plenty of carbs. I KNOW! But I just don’t do it.
Its funny. I spoke to a dietitian on the phone recently for another piece of work and she asked me if I would ever see a dietitian, being one myself when I told her about how I struggle after my babies. I said yes probably and she agreed it was a useful thing to do.
I Know What To Do
I know for me the struggle is time and preparation. I always think if I didn’t have children I would be one of those people meal prepping all the time and training. And I know I would be heavier. Half the time we run out of snacks for the kids. I know the issue is having a small baby who is completely insane and pretty much is into everything. If I leave him for longer then five minutes, he will have climbed and hurt himself. His nap times (and they are short) are taken up with tidying, working or playing with Piglet if she is home with me.
I could be making healthy snacks in that time; small meals, energy balls, flapjacks, protein balls, anything really! But at the moment, that time isn’t there, so I’m grabbing whatever I can to snack; fruit, nuts, toast and peanut butter, scones, anything in my cupboard.
I do think there is an element of control in there. I’m a dietitian. I tell people to eat healthily, watch their portion sizes and not over eat. Once you get in that mindset it is hard to get out of it. It is hard to eat more. I don’t like feeling overly full and uncomfortable. I hate feeling sick from eating too much, so I don’t. It’s a bit of a vicious circle.
I’m sure one day I’ll laugh at this post, when I get older and I go the opposite way but for now this is my reality. Rushing around, training and eating when I can.
I’m sure when I have a little more time, possibly when the little man can be left to his own devices a little more, I will have the headspace to meal prep a little more, to consider healthy snacks and to find a happy medium.
It’s just how it is now and I’m sure a reality for many other ladies too. So I’ll continue to support the body positivity movement over social media but I’ll be supporting all, even those who struggle to keep their weight on.