I patiently wait for the scale to settle on my weight for the day. The “beep” signals that the verdict is in. Jansen is immediately ON IT. “Mama, what are your numbers? My numbers were 4-3!”
I only weigh myself every day because Jansen is so infatuated with numbers. He loves to ponder the relationship between two numbers. Which number is higher, which one is lower, so by his calculation, I win every morning. My number is always (quite a bit) higher than this 43 lbs.
To me, though, it doesn’t matter what the scale says after the long-awaited “beep”. Some mornings the number is “high” (for me): 154, other mornings I must be dehydrated and I get 151 flashing back at me. Regardless of the number, I am comfortable in my own skin.
I feel that being a mother of four comes with a certain amount of flab, lose skin and areas where gravity won a brave fight.
I look at myself in the mirror before I get dressed. Yes, I see faded tattoos (maybe I should do something about them), there are surgical scars – or rather a crooked “baby exit door” (c-section scar), skin cancer removals (I lost count of how many) and a few other nicks and dings.
But beneath the sun spots, freckles and stretch marks lies a canvas ready for another chapter.
Reclaiming My Body
2017 is the first time in 12 years that I will not be pregnant or breastfeeding at some point during our trip around the sun. This is the year for me to reclaim my body!
I am not talking about making drastic changes, but finally I don’t have to nourish another living being with my body. I don’t have to grow a human, feed a human – the only thing I have to do is keep my body running so I can be present for those four little lives I grew and nourished.
This, to me is incredibly powerful – and it is why I signed up for a membership with Jenny Craig.
I have never *really* dieted before. Well once, I signed up for Weight Watchers. I started getting their emails and after 4 meals of counting, losing count and then forgetting to count, I gave up!
However, my Jenny Craig membership comes with an instant friend (although they call them Weight Loss Consultants). They already sent me three weeks worth of food, so there is ZERO thinking in it for me. I just have to eat and be happy… and then try to stay away from temptation!
The Starting Point
When I met my husband, 12 years ago, I was thin as a waif. The only reason why I didn’t fit in a size 0 was because of my long legs… now I wouldn’t even be able to squeeze one ankle in a pair of size 2 jeans – and that’s OK.
With each pregnancy I gained 70 lbs (at least), and that was OK too. When you marry a freakishly tall man, you end up with freakishly large babies. Our smallest weighed 9 lbs 1 oz and the largest weighed 11 lbs 5 oz, so those 70 lbs of cookies, cakes, hot chocolate and mac & cheese were put to good use.
After each pregnancy, I lost A LOT of weight, but never quite all 70 lbs, there was always that last 10 lingering lbs, just sitting there on my hips, stomach and butt… taunting me. So when you do the math… it only makes sense that I am 40 lbs heavier now than when we started dating.
I had an initial phone consultation with my new friend at Jenny Craig. She asked me a list of questions to make sure that I was fit for the program. Sure enough, I passed with flying colors. Ha ha ha – perhaps an accomplishment I shouldn’t be so proud of.
My new BFF told me that I can expect to lose 1 – 2 pounds per week, which is a healthy range of weight loss.
One of her questions was: “what is your target weight?” and it made me stop and think. In this journey to reclaim my body, I never really quantified my goal.
In this situation the numbers don’t matter to me, the number that Jansen compares to his 43 lbs every morning will always be higher than his and it will also ALWAYS be higher than what the pre-kids-Tove weighed – and that’s exactly the way it’s supposed to be.
After four large pregnancies, I have Diastasis Recti (a separation of the stomach muscles), which is why I have larger belly than before. I have for a long time wanted to do something about it, but it will take regimented and targeted exercises and weight loss to achieve my goal – and 2017 is when I will reach my goal.
However, I did have one measure of success, one way to know when enough weight loss is enough. The Jenny Craig consultant waited patiently for me to formulate my answer.
I told her that my goal is: “to no longer have to suck in my gut when I talk to people! When people no longer think I am pregnant – THAT’s when we are done here!”
I am not sure what she put on her form, I am sure the words “suck in my gut” weren’t part of it – but at least she got the picture that numbers aren’t my measure of success.
On My Way To Becoming A Healthy Mom
I am right now a few days into my diet and I am thrilled to report that I am not constantly hungry. However, I have noticed how much brain-less snacking I used to do. I walk by cookies, the kids’ leftover lunch and crackers and I realize that I used to just grab it – and EAT IT, never realizing that all those calories add up.
Friday mornings is when Debi (my Jenny Craig Weight Loss Consultant) and I will talk. (The company offers a very convenient “Jenny Craig Anywhere” program for people who live far from a Jenny Craig Center.) I look forward to getting more weight loss tips and sharing my numbers with her. It’s pretty cool having your own personal cheerleader in your corner of the ring.
Mark my words, by summer 2017 I will no longer have to hide my belly or suck in my gut when I talk to people. I will be a healthy mom, I will have reclaimed my body, for my own sake – and for my family’s.
What is your measure for success in 2017?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.