Baby F(Ph)at Winner #1: Forty Pounds

Jeanne Veillette Bowerman is going to be famous one day. (For now, she'll have to make due with some Oliver's Labels as her prize and her place in history as the first winner of my bangin' essay contest.) Read her winning essay here and see why for yourselves. Forty pounds.  No one told me how easy it was to gain forty pounds.  Gee, maybe those daily Peanut Buster Parfaits from Dairy Queen were a bad idea.  Nah.  They were delicious.  Every.  Single.  Bite.  My baby made me eat it.

Being my first pregnancy, I took monthly pictures of my growing belly to chronicle my girl’s development... or perhaps it was to throw back in her face if she ever became an obnoxious, smart-mouthed teen. “Look how fat I got for you,” as I shove the ancient pictures of my exploding belly in her face.  By the way, if any of you are thinking this ploy might actually work, let me tell you now, it doesn’t.   They’ll simply gaze dumbfounded at the aforementioned ancient pictures and comment on your lack of fashion sense or bad hairstyle.  Teens are a whole other breed of payback.  I now crave the ease of newborns… and tequila.

Back to my peanut-buster butt.  I will admit, after the three days of labor (yes, three), and pushing that girl out my cabbage, I felt pretty darned skinny.  I could see my toes.  I could wrap a robe around my body.  I could fit into my overalls (in the mid-90’s, maternity overalls were big… don’t judge me).   I strutted around that hospital like Angelina Jolie… or was it Angela Lansbury?  But let’s be serious, losing eight pounds of baby and a placenta does not a skinny girl make.   I had a good thirty pounds stuck to my butt.  I was in denial.

People told me I’d easily lose it nursing.   No problem.  Maternity gave me the gift of 42-F utters.  I produced more milk than a herd of heifers.  Problem being, heifers are young cows that haven’t had babies yet, hence they produce no milk whatsoever.  This must be why my body clung to those last 10 pounds like a teen boy to his first Playboy.

Nursing stopped at nine months when she almost bit my nipple off, but I embraced the fantasy that once I stopped being her personal cow, the weight would just fall off.   I also believed in leprechauns, unicorns and finding gold nuggets in my cereal box.  Alas, after my beautiful baby girl turned one, I was still wearing my very sexy maternity overalls.

One glorious day, as I lay reading to my girl, my husband tapped my chubby shoulder.  I turned to see a pair of running shoes in my face… my running shoes.  He simply stated, “It’s time.”  Ouch.

Who does he think he is?  If not for his seed, I would most certainly be a fashion runway model by now!  Like making his baby and permanently deforming my va-jay-jay wasn’t work enough, he now expects me to RUN?  I hated him.  I hated him so much I was going to go for that run and prove my body would never be back to pre-pregnancy weight no matter how many miles I logged.   No one tells me what to do…. so I did what he told me to do… all in the name of proving him wrong, of course.

I ran.  I ran like a marathon runner.  I ran forever.  I ran until I could run no more.  I ran… a half a mile.  But, to my surprise, it felt good.  Would I admit that?  No way in hell.  The next day, while he was at work, I snuck out and ran again, and I continued to run three times a week, working up to 3 miles each time.  Guess what?  The weight came off.  By the time my girl was 15 months old, I was rockin’ hot.

For me, running worked.  For you, there may be another form of exercise you enjoy more.  Remember, it takes almost a year to gain the weight, so don’t expect it to come off in a few months.  Only freaks, anorexics and stars who hire expensive trainers do that.   Whatever your form of fitness torture is, you just might need someone to piss you off enough to take the necessary action.  I wonder if clinging to our baby fat makes us moms feel closer to our pregnancy and our children – a reminder of them curled up safe inside us.   After all, our fat is their cushion from the cruel world.

As much as I loved being pregnant, I admit, I love having my body back and feeling healthy.  But, beware:  After I got rock-star hot, my husband was the one now running after me, and I was pregnant again in one month’s time.  This pregnancy, I wasn’t going to eat Peanut Buster Parfaits though.  I learned my lesson.  I switched to toasted Thomas’s English Muffins, smothered in butter and peanut butter with a good dose of cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top.  No calories there.

It’s amazing how easy it is to gain forty pounds back.

@jeannevb is a screenwriter, an active blogger and has a novel in progress.  You can find her at Ramblings of an Recovering Insureaholic. Her twitter bio reads: writer, screenwriter, black belt, belly dancing, recovering insecureaholic.  Not much more to say after that.