I do not want to let myself gain weight this time around. At 8 months, Wanda has begun the process of letting me know we're through, at least where my breasts are concerned. She still humors me with a couple of feedings a day and unbeknownst to her I'm still feeding her breast milk disguised as rice cereal but the end is nigh and my butt is making room for major expansion.
There are a lot of different theories about weight gain and breastfeeding. Some people swear that the act of breastfeeding keeps you fat because your body holds on to extra padding as a backup source of nutrients for the baby. The consensus amongst most doctors and dieticians seems to be that breastfeeding is a time where weight loss is more common because the baby is consuming many of the calories you eat.
Whatever the case, one thing has held true for me the last two pregnancies. When I stop breastfeeding, I blow up like a balloon. I think it's because I get used to eating an increased amount of calories while my body's making milk and then I enjoy this extra snacking so much that I keep it up, even if my body doesn't need the energy anymore. At the same time, the baby's still too young to allow much freedom to get out and exercise. The extra energy is then converted into big fat thighs and a belly that jiggles when I jump rope, much to the children's delight.
It's also possible that what I'm experiencing is emotional weight gain. Isn't that what happens when someone breaks up with you? You get depressed, drown your sorrows in Lindt truffles and cheese, desperately trying to fill the emotional void, and end up filling the void in your fat cells instead.
I know she's just growing up and getting her nutritional needs met elsewhere and I recognize that it has its perks. I can be away from her for longer periods of time and if she shows signs of early onset starvation, Dan can throw her a bowl of applesauce to slam. Her recent switch to sleeping through the night for 13 hours at a stretch is also quite pleasant. I just miss all the snuggle time, the squidging and the drinking. It's hard to get her to nurse because everything around her is so very fascinating.
So I'm sad and nostalgic about winding down my mammary work. And I'm nervous about just how high my weight can climb. It's already inching up daily. I know what to do. Eat less. Exercise more. If I do those two things I should be fine but I've tried them in every possible form, Biggest Loser, Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz, Sonoma, South Beach, Green Drink Smoothies, Vegan, Whole Foods, Every Fitness Program Ever Devised, and I just haven't found the will to make it happen.
What do you do to find the motivation to get the baby weight off? Or in my case, what should I do to find the motivation to keep the post-nursing weight off?