Having two babies in three years isn’t easy on a body. It’s not easy on a marriage. It’s not easy on a career, either. Your cortisol levels go through the roof with lack of sleep, you eat comfort food, you argue with your husband, you lose clients and it’s a vicious, continuing cycle. And sometimes you don’t lose weight.
I’ve always been a trim person by nature, but have never been the type of person that weight just falls off of. I have always had to work my ass off to lose weight, and I’ve always gained weight in my mid section first and lost it there last.
It’s okay. Because I’m a confident, dynamic, beautiful person. People can still be overweight and be beautiful. 6 months ago, though, I had decided enough was enough. I had only lost 10 lbs my second pregnancy weight after the baby came out. And almost 9 of it was the baby.
Yes, I breastfed. I even ate Paleo most of the time. When I finally buckled down, eliminated alcohol and went full paleo – a crazy thing happened.
I lost only 6 pounds in 3 months. And any time I cheated at all (I mean, like, ate a half serving of rice), I gained weight.
This month I finally started working out again. I don’t want to make excuses, because you find time for what is important to you and that’s just how things are. But I started a workout regimen and I’ve really truly enjoyed seeing the changes in my body. I’m officially down 12 pounds total, but still have 28 to go to get to where I want to be. Maybe just 13 if I go hard on muscle… but I don’t really want to talk about my goals or how I lost weight or any of that.
I want to talk about why my heart hurts. Because for 7 days a week (with rare exception) I have been working out. No rest days. 1 hour a day. Along with strict Paleo. It’s been successful. I’ve lost 10 inches total from my body. I have so much more energy. I feel amazing. And because I felt amazing on the inside, I noticed the changes on the outside.
But four times in the last 6 months something crazy has happened.
People have asked me if I was pregnant.
The first time it enraged me, because I was sitting at a bar drinking a martini and eating oysters (this was pre-diet). I thought, “How could this woman think I’m pregnant when I’m sitting at a bar and eating oysters?? Pregnant woman can’t eat oysters. I know this because I had a baby awhile ago and all I wanted was oysters and martinis.
The second time it was a stranger in a grocery store. I don’t even know. Don’t ask. Maybe I ate a big lunch, or something.
The third time was at my best friend’s wedding. Her dad asked me if I was pregnant. Now, granted, he hasn’t seen me since highschool – and I was maybe 30 lbs lighter then. But still. It was mortifying.
But last night took the cake. We were at a Hibachi eating dinner. Because I’m mid-weight loss I didn’t eat any of my rice. Okay, I took like 5 bites of it. Because it’s Hibachi rice. Duh. But anyway – he looks over and sees that I haven’t eaten my rice, only my filet and veggies. And he said, “Oh, you full? You pregnant?” Gracefully, I smiled and told him no, I wasn’t.
To all these people’s credit – they were absolutely mortified to discover their mistake. The woman in the restaurant looked away as I rage-texted my husband and blasted Facebook. Then I went home and cried. In the grocery store, I kept it together. I never told anyone about it. I don’t know who was more embarrassed. In the church (yes, this was at her rehearsal), I walked down the aisle with grace, and even squeezed his hand afterwards, to reassure him that it was okay – and I understood the mistake he made. It was actually him that I have to thank for forcing my ass into the gym more frequently. But this one… this last one took the cake.
Do you understand how it feels to put your all into something? To give up not just sugar and pizza (which I had already done long long ago), but to give up most any carbohydrates that are not fruit or vegetables? To skip cake at your friend’s children’s birthday party? To not be able to eat at get-togethers? To have to leave restaurants because there’s literally nothing you can order? (In addition to my strict paleo diet, I have a coconut and nightshades sensitivity, which means I can pretty much eat nothing).
I thought I was doing so well. The inches were coming off, the scale was finally starting to move.
And this guy like… bombs it. Like Pearl Harbor, I straight up didn’t see that shit coming from the Japanese guy. (Sorry, but I’m allowed to make slightly inappropriate Asian jokes, being half Asian myself.)
And I answered his other cover-up questions. He pretended it was a language barrier and that he had asked if had children. Well played, Hibachi chef. Stick to your trade, friend.
And when I pushed myself back from the table in front of my closest 8 friends – I hoped they didn’t know I was going to go cry in the bathroom.
But my heart doesn’t hurt because of the chef at the Hibachi, or my best friend’s dad, or that random chick in the bar or the grocery store. Because they said something completely ridiculous. And that’s not why I’m upset.
I’m upset because the world has taken someone who used to seep confidence and completely shattered it. I hate my body. I hate my stretch marks on my stomach. I hate my stomach fat that won’t go away. I’m not confident anymore. I wore a swim cover up INTO The water when I went to the splash park with my friends.
When you’re a woman, a mom, and a business owner, it’s hard to balance life. It’s hard to be confident in what you do. Your body changes and everything is chaotic and it’s a hard thing to cope with a new body in the midst of crazy hormones, hectic sleep schedules, running a business and placating screaming kids.
But, for the love of god, while I continue to lose weight. Just, please, don’t ask me if I’m pregnant. Because it takes the confidence that I attempt to put out there on an everyday basis for my kids, and for my clients and for ME – and it just shatters it and I end up a blubbering mess in a restaurant bathroom.
I’m many, many things. But I’m not pregnant. So stop asking me.
To lighten the mood, here’s a funny Huffington Post video to give you some advice on when it is appropriate to ask a woman if she’s pregnant.