Look at it. It's the belly of a pregnant woman. I should know, I've been here several times before. While I can still see my feet, this protrusion is third trimester worthy. This baby has been growing for the past five months. I tried to ignore it but when I'm doing the tight jean tango every morning-one two three and jump!- its time to come out of denial. It's only been five months but I'm ready to give birth. I've even named it, his name is Cort. It has to be a boy because it’s aggressive and annoying.
Cort is short for cortisol, the stress hormone. Yes, I’m carrying a stress baby. Both good and bad stress produce the hormone cortisol. When there is no outlet or relief from bad stress, your cortisol levels become elevated and your body loses the ability to properly break down fat. That fat typically accumulates in the abdomen. Stress is a constant in everyone’s life. If I had not taken the necessary steps in 2012 to change my eating habits, I would probably be sporting even more weight. While I haven't gained inches in other places, my belly is telling a different story. Carrying this stress baby is causing the same discomfort I experienced while pregnant, sciatica, back pain and trouble breathing. Belly fat disrupts the normal alignment of your internal organs so my indigestion has returned as well.
How did it happen? I have a tendency to indulge in self destructive behavior when stressed. My favorite indulgence, poor eating choices. I haven’t been diligent in eating wisely and exercise is minimal at best. So as I see my waistband expanding, I am thankful I have the necessary tools to birth this baby now. Three things have to happen:
- Commit, Commit, Commit
- Working My Body
- Eating Clean
Committing myself to working out has never been easy for me. I usually have to be forced into doing it to fully commit. I could motivate a whole army and still find ways to sabotage my own progress. In 2013 the weight slid off when I was running six days a week for two months. Why? My car died. Although I had offers of transportation, I took the opportunity to exercise. After working a full day, I would board the train then run home from the station, a full 4 miles. I started out walking and it took me two hours. My last run, 30 minutes. The pounds and inches fell off. Once I started to see results, I was more motivated to exercise all of the time so I added Saturday runs and did some restorative yoga on Sundays. My body began to crave movement and I was happy to oblige.
I combined the intense workouts with clean eating that actually began in April 2012. I suffer from pancreatitis which causes severe cramping and nausea after eating as my body cannot digest certain food. After a three day stay in ICU, the message to eat clean was received. Discovering new foods and creating dishes is fun. I never feel like I’m depriving myself of the pleasure of eating.
While both of these extreme occurrences where the catalyst to my 50+ lb weight loss, training my mind was key. Redefining my relationship with food saved my life. Food is merely fuel and I only fill up with premium! I want to set the best example so that my children and my grandchildren will not fall victim to the diseases which have claimed members of both sides of my family(diabetes, heart disease, cancer). Vanity doesn’t hurt either. I don’t want to look like I’m a 43 year old pregnant lady. My youngest child is soon to be 15 years old and I can’t keep saying I’m carrying baby weight.
Now I know I’m not starting from zero. I don’t have as much to lose as I did in 2012. My new goal is to be bikini ready by the summer! I have access to a trainer, my brother, that can assist me with a new workout plan. The past two years of eating clean has given me the tools to create meal plans that address my issues but won’t compromise on taste. If you'd like to join me, shoot me an email
. We can discuss a workout plan and tips on eating clean that may be helpful for both of us. Iron sharpens iron and I’m in the stress baby birthing business!
Cort, you were a source of comfort in the winter, but Momma has to let you go.