Thursday, January 7, 2010

I guess I didn't eat my apple today

So I saw the doctor today.  I'm donating extra breast milk that we have saved in the freezer to the Mothers Milk Bank.  It will go to babies in the NICU (intensive care) at various hospitals who are formula intolerant and whose mothers can't breastfeed.  (An article I wrote about this process will be published on Embodying Womanhood next month.)  In order to be eligible to donate breast milk you have to have a doctor sign a form saying that you don't have certain diseases.  Anyway, all this is a very round-about way of saying that I had a physical today.

First off--does anybody even remember the last time they had just a regular old physical?  I don't.  Maybe when I was a kid?  Okay, anyway, I figured since I needed to see a doctor anyway I might as well ask a few questions about my weight loss approach.  The doctor I saw happened to have a couple of kids herself and didn't seem to have much faith in the ability to lose weight after having kids.  That frustrated me a little.  I mean, yes, I know that it's not the easiest thing to do, but it is possible.  For heaven's sake.  I think the reason for her lack of faith in my ability to lose weight is that she mentioned that when she was breastfeeding her children she always gained weight.  (I have not as yet had this problem except when I eat half a package of Oreos in one sitting.)  So I guess she thought that it would be incredibly hard for me to lose weight since I'm breastfeeding?  I don't know.  I'm still a little frustrated about the whole thing.

Anyway, I didn't mean to go off on that little rant.  What I meant to say was that this doctor also said (as did my daughter's pediatrician) that my approach for losing weight is the best possible way to do it (i.e. exercising a little every day, eating a healthy, balanced diet, not eating junk).  This doctor also said that getting a good night sleep can also help you lose weight faster.  Good thing my husband's goal for this semester (he's still in college) is for us to start getting ready for bed by 10:30pm and be in bed, ready to go to sleep by 11:00pm.

As far as my weight goals, this doctor said that they were completely unrealistic and that I should aim for 140 instead.  But since I'm still a little skeptical of how much her breastfeeding experience was skewing her opinion and since she didn't say that it would be unhealthy for me to reach my original goals, I'm sticking with them for now.

One other thing.  So I've been using the MyPyramid MenuPlanner to help me aim at a balanced diet.  (This adjusts for pregnant and breastfeeding women, by the way.)  As a breastfeeding woman, age 23, 5' 4" tall, and weighing 161 pounds, it has me aiming at about 2600 calories every day.  I hardly ever actually reach that many calories, although I do get full and feel satisfied.  In talking about this with the doctor, she said that it's much better to just eat until I'm full and then stop instead of eating just for the sake of finishing what's on my plate or in order to reach a target number of calories.  I was a little worried about my daughter getting the nutrients she needs if I'm not getting the number of calories I'm "supposed" to be getting, but the doctor said that she'll always get what she needs, so not to worry.

The moral of the story: I am so cool for having two doctors tell me that I have the best possible approach for weight loss.  Just kidding.  Although perhaps this confirmation makes me somewhat more trustworthy of a source?  Hope so.

How are all of you doing with your goals, by the way?

11 comments:

Kathy Haynie said...

I think it's far more common for women to have an easier time losing weight while breastfeeding. Making milk burns a ton of calories. Maybe it doesn't work that way for some people, but perhaps this doctor you spoke with was also dipping into the Oreos back in her breastfeeding days? Hmmm...too bad she wasn't more encouraging...probably she's just jealous of your successful launch to your healthy eating plan!

Good for you to donate extra breast milk! You are making a baby and her/his parents very, very happy.

Lisa Lou said...

woah. I've never heard of donating breast milk. So crazy all the cool things you can learn!
Also, that's very interesting about how getting a good nights sleep can help you lose weight faster. Did the doctor explain why or how?
I do agree with the eat until you are full and then stop method. I sometimes think I need to keep eating until all is gone or keep eating socially. But it's ok to stop and sit and relax.
Thanks for this!

my name is lauren. said...

that first doctor sounded kind of lame. it may be hard to lose weight, and it may be true that many women don't lose their post-preggo weight, but it's not impossible. you can do it katie! you're already totally kicking butt!

Polly said...

I have known people who gained weight while breastfeeding...but everything I've read (which is not a lot but some) have said that it's EASIER to lose the weight...that's one of the perks to breastfeeding they're always throughing out there to encourage us to do it. Otherwise, no one would lose any of the babyweight until the baby was a year oldish...

Amy Meyer said...

Katie,
I lost all of my baby weight plus extra with Lucas, my first. Your doctor sounds a little crazy! If you exercise and try hard you can lose the weight!

Katie said...

Thanks for the validation everybody! When I told my Bryan (my husband) about the whole thing yesterday he told me the same thing you all have. So I agree- I think I can still do it. Wish me luck!

Syl said...

Every body is so different. Sounds like she made judgments just based on her body. I vote for doing what your body needs and what you know works and is healthy.

Patricia said...

I agree with a lot of the moms who wrote earlier. I was able to lose all my extra weight by the time I quit nursing my babies. I had to eat healthy, and exercise (walking)
but the fat just kind of melted off.

the rowley mama said...

I'm with those who never got back to pre-pregnancy weight until I stopped breastfeeding - even working out and eating right.

By the way, I think it is AMAZING that you are donating your breastmilk. I am very much in awe of you and love you for that. Good job, Katie :)

Marae Lindsey said...

I'm kind of behind on commenting, but, I must say that your doctor sounds a bit ridiculous. I really don't believe in passing personal cynicism on to your patients. If 125 gives you a perfectly healthy BMI, I don't see why it's completely unrealistic. Hopefully someday she'll make you weigh at an appt and she'll say "125" and you'll say "hmmm."

Most (5 of 6) of my sisters/s-i-ls lose their pregnancy weight while breastfeeding. One says that it's like running 8 miles a day for her (so she's happy breastfeeding until they're 2) and one can't lose it all until she's done breastfeeding (she's happy to be done at 6 months).

Interesting to note is that the first gains a lot of weight during pregnancy and is a non-exerciser, and the second doesn't gain much and is a super marathoner/personal trainer/crazy exerciser. I wonder where I'll fit into the spectrum...

Katie said...

Marae- Probably with bare feet. And exercising by cutting up fruit.

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