Forget what a doctor has told me….I’m terrified of what my family has shown me. My lovely, intelligent, role model maternal grandmother died in her early 50s. Even though, she was a neonatal nurse that walked the halls of John Hopkins, she was obese. My big hearted but small statured nana was about my height 5 feet, sadly weighed around 300 pounds. In the last years of her life I saw her suffer from diabetes, heart complications and probably other complications that my young adult self wasn’t privy to know. My mother carries a medical bag around, developed severe asthma and hypertension.Three of my aunts are also obese and have lost most or all of their teeth. My paternal grandmother has had gastric bypass and knee surgeries. Lastly, my dad is a veteran, a very active high school coach and ROTC instructor. He has recently had knee surgery and other health problems. My dad’s surgery was the most frightening because he is very athletic. I inquired about whether the knee problem and others are genetic….my father told me that excessive weight is the problem. With that said I have to be conscious of what I eat and exercising because I have too many examples of what could happen to me if I didn’t. Vanity and society might have a tiny influence but my family’s history has the greatest.
My family has been proud of me being the most fit and health conscious person. This pedestal I was put on became unstable when I entered motherhood. This was the first time in my life that my eating habits and lifestyle was questioned. I was constantly interrogated by my obstetrician because she didn’t understand why I was gaining double the weight that pregnant women are “allowed” to gain. Each pound is accounted for, fetus, blood, fluid etc and weight outside the text book norms are a problem. I even had an extra ultrasound to determine if I was carry twins. When a pregnant women is “overweight” she is risking preclampsia and gestational diabetes. Each pregnancy I gained fifty pounds and being around 170 pounds in my final trimester I’ve learned more about my body. I didn’t eat anything outrageous and walked daily due to my job but my body knew what was best. The weight accumulated no matter what I did, my body adapted to the growing being. The weight protect my babies, nourished them and allowed me to withstand the physical demands of pregnancy.
I’m terrified of being outside my comfortable body size range. However, I realize there isn’t an ideal weight that correlates with a healthy body. The body seems to be out of our control at times which in my case wasn’t a bad thing.