spectating participant

August 4, 2008

obsessing on numbers

Filed under: life — suzanne henderson @ 10:20 am

I obsess about stuff, things run, run, run, through my brain, over, over, over again until I’ve exhausted myself thinking about it. Lots of times it stupid little details that just repeat, repeat, repeat. It’s annoying but I’m used to it at this point. Sometimes it’s not so bad, other times it’s exhausting. In all, it eventually stops, or a new obsession takes it’s place.

Right now, my mind is stuck on numbers - scale numbers. Before getting pregnant, I weighed 208lbs. At 7-weeks pregnant, I was up to 210 for one week and then I was back down to 208. At 12-weeks pregnant, I dropped down to 207. At 16-weeks pregnant, I was back up to 208. 17-weeks had me up another pound to 209; 20-weeks I was at 213. It took 3 more weeks (23-weeks) to add on another pound, 214; repeat for 26-weeks at 215. At 29-weeks, I was up to 217 and 34-weeks put me at 221. I stopped weighing myself at this point, mostly because I stopped going to the gym each week and just walked next door to our neighbors pool to swim instead. I imagined that I’d gained 7lbs more between week 34 and week 41, when Sara was born — a 20lb weight gain seemed a reasonable guess, but I’m starting to think that I was a little too generous with my guesstimate.

Sara was 10lbs, 1 oz - that would be about 50% of my pregnancy weight gain, if I stick with the 20lb number. At birth and shortly thereafter, it’s likely that another 10lbs would be lost with the loss of water/amniotic fluid, blood loss, and placenta weight. If thats so, I should be looking at a scale number of about 208 — right where I started. It took me two weeks after the birth to finally step on a scale, and the number there isn’t what I expected…. 185. If I give myself the 20lbs gained during pregnancy, that means that I lost 43 pounds at or shortly following the birth. Most likely, I didn’t gain much past my last weight check at 221. Assuming I didn’t gain another pound, unlikely, thats still 36 pounds lost since birth.

I’m obsessing over these numbers, if you can’t tell. They’re not bad numbers, upsetting numbers, or anything negative. They’re just numbers that I keep thinking about. And the fact that I’ve spent a couple years eating fairly well and exercising enough to make some progress. However, even with a good diet and exercise, I’ve not been able to lose any weight. It’s been frustrating — not depressing, just frustrating. I got myself to stop fretting over numbers and just enjoy the improved health and mental wellness. But now, now there is a number to obsess over - 185 — just 15 higher than my magic number of 170, a place where I’d like to be.

But now, just weeks after birth, and also while feeding this hungry little girl round the clock, isn’t a time to focus on numbers. It’s not a time for diets or for the strenuous exercise I was doing before. But, it’s hard for me to ignore that number, it sooo close to the number I want… it makes me want to go swim laps, hit up the weight training machines, pull my bike out of storage, jog on hiking trails…. it makes me want to go out and do something about it. But now isn’t the time, I need to heal a bit longer, so instead I obsess over it.