The Weight Debate

One of the first things you notice when you tell people you’re pregnant is how fascinating your eating habits become. I’ve heard everything:

“Eat whatever you want! It’s the only time you can do it!”

“Does everything taste better?”

“Don’t gain too much weight!”

“What are you craving? Anything good?”

“What are your favorites?”

“Is there anything you can’t stand?”

“I craved ‘fill in the blank with every food imaginable.’”


In the beginning, eating was a challenge. I learned at my first ob appointment that I had lost 5 pounds, and was actually the thinnest I had ever been. Imagine that! The skinniest version of me, and preggers nonetheless.

So when the doctor told me that a healthy weight gain was about 25-30 pounds, I thought, “Pshhh! Bring it on, Doc.” Then he said they expect you to gain 10 pounds in the first TWENTY weeks. That made me gulp a little. But since food and I were still on a hate/hate basis, no sweat!

When I hit the 12 week mark and noticed I had gained 6 pounds, the sweat began to pour. Buckets! 8 weeks to go with only a 4 pound gain?

In case it wasn’t blatantly obvious, that “Don’t gain too much weight!” I threw in there was from my boss, the plastic surgeon. We had a pretty decent talk about health, weight, pregnancy, etc. He did follow his comment with stating he didn’t judge women who gained a lot of weight, and he understood how hard it must be.

What he said next really sunk in. He said, “Most women, in my experience, feel a bit of a sense of loss after the baby comes. Maybe it’s ‘I don’t feel as sexy now, but I’m a mom, so that’s okay.’ But I will tell you, adding 50 pounds that you can’t lose will contribute to that feeling and leave you depressed. And it’s really hard to lose.”

Darn those doctors for always being so smart! I must admit, part of me wondered if this was a threat in disguise. “Don’t come back to work looking fat and gross!” Gulp, again.

The moment of insanity passed and I knew he was right, and even further, he was just looking out for me. We’ve worked together for over 3 years, and he knows I try to eat healthy (mostly) and I am pretty active with my husband and two dogs.

See? Look how active we are!

But a few weeks ago, my eating habits were just bad. Exercise had become too much of a chore, and I justified my choices because at least I was eating. However, I was choosing to eat more chocolate and less veggies, instead of finding the healthy balance.

Balance. *shakes-fist* I hate that word. I think I’ve always hated it, because I’ve always struggled with it. The cup is either all full or all empty, the sun is either shining brightly or hiding, depressed.

I met with a therapist for a few weeks, and she helped with the concept of balance. I was struggling with family relationships, and she taught me to look at the situation like a car window. You can roll it down just a little, in order to let someone in, but you don’t have to completely roll it down and let them manipulate or take over.

Eating while pregnant is like that car window. When I want chocolate, darn it, I’m going to have it. But a Snickers bar every day is probably not the best idea. Or, if it’s another “Give me a Snickers now if you value your life” situation, I need to make sure I eat a few cucumbers (yes, whole – whole cucumbers) to help make up for it. Last night, I went for a long walk with Hubs and Dogs, chopped up a bunch of veggies for snacks, made myself a big salad for lunch, and took one more bite of the brownie I hadn’t been able to resist.

The truth of the matter is, some women are just naturals at being pregnant. They glow, they feel great the entire time, they radiate with happiness, and their life revolves around the growing child. I am clearly not one of those women. While I want my child to have the best life possible and I will strive to be the best parent possible, I do worry that I will feel that sense of loss. The least I can do (for me and the baby) is not let myself get to a place of being overweight, unhealthy and depressed.

Whether you’re pregnant or not, a balanced life applies. So raise a glass of milk with me (while I pretend there’s Kahlua mixed in) and let’s all stop beating ourselves up. That’s the baby’s job!


12 thoughts on “The Weight Debate

  1. Rachelle says:

    Awww don’t worry… The weight gain is well worth it:)
    I was one of the ones who ate anything and everything because I was pregnant. I gained…. Wait for it… 61 POUNDS!!!!
    After Jax was born I had an “oh shit” moment here and there but mostly I was too busy and happy to care.
    I breastfed around the clock and never worked out and by 4 months post partum I was weighing less than before I got pregnant:)

    You are being much smarter than I was, but I confess I will probably do the same thing the next time.

    • Jen Hurowitz says:

      I’m not being paid for maternity leave, so I will only be able to breastfeed so much. I know there is pumping but it’s going to be tricky to balance with work. I’m actually hoping that going back to work will help me get active again. For me, with the fibromyalgia, being active is so much more than just for weight purposes . . . I feel like CRAP when I’m not active enough. And the more weight I gain, the harder it is to be active, so I’m going to try to keep the number somewhat (I said somewhat! LOL) manageable. Plus I’m a little older, I mean 31 isn’t old but I can’t lose weight like I could in my 20’s.

      • Dayle Lynne says:

        Just throwing this out there — I pumped exclusively for 2 months because Abby couldn’t latch and then continued to pump for supplemental milk for 4 months after that. I’m no expert, but I certainly learned a few things! One positive on your side, (if I’m remembering correctly) is that legally you have to be given time and a private place (not a bathroom – I was forced to pump in a public bathroom stall at Red Lobster and I am so happy laws have changed with that) to pump.

        Anyway, just wanted to let you know that if ever want some tips on making pumping/breastfeeding while having to work easier, I’m more than happy to help in any way I can!

      • Jen Hurowitz says:

        I am definitely open to ALL breastfeeding/pumping tips! I’m not worried at all about having time to pump at work. My boss is already super cool and flexible, and he told me I can bring the baby to work. (He has tried to get me to bring my dogs to work!) When he’s not here and we don’t have patients, I will most definitely bring the baby. We have a consult room that we never use and it even has a couch. And a real door, lol. But still, open to all tips!

  2. Rachelle says:

    You did know this blog was setting you up for hearing everyone elses experiences, right?? Lol 😉

  3. There you go – the weight is one of those debate issues! And it’s so hard to get it just right. For me my appetite just changed when I was pregnant. I never had any morning sickness. Instead, EVERYTHING tasted good – even things I didn’t normally like. And I was hungry all the time! The key for me was to keep up an exercise regime no matter what. That really really helped me physically and mentally. Because you are right – the last thing you want to do is beat yourself up over this issue.

    • Jen Hurowitz says:

      Anne, everything that I love suddenly tastes amazing! I have noticed that I like things I don’t normally, and I haven’t had any weird aversions. You’re right, keeping a regime is the key! When I can’t keep up with Alex and the dogs, I have the treadmill, so I have no excuses! 🙂

  4. Samantha says:

    Gah, being already overweight I was terrified of my weight gain while I was pregnant. And like you, I was my skinnest about 5 weeks in! 17 months post birth and I’ve only lost 20 lbs of the 50 I gained. Yep. 50 lbs gained. I was active too! I had water aerobics twice a week, had weekly yoga classes (all prenatal classes- so nice!) , and I walked after dinner almost every night, not to mention the countless hours of window shopping and real shopping I did. I lost 10 actually birthing my 5 lb 12oz baby, and another 10 was stress after his birth(we were in the NICU for 12 days)/water weight. I’m sure breastfeeding would have helped me lose the weight if I hadn’t kept eating like I was pregnant :-p lol

    • Jen Hurowitz says:

      25-30 pounds just seems impossible! Sure, maybe if I was a celebrity and had someone cooking my meals and training me. But welcome to reality! I have 40 in my head as my max, but at the same time, I don’t want to over-think it, obsessively weigh myself or NOT enjoy this time. It’s already been a struggle (since I’ve felt like crap most days) so I don’t want to add to it. But I feel like if I have a “whatever” mentality, I will gain 80. 😀

  5. Dayle Lynne says:

    I was so proud of myself for gaining less than 25 lbs in my pregnancy (24 to be exact :p) . . . of course, I don’t want to talk about my non-pregnancy related weight issues (I’ll be writing about that again soon)! . . . Anyway, it was funny to me though, I was 258 lbs. when I found out I was pregnant and I heard a TON about how unhealthy it was to be overweight and pregnant. Turns out, I had a ridiculously healthy pregnancy. I ate A LOT when I was pregnant, but I’m 100% certain the reason I had very few problems was because I was very active. I worked on my feet (waitressing) for 40 hours a week up until the night before I delivered.

    Pretty much, like everything else, your body is yours and it’s unique and you need to figure out the best way for YOU to go about it. And I think striving for balance is perfect 🙂

    • Jen Hurowitz says:

      You know, a few people have mentioned that they barely gained 20 pounds, and I keep thinking, “HOW?!?!?!” LOL I think I am just worried because I have always struggled with my weight but I was still a pretty average size. For the first time in my life, I feel thin and truly healthy. So I’m already “losing” a part of me that feels like it took forever to attain. But moms make sacrifices! And I’m not trying to be some supermodel who eats a few grapes for 9 months and works out 8 hours a day. BALANCE! I still hate it! 🙂

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