Self-Improvement Projects

While I plan to write about Las Vegas pretty soon, there are a couple of major changes taking place in my life in the next few days, so they seemed more appropriate to discuss.

First, I’m starting medication for anxiety.

I had really hoped not to do this and I’ve been working hard to avoid it, but everything kind of came crashing down this week. I’m not sure exactly what set it off, but I think the issue is that while Elijah’s accident is now 2 months behind us, the anxiety that came with it hasn’t left. My therapist (and I agree) thinks I have some fairly significant PTSD that’s making pre-existing anxiety even worse. For the past two months everyone has told me that it’s normal to feel scared and anxious about what happened to my child, but it’s been 2 months and these feelings just aren’t normal anymore.

My husband being out of town for a week just took away a critical portion of my support system and with him gone, I fell apart. I wasn’t sleeping and following a near miss on a car accident on Friday (more on that soon, too), I collapsed into a horrible cycle of panic attacks. As much as I wanted to avoid medication, I want to avoid being an absent mother, racked with panic attacks more. I will be talking to my therapist tonight about increasing my therapy to twice a week in the short term. My plan is to hit this hard and fast in hopes that it doesn’t get as severe as previous bouts of anxiety have been for me. The last time I really struggled with anxiety I dropped about 30 pounds in a very short period of time, which was not healthy nor terribly pleasant for the most part.

But is a good segue into the next major change.

The other thing I’m doing today is starting a weight loss regimen. Not a diet, though there will be changes to my caloric intake, but rather, a major lifestyle overhaul. I’m participating in the Blogging Biggest Loser competition, which is the motivation I needed to finally do this (I hope).

I gained 34 pounds while pregnant with Eli and if we’re being honest, I did this by eating whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted in whatever quantity I wanted. I literally ate cinnamon rolls for breakfast every day for 2 months. And oddly, when my 6lb 15oz baby was born, all that weight didn’t fall right off. And though everyone told me that all the weight was in my belly, the size of my arms, thighs and butt would prove that all those people were liars.

The day I came home from the hospital, I stepped on the scale and it read 158 pounds. That’s 20 pounds more than what I weighed the day we got the positive pregnancy test. And since that day in May 2012 I have lost no weight. I’ve lost a few, gained a few, but on Eli’s first birthday, I still weighed 158 pounds. I wore a 6 or 8 pre-pregnancy and now am lucky to fit into a 12 most days. I can’t wear any of my pre-pregnancy pants and only a handful of my pre-pregnancy shirts.

I really wanted to blame pumping and say that I’m just one of those unlucky women who doesn’t lose weight during breastfeeding. And I hoped that when I weaned the weight would fall off. Instead, I gained 5 pounds the first week after I quit. It was a bit of an eye opener. My eating habits are bad. My exercise habits are worse. And it was probably only because I pumped that whole time that I didn’t actually gain weight.

My husband and I have discussed this at length, particularly as it relates to my history with eating disorders and anxiety and how it’s pretty critical that we do this in a healthy manner. It helps that he wants to do a similar overhaul, so I don’t have to do it alone. And exercising is always way more fun with a partner.

So today is my official first day of taking control of my mind and body. Here’s to hoping that the medication will make a dent in the psychological issues and that the lifestyle changes will help give me some self-confidence and my old wardrobe back.

6 Responses to “Self-Improvement Projects”

  • Some times a little therapy AND medicine can be helpful in getting of a traumatic experience.

    You’ll get through this, just glad you’re able to say you need a little help. It’s hard for some people to even acknowledge it.

    As for that number on the scale, you’re worth more than that. Just start eating better and exercising (Take Eli for a walk in the stroller! I miss those neighborhood walks.) the rest will follow.



  • Nikki:

    Good luck Katie! I hope you find the best mix of what works for you.


  • Hey, we had babies the same month and now we weigh the exact same! Good times. One of these days I’m going to get on with not eating like a teenage boy.


  • Your willingness to take medication that you intrinsically do not want to take shows your true generosity towards you son. I know this isn’t easy, but you are rising above your wants and extending yourself for your son’s benefit. I hope it works wonderfully for you.


  • kimybeee:

    I totally understand you freaking out while your husband was gone. when I am spiraling into that anxiety hole the thing I need the most is my husband. it doesn’t matter the cause of the anxiety or what meds I have on hand to help with it – just having my husband hold me or hold my hand or just sit next to me makes me better! he has missed a few days of work because of this but after 21 years of being married – we both know each other so well that just being near each other makes it all better.

    as for your climbing kid that brings back memories. my kids had a little play table that they loved to climb on especially when they were naked lol they would get stuck on top of the changing table (I don’t ever remember changing a diaper on that thing lol) and cry to be rescued. the kitchen table eventually became a fave spot – but not till they were older. I really don’t remember being afraid of them getting hurt playing in the house. we are on a farm and I always made sure they were super duper supervised outside – but I never was too concerned in the house. the also loved to climb in their toy boxes – that is fun lol lol

    and I think most kids are measured in months till they are at least two or three – so keep posting monthly pics and updates – that is great way to journal his first years.


  • Allison:

    I had the same weight problem with both. I never lost any weight breast feeding either, as I generally have trouble losing weight. I did weight watchers with my oldest and I just started my fitness pal which I am using for accountability more than anything else! Good luck getting back to healthy, speaking from experience you will feel amazing when you get there!


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I'm Katie, a 30-year-old, wife, mom, former teacher-turned PT, who also had brain surgery in November of 2007. This blog chronicles my daily life, from mundane to crazy, often with far too much detail. Sit down, get comfortable and stay for a while.
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