76 point something

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The scale read “76 point something”. My vision blurred. And my mind refused to read the numbers beyond the decimal. Doing otherwise, anyways, wouldn’t have averted the risk – of grave disappointment. I hurriedly stepped down, wore my slippers and turned around, pretending – I didn’t care. Wearing an edgy smile I treaded swiftly towards the room where I was to spend a few hours before it was time. My body, that I always admired to have had borne so much in the past couple of years, the weight that I was way too comfortable with, my round solid baby bump that I had flaunted as it grew bigger each month, had suddenly started to feel ponderous. Standing in front of a small mirror that hung on the ivory wall of the waiting room, limping and adjusting myself in vain, I realized, it was impossible to see anything below my face. I quickly turned to my magical device that had a glistening metal body – My smartphone, which housed an assortment of applications just to make me feel good, to find some solace. At least it followed my instructions. Lol.

After all, what good was the smartphone for, if it couldn’t paint a boisterous self-image when I had needed it the most? So I switched on the selfie mode, pouted my lips, opened my eyes wide, and clicked more than a few times before I resorted to one, which made me look tired but happy. I was just trying to appease myself – It wasn’t that bad after all. Or was it? My mind couldn’t really settle and the rapidly changing digits on the weighing scale kept flashing in front of my eyes. I wondered, wouldn’t it have been just perfect, if it had stopped somewhere in the 60s. How could it reach “76.***Kgs”, in just a couple of weeks?

Whatever it was, I was awfully disappointed. I couldn’t really wrap my head around the fact that something that I was unperturbed about always, otherwise, was distressing me so much now. Was it the anxiety of delivering a baby in just a few hours or was it the weight really? I had been a fat person all my life except when I was in college and my initial working years – when all I did was starve because of lack of time and resources. But largely I was always overweight and I had never put any effort to be fit or healthy or weigh just right. Then why did my world come crashing down now?

Maybe the feeling of – End-of-it -all-now – I had started to imagine myself weighing as much, or more for the rest of my life. And there was no scope of revival. I knew I had gone a little too far this time. The pregnancy weight on my pear-shaped petite body had pulled my confidence level to an all-time low. The only saving grace was my ever-optimistic conscious mind, which kept assuring me that once the baby popped out, I would do just fine. At least I may weigh a few pounds lesser, like instantly. Lol.

A few hours later …

I had my gorgeous bundle of love in my arms and a life that awaited me on the other side, which I hadn’t ever anticipated, would just make me feel conflicted in all possible ways. I loved my time with my baby and just hated the weighing scale, which lay right under the bed. After eating like a gourmand, round the clock, because that’s what my body secretly craved for, to be able to nurse my child for hours more than I could catch my sleep on, I had learned to spare myself the horror of analyzing too much into my physical state of being. I had made a mental image of myself weighing 70 Kilos plus for the rest of my life along with everything that this life of all-excuses-and self-sympathy entailed.

I wasn’t guilty, because I made my baby an excuse to stay overweight and unfit forever.

That’s us with our infertility specialist – Dr. Firuza. After all that we had achieved, taking care of myself, never really crossed my mind. Though we had conceived naturally, we never really looked outside the realm of her gynaecologist.

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But was it justified or worth it?

Maybe not. I had no time or I made no time. I had no help or was I just trying to be a superwoman by doing it all myself and putting my need to be fit at the end of my priority list. There were days when I battled in my head to whether catch some web series online, or to have a bath, or just sleep. Going out for a walk or doing some yoga barely crossed my mind. And till date, I do regret not having pushed myself a bit harder to do what was needed and not what I wanted to do at that time – If not for myself, but at least to cope up with the demands of Motherhood. 

Slowly over one year, with ill postures, and no exercise, the muscles around my abdomen had weakened putting undue pressure on my lower spine making it a straight line, instead of a C. I started to have excruciating pain originating at the lower back radiating into the right foot( with a tingling pain through the night) and my right arm ( making the fingers go numb, wrist painful till the next morning). I was told that this would be a lifelong issue and may become worse with inactivity. The more the pressure on the spine, the straighter it would get, and the weaker would the muscles around it, become. It’s a vicious circle. Though not, life-threatening, it interfered massively with my daily activities and my temperament and it still does, while I am undergoing treatment for it.

At the end of it, all that I feel is – This issue was a self-inflicted to a greater extent – because it was my negligence all throughout – primarily for not taking efforts to be physically active and secondly taking two long years to take a decision to go and see an orthopedist.

I had managed to lose just the baby weight even after a year of delivering her.

Does this story resonate with yours?

Well, if yes, you aren’t alone. If no, I wish I had met you before reality struck me hard. 🙂

Just want to bring your focus on a few concerns, which if addressed, can help avert such chronic health conditions to happen to mothers like me.

  1. Most of the new-born Mothers who never had an active lifestyle before having a child go back to being inactive, as they always were, without caring much about the consequences, mostly due to ignorance. This carelessness may not translate into anything serious now, but may deeply affect the body with age.
  2. Women, especially Mothers, tend to procrastinate addressing their health issues before it’s too late and learn to live with the pain.
  3. World of social media somewhere influences us to be happy in the virtual world, no matter, however miserable we are in our real lives. So chuck the selfie culture and those apps that make you look great superficially. Trust me, it’s just tricking our mind all the time.
  4. Spending more on clothes, cosmetics, spas, and hairdo, will not bring in any contentment that will last long. So invest in your health – both time and money.
  5. Our body is a wonderful machine and mind an extraordinary tool. They learn what we make them learn and then they are on their own. 
  6. Turning to food and other indulgences ( unhealthy lifestyle – bingeing on web series till late night) to overcome the real issues may just make the condition bad to worse.

And most importantly, always remember that –

It’s never too late to get on a fitness routine or to reduce weight and reach an ideal BMI. It’s not about looking good, but being fit and active. A healthy, fit and a happy mother only can bring up a healthy, fit and a happy child. They do not learn from what we say or teach, they observe. They do not listen, but they are constantly watching us. They learn and pick up habits from what we do. They are the greatest imitators. Give them the right things to pick up from you, which they would do effortlessly, leaving you proud and smiling.

Do you think, most of the times, while we may blame our circumstances, it’s us who shy away from doing what’s needed?

What has been your personal journey to being a fit mother?

And please feel free to post a comment here or DM me at tanushree.h.m@gmail.com, if you wish to know more about the health condition I have, and how am I overcoming it now, through physiotherapy & exercises –  to strengthen my core and back muscles, running and mental conditioning. 

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