Friday, April 24, 2009

WARNING: Motherhood May Lead to Weight Gain

Well, that isn't exactly the title of the article I read, but it might as well have been. I used to be the girl who could eat ANYTHING! And I did. In college, I ate M&M's and drank Diet Coke for breakfast, grabbed a donut between classes before running through the Taco Bell drive through on my way to work and easily slipped into a size 6 bridesmaid dress.

Then I got married and thought I should be able to eat as much as my husband. I quit working and enjoyed the beauty of baking and eating.

Then I had kids. And now even if I ate nothing but tofu and actually had time to exercise like I should, I would still not lose a pound. I think I know why now. Studies show that stress and lack of sleep *may* (meaning most certainly, guaranteed to) lead to weight gain. Really now?

I don't know any group of people that are more stressed-out or sleep-deprived than moms. So you get pregnant, gain weight, grow a huge belly only to move on to no sleep, stress and living life around the eating patterns of your offspring. The offspring will typically suck you dry of all your energy and motivation leaving you incapable of forming a complete sentence let alone exercising.

Let me share something with you from Health magazine; my favorite, guilt- inducing periodical.

"One of the first questions I ask clients like Tia Carrere (who? - was she in Wayne's World?) is how much they're sleeping. There are some really dramatic studies out there that link not getting enough sleep to obesity. We're just beginning to realize that the quality and quantity of our sleep affects our appetite in ways we never dreamed it did. When you are sleep-deprived, your body produces low levels of leptin and high levels of ghrelin, two hormones that affect how full you feel. I often find that once clients start getting seven to eight hours of sleep a night, they're much less likely to overeat and the pounds just come off."
Jackie Keller, an L.A. based celebrity trainer
(Health Magazine, May 2009, page 46)

Well, even if Jackie Keller wants to come over, tuck me into bed early, do my chores and sit up with my kids at night, I have another problem: stress. That's the other big factor. I know my family is a joy to me, but it's also a wee bit stressful at times: keeping up with the schedule, moods, laundry, appetites and messes of my family. I need a bowl of ice cream just thinking about it!

With all this new knowledge, I think it's high time I make some changes to my routine and realize.....

I am doomed.


Bonny said...


Shan in Japan said...

I remember the Michelle who could and did eat everything!:)
I've got some great tofu recipes:)
Keep up the good work with your family!!!!! Stress or no stress, sleep or lack of, I hear your love for your family come through loud and strong here as you share your life journey with us. May you have five uninterrupted minutes to yourself this weekend!:)

Peter and Nancy said...

Hi --

Another pastor's wife here, sent to your blog by Jenn Johnson. I loved your post "What I Wish Someone Had Told Me . . . " and could relate to all of it! My husband has been at our church for almost 10 years (although I'm spoiled in that he's not the only pastor on staff).

Anyway, just wanted to say hello from another mom (of 3, waiting for #4) and wife in the trenches!
-- Nancy

Annette said...

Found you through MckMama today...I should be cleaning or something...but looked at a few of the links for not me instead.

Really enjoyed the posts I read, but I just have to say if I get enough sleep, what's my problem!? haha

And I agree as a mom, we have to be missionaries!