On the Brink of an Identity Crisis

I’ve blogged before about how, when I began blogging, I’d been advised about not pigeon-holing myself into a domain name/URL that would follow me forever that I might, someday, want to move past.

But so entrenched in my own situation I was at the time, that it didn’t really start to bother me for about a year. So I added (Recovering) to my blog’s title, and then I got pregnant and have been blogging about that … but now I’m about to become a mom and I feel recovered and don’t want to be pigeon-holed any longer.

So please bear with me as I do some soul-searching to see what direction my blog takes in the coming months.

I don’t want to be a recovery blogger any longer … I like thinking it is in my past now; this pregnancy has really given me the confidence to call myself “recovered.” Yes, I still emotionally eat from time to time (what woman doesn’t?!) and it wasn’t always natural to cut back on my gym-time … but I’ve been listening to my body more and more lately and it feels great. I don’t see myself spiraling out of control; any anxieties I have are going to be of a very different kind in a few weeks!

I don’t necessarily want to be a mommy blogger … nothing against mommy bloggers (I read many mommy blogs and love them dearly!!), but that’s just not the niche I see myself in … and yet I AM going to be a mom and have all these new thoughts/feelings on parenthood, nursing (if I can!), expectations, juggling a baby with work/marriage/puppy, etc … and blogging has been therapy for me thus far … so why wouldn’t I give it a go? A friend assured me readers who like my writing  style will stick around even if the substance has changed … so that’s something to consider, right?

And I know I don’t want to be a weight loss blogger, journaling my workouts and food choices and weigh-ins … I totally respect these blogs and see how beneficial they can be from an accountability standpoint, but given my history, that level of obsessiveness and attention to detail is very personal and, frankly, not something I want to share. That being said, I certainly care a great deal about health and fitness and will want to get back into shape within a reasonable time frame (I’m giving myself six months) and that isn’t done overnight or in a vacuum …

So maybe, in thinking this through, my blog will become a synergistic combination of all these things, as my friends Candice and Dawn have alluded to me in tweets today when I brought up the subject.

I don’t know a lot but I do know a few things:

1) I’m taking the full 12 weeks I’m entitled to off from work. Some of it will be paid at full, some at 60%, and a little will be unpaid. But it will be absolutely worth it to me to have that time at home, and maybe I’ll be able to find time for blogging somewhere in there?! 🙂

2) No matter when she comes, I am having a C-section … which means a lengthy recovery. It also means I won’t be able to exercise for a while (and probably won’t have the energy to anyway!) so I’ll need to listen to my body and do what I can when I can, and not rely on exercise for post-baby weight-loss. Since I haven’t gained too much, I’m hoping it won’t be too difficult to lose, but I really can’t worry about it now, and once Maya is here, I’m pretty sure weight will be the furthest thing from my mind … but at the same time, it’s not something I see myself ignoring, either.

3) Weight Watchers has a brand-new PointsPlus program out today. I had put my account on hold back in May when I discovered I was pregnant, and have been journaling at MyDailyPlate.com ever since, just to keep tabs during my pregnancy. But the new program sounds really exciting and scientifically sound and like something I’ll enjoy. So, once I am back home and ready, I plan to re-join (you get extra Points for nursing, so it’s not a true “diet” plan even though it still requires journaling/Point counting). Regardless, there will be no numbers-talk here; generally, perhaps but nothing specific.

So we will see how things go. No promises, no expectations … but I thought I’d lay it all out there now so I have something to turn to when I’m stumbling through sleepless nights and am begging for a written outlet! 😉 Thanks for sticking with me as I navigate these waters.

Sincerely,

Melissa

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19 thoughts on “On the Brink of an Identity Crisis

  1. I’m excited to see where this goes for you. It’s a combination journey, of sorts – and perfect blogging fodder, I think.

    A note on c-section recovery – I wouldn’t term it lengthy, although everyone differs, of course. But having had two abdominal surgeries previously, I will say the c-section was the fastest recovery b/c it had to be. Baby needed me, I needed to get up, even if it hurt to sit up or lie back down again. There was no lounging with tea in the recliner and watching Oprah. I found that what I felt my body needed came second to what the baby needed (except in moments of extreme exhaustion when I asked my husband to take over).

    I found it hard to get into a routine during maternity leave but you’ll find a groove. I definitely had time to blog and it definitely kept me going some days.

    1. Thank you–I’m excited, too!!

      Oh I just meant from a STD standpoint; hopefully my recovery will be like yours and my other friends’ –not too bad at all!!

      I have a feeling you are right and there will be no actual “routine” those 12 weeks, but hopefully I will find some time to blog, even if not regularly. 🙂

  2. Whatever you do, don’t let blogging add to your stress as a new mommy. Believe it or not, it will be hard to find the time and energy to blog those first few months, even if you’re home all day! Baby’s naptime becomes shower/dishes/laundry time (or your naptime :). We will totally understand if you need to take a little break or blog less frequently for awhile.

    I blogged religiously for about 5 years until the day my son was born. I tried to be a mommy blogger for awhile, but that was too hard for me. Honestly, it’s too triggering for me to read mommy blogs now because of my son’s developmental delays, so instead I read mostly blogs about kiddos with special needs. I’ve thought about starting one up myself…time will tell!

    1. Aw thanks–good advice for sure and no way would I let blogging take precedence over time with my fam …I learned that the hard way a while back and now I rarely blog during family time! Most of my posts are written during lunch at work or when hubby is at class or studying, and I stopped blogging regularly when I was on va-k … which I used to do! Thanks though 🙂

      I can understand what you mean about them being triggering–always comparing has to be hard, regardless of it’s comparing yourself or your child or anything really. Some blogs are just too triggering. You totally should start writing again–you have so much good insight!

  3. Totally unrelated question for you 

    I’m thinking about joining WW Online. Is that what you did, or did you do the meetings? Do you plan on doing WW Online after Maya is born? Is it better than SparkPeople? (SparkPeople helped me maintain a 15-lb weight loss for 1.5 years, before I got pregnant.)

    Honestly, I just need a kick in the pants for motivation. I know HOW to lose weight but I can’t get motivated to do it. I’m 10 lbs. above PP weight, which I know isn’t a lot, but it’s not going to come off by itself. So that’s why I’m wondering if Weight Watchers is the path I need to take. After all, if I spend the $$, I won’t want to waste it!

    1. Ooh, I LOVE WW Online. I started April 13, 2004 and didn’t skip a day til my pregnancy pretty much; I really believe in the program and hope to have similar success again this time. I def. will go back to online. I have an iPhone now and with the online tracker, it will be a cinch to track things and it just becomes habit. I like it way better than SP or MDP, but I couldn’t continue on WW being pregnant so I suspended my membership til Maya is born but really, am looking forward to the new program!!!

      I have seen pics of you my dear and you are GORGEOUS and very thin!! But I do understand the feeling of wanting to try a new path. If you want a buddy, I’ll join you in a few weeks 😉 I think the key is not letting the counting become obsessive or dangerous. I’m at a good place now, so I don’t see it happening again …but it could be triggering to some.

      1. Thanks for the advice! I actually signed up this morning for the online program! 🙂 It’s a bit overwhelming so far but I’ll try to take some time to peruse the site later today.

        I know I don’t have a lot to loose, but I’m actually 3 dress sizes above my (healthy) pre-pregnancy weight — I’m only 5’1″ so 10 lbs. for me is actually a lot and won’t come off easily. I don’t FEEL good at my current weight and I know that my “happy weight” is about 10 lbs. below what I am right now.

        I have a long and storied history of ED and compulsive exercise, so I know I have to be careful. But actually, I found that tracking my calories through SP helped me achieve what I believe has been a full recovery. When I found out in 2007 that I had to have knee surgery, it was devastating to me because I knew I wouldn’t be able to exercise for awhile. That’s when I started tracking, and I learned that it IS possible to stay thin without working out twice a day, as long as I made healthy food choices. And when I eat healthy, I tend to sleep better, exercise reasonably and feel better about myself in general.

        So I should clarify that while I don’t think I’m overweight by any means, I just need to get back on track with my health! I’m hoping that the $60 I just spent on my membership will help with that!

      2. Good for you! Will definitely be interested in hearing your thoughts!!

        Only you know your body best–and it sounds like you know what works!! And you’re right, it IS possible to lose without being active (ideally only when we *can’t* be active) so that is a good reminder, esp. since I think I won’t be able to do anything physical for a while (in the sense of a workout).

  4. Hi! I just wanted to comment on the ProPoints. I am on WW and switched over at my Sunday meeting. I think it seems really great, and takes a lot more into consideration. It’s only day two, and it’s taking some getting used to, but I’m hoping for good things. I haven’t felt deprived which is always a good thing.

    And to Alison, I’ve done both meetings and just online. I find that the meetings can be really helpful if you find the right one. It’s also a better motivator to have to get on that scale in front of a witness. It’s also a positive place with lots of encouragement and people who are struggling with similar problems. If you decide to go to meetings, try a few out until you find a leader you like. They all have their own style. If you do just online, make sure to utilize the message boards for support. Good luck!

    1. Awesome to hear, Kelly! I’m genuinely looking forward to it when I can be back on.I never did meetings but did participate regularly on the chat boards for additional support. Would be interested in hearing more about how you are liking it in the coming weeks! 🙂

  5. yay lisssa! im so thrilled to hear you feeling ready to move beyond “recovering” and not allowing yourself to be stuck in your past. im happy for you and for your readers to share this present peace and will look forward to whatever direction your blog takes. blogging is first and foremost something you do for YOU. 🙂

  6. Yeah, I love your blog. I think the direction will come more naturally then you think. That’s how I’ve always found it to be. In any case, you clearly have a lot of loyal readers that’ll stick around as long as you don’t start talking like a baby. Or maybe that’s just me. lol

    1. LOL Jods. Promise, no baby talk here 😉 And yea, I think you’re right, naturally it will morph to what it needs to. It’s just weird when you’ve been branded a certain way — on your own accord.

  7. Congratulations on seeing yourself as “Recovered”!!
    I think that is amazing. Definitely not what the disorder wants to hear. But it is a HUGE step.
    I also call myself recovered and that has really helped me to stay on this path. It means I do not doubt myself or my recovery.

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