Downs And Ups

Her son's finicky eating habits lead to emotional noshing—and weight gain—for Hillari.

fitp2093364247_0.jpg Instagram

Progress report at 10 months Starting weight: 165 lbs. current weight: 153 lbs.

Yesterday, Truman, now 18 months, had one of those days: He just wouldn't eat anything. Believe me, I tried. I started the day offering him a banana, raisins, a slab of whole-grain toast with almond butter and apricot preserves—no, no, no. Having failed that, then fresh sliced strawberries with yogurt and honey. Uh-uh. Multigrain toaster waffles? Forget it.

Truman loves brown rice, so I cooked up a pot of that. But no. Lentils? Also no. Steamed broccoli, no. A mashed sweet potato, no. Baby carrots? Cheddar bunnies? Kiwi fruit? How many ways are there to say no?

As the day wore on, I grew frustrated, insulted, desperate, anxious, fearful and willing to lower my standards more than a little. I'm not proud to say that it was Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and chicken nuggets, delicately seasoned with my own salty flop sweat, that he finally deigned to nibble on.

Leftovers? What leftovers? By the time I put Truman to bed, I figured he had about one-quarter of the calories he needed to thrive. I, on the other hand, had at least twice my necessary allotment.

That's because every Truman hunger-strike day ends up being a calorie bonanza for me: "Look, Truman, yum-yum! Delicious! Mommy loves this!" Then there's the frustrated nerve soothing: "Eat the graham cracker, just [crunch, crunch] eat the graham cracker." And of course, I can't let good food go to waste.

Connecting the crumbs It took me a while to figure this out. After all, I've been working out harder than ever, with the help of my personal trainer, Rebecca Hicks. When the scale started going up, not down, I panicked and so did she. At first, she thought perhaps I'd put on muscle a little too vigorously. It's true that muscle weighs more than fat, but I just knew that this weight gain was more than that.

Next, we took a serious look at my meal plan. That's when I knew: Though my meal plan is fine, it's what's unplanned that's the problem—the bite-by-bite, impromptu daily eating that's weighing me down, literally.

It's hard to be conscious of these calories, especially when my emotions are running high. But they add up just the same. So I'm making a large investment in small Tupperware in case Truman changes his mind later, and keeping a food diary by the highchair so I have accountability.

I know that long-term weight loss rarely takes a linear path, but it's awful to see your weight creep up after months of a downward trend. I take solace in the idea that turnabout is fair play. Since Truman was a late-life baby for us, it won't be too long before I can return the favor. He'll be at the nursing home trying to spoon mushy carrots into me, only to get my "no face" again and again. If he's lucky, I won't throw them on the floor.

Read Hillari's blog, Mommy Measures Up, at