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- Sara Fisher, a mother of two, opened up about the pervasive pressure to get thin after having kids.
- The full-time lawyer felt good after losing a significant amount of weight, but found so many of her other accomplishments more fulfilling.
- The active mom hopes to get healthier, but isn’t interested in buying into unrealistic post-baby body standards.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
My second baby is turning 4 in one week.
And as of this morning, I reached the weight I was before he was born.
It’s a number that vastly exceeds what society expects of women. But for me, it’s progress. It provides a measure of relief from the constant negative thoughts that race through my mind every time I struggle to stuff my arms into the sleeves of my favorite work blazers or have to adjust the seat belt on an airplane to the maximum width to close it comfortably.
I wasn’t overweight as a kid, but that changed with puberty and I have been fighting this battle ever since. With every degree I earned, I seemed to enter a new weight bracket.
But because my weight did not get in the way of living a relatively normal life, having friendships, relationships, or participating in activities I loved, the beauty magazine standards for thinness never really harmed my self-worth. Or at least not deeply enough to force me to make drastic life changes, even as my sedentary lifestyle as an associate at a large law firm substantially contributed to my girth.
Weight loss weightloss weight loss programs weight loss foods weight loss tips Beauty magazine standards never really harmed my self-worth
But there were definitely negative thoughts. And it only got worse since I started having kids; each of my two children brought on new challenges, joys, and extra poundage.
The first time I went snowboarding after having children was a reckoning. Not only could I not close my ski pants, but I also had trouble bending over my own midsection to close the bindings on my board. One of my favorite physical activities was now so physically burdensome that I could not enjoy it at all.
And seeing myself in photos over the last few years, I could understand why my knees had started aching just from the responsibility of carrying the rest of me. And why chasing my kids at the playground was leaving me winded. And even though there were still moments when I felt attractive — when I wasn’t worrying about whether my skirt was sufficiently close to my knees to mask the puckering above — I just didn’t look like me anymore. This had ventured too far into the unhealthy zone.
Weight loss weightloss weight loss programs weight loss foods weight loss tips When I felt I no longer looked like ‘me,’ I wanted to make a change
So, slowly and gradually, I have started to reverse some of this long-term gain.
It feels better.
But during these four years I also:
- Moved my family into a new house
- Got promoted twice at a job I loved where I pursued justice for vulnerable investors
- Took a risky leap in my career to support my family
- Leased an appropriate family car and bought a new vehicle, which makes me feel good every time I drive it
- Supported my husband, another family member, and a good friend through job changes
- Breastfed a kid for a year while working
- Welcomed three new nieces and nephews and showed up for these new moms when they needed me
- Travelled to three other countries for work, vacation and family celebrations
- Discovered my passion for writing
- Found an amazing colorist
- Worked on human rights causes with generous people who care deeply about the suffering of other families, including NYC Mammas Give Back— a non-profit that collects and distributes essential items to underserved mothers. I also got involved with Lawyer Moms of America — a national coalition of lawyer moms who advocate for migrant children, and helped direct resources to the attorneys who are fighting for families on both sides of the border.
- Took up golf
- Learned a lot about what kind of mother, friend and person I want to be
and most importantly,
- Loved my children more than life itself.
I did all of it while fat, and it didn’t matter.
Weight loss weightloss weight loss programs weight loss foods weight loss tips Losing weight felt good, but so many other things felt better
My children didn’t think I was any less of their mother. When we joked about “big mama” coming to carry them up the stairs or to the beach from the boardwalk because the sand was too hot, it was a loving recognition of my physical and emotional strength and commitment to them — not a derogatory fat-shaming slur.
And I was strong enough to power through torturous sleep deprivation, endless colds, flus, so much vomit, long work hours and all of the other things that make parenting such a profound endurance challenge.
Being fat didn’t stop me from fiercely advocating for my babies when I thought they weren’t being treated fairly by others, or from giving them my best advice when they encountered their first bullies. It didn’t stop me from having giggle fests and ridiculous dance parties in the kitchen, even if I was jiggly and out of breath.
People at my previous job didn’t think my legal advice or career guidance was any less prudent. The family, friends and strangers I helped were not affected by my weight. My new employer didn’t think I was any less employable. The people who love me didn’t love me any less. And I didn’t love me any less.
I’m glad to finally see that elusive number on the scale again. I hope to one day reach what I weighed before my oldest was born because I’d like even more of my smart clothes to fit and I really want to enjoy my old hobbies again. Maybe I’ll even get back on a surfboard again one day.
But if that takes another four years, so be it.