Pre-Deployment Weight Gain

Learning to be an army wife is making me fat… please tell me I’m not alone in this.

On our third date my wife (or then, barely blossoming girlfriend) informed me she would be deploying this March for an 8 month tour in the great sandbox of the middle east. From that  point on our relationship played out in tandem, one part warm fuzzy future, one part living in the moment with the clock ticking. We spent substantial time planning the dynamics of her absence — would I drop her off? Will we use a doggie daycare service when my job kicks into full swing? Who will I call if I get snowed into our house? You know, the important stuff. We also, subconsciously, began living like pleasure-seeking heathens. Cheesecake in bed, McDonalds every other day (“because”, she whined, “I will miss it for a whole 8 months!”), and substantial wining and dining with the friends and family who would be missing her, too. It was easy to justify anything just by looking at the calendar, and touting how much we were going to enjoy the coming days before she left. I am fairly certain the final month of her time at home was spent completely sedentary, save trips to restaurants, fast food chains, and the grocery store if we were feeling especially daring. On March 16th she said goodbye, leaning down into the driver’s seat of our car (a moment I am sure I’ll be writing about later), and I have had a lot of realizations since.

A lot of the changes have been positive. Life isn’t impossible, I am (it turns out) fairly capable of this whole rampant independence thing. I get up. I work. I read. I walk our dog. There have been negatives, too, like long lonely evenings and the frustrations of communication breakdowns. Perhaps the most alarming, however, has been realizing that I have gotten fat. In fact, I have gained north of 20 pounds, perhaps upwards of 30, since the end of the summer. This is horrifyingly demonstrated by the lack of any fitting pants in my wardrobe, along with brand new stretch marks on my thighs, hips, and boobs. This happened somehow behind the scenes while romping in the sheets and languishing on the couch pre-deployment,  but has since offered a harsh cruel reality of the army wife life. Since realizing how out of hand this problem had gotten I quickly created a meal plan and fitness regime, which I am honestly enjoying, but it doesn’t diminish how absolutely demoralizing it was to realize that all of my enjoyment of my beautiful wife before her tour, went straight to my hips (…and thighs, and boobs…).

I am theoretically now back on track to returning to a comfortable weight, though we’ll see how morale and success play out, but now I am curious — is this a commonality amongst army spouses? None of my deployment literature warns of over-indulging before the big day, but I do get an awful lot of ads in my mailbox for fitness bootcamps…so maybe this is a predictable cycle. Army spouse gains pre-deployment, spends deployment trying to regain or exceed pre-existing hotness to welcome home their loved one, and then the cycle begins again. Did you, oh wise army spouses of the internet, play a similar game of deployment fitness yo yo?

It’s just funny how with all of the planning, discussions, precautions, and training, there is still always the unexpected to keep you on your toes. Now, excuse me, I need to go enter today’s calories on MyFitnessPal. Leave is only a few weeks away, afterall.

Oh, for the record, she gained weight too 😉 — but I don’t have the middle east sun to sweat off my extra pounds!