Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Getting Real about My Weight

If you read this blog pre-baby, you probably remember my love-hate relationship with diets... I am an equal opportunist, meaning I'm willing to try anything; but, the diet only gets about two days to prove its value (i.e. make me lose 10 pounds) and ease (i.e. require nothing of me) before I give up and move on to the next great thing.  Sad, but true. (For a "brief history of my even briefer diets", click here.)

Anyway, the beginning of the school year is kind-of my New Year's Eve.  I love the opportunity for a fresh start, and I always have lofty goals of a more organized, productive, and healthy life.  You know where this is headed...

I'm not pregnant.  I'm not breastfeeding or taking care of a newborn.  Shoot, I'm not even working full time.  I have no excuse anymore for not taking care of myself.  It's time for me to get real about my weight.

First, a little background...

This is our wedding day (why is that always the baseline?) in June 2007.  I weighed about 135 pounds thanks to a busy semester of wedding planning and student teaching plus a few weeks of nervous energy.  I felt beautiful on that day.

Fast forward to the first day of school in 2010.  Thanks to three years of the "D.I.N.K" lifestyle and goodies in the teacher's lounge, I had gained about 30 pounds.

Then... I got pregnant.  This photo was taken about a week before Sam was born in July 2011.


There are really no words... I can giggle at this photo right now; but, if I'm being honest, it makes me sad.  I gained about 45 pounds, had gestational diabetes, and was miserable.  (To put that into perspective, if Sam stays in the 50th percentile, he will not weigh 45lbs. until he is SIX years old.) I do not want to do pregnancy like that again.

Luckily, my body reacted well to breastfeeding and motherhood.  When this photo was taken in August (just five weeks after Sam was born), I had lost 35 pounds of baby-weight; and, seriously, I felt like the skinniest person in the world!
And, by the first day of school in 2011 (which was technically the beginning of October because of maternity leave) I was actually down ten pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight.  *Yes, I am a huge advocate for breastfeeding as it was the absolute only diet I went on.

Which brings me to today...

At Sam's first birthday party on July 12th, 2012.
I am coming up on the first day of school 2012 (wow).  Since I stopped breastfeeding three months ago, but continued to eat whatever I wanted and not exercise, I have gained those ten pounds right back.  In case you haven't kept up with all those numbers, that means I'm almost exactly where I was before I got pregnant - about 30 pounds overweight*.

So, I'm ready to get serious... As of yesterday, I have signed up for My Fitness Pal online and downloaded the ap to my phone. (If you are also doing the plan, feel free to follow me.  I'm just emyselfandi.) I'm committing to counting calories and exercising this year - NO excuses!  My goal?  To lose 30 pounds by January 1.

I admit that I don't have a good track record with dieting.  I don't like to be uncomfortable and, frankly, I like junk food.  But, this time is going to be different.  Here are a few reasons why:

- I want to feel better and have energy to keep up with my wild boy.

- I want be ready for the next pregnancy and go into it MUCH healthier - for my body, and my baby.

- I want to set a good example for my boy of healthy living.

- I want to look good in my clothes and bathing suit.  (What? Anyone who says that isn't at least some of their motivation for losing weight is delusional.)

So... here goes nothing!  I hope you will join me on this journey... It is sure to bring plenty of laughs and confessions - but, hopefully, some victories too! Look for a "first day of school photo/check-in in about two weeks.
*According to the CDC's healthy BMI range, I need to lose between fifty (whoa baby) and twenty pounds.

30 comments:

  1. Thanks for the inspirational post! I was excited to read you are using My Fitness Pal too. I started using it about 17 days ago and I've lost 7 pounds with it. It's the first time that I've felt motivated this much in about 9 years. I'll follow you. Feel free to follow me too at emilyarrison. Good luck to you!

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  2. Good Luck - right there with you, unfortunately I do not have a baby to give some credit to, just the first couple years of teaching! However - new school year, new motivation and new perspecitve!! Thank you for sharing!!

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  3. Good Luck! I'm sure you can do it, but I think you look great now regardless! I understand all too well the experience of stuffing your face post-breastfeeding and seeing the weight creep back. To stay at my pre-Luke weight I work diligently to eat healthIER (not always healthy, though) and exercise daily. I do four miles everyday- two miles running, two miles walking or just a four mile powerwalk. I encourage you to start walking with a good friend or a good playlist. I turn on my old school ipod and go for it. Yes, some days it's the last thing I want to do but it makes me feel better about splurging on dessert when I know I've worked out. I'm not a gym girl, and most everything else I've tried gets old, but a brisk hour+ walk has been the ticket for me achieving my prebaby weight. I'm excited to see your progress!

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  4. I pretty much could have written this post myself, word for word. I feel so out of control with my weight and food (and for a control freak like myself, it is quite maddening). I like the accountability aspect of My Fitness Pal, I sent you a friend request so maybe that will help?!?! My goal is to lose 60lbs in the next year - losing 30 by Jan. 1st would be glorious but I need to learn to take this one day at a time. YOU (we) can do it!!!

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  5. I love MyFitnessPal! I started Weight Watchers back in Feb 2011, and lost about 30 lbs, then moved out of the country. I've been using the MyFitnessPal app since I've been back to continue on my weight loss journey, and I love it. The only negative is that WW gives you extra points each week (49 to be exact) so if you feel like you need extra you can have it. MyFitnessPal doesn't do that, with the exception of the calories you earn exercising.That's the only negative I've found so far. I've lost 9.8 lbs since getting back into the country (June) and am excited to see where this journey goes as the new school year starts out (I am a high school teacher as well!)

    Best of luck, and I'll be sure to friend you!

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  6. I can't blame my weight on pregnancy, since my baby is 19, but I do need to lose weight. I got on the scale after reading your post, and I'm the heaviest I've ever been--including when I was preggers! I think I'll blame it on the stress of being a masters student and life in general. (Dealing with a teenage girl is no picnic!) I knew my clothes weren't fitting, but I had NO idea it was as bad as it is. I've just joined My Fitness Pal. My goal is to lose 45 lbs. I'll be your MFP friend, if you'll be mine. My username is valpope330. WE CAN DO THIS THING!!!

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  7. I'm a new blog reader and will be going to find you on myfitnesspal right now!!!! Our stories are SOOOOOO similar! I have all these friends that blame the weight they are carrying around on the baby....I can't do that and my baby is 2! I actually left the hospital at my pre-pregnancy weight (in my defense I was VERY sick and didn't gain much and had my daughter prematurely). However, with breastfeeding the weight continued to fall off. I guess I naively thought when the breastfeeding stopped the eating could continue WRONG!!!! So here I am on this journey to get the weight I gained for absolutely no reason besides being lazy OFF! My user name is jfeisal!

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  8. Your post seems to have inspired a lot of people, me included! Thanks for your honesty and openness.

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    1. I started using My Fitness Pal yesterday and it is eye-opening! I hadn't realized how much the little snacks added up. The points make it feel kind of like a game, and I find myself motivated to exercise more and eat less. Here's hoping I can keep it up!

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  9. You can do it, E! I didn't have baby weight to lose, but I did have ten extra pounds I wanted to get rid of. I made up my own diet, which consisted of listening to my body and quitting foods that I noticed made me feel bloated or bad, (which ended up being grains) and I cut out sugar for a bit. I ate a diet heavy in meat and fruits and veggies. No sugar except what was natural in the fruits. Real foods, nothing processed (because even the Lean Cuisine's aren't healthy and packed full of chemicals). By doing this, I lost the ten pounds in two weeks with hardly any exercise! Good luck!

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  10. I've remember a few posts from you about paying for weight watchers but not actually tracking and from one former WW, I always kind of hoped it would click, because it worked SO WELL for me. That being said, (I swear I'm not being tough on you--I was just there, hell, I'm there now postpartum again!)--it really does pay off to stick to it. It sucks sometimes, but it is beyond worth it to feel like a million bucks when you're chasing your kid around. AND I can also say this---it's way worth it to lose the weight before baby#2!! I will have a post about this soon'ish....but I am at a place now where I have only 20lbs to lose to be at my skinniest weight again. 20 pounds? That's nothing compared to the 50 plus I had to lose after Emeline. You won't regret it if you can stick to it. I'm proud of you, you've got this!

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    1. Katie, you seriously have been a HUGE inspiration to me to get on the right track. You did so great losing the weight before your second pregnancy, and you looked (and, I think, felt) amazing throughout the whole thing. Thanks for being such a good example and encouragement!!

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  11. I am trying to do the same thing. It's definitely hard. My metabolism is not what is used to be now with my age. My weight loss goal is small now (only 5 pounds), but it's just not moving.

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  12. So proud of you!! I use(d) MFP earlier this year to lose 10-12 pounds and I LOVED it...now I've slacked off and gained about half of it back, so after I finish off this bedrest and can get back to normal life & exercise, I may buckle down again and get back on. My username is lesmis01...my first time using it, I basically just had 2 friends using it as well and even that was SO encouraging to me...so maybe now I can get some more friends and be more encouraged?? We shall see!! :)

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    1. P.S. I just went back and read the comments on the post I linked to above ("Brief History...") and it, apparently, was the post where we "met." How about that?!?! I may not have lost any weight after that post, but at least I gained a blog friend! :) Haha! Hope you are feeling better!

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  13. I feel like I could have written this post, except for the marriage, pregnancy, breast-feeding part. Haha..ok what I'm trying to say is that I have a love-hate with diets and I gain/lose on a lifetime basis. It's my life story, haha! BUT I have My Fitness Pal (smm1985) and I was in a good routine of logging in daily and tracking my calories. Let me tell you something though--if you miss a few days..it posts something like this on your "news feed" (that I didn't know existed):

    "smm1985 has not logged in for a week. She might need some encouragement."

    What?? LOL!!! It just keeps posting that week after week...so needless to say, I'm back to tracking--I don't want anyone to think I'm a slacker! Haha!!

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  14. I to gained a lot of my breastfeeding weight back. In January (when I was no longer breastfeeding) I did my fitness pal for one month, didn't see a difference and joined Weight Watchers, then realized I was losing weight. I have lost 20 pounds and have maintained all summer by walking and using my fitness pal! Good luck!

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  15. LOVE myfitnesspal! If anything, it keeps me accountable.

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  16. I started reading this blog when I was down at Tech and when I graduated, I moved home. I was diagnosed with anorexia my sophomore year of school and to say the battle is over, I would be lying. You are beautiful in any size you are. You are a caregiver to your baby and a wife to your husband. You are losing weight so that you are healthy, and that's all it should be about. I look at you, NOT at your size or the way your clothes fit, but as a women of God striving to live for Him. Don't go overboard in getting down on yourself. You are AMAZING in any state.

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  17. I wish I would have read this before I ordered a happy meal for lunch.

    Anyways, I think you look great, seriously. Plus I adore your style; you definitely hide any 'problem' areas VERY well. Please don't fret about your next pregnancy, you'll be so busy with Sam you won't gain as much - promise.

    Gabe is now 10 months and I still have 10 lbs to go. I typically hover around the 150-155 lbs mark and hit 200 lbs with Saige my 5 lbs baby! (true story). 18 months later I was at 145 lbs and felt awesome. I put on 25 with Gabriel's pregnancy and I'm now at 165 lbs... ugh.

    I'm getting super impatient with this extra flubber spilling over my jeans - muffin toppage is SO annoying. With that being said, once these nuggets settle, I'm SO with you on your weight loss goals. Only 6 months 'til Mexico.

    ready, set, GO!

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  18. Hey dear!! I think outlook awesome, but understand not being happy with current weight. It's sad that I was happy when I lost ten pounds when I got the flu!! Arg. You'll havE lots of friends cheering you on---and I'm hoping you motivate me. ;)

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  19. Girl, you look amazing, but i get wanting to be healthier & to have a healthy pregnancy! I am struggling so much to lose weight & I HAVE GOT TO DO IT! It's a major health issue (i have 100ish pounds to lose.) now & I am being told that the key to my getting pregnant is to lose weight (more to it than that, but that's the short story). Good luck. You can do it! :)

    p.s. your intro was so honest - it made me laugh - only b/c i SO identify with it!

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  20. Elizabeth,
    I just found your blog, via Pinterest, and I already love it! I sympathize with your weight journey but I want you to know that My Fitness Pal is an amazing tool and helped me lose 15 pounds. This was not without effort but it is the first time I have been successful and healthy in weight loss. Best of luck with your journey and thank you for sharing all of your wonderful teaching ideas--as a new teacher I am so grateful! Best of luck!

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  21. Way to go on being real and posting this! I need to do the same. Best of luck, you can do it !

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  22. Way to go on being real and posting this! I need to do the same. Best of luck, you can do it !

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  23. myfitnesspal definitely keeps you accountable!! Good luck! I know you will meet your goal!

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  24. Hi E - thank you for this post! I have around 15 lbs to lose and have struggled with the on and off dieting and staying motivated. I just joined my fitness pal - I'm hoping it keeps me on track!

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  25. Weight Watchers is the best. I go 7 am Saturday mornings and have lost almost 25 pounds this year. Great tips and healthy eating so that the weight will stay off. You are young, E, so you will lose more quickly than us 68 year olds do.

    Hugs,
    Carol

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  26. E, I totally feel your pain. I have no children, but over the years I have put on a lot of weight!! Last year I was fed up with it. I lost 30lbs (and I used the same app you have on your phone after hearing about it at work from a nutritionist), but I still have a way to go. I was really happy that I lost the weight gradually over the course of a year (It could have been a little bit faster, but at least it was not too fast). I felt a lot better, not just physically, but about myself too. Even though I still have a little ways to go, I am more comfortable with the way I look now. Good luck in your journey!

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  27. Hi, from lake of constance, germany
    I had exactly the same problem after the first pregnancy: started slightly overweighted, gained 18 Kilo, lost 20 and gaines again after i stopped breastfeeding. Luckily during the second pregnancy i only gained 11 Kilo - and lost 22 by now, The babyboy is 5 months old and i still breastfeed. Will see what may come...
    Manja

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Your comments are what makes this thing fun! I LOVE to hear from you and do my best to respond to everyone! THANK YOU!


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