That’s What I Look Like?

I have 50 pounds to lose. That sounds like a very large number. No…wait…it is a very large number.

I’ll try to think of it as 10 five-pound chunks. That’s not so bad, right?


I never thought I would identify myself as someone who struggled with her weight (I was extremely active in high school), but I have to face the facts: I am 50 pounds over the highest suggested weight for my height. I have gained and lost so many pounds that I have stopped counting.

I am 20 pounds over the weight I was when I joined Weight Watchers for the first time, over ten years ago. I was successful and lost 30 pounds and made it to goal and lifetime status, but, well, here I am.

I was overweight when I got pregnant, I gained about 40 pounds, and I’ve lost only 20 of those pounds–and my boy is almost 18 months old. Wait…no…I lost 30, then I gained 10 back.

I know what I need to do. I’ve often said I could write my own weight-loss book, but it would have only two sentences:

1. Eat less.
2. Move more.

I’ve thought about following a diet plan like South Beach or Atkins or [insert diet here], but I know I need to change my lifestyle and not just follow a program. It’s not about going to meetings every week or counting calories. It’s about making better choices. I may have to join something formal, but I’d like to try to do this on my own.

I made a better choice when I chose to leave my marriage, and I need to make better nutritional and physical choices.

There are a number of reasons. In no particular order:

  • I want to feel better about myself.
  • I want to be able to keep up with Smiley and chase after him and play with him, especially has he gets bigger (and faster).
  • I want to feel sexy.
  • I want to be able to walk with my coworkers to lunch and not struggle to keep up.
  • I want to climb the stairs without getting winded.
  • I want my clothes to fit better. (Hell, I want my clothes to fit, period.)
  • I want to dig in to the box of clothes in storage and fit into some of the cute stuff I haven’t been able to get rid of. (Maybe it’ll be back in style by then!)
  • I want to go shopping and not walk out dejected and feeling crappy about myself.

I don’t have the best family history–heart disease, cancer, diabetes–and the loss of both of my parents has been painful, and I don’t want Smiley to lose his mother. Also, more selfishly, I worry that if something were to happen to me, Smiley would never know me. His father’s family would do everything they could to absorb him, assimilate him into the collective, and he would get the runaround when he asked about me, since I was the bad lady who left the precious angel. I know The Writer, the BFF, and other people would do their best to see Smiley and tell him about me, but I expect they’d be rebuffed. And I want Smiley to have every chance to grow up and be well-rounded and empathetic and independent, and I don’t think he’d have the chance if that happens.

And, apologies to those who know us in real life, but there are times when I’m with The Writer (and I mean *with*) and I feel so amazing. I see how he looks at me, how he touches me, and I feel beautiful and sexy and wonderful. He loves me the way I am, no strings attached, no conditions. And I can feel it.

Then I get out of bed and cross in front of the mirror and…thud. Oh yeah. That’s what I look like.

I want the woman in the mirror to match how I picture myself in my head. I want to look in the mirror and see the woman The Writer sees.

I’ve laid out some guidelines for myself to help fix my eating habits.This is the first part of the battle. I am an emotional eater, and I am full of emotion. I need to plan better meals, even when I’m on my own, and stop snacking.

I’m giving myself an exercise goal, but I’m having a hard time seeing how to fit it in with the little one. I do take him for walks in the neighborhood (and use the monster stroller to give me some weight to push), but I feel like there could be more I can do. I have Wii Fit, but I haven’t been using it recently. After Smiley goes to bed, I just want to relax, not exercise! I did join a gym with babysitting, which will be great for the weekends with Smiley, but it doesn’t open for two more months.

How do you fit in exercise in your daily schedule, with or without kids? What are some tricks you used to get to your goals? What are some of your standbys for tasty, healthy meals?


26 responses to “That’s What I Look Like?

  1. I think you’re on the right track. The first step is admitting it, right? And the next step is doing something about it. Forget all the other steps. You said it yourself….eat less, move more! You can do this! :)

  2. GOOD FOR YOU!! i always try to buy healthy stuff. i currently have a giant thing of celery in the fridge. amazingly the 2 bags of chips bought for the boy and his father have disappeared but the celery is still there. huh. when you figure all this out let me know! i am in the same boat. blah.
    that said, i TOO could write a nutrition/healthy book!! let’s meet for chips and drinks and discuss a plan at length while sitting on our butts HAHA!

  3. I get up earlier than my kids so that I can exercise without hearing,”Mommy, I need/want ….” At times it is difficult but I try to focus on the goal: lose weight, feel healthier, fit into my clothes, and so on.

    • Thank you. I do tell myself I should be on the same wakeup schedule no matter what, so the days I don’t commute or don’t have the kiddo I can work out, but I’m usually so tired I want to sleep in. (And I know that working out will give me more energy…it’s just hard to get there in the first place.)

  4. I go during my lunch break at work. No way I could fit it in otherwise and my gym doesn’t have daycare (I was w/one that did but it was also 20 miles away). I bought an elliptical for late night stuff or those times I don’t feel like going to the gym at lunch and instead sit and eat lunch.

    Idk how to stay motivated but I DO know that once you get going, keep going. If you stop it’s 10 times harder to get back going again. Good luck, you can do it ;)

    • Thanks! I was thinking today whether I could justify buying an elliptical, but there’s just no room in my house. My commute stinks, so if I work out on my lunch break, I lose out on the benefits of working earlier hours. I swear I’m not just making excuses… ;)

  5. Best of luck girl! You can do it if you set your mind to it. Don’t let yourself make excuses or procrastinate. The first couple of pounds are the hardest, and then you will be able to see the benefits. Picture the way you want yourself to look when you don’t feel like it and do it. Try Yoga, you can start slow, very relaxing and as you get better over the days/weeks you can kick it up a notch or twenty and really get a good workout. I do that at night or in the morning. I think you just have to find the one form of exercise that you really like. You can do it!

  6. You can TOTALLY do this. I have faith in you and your plan sounds exactly right…no diets, no trickery, just eat less, move more. Lifestyle change. For me, what has worked is counting calories – seems old school, but it WORKS. I follow this simple rule – multiply your ideal weight by 13 and that’s how many calories you should eat. No ‘saving’ calories for the weekend, no splurge days…just plan ahead for that stuff and stay at a consistent number, every day, as much as you possibly can. Your body will adjust to this number pretty quickly (1-2 weeks or so, and you won’t feel so hungry or deprived or anything!) and it is totally doable. Within 6 months, your body should be responding to that number in terms of weight loss etc. It is working for me, and it is so managable, I even can fit in wine on weekends ;-) Walking is a great workout, so many people knock it, or don’t think it is, but it is. and of course, you know I’ll say try a barre workout, but they are AWESOME. Email me if you want any more tips and I hope my suggestions here aren’t like, totally overbearing. Just what has worked for me :) Good luck!!!

    • Thank you! I You suggestions are great. :) I have a calorie-counting app for my phone that I used for a while in the spring, and it really did make a difference. I just need to remember that when I have a bad day, it’s just one day (or one meal, for that matter), and it shouldn’t cancel out all the work I’ve done. I have a tendency to get frustrated and give up when I have those emotional periods of eating. I’m really good at beating myself up! This time around, though, I’ll call on my Internet friends for help and motivation and support. :)

      • Yes! I learned that too – one bad meal choice or whatever, doesn’t mean the end of the world or to keep the rest of the day as a ‘bad’ eating day, just pick yourself up and move on :)

  7. Reading this post is like being inside my own head. I feel almost EXACTLY how you feel. I think the same EXACT things. I know what I need to do – “eat less, move more”. I even went so far as to join a gym. But have I gone? Twice. I’ve had the membership a month and gone TWICE!

    50 pounds is intimidating. But we can do it!!

  8. Good for you doll! I’ve been eating better and trying not to lost myself in my moods. It helps that the Boyfriend is supportive and just like the Writer, he loves me as I am so that always helps motivate me.

  9. I struggle with my weight, too. Right now I’m at what I would consider to be my “ideal” weight – for the first time in my adult life. I fit in exercise when it makes sense – I’m fortunate to be able to walk to work, and I try to run on mornings when my girls are with their dad. Some days I also go for a power walk on my lunch break.

    I’ve also been counting calories, which I really find helps to keep me in check. It forces me to make healthier choices….like if I’m still hungry at the end of the day and only have a few calories left, I *have* to pick something healthy (and low calorie!!) to fit into my calorie “budget”.

    Good luck! Celebrate small successes along the way. You can do it!

    • Congratulations on getting to your ideal weight! I am so impressed by your half-marathon run. (A friend is trying to get me to commit to one with her in March, but I am not sure I’m ready to do that.) I do need to find ways to fit in exercise. I’m also trying to get to sleep at a decent hour, which may make those morning walks doable sooner than later.

      • Getting to bed at a good hour is absolutely essential for me. I go to bed early – sometimes at the same time as my daughters!! To make sure that I’m well-rested and ready to hit the ground running the next day. I’m definitely a morning person! ;-)

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  13. I have to admit – I am guilty at not being a regular “mover”. I do tend to watch what I eat, which helps, but I have noticed that as I get a wee bit older, that’s not always enough. I have signed up for a membership at a Yoga studio down the street for me. My first class is on Saturday – here’s hoping I like it!

    • Good luck with yoga! I find that it’s too hard for me to turn off my brain for yoga, but Pilates has me so focused, I can’t think about anything else. Different technique, same result, I guess.

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