Suzanne vs. the scale

09/28/2011 at 9:23 am | Posted in weight loss | 28 Comments
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Well, here it is.

The post I never thought I’d write.

It’s too personal. Too embarrassing. And nearly everyone I know reads this blog (including people who see me on a regular basis at work or elsewhere).

But, it’s time.

I need to lose weight. My self-confidence is plummeting fast, and most of my clothes don’t fit (thank god for yoga pants).

Here’s where you come in: I need to be held accountable. I’ve tried this so many times by myself, but I usually hit a plateau and have a hard time staying motivated. Or I go and get pregnant and embark on nine months of binge-eating fried chicken and cupcakes.

So I figure if I write about it here, I’ll be forced to follow-up. To be honest and stay the course.

I’ve always been big. Not fat. Big.

And I’m mostly proud of it. I love being tall and athletic. I love that my heritage shows through my features. I love feeling strong, carrying my babies, pushing them out into the world. And now, lifting and chasing and loving on them.

But right now, I don’t love my weight. Or my belly.

You might hate me for saying this, but I’ve never had a belly. Even after giving birth to Lily, it shrunk right back (thanks to a steady diet of depression, anxiety and sleeplessness). But today? I weigh the same amount as the day I left the hospital with Lily. And that is a scary thing, y’all.

I overcompensated for breast-feeding all summer, figuring I could eat more because I was burning so many extra calories. And I’ll readily admit that I’ve maintained my carb-and-sugar pregnancy diet. I was so sick for most of my pregnancy that I ate only the things that sat well: bread, pasta, cookies, cupcakes, pizza, chicken biscuits. Lord, the chicken biscuits. It doesn’t help to work right down the street from Bojangles and to live around the corner from Chick-Fil-A.


There’s also this: I’m an emotional eater. If I’ve had a bad day or a really good day, I feel like I deserve that huge sweet tea or that cookie the size of my face.

I’m not surprised to be in this situation. After four months of scrutinizing my diet at every single meal because everything I ate affected my baby, I felt deprived and angry. I gave up dairy, chocolate, any source of caffeine, any food that may possibly give Sophie gas or prevent her from sleeping. So those fatty foods I actually was allowed to eat? I ate A LOT of them. Vanilla sandwich cookies by the sleeve. And the aforementioned chicken biscuits.

But I’m ready for a change.

I bought a scale, started a food diary and officially swore off fast food (it’s a start). I’m trying to figure out an exercise plan. And I’m taking you along for the ride. Thanks in advance for bearing with me.

I want to lose 20 pounds by Sophie’s first birthday: May 7, 2012.

Here we go …



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  1. This is me to a T. I’m 5’9″ and am 15 lbs over where I started before babies. After a year with the second baby, I was 20 over and had not budged from my hospital weight either. PPD- check. Apple pies – check. Chocolate milk – check. Finally over the past month I’ve dropped 5. I’m not sure how. I started adding fiber powder to oj and have been slightly more active since it’s cooler outside. I’m also back at the pottery wheel. Good luck! I’m with you on this.

    • Thanks, Paige! How awesome that you dropped that weight just by making some small adjustments to your diet. That’s my hope, too. I’ve been eating badly for almost a year now … I’m hopeful that by reversing some of those behaviors, I’ll get back on track.

  2. This is me, too. I’m so over it. Let’s do this together.

    • Yes! I’m thinking weekend walks to start, pushing Sophie. Would love company.

  3. Hey, her birthday is one day before mine! 🙂 This past winter as I was in the midst of the post-baby weight shed, I picked up my first workout dvd – Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30. It’s great b/c it’s short (~20 mins long), yet works your entire body through strength, cardio, and abs. I will admit, it’s hard! And especially working back into it it may make you feel like you want to die at first, but I’ve definitely seen results. Plus you can stay on the weekly workout levels for as long or as little as you need while you work your way up (there are 4 different weekly workouts on there total).

    Sorry if that was too forward as a suggestion, but I just thought I’d share one thing that’s worked for me in case it might help. You can do it!

    • I’ve heard a lot about her workouts, especially on Twitter. Might check one out, if I get up the courage. And no one is around to see me do it. 🙂 Thanks for the tip!

  4. fist bump, momma. You got this & I’m cheering you on. You’re beautiful, both inside & out, & I cannot wait for you to feel that way every moment 🙂

    • Thank you, friend! BTW, I consider our lunches a special treat and have no intention of giving up those cupcakes. 🙂

      • That was my only fear!!

        (also? I have pants & skirts. I’ll email you about when I can drop them off)

  5. I have found that planning my meals in advance really helps. I have a plan for dinner for the whole family, which means I can plan on leftovers for lunch at work. I’ve been trying to shop smart at the grocery store, and to buy things I can heat up quickly for breakfast. It really cuts down on the fast food, is helping with my weight, and is also much more wallet-friendly!

    • Brilliant. Thanks for the advice!

  6. I hear ya & am with you! I have been on a downward spiral with weight gain for over a year now. I did great while pregnant with Esme’ (I only gained 26lbs)…I swam at least a mile, 3 times a week and then did the elliptical machines 2 days a week. Heck, I was swimming as fast as my swimming partner (who was not pregnant at the time) 2 days before giving birth. After Esme’ was born, I dropped the weight quickly and was able to keep it off while I continued to work out (but as we know, I was still a good 20lbs heavier than I was before kids). Then that awful June day happened when my father passed away unexpectedly…and there it was, the end of all my good habits…

    My weight has now passed what it was when I delivered my little girl’! I feel like crap these days. It really doesn’t help when someone asks if you’re pregnant (which has happened to me more than once recently…heck it happened Sat. evening!). It also doesn’t help when you start a diet with your husband and he quickly loses 20lbs while you maintain the same weight, give or take 5lbs.

    Anyway, just know that I’m with you and struggling too. Maybe we can both lose 20lbs together before our daughters birthdays (since they are only 4 days apart : ) ! If we work together it will definitely make it easier. Lets Chat Sat if we can.

    Take care.

    • I can’t imagine what you’ve been going through, Catherine. I would love to work together … you were always the one who motivated me to go for a swim or a jog back in the day. We’ll talk Saturday! Hugs.

  7. Let me know if you ever want to start walking at work or anything… It’s not much, but a quick stroll on the lunch break is better than nothing!

    • Good idea! Especially now that it’s getting cooler. Will email you!

  8. You can do it!! That’s a very reasonable goal!!

  9. For what it’s worth, it took longer (and more effort) to lose weight after baby #2 than it did after baby#1 for me. After Junius, I nursed (and didn’t sleep) and it just went away. After Pippi? Not so much. So be kind to yourself about where you are and then keep on taking charge about where you want to be!

  10. You can definitely do this! One of the best things I find that keeps me accountable is tracking my food and exercise. I do WW but you can always just use a notebook to record everything. Good luck on your weight loss journey!

  11. Rooting for you! I am with you and trying my own weight loss strategy. Focus on mini goals as you reach for the big one. As you hit those mini goals you will stay motivated and not give up if you don’t reach one. It would only be a minor set-back. Dont just focus on the scale either. It may say one thing but there are other indicators to your progress…energy level, how are clothes fitting and etc. I am trying to live by these same words.

    I will try to be better when we eat out together. BUT….what will we do at the fair?!?!?!

    • The fair is an exception … I’ve already decided. There is no such thing as dieting at the fair. It’s against the law. 🙂

  12. You can totally DO this!! I know its so hard but you have will power!!! My advice: reward yourself for the little stuff (not with food, though). Loose 3lbs? A new shirt. Loose 10? Trip to Ikea. And have a big, fat reward for all 20. Like, trip out of town or something. I love bribery. 🙂 Good luck!

    • Ooh … good idea. I will need some summer clothes (my athletic shorts aren’t exactly on the cutting edge of style). I like how you think!

  13. I hear ya!

    Not that you asked for advice, however I will recommend a book that is very different from anything else I’ve read on the topic. It’s The Self-Compassion Diet by Jean Fain. First of all, it’s not an eating plan. But it does offer many, many tools on how you can permanently make peace with food in your life (and lose weight in the process without gaining it back).

    Good luck!

    • Very cool! Thank you for the book suggestion!!

  14. Well, wish I could offer some great plan but unfortunately I am at my all time heaviest weight. The problem is I havent had kids! I blame it on depression and feeling really old and childless. Here’s to a change, only wish I was there so I could walk with ya. Hang in there. I love ya just the way you are.

  15. […] no gain) Fried chicken count:  0 (this is big) Exercise:  none (yet …) Highs:  Writing this post; getting so much support; finally taking action Lows:  Having to unbutton my pants on the way home […]

  16. I definitely have an idea of how you’re feeling, and hopefully I can offer some support if nothing else. In February I decided I was sick of hating my body, and I wanted to be a good healthy example for my daughter and future children. My story in short… since March 1st I’ve lost 32 pounds. I started small, and as the changes began to stick I’ve enjoyed my healthy lifestyle more and more.

    I originally started posting on Heir to Blair’s McFatty Mondays, and that definitely held me accountable. Now that Beth Anne isn’t doing it anymore, I’ve offered my blog up for links to healthy living/weight loss posts. If you ever want to link up over there feel free!

    You can find all of my posts under my McFatty Monday or Move it Monday labels (McFatty has more), but here are my two progress posts for some inspiration for you, plus my initial post, similar to what you’ve written.

    I really never thought I could do this, but I did. It just takes getting started, and a little (well, a lot of) will power. You can do it!

    • Awesome! Thank you so much for writing and sharing these links. I will definitely hook up!

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