Friday, January 19, 2007

My big fat story

As you may remember, I am losing weight. But Blest recently posted about her own weight loss journey, and it made me reflect on how I got to where I am. You see, as she indicated, there are two different types of people who need to lose weight: the ones who are genetically coded to be fat, and the ones who have let themselves become fat. Of course, there are combinations of the two as well. But I realized I have been blaming genetics for a while, and that's not right. I've been neglectful.

I was never overweight as a kid. I was thin all through high school. I don't remember my exact weight in college, but I do remember that on day one I made a pact with my roommate that we would not gain the freshman 15. She and I worked out together every day and had actually lost a couple of pounds by the end of the year, despite going to a college with amazing food served all-you-can-eat style. We continued our workouts right through graduation. I got married a month after grad, and my wedding dress was a size 8 (though we had to take it out a little, and my normal size at the time was 10).

Over the next four years, my weight stayed basically the same. I walked a lot, ate normally, and when I went for my first prenatal visit, I was at 139. With my first son, I didn't have a lot of nausea, but I was always hungry. I gained 40 pounds. But we joined a gym, I got myself back in shape, and eventually I was down to 155. Then we went on a cruise, I gained 5 pounds, and got pregnant again. This time, I carefully watched what I ate and only gained 25. But I still had extra weight I couldn't get rid of, and they always say not to diet while breastfeeding. So it wasn't very long after I weaned son #2 that I started losing weight again, down to 165, only to get pregnant with #3.

I gained 60 pounds with him. After he was born, I went back to the gym, and worked out periodically, but it just wasn't convenient anymore and I was tired. I let things slide. By the time I got pregnant with #4, I weighed around 188. I gained between 35 and 40 with him. And when I started this weight loss journey in May, I topped the scales at 212. So you can see how pregnancy after pregnancy, combined with breastfeeding for 18 months at a time, gave me really good excuses to be lazy. And that is what I did.

Now I've changed the way I think about food, and the way I eat. I used to go to buffet restaurants, eat two plates of regular food, and then four plates of dessert. I love food, what can I say? Now, I can go to that same place, eat a sensible entree of fish or chicken, veggies, and then carefully choose one dessert. It's not willpower. It's just changing the way I think. And I've noticed that foods with a high fat content or too much sugar just gross me out now. One bite and I have to stop. My body is getting back to normal.

So I just wanted to share this to let you know that it's never too late. If you're like me and have just neglected fitness for a long time and have been eating whatever you want, start making little changes. Even a small change is positive. I use Slim-Fast and count calories, but find whatever works for you and stick to it! You can do it!


  1. I didn't breastfeed either time, but I can say honestly my body changed with pregnancy. I started out my first pregnancy a size 5. I walked out of the hospital after delivery in a size 7.
    I was on bed rest my ENTIRE pregnancy with my son, and I gained a LOT of weight. I walked in weighing 217 to have him, and don't think I walked out weighing much less. I did lose weight though, and got down to a size 10, which looked GREAT on me. It seems the perfect size for me now.
    So, that's my goal...a size 10. I'm not prepared yet to say what size I am, but it's NOT a size 10!!
    Good luck to you, we'll motivate each other!! I started a ticker, and it's linked in my sidebar, maybe you could do the same :-)

  2. Thanks, Arlene! Yeah, I'm not aiming for my before-children body, but just a healthy size 14 would be fine with me!

  3. Good for you!!!!!!

    I know what it is going to take for me to lose weight. I've done it before and then backslid all of 2006. For some reason I am just having trouble finding the motivation to get back on the track. (healthy food, exercise, lifestyle change. - I lost 35 lbs in 2005 - gained 18 back in 2006) (need to lose 40 more for my goal weight)

  4. yes i am back, got back yesterday. thanks for asking!!!

    i am slowly getting pics up @

  5. Great post Jana! I think if more people would not think of diet, and start thinking healthy, they might start to feel better too.

  6. Thanks for sharing. And yeah, having kids is a great excuse isn't it! That's what I hide behind. You are an inspiration to me : )

  7. Good thoughts, there. Eating sensibly would go a long way.

  8. Thanks for sharing Jana. Keep up the hard work - you're doing so well :-)

  9. Thanks for the positive attitude! I have been trying and did great for about 4 days - and then terrible for 2 days - and trying to get back on the wagon. Constant struggle.

    I've been overweight pretty much since I was about 8 years old and it just got progressively worse. I have lot's of excuses, but even the valid ones won't keep one from becomming diabetic or getting heart disease. I have to do something about it regardless, right?

  10. Karmyn - you can do it!

    CD - I'll check it out!

    Chris - thanks!

    Sandy - *blush* Thanks!

    Jean-Luc - I just wish all the bad-for-me stuff didn't taste so good!

    Debs - thanks! I always appreciate your positive comments!

    Tee - that's what it's all about, right? I mean, if it were just to look good, how many people would bother? We want to be here for our grandkids and great-grandkids, am I right?