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Reintroduction and Body Revolution Week 1

Saturday, January 19, 2013

I decided it has been a long time since I’ve written anything and I needed to catch everyone up before I could start my Body Revolution Journey.
I have a long history of weight issues. I was an obese child that played a large part in the eating disorder that has dominated a large part of my life. I was actively bulimic for several years, involved in inpatient treatment, and continue to battle the mentality that comes with it.
Learning to be healthy and lose/maintain weight with an eating disorder or in recovery is a difficult line to walk. I fight with it every day. I will probably get into that later.
The point is that in 2007 I had my 3rd child. My first girl. I was terrified. Not only of having a girl, but her having the issues that I had. I didn’t want her to feel the way I feel all the time. Telling her isn’t enough, I have to show my kids how to live, how to appreciate and accept yourself, even if I don’t feel like it.
I was 65lb up from my pre children weight. I’d had two babies 14 months apart and what I hadn’t lost after the second birth rolled over into the third and I felt horrible.
That’s when I started using Spark people. I don’t go to a gym. I have a bunch of kids (we’ll get there in a minute!) and started as an undergraduate student and stay at home mom. No way I could go to the gym and afford the child care for three kids. I have a tiny house, tiny budget, several mouths to feel. There is not a lot of room or money for a ton of equipment or fancy health foods. I have every excuse in the book not to make any changes and to allow myself to let go and gain 200lb….or to wake the beast and let myself use the easy way and give into my eating disorder to manage my weight. I can’t imagine vomiting around my kids…but I can imagine how easy it would be if I allowed myself to start.
I got a 50$ stationary bike and a Carmen elecktra DVD and with sparkpeople I lost all 65lb in 7 months. There are probably still pictures on the page somewhere.
Fast forward a little bit in 2009 I got pregnant again, miscarried in my 3rd month after gaining some weight and continued to gain with the depression that came after. My focus became more on getting pregnant again that loosing the weight. I couldn’t focus on anything else and said to myself when I get there, I may be huge…but I can do it again.
My 4th child was born in June 2010 and I had 72 pounds to lose. I gained more than I had in any other pregnancy, plus the gain with the previous. My stationary bike had literally collapsed and broken under me and I replaced it with an elliptical machiene. This time I started using Jillian Michaels 30 days Shred. I couldn’t even make it 15 minutes into a 20 minute workout. I had to start over and just do some basic crunches…push ups…elliptical for a week or two just to be able to get done with a 20 minute dvd. I didn’t have weights so I used soup cans until I could afford them. Then I got 3lb.
I lost 72lb in 6 months. I believe my 30 day shred results are posted. I went from there into doing other DVDs. I did biggest loser power sculpt 6 days a week for 2 weeks, all 3 levels…I lost more weight and inches in two weeks than I ever have. At that point I started adding in Jillians other work outs. I did yoga, kickboxing, front and back specific, work outs, added weights….I have never felt that strong and my wedding dress was actually too big the last time I tried it on!
I had my final baby, number 5, 11 months ago. I had 48lb to lose this time. I used the same method as the time before. It fought me every step of the way. It took 7 months to lose the 48 this time. I don’t know how much was age or birth control related but it was a lot harder to fight it off this time. I did it though. 5 kids, almost 200lb comined times, I had gotten back to my size 4, well defined, healthy, badass self.
I also completed graduate school and started looking for work. That didn’t happen. I fought with depression, Drank too much. Started smoking again. And my scoliosis with the IUD I’d gotten really started to make the chonic lower back pain unmanageable. I slowly stopped working out and started slacking off. I had my tubes tied and IUD removed, then I had 2 weeks I couldn’t work out. I gained 10lb back and lost all my muscle tone.
After I recovered from the surgery in early November I started physical therapy on my back twice a week and using the gym afterword while I was there. I lost my 10 lbs right before Christmas….and then Christmas happened.
So currently I’m about 7lb higher than my healthy goal. I’d like to lose 12lb. more than anything I was my muscles and strength back. I cant afford the gym and finished therapy so I cancelled my membership. I am home with 5 kids and little equiptment but I firmly believe that it’s not about the machienes. If Jillians taught me anything in the last 175lb it’s that my body is the best machiene to use.
So I just want to feel strong and healthy and confident again. I saw Jillian’s 90 body revolution and decided to put all my Christmas money together and ordered it. My husband got me a new mat…mine literally has holes in it from my shoes shredding it up doing jillian torture…..and bob torture. Bob can torture too. I quit smoking new years. Not because it’s a resolution, but because I am angry that I started again and I knew I couldn’t keep up with jillian if I was smoking. I also knew that if I quit…I would eat…and it was better to be working it off than gaining more and more.
So by the time my Body Revolution and resistance bands got here I had been smoke free 2 weeks but relied on nicotine lozenges. I started day 1 totally nicotine free, and day 1 of body revolution last Monday on January 15. I am going to try to do a weekly log of the program and journey. This is just my introduction to get everyone up to speed on where I am.
I started the week at 156.6lb. My usual goal is 147lb. It puts me in a size 2-4, good BMI (like that means anything. It thinks I’m overweight in a size 6) but I seriously start to feel weak and look kind of sick below 145lb. I was 143 at 19 when I got married and pregnant with my first baby. So I can be totally happy with 147 after 5 kids and 10 years!
I haven’t smoked in 3 weeks. I’m a week off the nicotine lozenges. I have measurements for the week but I’m tired of typing.
The scary. I have a couple pictures from when I lost the weight in September. The camera function on my phone isn’t working so I can’t do before pictures right now but I’m hoping to be able to at least get some by the end of phase one. My measurements from the last month of doing nothing haven’t changed much. I may have gained 7lb but it’s all in my thighs….where it lives….i actually lost inches in other area…I believe this is because I used to have some awesome muscles and now I squish. It’s bizzare to me to think I gained weight and lost inches…and I’m unhappy about it. Also weird to think I need to eat more since I will be burning more. I’ll work on that after I lose my 12lb. I see so many losing 20-30-40lb on this program…but I’m not looking for that. I want definition. I’m hopeful that I can lose 12 though since it’s made for such bigger loses.
I promise next week it won’t be this long!
Jillian Michael’s Body Revolution Week 1!!
Started at 156.6lb. Smoke free 2 weeks. Nicotine free 24 hours.
Week 1 consists of 2 strength DVDs and 1 cardio. It’s a 30 minute a day 6 day a week program. I can do that. There’s no excuse not to. I’ve explained that already.
Work Out 1 is made for the front of the body. It wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be. I’m used to doing a full hour of jillians hard core stuff when I’m in shape…so on one hand I felt like I was holding back….on the other I was afraid of how out of shape id gotten because it was challenging! By the end I felt ok, I was super sore the next day but felt like I could do it. The first two weeks are identical and made to build up the foundation to get into the hardcore stuff that she’s going to torture me with soon. I know she’s holding back….i fear for level 2 and 3.
Work Out 2 added in a resistance band. I followed the DVD but added weights and followed the “advanced” method shown by one or two of the athletes. It pushed me. I was jello when it was over and felt like I’d reached my level. Still sore the next day but rotating muscles and allowing for recovery is part of the program so I’m not going to let that get me.
Also I feel horrible when I wake up stiff and I feel a lot better after I work out.
Day 3 is Cardio. It’s the same cardio twice a week for the whole month of level 1.
I hate cardio. I hate it. I’ve always been the out of shape fat kid. I will do weighted squats and jumps and do a thousand reps as an excuse not to do 2 minutes of cardio…real cardio. I can do hours on the elliptical…I just hate to so very much. It’s important though.
Cardio 1 is a warm up with 3 5 minute circuits made up of 1 minute moves. It alternates a minute of lower body/upper body/combo/recover/repeat. I can do the punches all day….i loathe running man….I made it about 1 circuit before I wanted to die. My hit was numb, I had a fat kid cramp, wanted to die. I pushed through it because I have to. When it was over I was excited not to do it again for days.
Day 4 I start over. Work one again it worked me out but I added the advanced moves and weights because I didn’t feel like it did it for me the first time around. That helped.
Day 5 I repeated work out 2 with the advanced moves I’d done the first time. I ended the workout less jello like than I had the first time. This is why I love jillian, you can FEEL it working in a handful of days if you stick to it…long before you see the big numbers or the muscles you can feel a difference…I was less miserable at the end than I had been just two days before…awesome.
Day 6…Cardio again. I have dreaded this morning for the last 2 days. I woke up late. The kids are all home and I hate cardio. I wanted to skip soooo bad…but I can’t start skipping the first week! The program allows for day 7 off each week and I’d started on Monday so that I would have Sunday off and only have to do one short cardio workout on the weekend when all 5 kids are home.
My girls were up with me and decided to join me. They usually get involved when they can. It’s cute. And I know they’re getting exersice! Today wasn’t nearly as terrible. I still hate it. But it didn’t hurt. And by the 3rd circuit I was ready to die the last time. By the third circuit this time I was so excited to be done and actually energized enough to consider going on…ha. Nope not today. I did love my 2 year olds speed bag and my 5 years olds suicides. They totally hung with me for two whole circuits….not sure if I need a 2 and 5 year old with more endurance….
So recap…it wasn’t impossible to get through the first time and it was noticeably easier the second time around! Score!!
Now the disappointing part is that I didn’t lose any weight.
I ended the week at 157.2lb, but I have two things working again me in my numbers. I just quit smoking and I have been eating everything I can get my hands on and going to get more…it’s seriously ridiculous. And I know it.
Also I always gain before I lose when I start a new program, the muscles building, water retention, I almost always see a 2-4lb jump before it starts to drop. It’s the hardest part to stay motivated through for me.
So the fact that I went up less than a pound while eating like a cow isn’t terrible.
My goal for next week is to start tracking my food again. And I promise week 2 will be shorter.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MRSGOFARR 1/22/2013 7:40PM

    You got this girl. TRACKING IS EVERYTHING. I have been tracking since 1/2 and have lost 8 pounds. We got this. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF.

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ROXIGIRL 1/20/2013 11:12AM

    Hi there,

I am on my last week of Body Revolution now. I had to skip week one and 2 as it was way too easy for me so i started with 3 & 4. Workouts are great. I didn't do cardio all the time as I am running 2-3 times a week 7 miles each time. I have to agree with you on first cardio - i didn't enjoyed it at all. Second and third one are much better (and harder emoticon ).

Now the most important part - i haven't lost any weight. Ok, i haven't followed her diet. I just hate to feel hungry all the time. Ideally i wanted to loose 5 pounds. Never mind. However my stomach is very toned now. May be i will start again after next week and will try to be stricter with myself.

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CHERBEAR7997 1/19/2013 4:20PM

    emoticon emoticon

WOW Girl sounds like you have been through so much already in your life!! I am also doing JMBR and I'm 1 day away from finishing week 3 then monday is rest day before moving on to wk 4. I totally love this routine so far! I didn't have a whole lot of weight to loose but def had those last stubborn 5 lbs to loose. Plus I wanted to tone up, I feel great and I try my hardest to stay within my calorie range. Sad part for me is I like to have my occasional glass of wine and a couple beers when the mood strikes. I really try to limit it because I know I won't loose those last 5 if I don't. So far this Phase 1 is working out for me just because I am loving it! I will be honest though, Cardio 1... not much fun. I am there with you when you say you hate cardio. Man I just dread the thought of Cardio 1. I have heard though Cardio 2 is much better, so looking forward to that!! Are you into any of the message boards? Here is a link to a team I started to help members motivate each other as we hold each other to our accountability!! Feel free to check it out & join with us! We'd love to have you help with our motivation!!

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So I tried on my wedding dress....and other catchings up

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I know I’ve been gone a long time. I’m a full time graduate social work student and it was finals time. I also have a husband who works insane hours so that I can be a full time grad student and I have 4 children 3,4,6 and 6 months, so I’ve been a little big busy this last month! I have so much to catch up on!!!!
First thing I made it through Thanksgiving! No gain, no loss. I’m trying really hard to maintain. That is always the really hard part for me, I’m excited to say it’s been a month almost and I’ve actually lost another pound. I’m 3 below my goal, so even when I fluctuate and retain water because I’m a woman and our hormones are EVIL, I’m still under my “goal” and I feel soooooo happy about that. So I’m not killng myself as hard, trying to lighten up and allow more calories and a few more days off from the crazy workouts and It’s worked, I’m enjoyed it, I’m still keeping up but I’m on track! Usually I start slacking and the workouts start to go. I was down to just using the elliptical every 2-3 days I just didn’t feel strong anymore. I could still see the definition in my arms and legs that I worked so hard for but I was worried I’d loose it all just sitting around so I’ve picked up the workouts in a challenge I’ll talk about later!
So another member had brought up wedding dresses and it made me wonder if I could fit in mine yet. I’ve always thought of that as a dress that would never fit again. I have 4 children, my hips are pretty good and spread compared to 8 years ago when I had it cut and fit. I was 5lb lighter than I am now too, on my wedding day it fit perfect. So while wrapping my kids Christmas presents at my mother in laws house the other day…where my dress happens to be stored. I was alone and I decided to try it on. I’m sad that I noticed so many places that it is dirty and the bag had a rip in it so it’s probably not going to be salvageable for my daughters, but maybe they can use parts of it. Anyway, 8 years and 4 kids later….IT WAS TOO BIG! It was LOOSE particularly in the back and shoulders. The bust was a little tight in the wonder bra (it was an empire cut dress) and then loose in the belly. I was floored!!! My husband said that I’m official done loosing weight and I’m a little bonier than I should be and the dress is too big so it’s time to maintain and not get any smaller….which I agree with, I’m in a good spot. All those jeans I was dying to get into a few months ago, they’re too big. I can wear them but they fall off or are loose and sagging at the end of the day. All my old work clothes are comfortable again. I’m in an awesome place! Even my smallest jeans are a little loose. I was at the store and decided to get brave and try on a size 2, they didn’t have any! So I found a 3 in the junior section and I knew it was probably not smart to try on a junior because they’re always too small in the hips and I haven’t been able to wear one since I had the 2nd kid, but they went on and they zipped and I was in shock! I was back in the same size I wore when I got married and before I had kids when I was 17. I keep saying I wish I’d appreciated my body when I was 17 and tiny and in the best shape of my life….but THIS is the best shape of my life, same size but with muscle and stamina! I’m 26 and I know I have some battle scars from the kids, I’ll never had a bikini tummy, but I am totally appreciating my body for what it is right now and no longer miss being 17!
I’ve been on a no sugar or white flour kick for a while. I love Christmas, and I want my kids to enjoy it and not miss out on the baking and the fun stuff while they’re little so last weekend they made 3 kinds of cookies. My mother in law makes healthy gingerbread men because she is diabetic and then we tried no sugar/white flour chocolate chip cookies…which weren’t that great, I should have used milk chocolate and not semi sweet I think. And Oatmeal butterscotch and they were awesome!!! So if you’re looking for a good sweet treat that isn’t a billion calories. There is a recipe for Oatmeal Scotchies on the back of the bag of nestle butterscotch morsels. Switch the all-purpose flour for wheat flour and the sugar for splenda (you can also do a brown sugar splenda blend to cut down the brown sugar but I left the brown sugar in) it has oatmeal oats so it’s a lot of grain with the only sugar being in the brown sugar and the candy bits themselves. They’re yummy but they’re heavy so after one or two I was DONE. It’s been really easy not to binge on the bag. I feel full after a couple and can move on, that is AWESOME for me!!! So defiantly try it. You can also Google the recipe and I’m going to try to post it on the SP recipes but I haven’t done that before so it might not work.
My challenge.
For thanksgiving I got myself Jillian Michael’s new 6 Week 6 Pack DVD. I credit Jillian and the biggest loser DVDs for my success. I have to work out at home and I don’t have a lot of equipment or money so her DVDs have been a huge success. I know I posted my 30 day shred results and then the power sculpt results. I also have been alternating her full frontal and max back DVDs with Yoga Meltdown and take days off to just run on the elliptical….usually Wednesdays so I can watch biggest loser on the computer while I run.
Anyway, I’m not looking for weight loss but I have to say I am going to take a shot at that elusive “6 pack” everyone wants. I’m pretty small but I’m still nowhere near confident enough to wear a bikini or bathing suite at all (haven’t in 8 years) my challenge to myself is to do the program. 5 days on 2 days off for 3 weeks on level 1 and then 3 weeks on level 2. I will post before pics, measurements and weights and I will do it again at the 3 week and 6 week mark. SO here’s hoping it works!! I’m actually on day 2 today so I need to get things posts. I started it a week or so ago but it is HARD and I was so sore the next day I took a few off to rest and then I lost the DVD for a while. I did find it though so I’m back into it now. This time around today it wasn’t nearly as hard as the first time I did it! The side plank with the knee raises are KILLER. I couldn’t make it through the left side the first time and was so sore and now, it is still really hard, but I can do both sets on both sides without using the wall for support or stumbling. I will say, as much room as I have to grow with level 1 (and I thought I was in good shape!!!!) I am a little intimidated by the thought of level 2!
So my starting weight is 147lb. (I am not looking to lose more than maybe 2 pounds doing this, it’s about muscle now)
My waist measures 29 inches and my Hips (bone to bone and over the “mommy pooch”) measure 35inches.
Here are some crappy before pics (quality is crappy, I’m okay with the body part! I worked hard to get to here but hope to improve!)
I look a little funny from the side i can't get a good picture without turning a little so it's not exactly a straight side shot

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLBRANTLEY 12/16/2010 3:25PM

    WOW, congrats on finding the wedding dress to be too big - that's just AWESOME! I'm looking forward to hearing about your progress with the 6 Week Six-Pack, and I have no doubt that you will ROCK it!

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DDHEART 12/15/2010 1:29PM

    How many kids did you say you have? You look fabulous! congrats on your success and on all of the other wonderful things in your life... What a high you must be on when you try on clothes and see the results of all your hard work! It's sad that the wedding dress may not make it for your daughters but it is likely that by the time they would be wanting/needing a dress they would have their own style in mind. My sister had been tiny when she married...short as well as small size, her daughters both too tall to wear the dress even if they had wanted...but when her daughters had children of their own, my sister had her wedding dress made into two of the most beautiful and meaningful christening gowns....something to keep in mind. Great continued success to you!

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I made it!!!!!!!! 150lb!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


so i added another 5. i weighed 142/143 back before i had kids, after the first kid was born i got back to 145 and after my 3rd i made it back to 148 so i'm hoping to knock off 5 more and get back to the old 145 wedding dress me! and so when i fluctuate a pound or two i'm still under the 150! anyway my baby is 5.5 months old and it's all gone!!!!!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MRSGOFARR 11/29/2010 11:28AM

    wow!!!! you are amazing. CONGRATS TO YOU!!!!!

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POETRYGIRL4242 11/24/2010 4:25PM

    emoticon emoticon Awesome News!! Happy Thanksgiving!!!

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    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon and celebrate your success. emoticon
Have a wonderful emoticon emoticon

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NOW4ME2011 11/24/2010 9:51AM

    emoticon Congratulations! emoticon

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Before and After pics...kind of!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I don't have any before pics because i hated them and coudln't bare to take any, but today a half a pound from my goal, i manned up and took some! but they're all in the mirror in my closet because it's my only full length so they're kind of dark and blurry but enough babbling, here goes...

my virtual estimate of before


and the scariest! After 4 kids, i have abs, kind of!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FANCYNANCY888 11/24/2010 8:18PM

    WOW! Congratulations! Your blog post has truly inspired me. Thank you ;-)

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DETROITKELLY 11/17/2010 12:43PM

    Wow! You look great!

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MRSGOFARR 11/17/2010 10:49AM

    congrats to you. i know you must feel great!

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Confessions of a

Monday, November 15, 2010

Confessions of a Pretty Plus

When I was a kid I was obese. That is not an exaggeration, it’s a fact. It’s a scientific calculation based not only on BMI that was well over 30 at 10 years old but was also proven by the years of misery and torment that came from being an obese kid back when being the fat kid wasn’t cool.
I don’t mean that to sound like its cool now, but misery loves company. When I see children now I notice there are always several visibly overweight children in every grade at every school. I can’t help but remember that 20 years ago, I was the only one in my class, and for most of the time I was the only one in my grade. I was tormented daily by other children and myself.
Back in the early 90’s Sears is where I remember doing the most of my back to school shopping. Sears had a section with a big pink banner across the ceiling, tucked in the corner of the “girls” area by the dressing rooms. The big pink banner read “Pretty Pluses” and the section was full of the stores plus sized brand for girls “pretty plus.” I loathed shopping in a section that announced to the whole world that I couldn’t fit in anything the other girls could. I hated buying clothing with sizes twice my age, when my 10 year old friends wore size 10 and I was searching for 16s that were “snug.” This led to something that I still experienced even as soon as this last year, crying in dressing rooms. There was always the fight about how it “wasn’t that bad” there was telling the clerk that we “need to try a size bigger” there was seeing a really cool shirt or pair of pants and then realizing that they don’t make it in “my section” of the store. There’s wearing the same pair of jeans for all of your childhood that says right there on the tag what you and every other kid in your class is already telling you every day. You are fat. You will never be like the rest of them. They will be nice to you because their parents told them too. They will be mean to you because their parents didn’t tell them not too. You are alone in this body that you aren’t sure how was created. So jean shopping has always been somewhat traumatic for me. A note to any parent with an overweight child, don’t commiserate with moms of “skinny” girls about how hard it is to find big girl clothes. I remember wanting to crawl in a whole and die when my mother would talk to her friend who couldn’t find her daughter a small enough bathing suit in the “slim” section, about how hard it was to find one at all in the plus section. Children become aware of their bodies and their differences a lot sooner than their parents become aware of their feelings about it.
There was the every other day battle of Physical Education. Most days I could pretend to keep up. On Fridays there were always boys versus girls race where every week the boys would line up and put their fastest runner up against me to secure they had the lead. They would loudly calculate their plans to win again and get the prize. There was never a word from the teacher to change the line up or at least lower their voices. Occasionally she would put me up front hoping the rest of the girls would have a chance at catching up if they got me out of the way first. There was always a 5-10 second head start depending on how far behind we’d come in the week before. Then there was the dreaded physical fitness test each semester that gave me anxiety attacks. This was completed by testing agility of running through a zigzag maze, the 20 minute mile run, completing 30 sit ups in 2 minutes and then the dreaded fat tweezers for body fat % and the scale for BMI. Not only was it embarrassing to be the kid that was panting and crying at the end of the “20 minutes” and had never made it past half a mile…ever, in all semesters over my elementary career. There was always being the last to finish the sit ups and if I was really lucky, having a partner that would take mercy on me the last 15 and cheat when they counted. If I wasn’t lucky I had to grunt and press on and waiver and strain to get those last 10 done for several minutes after the others had stopped while they watched me struggle, like they always did, to finish the task. I’m sure my PE class hated my being there as much as I hated being there. Then if it wasn’t bad enough, we would line up and after we weighed in and our teacher would yell our weights out for all to hear, we would do the dreaded fat tweezers test, where not everyone’s percentages were read aloud, but mine always was. Like further embarrassment would motivate me to do more. 70% body fat. 30 BMI, Pretty Plus. The name calling. The note in my report card about fitness needing to be worked on at home, the warehouse sized box of cookies in the cabinet that my obese parents always kept fully stocked,
No wonder I hate my body.
My confession today I suppose is this,
At 26 years old I have lost 30-70lbs at least 6 times in 15 years. I spent several years actively perfecting my eating disorder and then years after some inpatient treatment trying to undo my eating disorder. This is not about that. This is about how 15 years later I still have to prove to myself that I do 30 sit ups in 2 minutes, even days after childbirth, to feel okay about myself. This is about my obsession with the number on the tag of my jeans more than the number on the scale. The preoccupation with “maybe 10 more pounds.” The awkward way I feel and strain to say thank you when people tell me how much I’ve lose or that I look good, because all I hear is how bad I must have looked before for them to notice now. My fear of the bacon gene.
The bacon gene is what I like to call the genetic predisposition that all fat kid arch enemies posses. The ability to eat anything and everything and remain twig like. The super metabolism that allows for a size 0 female to eat a pound of bacon, chase it with a dr pepper and never step on a scale or outgrown her pants. The girls I always wanted to be like. I will never be that girl. I CANNOT be that girl. My frame is built medium/large, even at my lowest weight my bones are bigger, hips are wider, and I’m just not made to be a size 2. I have only been able to admit that and be okay with it for a short time.
I’ve always been afraid of having a daughter. How would someone with the body image of a fat kid with a history like opera’s and the inner self talk of a bulimic possibly ever raise a daughter to do anything but hate herself. Who am I to set an example of anything? I was secretly relieved when my first two children were boys, I didn’t have to worry as much. Their father is a carrier of the bacon gene. His metabolism and my frame equals football player jealously and just the right amount of build and stocky with muscle. My boys have the perfect blend of what his father and uncles wish they’d had. I even had a brother in law tell me during my first pregnancy that he hoped my boys were big like me and tall like my husband and they’d be the envy of their peers. (great, yes, tell a pregnant woman she’s fat)
Then I had my daughter, and more recently, my second daughter. My oldest daughter who I feared so much has inherited from her aunts, grandmother, and father the bacon gene. She’s a tiny 18 percentile who can out eat her big brothers and never gain an ounce. A three year old bottomless pit that I think could put teenager boys to shame in a cookie eating contest. At the arrival of my second daughter she’s only an infant but I can already see her growth and body type following the pattern of her oldest brother, above average. I have a feeling that unlike her sister the baconater, this one got it from her momma. I can’t even begin to imagine what growing up with a baconater sister would have done to me.
I worry about both my girls. More than good health I wanted them to never worry about or hate their bodies. I wanted them spared of all the horrors of being different when they get to grade school, as superficial as it sounds I prayed for the bacon gene with every craving and round of morning sickness.
I resolved years ago to lead by example. If my children were going to have a chance to grow up and like themselves and their bodies then they needed what I grew up without. They needed someone to SHOW them what that looks like. They need to SEE exercise incorporated in life. They need to EAT and LEARN about nutrition, portions, balance. They need to feel good about themselves for what they are and not what they aren’t. I know what I want them to grow up feeling and learning. Now how am I, queen of disordered eating and bad body imagine, going to lead this little pack of future teenage girls in my mission to give them a life that never leaves them crying in a dressing room?
Leading this mission by example is probably the most difficult mission I’ve ever had. I’ve done a lot of things. I’ve had 4 children in 7 years while completing my bachelors and now working on my masters and none of that was as difficult and trying to cut myself some slack and teach myself how to feel good about me so they can feel good about themselves. I try not to say anything negative about myself in front of my kids. They see me workout, they occasionally work out with me in their own ways. My 4 year old likes to raise cans of soup like weights for a few reps. My 6 year old likes to make the elliptical go as fast as he can and my 3 year old daughter tries her best to do whatever funny looking yoga pose mom is doing. My mat isn’t usually long enough for the 3 or 4 of us trying to share it at once. Sit ups are difficult when someone is trying to hug you. Pushups are easier when there’s a 4 month old on the floor to kiss on the head each time you lower to the ground. Working out when they are here TAKES FOREVER. But we keep on doing it and when they’re older I will have more time to myself. I don’t want them to see me quit because I’m too tired or sick every day or I don’t want to. I take breaks and days off and when they ask why I didn’t work out that day we talk about it. We talk about what we’re eating and how to cook it and they help cook so they’ll appreciate that I’m TRYING to introduce them to healthy alternatives, but at the same time I’m learning myself, so it isn’t perfect. We try new recipes, I try to make them healthy, we add fresh ingredients, I bring in one change at a time and we go from there.
I guess the point is that as an adult I am just now in a place where I don’t hate everything about me and I am allowing myself to try to be the way I want my girls to be. We’re learning together. Every time I see the obese kids down the street walk to school it breaks my heart because I know the path she is on. I hope eventually it leads her somewhere she feels good about. I also know that what we learn and experience at that age can be detrimental to our futures.
Just last night I was lying in bed, I’m a pound from my goal, which happens to be 10 pounds above my lowest pre children weight, my muscle mass has increased so much I have no idea how strong I am anymore but I can see and feel the changes every day. I spent the day wearing my final pair of jeans, those small ones that live in a box in the closet that you don’t want to throw away because “someday they might fit again” even if you can’t get one leg in them. Those jeans fit. They say 4 on the tag. My size is no longer double my age but it matches the numbers of lives I’m responsible for. On paper I’m healthy and I’m in a good place. If I were anyone else looking at me I’d be proud. Suddenly my in-laws have begun having kids and reaching their 30s and the bacon gene is beginning to fail them, they are at a loss on what to do. They seem to look at me recently like i have some secret figured out and that I'm lucky that I'm not "getting old and fat" like they suddenly feel like they are. No, I'm not getting that way, I've already been there. They seem a little jealous and confused by my current situation. I am where I want to be, where I need to be and where on most days I can feel good about. Still last night I lay in bed considering my “mommy gut” and wiggle skin under my arms school teachers used to be mocked for, and my thighs where I have always carried most of my weight and began thinking “maybe 10 more pounds” as I picked apart what I disliked about each area and as my husband looked at me as if I were crazy and pointed out the muscles in each place and how much fat is “really” there versus how much I “think” there.
I am not 17 anymore. The only thing I’d want to have anything to do with my 17 year old self is maybe my Abs! I am almost 30; I have given birth to 4 children, the last being only 5 months ago. I am in a good place; I have to learn to let that be enough. My confession I suppose is that I am still struggling to prove something to myself and the world every day. I see it on the faces of the kids I see when I’m out in public. I don’t blame the media, the elementary school gym class got to me YEARS before Cosmo and Kate Moss did.
These kids are the future and we are the ones responsible for giving them the tools they need in the future. I worry that all these kids will end up like me, or will give up in general and live life morbidly obese and dying young like I see so many peers doing. And if that is the case for my generation then what kind of lives are we setting up our children and our grandchildren for?
My new goal is not to “loose ten more pounds…” but to find peace with myself and maintain the progress I have made. To treat myself and my body as I would my friends, or my daughters. To stop saying things to myself that I would never say to anyone else. To let go of the “pretty plus” jeans and their hold on me, and just be. This part is so much harder than losing the weight ever was.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JENIFROUFROU 11/16/2010 12:18PM

    I love what you have said about accepting your body as it is, while modeling a healthy lifestyle for your children. While childhood obesity is an epidemic, so is self hate, not only among adults...children model what their parents do, and there is nothing worse than hearing a 6 year old complain about her "fat thighs".

Your children are blessed to have a mom who cares about their physical and emotional well being :)

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RADTRAVELER150 11/15/2010 9:25PM

    I now have a name for those people...the baconeaters, I love it!!! Very touching blog. You look fabulous!!

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MGO09190 11/15/2010 2:07PM

    When I was reading about your childhood it was shockingly similar to mine, despite the 10 year age difference. In elementary school I was always the fattest kid, and everyone knew it. Gym class was embarrassing and a horror, and I agree that the teachers didn't do much to help.. I remember one specific time we were playing a game called "dead ants"; it was like tag but when you got tagged you had to lie on the ground, arms and legs in the air and your teammates had to carry you off the field. One boy remarked that there was no way I could get carried. I sat out that class. Another time we were in the cafeteria eating lunch and a boy wouldn't sit near me on the bench because it would "collapse".

People have told me my whole like that I have "such a pretty face". Apparently when you're fat you can't *just* be pretty. I've been told that I would be "so beautiful" IF I lost weight. Throughout my life I've been called cute, adorable, pretty.. but rarely have people called me gorgeous, beautiful, sexy.

This has started changing as I lose weight, but those messages stay with you. They're easy to internalize, and I have. Thank you for sharing your story, and I wish you much luck at maintaining your success.

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