Tag Archives: Weight loss

Whatever Wednesday: Owning my obesity

Way back in late 2010, the last week of December, to be exact, I decided to weigh myself. I hadn’t been on a scale in months. Too busy running a house with three kids 6 and under. I didn’t have the time. I liked being an ostrich. If I didn’t think about it, it didn’t matter, right?


My feet killed me. I mean, really killed me. Sharp shooting pains in my arches. My knees were giving out. I could hardly stand up once I sat down. My legs were weak. My arms were weak. Walking was a chore. I’d get out of breath just going from the living room to the kitchen. Shopping at Wal-mart exhausted me. I couldn’t play with my kids. A blob on the couch. This was not living. Sidelined in my own life instead of a participating. Life is not meant to be lived like this.

So I got on the scale.

On the Wii. Which, as those of you who have Wii know, can be harsh. Not only does your Mii suddenly put on a Sumo Wrestler fat suit, the computerized voice shrieks for the whole world to hear that you’re “OBESE.”


Obese. Me. Yup.

I’m 5’8. I weighed in at 281lbs that day. I cried. 19 pounds away from 300 pounds. Wow. In my head, I 300 pounds was the number I would never reach. Yet here I was. Staring the bad boy down. So disgustingly close.

No wonder my feet were sore by noon. No wonder my knees were constantly giving out. No wonder my back killed me. No wonder I couldn’t play with my kids. I was OBESE.

This had to change. No more excuses. Time for action.

I started slowly with Wii. I did guided work outs via the Trainer in Yoga. I did Choose your own workouts too. Signed up for My Fitness Pal and tracked my calories. Stopped eating crap. Drank more water. Moved on from Wii to real world hiking at a local botanical garden. I tweeted about my progress. Shared on Facebook too. So many friends encouraged me. I found @bookieboo on Twitter. Started using the #mamavation hashtag occasionally and found even more support.

I could play tag with my kids in the front yard and keep up with them. I walked the neighborhood with them – 1.5 miles up and down some mildly hilly terrain. While pushing  a double stroller. I went from not able to push that stroller up a hill to looking forward to the burn I would feel in my thighs. I bitch-talked myself up and down some nasty hills in my in-law’s neighborhood. I KNEW I could do it. And felt so proud of myself when I did.

Eight months after that horrific weigh-in, I’ve lost a little over 50 pounds.

Earlier this summer, I was hiking 3 miles every day. 1.5 if it was really humid and hot because let’s face it – there’s exercising and then there’s insanity. I’m not quite insane. These days, I’m hooked on an exercise bike. I’m up to 8miles in 30 minutes. I’m a hot sweaty stinky mess when I’m done and I love it. If you had told me I’d be this into exercise a year ago, I probably would have laughed at you.

Exercising and eating right have become a habit. People notice I’m healthier and looking better. They ask me how I’m doing it – expecting me to answer with some sort of fad or get thin quick scam. I’m not into those. I’m into lifestyle changes. Yes, it takes time. But it’s a lasting change. I’m less likely to put the weight back on given that my habits have changed. There’s literally no change in cost to me – no diet pills, no gym membership, no fad foods. Everyone loses weight differently and yes, some people need the structure of a program. Turns out I just needed the motivation of staring down 300 pounds to run in the other direction.

Technically, I’m still obese if you go by the numbers. My BMI is 35. It WAS 42.7.

I don’t feel obese. I can run up and down 14 steps without getting winded. AFTER going for 30 minutes on the exercise bike. I don’t cling to the railing of the stair case for fear I’ll collapse. My thighs are slowly developing muscle definition. I don’t crave (alot of) fatty foods. I haven’t had soda in.. well…. it’s been a long damn time. I’m not capable of pigging out anymore because I get full quickly these days. Water and I are best pals.

I still want to lose 80lbs for a total of 130lbs lost. So yes, I have a long way to go but I’m taking it day by day and as long as I continue to feel healthier and see changes in my body for the better, the numbers really don’t matter. I don’t use My Fitness Pal anymore. My diet has changed so much I’m capable of keeping my calories where they need to be without really thinking about it. I don’t deny myself an indulgence here and there. I just work out harder or eat lighter the rest of the day if I know I’m going to indulge.

Losing the weight has also improved my mood and outlook on life. It’s shown me I can do anything if I just decide to push through the barriers. You can too. There’s fight deep inside you even if you don’t feel it right now. It’s there, just dying to get out and push you forward. Let it escape and motivate you through the hard times. You’ll be glad you did… trust me.

An Exercise Program Selling Point: Not losing baby weight leads to Postpartum Depression

I happened across a website for a Mom and Baby fitness routine yesterday. As I scrolled down the page, I got angry. And then I got pissed off.

Here’s one of their selling points from about 2/3 of the way down the page:

If you need help getting back in shape after baby, if you have postpartum depresssion, if you need creative ways to bond with baby, if you need to lose the baby weight —

Okay, so yes, exercise helps with Postpartum Depression. In fact, some studies have proven that exercise has an almost anti-depressant effect.

But do you need THEIR product to achieve that effect? No. All you need is yourself, some clothes, decent shoes, and somewhere to walk or run. Bam.

What got me really pissed off was the sidebar section. I took a screen-shot of the most offensive section to share with you. I have blacked out the company’s name as I sure as hell am not advertising for them. You also will not find a link to them here either.

Clearly, these folks know something about Postpartum Mood Disorders I have never heard:

“Gaining pregnancy weight and struggling to get back in shape after birth can lead to post pardum depression and difficulties bonding with baby.”

First of all, you are SUPPOSED to gain weight during pregnancy. Here’s a breakdown of weight gain expectations as found at the March of Dimes website:

If you began pregnancy at a healthy weight
You should gain 25–35 pounds over the nine months. Assuming you gain between 1 and about 4 ½ pounds in the first trimester, you should put on about one pound every week in the second and third trimesters

If you began pregnancy underweight
You should probably gain a little more than women who are at a healthy weight. That’s because underweight women are more likely to have small babies. A 28- to 40-pound gain is usually best. Assuming you gain between 1 and about 4 ½ pounds in the first trimester, try to gain slightly over a pound a week in the second and third trimesters.

If you began pregnancy overweight
You should gain only 15–25 pounds over the nine months. Assuming you gain between 1 and about 4 ½ pounds in the first trimester, you should put on slightly over ½ pound every week in the second and third trimesters. While you don’t want to gain too much weight, you should never try to lose weight during pregnancy because that could harm your baby.

If you were obese at the start of your pregnancy
You should gain only 11–20 pounds over the nine months. Assuming you gain between 1 and about 4 ½ pounds in the first trimester, aim for gaining slightly under ½ pound every week in the second and third trimesters.

If you’re expecting twins
You should probably gain between 37-54 pounds over the nine months if you began pregnancy at a healthy weight. If you began pregnancy overweight, aim for gaining a total of 31-50 pounds. If you were obese at the start of your pregnancy, you should gain between 25-42 pounds over the nine months. (That means gaining about 1 ½ pounds a week in the last two trimesters.

Another important thing to note here is that if you have a history of eating disorders, you are at a higher risk for developing a Postpartum Mood Disorder.

It’s also important to know that Thyroid issues may also be at the heart of abnormal weight loss or weight gain.

That population is exactly who this spam page is targeting. Get thin. Be happy. Avoid Postpartum Depression. Stay perfect.

Want to know something interesting?

This company has a spammy blog to go along with their website. Postpartum Depression is nowhere to be found when a quick search was done for the term at their blog.

For this company, Postpartum Depression is merely an SEO term they tossed onto their page in order to garner more hits and target an entire at-risk population.

Companies like this make me absolutely sick.

They pray on women who are at their most vulnerable. Granted, this particular company’s product is not insanely priced, but price is not the issue here. The issue is that they are insinuating that their product, not exercise in general, will help you fight off depression. You NEED their product to avoid Postpartum Depression and bond with your baby. Truth be told? You don’t.

Here are the things you may need to battle Postpartum Depression:

  • Professional support
  • Personal/peer support
  • Family support
  • Exercise (any kind will do)
  • Therapy/medication/supplements – IF prescribed and or/approved by your Professional support

Things you do NOT need to battle Postpartum Depression:

  • Products which promise to cure or ward off Postpartum Depression
  • Negative People/Support
  • Sparkly Unicorns (although they are awesome)
  • Leprachauns
  • Wizards
  • The Trix Bunny

Depression happens. There’s a right way to go about getting help and a wrong way. Ending up on a page like the one I have just blogged abut is the wrong way. Unfortunately, many, many people prey on at-risk populations so that they will spend money they don’t have on products they do not need. So how do you tell the difference between a good, solid, and helpful website vs. a bad, for profit, grubby website? Educate yourself starting with these two posts:

The reprehensible spammification of PPD

Tips on Identifying Reliable Health Information on the Internet

Then make sure to involve a medical professional in your Postpartum Mood Disorder care to help keep you safe and well as you travel toward recovery.

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