A Turning Point

Quick quiz: How many months pregnant was I in this picture?

4 months? 5 months? 6 months?

Nope, all wrong. The answer is: I’m 8 months postpartum.

(Did I just lose subscribers over that? I think I heard someone click that unsubscribe button. It’s OK, I understand. I’ll spare you from the belly shot without clothing. The stretch marks alone would scare the rest of you away.)

Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom before making a change. And right now? This is me, hitting hard on the cold stone floor. And damn it hurts.

I know I said I wasn’t making any New Year’s Resolutions, and I’m not. But it’s time to admit that I’m really not happy with myself. I don’t like being overweight, I don’t like all of the extra curves on top of my curves, and I’m really sick of being asked, “So when are you due?”

I don’t always look like the picture above. I’m amazingly adept at sucking in my stomach and holding it all. day. long. But eventually I have to breathe, or I forget for a moment, and suddenly I look pregnant again. Even Spanx can’t hide it all.

Beyond the physical, my mental health is also suffering. I had depression when pregnant with Cordy, and I worried about developing PPD after Mira was born. I think I was too busy trying to deal with two kids early on to let myself feel down. Now I can feel the darkness quietly creeping in again, and I think it’s partially motivated by my unhappiness with my physical appearance.

So it’s time for a change, and that change can begin by asking myself: what do I really want? I want to be healthy, in body, mind and spirit. I want to eat better, get more exercise, and lose weight. I want to feel good about my body instead of ashamed of it.

And to be completely honest?

I want to be hot by BlogHer ’08.

OK, it’s a little shallow, I’ll admit. But I’ve been to the BlogHer conference twice now, and both times I felt like the “big girl” hanging out with all of the pretty girls. There’s a lot of gorgeous women in the blogging world.

This past year, I had an 8 week old excuse:

Mira’s first BlogHer, sleeping through the party

But the year before, there was no excuse:

BlogHer ’06: The year of the pasties

I wasn’t always this big. In fact, just five years ago I felt pretty good about how I looked. Amazing how having two kids and letting yourself go a little can wreck your appearance.

Our honeymoon: Florida, 2003

BlogHer ’08 is my goal date. I want to be hot by BlogHer ’08. And by “hot” I don’t necessarily mean skinny. Skinny isn’t going to happen – my body isn’t built that way. Instead, I’m setting realistic goals:

- I want to be at a healthier weight. I have no set number I must reach – that will only depress me. Instead, I’d like to see myself in a smaller clothing size (no particular size, just smaller), and not look like my uterus is currently under lease for another few months.

- I want to eat more natural foods, and less fat and fried foods. Mira has officially weaned as of this week, so cutting back on calories isn’t a bad thing. I can’t eat like a breastfeeding woman anymore. More fruits, veggies, and water, and more emphasis on portion control. I’m not giving up the foods I love, but I will remind myself that there is no threat to the world’s chocolate supply, so I don’t need to eat it like it’ll all disappear tomorrow.

- I want to enjoy exercise again. There was a time I actually liked exercising (or liked it as much as a sane person can really like exercise). I was happy to see the changes it caused and marveled at what my body could do. But I need to find a form of exercise I like enough to do more than once.

- I want to be satisfied with what I see in the mirror. This is quite an undertaking, because it will involve mental as well as physical change. I need to start working with my body instead of against it, thinking of it only as a shell I wish I didn’t have to lug around with me.

- I want to be happier with my life, giving off waves of self-confidence and satisfaction. While times are tough for us in some ways, I have a lot of good things happening right now. It’s time to focus on what makes me happy and not on the things I’m unhappy about but can’t change.

Yes, I know there are far better reasons to want to be healthier: living longer, setting a good example for my daughters, and a lowered risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. I want all of those, too, but it’s hard to get motivated by those long-term reasons.

But – hot by BlogHer? (I love that phrase. I swear I’m going to make a button for that.) That’s a goal in the near future I can work towards.

I’m ready. I’m motivated. I’m determined.

Can I do it?

I think I can.

(Anyone want to join me?)

Coming up soon: Specific plans, a full round of starting pictures, my past history with my weight, and detailing how I’m going to keep myself accountable by blogging.

UPDATE! We now have a button, thanks to the design mastery of Mother Bumper! Feel free to add it to your blog (but link back here so people know what you’re talking about, m’kay?).


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  1. I’ve hit rock bottom more times than I can count now! I would really like to be in the best shape of my life when we decide to have kids in a few years. I’m re-joining weight watchers online this week. I’ve been putting together healthy meal plans so I have a game plan from day 1. I also swore off baking for Lent. The exercise is something I haven’t really thought about yet. I don’t have a goal date in mind,I’m just ready to see the numbers on the scale go down. I do not want to have to go buy more pants after growing out of another size! Good luck to you! Take it one day at a time and be sure to reward yourself!

  2. I’ve hit rock bottom more times than I can count now! I would really like to be in the best shape of my life when we decide to have kids in a few years. I’m re-joining weight watchers online this week. I’ve been putting together healthy meal plans so I have a game plan from day 1. I also swore off baking for Lent. The exercise is something I haven’t really thought about yet. I don’t have a goal date in mind,I’m just ready to see the numbers on the scale go down. I do not want to have to go buy more pants after growing out of another size! Good luck to you! Take it one day at a time and be sure to reward yourself!

  3. I would like to be “hot by BlogHer” too! Course, I’m having a baby in six weeks so I won’t have much time, opportunity or energy to get that way… But maybe running around after two under two will help me shed the pounds?

    At the very least, I want to have some nice, flattering clothes to wear, a good haircut, some cute sandals and some great makeup so I can at least *pretend* to be hot at BlogHer. ;)

  4. I’M WITH YOU! Don’t know if I’ll be going to BlogHer, but I still need a goal. Last year it was Christmas ’07. I had decided at Christmas ’06 so it was TOTALLY doable, or at least it seemed like it – but what did I do? Nothing. We actually have an exercise machine in our house that I enjoy using – but I can’t use it while the girls are around and after they’re in bed doing the dishes tires me out. But I need to get past that. I know I can. As Flylady says, “you can do anything for 15 minutes!” Though I prefer 20. hee hee. Anyway, I hear you, I’m on the same page, and I am so totally with you.

    Like you I try not to look at the number, because what matters more to me is how I FEEL. I have lost all my pregnancy weight from The Bug and am back to my nursing weight (9 pounds up from pre-pregnant weight) with Sweet Pea. I did not work it off, but the way life goes with these two I have not had as much time to sneak off for cookies and chocolate while they’re not looking. And I stopped eating ice cream at midnight. That alone took off 10 pounds over a couple months. NOW I want to tone up, because dropping the 10 ice cream pounds doesn’t feel like an accomplishment. My muscles are still soft and untoned and my belly is still wobbly. I still don’t feel good about myself, and I want to be able to wear cute clothes this summer!

  5. julia&tyler – Good luck to you, too! I think it’s important to not set a number, but simply be happy with steady progress. Good luck to you, too!

    marilyn – I didn’t address it in this post, but I think clothes, hair, etc, along with attitude can be a big part of being hot. If you feel good about yourself, and like your outfit and hair and such, you’re going to be hot.

  6. You can do it! I find that as weather gets warmer its an extra bit motivation to take a walk and do things that make you feel better about yourself. Blogher ’08 here you come!

  7. You sound motivated! Good Luck! :)

  8. Girl, make that button and I’ll put one on my blog as well. I’m GOING TO GET IN SHAPE. I like the “hot by blogHer.” Catchy. Works.

    I need a scale and a gym membership, now…

  9. Make that button and I’ll make sure it’s promoted ON BlogHer.


  10. Jennifer, Le Binky Bitch says:

    I’ll join you!!! I so want to be hot by Blogher!

  11. Well, you look a lot more like the 2003 pic now than you look like the 2006 blogher pic, if that makes you feel any better. Of course, I know that sometimes it doesn’t matter what people say because what matters is how you feel.

    So far the best thing I’ve discovered for the belly is yoga.

    The best thing I’ve discovered for motivation is thinking of it sort of like you do here: in terms of wanting to feel sexier. For some reason that always helps me lose weight and shape up much better than lamenting my lumps and curves and all.

  12. Hot by BlogHer. Yes, keep us updated on your progress!

    (For the record, I don’t remember getting to talk to you at BlogHer but in seeing that pic, I definitely remember seeing you. I envied your pretty hair color and fabulous smile!)

  13. OH am off to exercise now. Will be sending you eliptical, healthy vibes while doing so! :-)

  14. Mrs. Chicken says:

    wish I could join. How about I sign up for “Hot For BlogHer ’09?”

  15. i’m definately at the bottom, i just started with a personal trainer this past week i was lucky enough to win some sessions with last summer when i was really pregnant with ben. it’s time. i’m 31 i have two beautiful boys who have wrecked my body and i want it back! (or at least i want it better-sadly there is no going back is there?) i’m with you!

  16. Good for you! You sound motivated and ready to do this in a smart way. I love the button idea.

  17. yeah…a)I reeeeeeellly want to get to BlogHer this year after missing it last year and b)yes…the gym thing is does have impetuous about looking smokin hot!

    I have to go more than once a week

  18. motherbumper says:

    This is such an awesome post and I know you can do it. I’m with you (Spanx will not do for me in SF during July and they are my ally).

  19. You are so right when you decided not to give up foods you like but to concentrate more on portion size. I have lost 13 lbs. since December 1st by doing nothing more than controlling my portions. I still eat pizza, just not half of one. I still eat fettucini alfredo, but only a salad plate portion. It really has made a difference.

    Now to make myself get my tush back on the treadmill that is sitting in our basement rec room beside the elliptical machine…sucks when you have the equipment right in your own house and you STILL won’t use it! *sigh*

  20. Portion size — that would be a good goal for me. I’m cooking more, too, and serving fewer processed foods. That’s not likely to make me “hot by BlogHer” since I’ve been overweight for quite some time, but it’ll help toward my own healthy goals.

  21. hot by blogher, that is great!
    It is tough, especially with little ones,but you can do this!

  22. Aimee Greeblemonkey says:

    you go girl!

  23. Dana J. Tuszke says:

    I’m going to take that challenge with you. Should we do some sort of check point where we can offer each other tips tricks and feedback? Maybe we can start a movement on the blogosphere. I saw a “chain reaction” fitness article where one woman inspired a friend who inspired a friend, and so on, and they all got healthy. I think we can do it!

  24. Do you have a bike? Buying a bike can change your life; it’s *so* much fun. :)

  25. I’m in!! That’s my secret goal too! (Not so secret now, I guess!)

    I’ll start…tomorrow. Yes, tomorrow. LOL

  26. Monkey Kisses says:

    oooh can i join in with you even though I am not a Blog Her writer??? I would love to join something to motivate me to exercise.. I am a good motivator myself!! ;-)

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