Exercising Like It’s 2009 All Over Again

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Today, I can barely walk down stairs.

This is problematic given that we live in an apartment down two flights of stairs in a building with no elevator.

Yesterday I saw my cousin post on Instagram about doing Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred. Do you remember the phenomenon that was Biggest Loser and the The Shred? I remember reading about it on BooMama’s blog in 2009. I bought a copy of the DVD and attempted it a few times, most notably during the Losing It competition I had with my friends Mary and Ashleigh.


Then I got pregnant with David (who is yes, now 6 1/2) and I don’t know that I ever touched that workout again. All I can remember is at one time doing another workout DVD just to warm up my muscles for trying to Shred, because they were in THAT MUCH PAIN.

Back to yesterday, I was inspired by my cousin’s post to dust off my copy of the Shred DVD. It’s been lingering in a pile of workout DVDs that I never use and have considered donating; I belong to the Y and have documented how well group exercise works as a motivation for me. I wasn’t able to hit up a class yesterday because we had a two-hour school delay, so I thought I’d give Shredding a try once more.

I quit 8 minutes into the DVD.

And then I gave myself the worst shaming I could.

I’ve been going to the Y regularly for about two and a half years. Mostly I do water aerobics, although before I got pregnant with Hannah, I was also doing some weight training and other classes. Despite this, I haven’t been able to get my weight to budge (except the lovely increase during pregnancy). I have polycystic ovarian syndrome, which can make it really hard to lose weight. But I can’t blame my weight all on that. I have a lot of unhealthy habits, including an immense love for sweets and the urge to clean my plate without registering if I am full or not.

I’m about 25 pounds more than I was when I got pregnant with Libbie in 2008. I was not at all small to begin with, but four kids has changed my body. All of this flew through my head as I sat on the couch, nearly in tears, destroyed by Jillian Michaels after 8 minutes.

And then I thought of all the things I’ve been scared to do but did anyway: exercise classes, weight training, running a 5k. My body has carried and birthed four children, it has fed them all for at least six months, it has carried me around for nearly 35 years.

I got back up. I turned the DVD back on. And I did the rest of it. Because I am capable, darn it. And, with the encouragement and accountability of my cousin and a friend, I am going to make it through those whole 30 days, only taking off Sundays. I may have to mute Jillian, because she’s kind of aggravating. But I will do the work.

That is, assuming I can get out of bed tomorrow morning.

(I’ll keep you updated on Instagram if you want to follow along.)

Haunted Places of the Mind

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Enjoy

It’s a sign of my ongoing struggle with body image that I can still see the magazine layout in my head.

A pair of teenage girls roller-bladed in bathing suits in some now-defunct young teen magazine (because I was way too young for my mother to let me read Seventeen). (I think it was, in fact, Teen magazine.)

I couldn’t have been much older than 7th grade. I stared at that page mercilessly, willing myself to be small enough to wear a two-piece bathing suit. When I did get skinny, I would buy the exact one on the right of the spread: still modest, a coral-colored two piece with a unique, off-the-shoulder top. I’m not sure what deluded me to think if I were thinner I would suddenly have the body of a 17-year-old, but I was sure I would look just like the girl in that spread.


I’ve never worn a two-piece. Not even as a child, that I can remember.

The reason I remember that issue of the magazine so vividly is because it laid out a diet. One that WORKED! Of course! I carried the issue around, dog-eared, for weeks or even months. Trying, trying. Coral in mind.

I didn’t drop weight, not even with all the tuna and frozen peas and white-meat chicken.

Somewhere around eighth grade, I hit a growth spurt and thinned out a little. Not two-piece thin. But that magazine was during the lowest point, the hidden years, the year I was bullied and it makes me want to throw up to even think about. Until I had someone call after me the slogan of a popular weight-loss commercial, every day, for an entire school year, I’m not sure I even realized I was truly overweight.

I’m fairly certain not a day’s gone by since seventh grade when I thought of my body in a positive manner.

To remember my solitary focus on one coral-clad model makes me sick. But I still want that now grossly out-of-date bathing suit.

Losing It: Week 9

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I’m kind of at a loss when it comes to a Losing It post this week. I’m still chugging along, trying to exercise. Still refusing to weigh in. I have made such great leaps when it comes to food during the course of this challenge. (Part of it may be the opening of the Farmer’s Market!!) We are eating grass-fed beef, homemade bread, and very little preservatives.

I actually mentioned to my husband last night that for the last couple weeks when I eat something sweet, like jelly beans (screw you Target Easter clearance!!), I’ve gotten really sick to my stomach. He said it was because those are the only processed foods I eat! He’s probably right. My sweet tooth is definitely tapering away. (Although Mary–I would totally forgo Pop-Tarts and chocolate frosting and eat ice cream every day.)

So today, as we’re nearing the end of our 10-week challenge, I’d like to share with you some of my favorite Losing It posts from the competitors!


She’ll Lose Her Baby Fat When She Starts Walking – Giving Up on Perfect
Gaining It, Week 1 – Simply Mel (I’m SO excited!)
The Number – Heart and Home
Finding Hope – Life as Mum
Photo Diary – Got My Reservations
You have to read Dedra’s whole journey. She’s inspired me so much! – Just a Chick
Breakthroughs – House of Hills
In case you missed it, my own favorite post from this journey has been Agreeing with God.

How did you do this week? Link up your post at Giving Up on Perfect, and don’t forget to visit Ashleigh at Heart and Home, too! If you have no clue what I’m talking about, read about the Losing It competition here.

 

Losing It: Week 8

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Last week I talked a little bit about our struggle with infertility and what it took to conceive Libbie. Here’s the rest, the part that’s related to weight loss! 

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I was amazed that after I had Libbie, I could fit into my normal jeans in just a few short weeks. In fact, I think after about three weeks I had lost all but 7 lbs. of my pregnancy weight (don’t hate me yet–keep reading). Sure, my jeans were tight–but they buttoned! I was sure if I kept nursing I was going to be the skinniest I’d ever been.

I think it was about that time that the nursing hungry set in. I was more hungry than I’d ever been when I was pregnant. It was insane. Over the next few months, I ate … and ate… and ate. I went back to work and started going out to lunch again. I didn’t exercise. Then there was that whole thing with my husband being gone for 5 months.


I never lost the last 7 pounds. I eventually gained 6 MORE pounds–which somehow, post-pregnancy, made all my clothes fit like I had gained 50. Some days I feel 50 pounds bigger than I did before my pregnancy. I carry weight differently and I feel like it’s more evident. While I feel more confident after giving birth, I hate my body even more than I ever did.

Don’t you just love to blame your weight on something? I like to blame it on this pink-clad, curly-haired cutie.

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It’s not her fault, of course. It’s my issue–and my issue that I don’t want to pass along to her.

I may not have lost any weight during this challenge–yet! But I have come to face several issues and made leaps and bounds when it comes to our eating habits. That, I am proud of. And I promise to keep working.

How did you do this week? Link up your post at Giving Up on Perfect, and don’t forget to visit Ashleigh at Heart and Home, too! If you have no clue what I’m talking about, read about the Losing It competition here.

Losing It: Week 7

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I’m always hesitant to say that I’ve dealt with infertility.

It seems shallow and disrespectful of those who struggled for many years, or still are unable to conceive. I have friends who’ve had miscarriages, those who have conceived through IVF, IUI, and even embryo adoption. I’m a little embarrassed to share my story because my struggle seems so insignificant compared to most. But today it’s what’s rattling around in my brain, so I just need to go with it.

It took us six months to conceive Libbie. I haven’t had a miscarriage, we had no complications with my pregnancy, and she was a healthy 7 1/2 pound baby girl. All sounds great, right? Well, except that it seems like the minute we decided to go ahead and try to conceive, my cycles stopped altogether.


When I stopped taking the Pill in March 2007 (wanting to get it way out of my system before we TTC), my cycles got very confused. They were always long, before I was on the Pill, but now they were five weeks … then six weeks … then seven weeks … then not at all. I didn’t have a period for 4 months of the 6 months we were TTC and I really had no idea what was going on.

Any of you who have tried to make a baby know that it possesses your mind. Despite the fact that I was only 25 and not terribly worried about *never* getting pregnant, it still seemed like all I could think about was my failure to conceive, month after month. Slowly I heard of one cousin who was pregnant … then another … then another. Two of these were cousins the closest to me in age, who had both gotten married within 8 months of me. I was happy for them. But I was torn up for me.

Somewhere along the way, my sister got tested for PCOS, which I had never even heard of before. She lent me a book to read. Quickly I got into an OB-GYN to be tested (the tests are ridiculous–they pretty much just guess at the diagnosis). Over Christmas that year, the office called me and said I didn’t have PCOS. I was so upset and confused. Then, when I called them back, they said I did. ??? Don’t you love doctors?

So in January of 2008, I started the drug Metformin in a very high dosage to make me ovulate. They gave me a hormone to make my cycle start. I felt like a big petri dish of drugs and upset stomach. I lost a little weight because the Metformin made me so sick. And although it was on Day 21, I DID ovulate.

And we conceived a baby.

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 [I really am going somewhere with this and you’ll have to trust me that it relates to the Losing It challenge! But this will be 4 billion words if I keep going, so you’ll have to wait ’til next week to read the rest!]

How did you do this week? Link up your post at Giving Up on Perfect, and don’t forget to visit Ashleigh at Heart and Home, too! If you have no clue what I’m talking about, read about the Losing It competition here.