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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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: The Recap!

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Ten weeks ago, Ashleigh, Mary, and I had this crazy Twitter conversation that resulted in the Losing It 10 competition. Maybe we were on a crazy post-Blissdom high or something.

I think we’ll be the first to admit that none of us lost a whole lot of weight. But it wasn’t all about that this time. I don’t feel dissatisfied with the results. Because I believe the three of us had a lot of heart-change when it comes to our weight. We saw the struggles we have. We faced demons. It’s been a wild ride for me.

And I don’t think we ever imagined that there would be other people who truly were inspired! I’ve been awestruck by the women who have taken the challenge and run with it. I can’t wait to see the percentages lost.

For me, I know I have to work out like crazy and practically starve myself to lose weight. It’s how I’ve always been. I don’t know why. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve messed up my body by losing and gaining, or I really eat more than I think I do, or I react badly to carbs. (Doing the South Beach Diet is the only time I’ve lost substantial weight.) I have to confess I weigh about the same as I did when we started this whole thing.


I am drinking a lot more water and MUCH less soda. I’ve done exercises I’d never thought possible–running and Shredding! I feel better. I’m eating almost no processed food.

I count that as success.

Thanks for coming along on this journey with me. Kathy at House of Hills is going to continue to host Losing It Fridays, so make sure to subscribe to her blog and follow along!

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! 


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.


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 5

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I’m doing this Bible study on Esther. (The same one I had this personal dilemma about a year ago. And then went for two weeks, realized the group wasn’t talking about it, just watching the video, and stopped going.) Tonight the Holy Spirit slapped me in the face while I was studying, and I knew I needed to share it with you.

I went out by myself tonight to go to CVS and found myself in the Krystal drive-through, coerced by a tummy that still felt hungry and the excuse, “I’ve already flopped today, why not?”

That is the worst excuse in the book. I am ashamed. And the milkshake I got wasn’t even good–the ultimate punishment.

Chocolate slush still settling unhappily in my stomach, I sat down and started to read Beth Moore’s words about Mordecai refusing to bow to Haman. She eventually got to both Mordecai and Joseph (the Genesis Joseph) being pursued by temptation day after day after day. And yet, Beth writes, “Each responded out of his mind-set rather than his mood.”

The last few paragraphs of the day boiled in my heart until they spilled out on the page into a fervent prayer.

If I had agreed with Your lessons to not be gluttonous as I have agreed with You on not having premarital sex, not cursing, not getting drunk … wouldn’t I follow through like I did on those? The temptation of food is stronger for me only because I have not fully agreed with You against gluttony. 

My heart is heavy with sin. I cannot piecemeal what I want from the Bible. But God is good, and He forgives. After I finished Esther, I just flipped open the Bible and read in Isaiah:

Your anger has turned away,
and You have had compassion on me.
Indeed, God is my salvation.
I will trust Him and not be afraid.
Because Yah, the LORD,
is my strength and my song,
He has become my salvation.
Isaiah 12:1-2, HCSB

Amen and amen. I’m traveling into this week with a brand-new mindset. One that I want to be stronger than my mood.

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.

I feel that I need to add, I don’t think having a milkshake is a sin. It was this time for me, because I KNEW that I shouldn’t. For you, it may be buying a fourth pair of black heels or spending 10 more minutes on Twitter. When you feel guilty about something like this, it’s a good idea to step back and see if you’re agreeing with God on this topic in your life.

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