I Need to Lose Some Pounds

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap  —  September 18, 2013 — 25 Comments

Maybe some of you can relate to this. I have lost and gained the same twenty pounds several times over the years. I’m only five feet tall so twenty pounds make a big difference in the way I feel and the way that clothes fit me. Right now I’m on an upswing, as in I’m actually overweight according to my BMI. In the interest of simplicity I’m just going to put the real numbers right out there.

Age 18: 105ish pounds. Lauren, look how young and fabulous we look!

summer 2003 (570x380)

Facebook didn’t have photos (except for profile pictures) until I was like a junior in college, so I don’t have very many pictures of the in-between here. I didn’t gain any weight my freshman year when I lived in the dorm, but after I moved off campus it was a slow and steady increase that continued through grad school.

Age 23: 138 pounds. Ugh, this is not a flattering picture but all the ones I liked were from the shoulders up. I wonder why.

summer 2008 (372x570)

I lost twenty pounds in a year for our wedding. I still wasn’t going to fit into my prom dress, but I was okay with that. I felt like this was a healthy weight for me.

Age 24: 118 pounds

Charlotte and Nick Wedding

I actually kept the weight off for over a year after we got married. But in the summer of 2010 I started a new job that had me based out of my car instead of an office. I started eating a lot of fast food lunches and my weight crept back up. By the time I got pregnant with Jack the next year I was back to 138.

Age 26: 138 pounds

3 months (414x560)

Surprisingly, I actually did not gain an unreasonable amount of weight when pregnant. I don’t know how because my sugar cravings were so intense that I was practically diabetic. Jack was born at 8 pounds 15 ounces.

9 months pregnant: 165 pounds

9 months

I was amazed to be back to my pre-pregnancy weight by my six week checkup. Don’t let the flattering angle of this photo fool you. I had some junk in my trunk. 138 pounds is still overweight for my height.

A few months postpartum (age 27): 138 pounds

Sept 2 2012 southport ct (420x560)

With breastfeeding and halfhearted efforts to watch what I was eating I managed to lose another ten pounds.

May 2013: 128 pounds

may 2013 (380x570)

But I don’t know what happened. Maybe it was all those half price shakes from Sonic that Nick brought home to me all summer, maybe it was all those deliciously cold beers I treated myself to after Jack was in bed for the night, maybe it was the Zoloft I’ve been taking for the last six months, or that I went from nursing Jack every couple of hours to only twice a day. I gained ten pounds this summer and I. Am. Miserable.

September 2013: 138 pounds

003 (406x570)

Out of focus and there’s a weird look on Jack’s face. This was the best self-portrait I could do at 8am with a toddler underfoot.

I’m not asking for advice, but encouragement. I know how to lose weight. I’ve done it before. Part of me wonders if the fact that I keep returning to this exact same weight is a sign that it’s just what I was meant to weigh, but I don’t like it. This isn’t the first time I’ve posted about wanting to lose weight and it probably won’t be the last, but I feel like making my intentions public helps motivate me in some small way to make it happen. Thanks for reading, y’all, and if you’ve had similar struggles I’d love to hear about it.

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap

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25 responses to I Need to Lose Some Pounds

  1. Charlotte,

    Way to be brave & put it out there! I have been so lucky to look fit for most of my life… until I just wasn’t. As part of an article a few years ago, I went to LA Boxing to try their free boxing class. I felt like I was fit…until I took the class and it kicked my booty. I’ve been a member ever since.

    Every year when I’d go to the doctor, I weighed 124, 124, 124, always. And then last summer; a year into my LA Boxing lifestyle, I took a personal training course that involved a fitness test. I stepped on the scale to find I weighed 138. It wasn’t all muscle. My fat percentage was high—overweight, even.

    I was mortified. Ever since, I’ve been on a roller coaster with those 10 or so pounds. I’m not saying I want to weigh 124, but still.

    I tried using My Fitness Pal, and found it way too strict for me, but you might enjoy it (free fitness app). I have found joy in just getting to the gym as many times as I can in a week, making friends with people there, and then finding healthy ways to fix the food I love to eat. Some weeks, I do really well and I weigh 126 and I feel fit and sexy. Other weeks, all I want is junk food and I weigh 134. It certainly is a journey.

    I thing, though, is that weight really is a number. Instead, go by pictures and measurements. If you must weigh yourself, do it once a week, on the same day, at the same time every week.

    Good luck, girl! -H

    • Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap September 19, 2013 at 9:00 am

      Haha, I have seen you checking in at LA Boxing! I have to admit, it seems like an awesome way to vent some frustrations. I found a kickboxing video I can stream for free on Amazon Prime recently and have used it a few times. Maybe I’ll try a class when this Groupon I have for Spectrum runs out. I wonder if they have childcare?

  2. As a fellow 5’0 girl who was once 160 pounds to now being 120(and hovering around 122-126 for about six years), I will say this: Find something you like to do as exercise. I’m a runner, but if I hated running, I would never have kept it up for the so long and thus kept the weight off.

    If I take a week off from exercise, I’m miserable because I miss the endorphins and the fun. Also, if you find an activity you love, you will realize how much easier that activity is when you make good food choices. Let me just say that running three miles after a big cheeseburger lunch(my FAVORITE cheat meal) is miserable. Knowing that skipping my physical activity is not an option has saved my diet hundreds of times.

    Best of luck! I’ll send you some good thoughts!

    • Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap September 19, 2013 at 9:04 am

      You are so right! I have been working out every day this week and find that I really don’t want a lot of sugar or heavy food for the rest of the day.I know diet is really where I need to make changes but maybe exercise can help motivate me.

  3. it’s funny you posted this because just yesterday i went to the WW website and took the assessment. i found out i was overweight for my height too! i was shocked!! i have a problem with thinking that i’m always in my wedding day bod, when in reality, i’m coasting by in a post baby bod that needs some work. hello wake-up call! while i’m back to my pre-Judah weight, i still needed to loose 10 lbs before i got pregnant, so that helps me none, haha. i’m thinking about doing WW again since i’m only nursing Judah 1-2 times a day too. that is what i did in 2007 to loose 40 lbs for my wedding, and i remember it just falling off. HOWEVER, i am no longer 22 years old either, so i know this means i have to do exercise (which i haaaate). so i’m right there with ya! 10 lbs would be amazing, and if i was able to loose 20, i’d be my ideal size aka wedding day weight.

    you can do it! the hard part is just making the decision and sticking to it. i find that it takes 3 days to make it stick, which means 3 days of saying “no” to things i normally just let me know eat.

    i you ever need a walking buddy on M or F, just let me know and we’ll hit up the lakes!! good luck girl!

    • Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap September 19, 2013 at 9:06 am

      Wow, 40 pounds! If I could give up coke for three days I’m sure it would be a total life changer! And yes, let’s definitely walk the lakes together sometime!

  4. I really appreciate this post. I have struggled with losing the last baby lbs for over two years now. Tried paleo, tried all manner of other diets, and always took some off but always put most of it back. Now I’m supposed to be in a wedding in a few months and am realizing it’s crunch time.

    I’ve had success on Weight Watchers before but it’s expensive on our small budget. Luckily, I found an app called Points Plus Diary which is basically Weight Watchers but it only costs $1.99 or so to download. I love it so much and it really helps keep me on track, I’ve lost about 11 lbs so far. It isn’t always pleasant but it can be done.

    Good luck and keep us updated.

    • Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap September 19, 2013 at 9:07 am

      Thanks for the suggestion! I, too, feel uncomfortable at the idea of spending a lot of money on weight loss. I mean, eat less and move around more, how hard can it be, right? But sometimes a few tools can make all the difference. I’ll have to check it out!

  5. I am in a similar place…. staying the same (over)weight and wondering if I was “meant” to be this weight. But I know it’s not true. Very different place since I’m lots older than you – and can say “do it while you’re young!” – because it really *does* get harder as you get older. Keep active, and I agree that weight (and BMI) is just a number – and would add “go by your health and how you feel” to your advice. Keep us posted…. I have thought of starting My Fitness Pal along with friends, so if you want to try it with me (anyone else?), I am up for it! Keep it up! (and by the way, the pic you say is “unflattering”? Look at the gorgeous, joyful smiles on your faces! Beautiful!

    • Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap September 19, 2013 at 9:09 am

      You are so sweet! Lots of people in my family struggle with weight so I know it’s important to manage it now, and I so want to spare Jack a lifetime of this drama. Good luck and thanks for the support!

  6. i’ve been thinking about this lately. i managed to lose the baby weight (all 42 lbs!) but i do NOT look the same. not that i expected to but its still not fun. i know exactly what i need to do – eat marginally better and work out a lot more. but i can’t figure out *how* to do it. i mean, the working out part. i’d either have to wake up at 3:30 (um no) or go for a run at like 8pm and get to bed later than i’d like. so for now, i’m working out on the weekends only when sean is home to stay with adelaide.

    although i kind of feel like my days of a flat stomach are just gone- no matter if i work out 24 hours a day. ha.

    good luck!!

    • Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap September 19, 2013 at 9:14 am

      Yeah unless they invent some sort of magical skin-shrinking serum I’m pretty sure my bikini days are long gone no matter how much weight I lose. I bought a groupon for a gym nearby that has free childcare and have been going every day before dinner. That’s typically when Jack is a little cranky so it’s nice to be able to hand him off to a nursery worker! Nick tells me he’s not as fussy when I’m not around so I don’t feel too guilty about it. If you like to run, would a jogging stroller work for you? I think I remember you posting once about hating the stroller so maybe that’s not such a good idea though, haha.

      • i’ve thought about a jogging stroller but the problem is we get home around 6 and adelaide is like ready for bed right then. she’s usually asleep within 30 minutes (which includes a bath). and you remember correctly- i suck at *walking* with the stroller. i’d probably kill someone running!

        what i could do is run or workout at work during lunch. but the thought of seeing a coworker in the locker room is too horrifying to even think about. haha

        • Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap September 20, 2013 at 7:39 pm

          Ugh, that sucks. Work is for the birds! Kidding, of course. Anyway, I hated using the bulky infant stroller but now I have an umbrella stroller (first years ignite) and I love it. You definitely can’t jog with it, but maybe it’d be good for life in general as Adelaide gets bigger/heavier.

  7. Carol McMullan Abadie September 18, 2013 at 10:48 am

    I’m hoping you’ll get lots of support because I think there are a lot of us in the very same boat! I too am a shorty, as you know, and gained 50# when I was pregnant! I’ve been claiming baby weight for the last 2 years but I’ve got to move on and own it or I’ll never get where I want to be!

    I think because we are short, people think we are cute and petite but 5 pounds on us is like 15 on someone of regular height…and trust me, it ain’t cute!!! I set a goal to lose ten pounds in ten weeks, I’m doing weight watchers. I really want to get to my goal before the holidays. I also set a goal to go to the gym at least three times/week. I’m on week two and meeting goals as of now…down five pounds already! You can do it, find something that works for you and set a goal! Good luck Charlotte!

    • Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap September 19, 2013 at 9:16 am

      You are so right! And five pounds already! That’s awesome! I remember you doing weight watchers years ago. You are a rock star. Thanks so much for the encouragement!

  8. So many of us are right there with you, in support and similar experiences!!!

    Bethenny Frankel’s “Naturally Thin” was a game changer for me. I’m admittedly addicted to Bravo-lebrities, but I think it’s a brilliant book. She writes 10 rules that make the most damn sense ever (don’t clean your plate-duh, order a smaller size of everything-duh… they are awesomely simple). And 2 principles (example: the ‘differential:’ if you love red meat, don’t feel bad ordering a real burger or a steak instead of grilled chicken; if you don’t love red meat, order the turkey or veggie burger and use your differential where it really makes you happy!). I reached 135 after pageants, and her book got me and kept me at 130 for the past year now. And I probably use 2 out of 10 rules a day… think if I used all 10! My college weight (not during pageants) was 122, so that 8 pounds would feel life-changing (shortie here as well, so that’s at least a size if not 2 sizes down). My goal is another 5 lbs in the next year. Anyway, I highly recommend this book as a new way to think about food and a way to think about it the rest of your life… coming from someone who became an expert at dieting.

    Get it girl!!!

    • Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap September 19, 2013 at 9:18 am

      Wow, those sound like really practical tips. I loved Bethenny on RHONYC. I think I may have to get that book! Thanks for sharing!

  9. My weight has been creeping up for years and I don’t even have a baby to show for it. I finally quit eating enough for for three people at every meal. I still eat junk, just not at every meal like I was. I eat normal sized portions now. I also have an exercise bike and rowing machine at home. Those are the only two things that I will consistently do. I put in a tv show on DVD and bike or row for 22mins and I’m done. It’s more about how you feel and not the number. I just got to be miserable and I could literally feel my heart working harder, so that was my motivation. I occasionally use My Fitness Pal app. That way I’m forced to face how much I’m eating. A lot of the time I don’t even realize how much I’m eating. I use pinterest to find a ton of new healthy recipes so I don’t get bored with eating the same healthy stuff over and over. I start with a goal of 5lbs and once I reach it I go down to the next 5 as my goal. I also weigh myself every Monday morning and keep it in my phone. I like to see how far I’ve come and see how much one week of bad eating or good eating can do to me. Don’t reprive yourself. I could lose 10-15lbs more if I cut out Dr. Pepper, but it’s not happening. You can do it! And making it public helps.

    • Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap September 19, 2013 at 9:26 am

      God, do I love to eat. And drink coke. And beer! And wine! One thing that really helped me years ago was to document all my food, drink, and exercise in a journal. Having to face it definitely made me more thoughtful. Thank you for reminding me of that!

  10. I’m new to your blog. I am the same height and my hubby is also very tall so when I saw your pics I immediately smiled. But on the weight thing… I’ve been having a similar struggle and I know my gain is from stress and sitting behind a desk all day for work. I flux between 110 and 128. Right now on the heavy end. Thanks for sharing your story.

  11. My fitness pal, just start tracking everything. Figure out your calorie target range, and manage your splurges. If it’s as simple as not drinking calories or only having that after-Jack’s bedtime beer once a week, that’s still better than being laxed. As we get older, our bodies settle into a set point, you can break the set point with nutritional consistency and exercise. Unless, you’re me, and you broke your metabolism… which I have, and who knows when I’ll be able to fix it, I’ll die trying though. I’m hitting the gym 3x a week and jogging at least 5.5 miles every time, lifting weights every other day… not an ounce lost. It’s frustrating! But seriously, I recommend getting a FitBit and using MyFitnessPal. That combo is a great start.

    • Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap September 30, 2013 at 10:42 am

      I’ve been htting the gym 5-6 times/week, eliminated second helpings and cut my coke consumption from drinking 7-10/week to 3-4 and have actually GAINED weight. WTF. I just googled FitBit–pretty cool!

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