Before Pics! And Some Thoughts on Weight Loss

Part of the reason I chose to focus on progress this year is because it doesn’t come naturally. I am a pretty self aware person, I can usually recognize and articulate where I am at any given moment, but then I’m instantly hard wired to start thinking about how to get to the next achievement. If I’m not conscious, my life becomes a series of separate Navigation Entries, constantly starting at an arbitrary Point A, making its way to Point B. I rarely take the time to look backwards and recognize the big picture progress, instead recalibrating my Point A and finding a new Point B over and over.

Anyway, you get it. Some of you probably operate in the same way. Tell me I’m not alone here. LOL

So one of the things I’ve been thinking about a lot lately is getting rid of this last 40 lbs. (Point B Alert! Point B!) I’m not THAT obsessed with the number actually, but here is my rationale: I feel great right now. I’m making slow steady fitness progress, my clothes continue to fit better, I feel healthier, my eating habits get more and more streamlined (obviously with the occasionally deviation) but overall life is good. I’m trending in the right direction so I know I’ll get there eventually.

But also, I want to get pregnant. And pregnant like, soon. The “eventually” timeline that I’m trending toward is okay, but not ideal. If I all of a sudden got pregnant and did gain 20-40 lbs, I would NOT feel as fabulous. So one of my Priority Missions is to just drop those last few pesky pounds (HA! Few! I’m sure 40 lbs sounds like A LOT to some of you, but consider that I’ve lost 100. 40 sounds like a piece of cake!) At 40 lbs lighter I will feel confident in my ability to maintain my health and fitness during pregnancy, if that is in fact in the cards for us. :::knocks wood:::

(That was my long winded disclaimer that it’s really NOT about the scale, I promise. If there is anything CrossFit has taught me it is that all things considered, what the scale tells ya ain’t much!)

So I have a big and urgent goal and of course you know making an action plan was the best part! Indulge me and let me tell you my plan, would ya? I’m going to experiment with Paleo/Zone eating. I’ll tell you more about that when I finalize my strategy, but it will involve a little more ratio measuring, which I’m willing to do TEMPORARILY. (Fret not!) Measuring food is right up there with calorie counting to me: not a helpful long term strategy (though I have a much longer and more informative post in the hopper about why calorie counting is lame and OMG stop with that nonsense immediately! But I really need to find the nerve to post it. FOR ME, it feels controversial since I try not to tell people how they should lose weight or whatever, but calorie counting is something I feel SO STRONGLY about, I figure I should get it out there at some point.)

Anyway — whew! That was an anxiety causing sidebar! So right now I do need to employ a new strategy to get from A to B. And it comes at the recommendation of one of my favorite trainers at my gym, Larry, and he’s a smart cookie so I’m going all in. More to come on that soon.

But.

I don’t want to get so focused on this last 40 lbs that I forget where I’ve come from. So I figured just for fun, the best way to do that would be throw up some old pictures, because who doesn’t love a good before pic, right?

Anyway, here goes.

On the left, the picture that made me want to lose weight. Everyone has one. This was mine and it popped up as a tag on Facebook and I just about died. Then I decided it was time for change. And change I did. So see, Facebook isn’t completely evil, right?

On the left, a group pic taken recently that I felt must less anxious about having tagged on Facebook.

Second is a pic of Garrett and I at a wedding a few years ago. Sorry if my loving hand gesture offends you. I can be salty sometimes. And on the right is a picture of us just a few weekends ago. While I think we certainly look happy in both, no doubt we are healthier on the right. So um…YAY??

The thing about weight loss is that it’s never the answer you think it is. It’s not going to solve your problems or mow your lawn. It’s not going pay your bills or magically clean your house. In fact, in some ways it creates new problems. (HOLY HELL CAN WE TALK ABOUT ALL THESE NEW WRINKLES THAT I HAVE NOW THAT MY FACE IS THINNER, MY GOD. Tell me that goes away over time. Sob!)

It doesn’t magically make everything great despite how you feel when you are desperately wishing the pounds would melt away. So I think it’s important to find the balance between acknowledging your progress and moving on to the next thing. This is my attempt to do both, but man are they both a challenge!

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14 comments to Before Pics! And Some Thoughts on Weight Loss

  • chelsea
    February 22, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    Your b00bs! I have a similar picture, in a similar dress, from a similar wedding that was my ‘oh god, THAT’s what I look like’ picture.

    Re: Calorie counting. Definitely not for the long term. But I keep returning to it when the eating/boozing gets out of hand. I use it as my baseline, as my reminder as to what I SHOULD be eating and how MUCH I should be eating…it gives me structure sometimes. Which I like.

    Anyways. Two cents. I’m on a mission o lose 20, if not 40, by wedding time…even through my dress has been purchased and it fits me like a glove as is. Alterations be damned. Would love to hear more about the Paleo/Zone – I nee dsome more structure in my diet, if only so I stop eating from the cafeteria here at work…

  • Jennie
    February 22, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    Your hard work is so inspiring and you look so happy in all your photos!

    I especially love this part, though:

    “The thing about weight loss is that it’s never the answer you think it is.”

    So very very true.

  • Stephanie
    February 22, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    LOVE this! That’s all.

  • AndreAnna
    February 22, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    I’m sorry, I couldn’t read a word you just wrote because your boobs jumped off my screen and poked my eyes out.

  • Elsha
    February 22, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    Great post! Weight loss is hard work, and I feel like things get a little complicated when you pair wanting to lose weight with wanting to get pregnant. I was still wanting to lose another 20 (ish) lbs when I got pregnant with my 2nd, and it was hard to go from carefully counting points to just trying to eat/stay healthy while watching the numbers on the scale go up.

    Good luck with the Paleo/Zone eating! I recently had to switch to very low carb eating to control gestational diabetes (pregnant with my 3rd now) and while it has been REALLY hard for me, it’s definitely kept me from gaining any more weight. And (more importantly) kept my blood sugar at a good level so this baby doesn’t gain too much weight!

    You are looking awesome, by the way :)

  • Ang
    February 22, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    My eyes were on your boobs, too! I now have hope that mine will shrink 😀 You look absolutely stunning!

    Good luck with the last 40lb. I’ve set myself a 50lb goal for the year. I’m just taking it one week at a time… making a meal plan, planning my exercise and trying to stay happy and chilled out. I’ll be interested to see how you combine zone and Paleo…

  • Valerie
    February 22, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    I love your blog. And before-afters are always fun!

    I’d love to hear your thoughts on calorie counting! Tell us!

  • Janna
    February 22, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    Just a thought, don’t know if you’re waiting to lose the weight, but if you manage to get pregnant BEFORE the 40 lbs comes off, that might be fine too. We tried for a year and a half before it finally worked, and I’m glad I didn’t wait for that last 20 lbs to come off. If you are emotionally ready, go for it! Plus, if you’ve got some extra padding and don’t eat much processed food, you may not gain that much weight in pregnancy anyways.

    I think this is interesting from WebMD:
    Where does the extra weight go?
    Baby 8 pounds
    Placenta 2-3 pounds
    Amniotic fluid 2-3 pounds
    Breast tissue 2-3 pounds
    Blood supply 4 pounds
    Fat stores for delivery and breastfeeding 5-9 pounds
    Uterus increase 2-5 pounds
    Total 25 to 35 pounds

  • Brittany
    February 23, 2012 at 2:01 am

    Damn, Lady! You look good!

  • Jesabes
    February 23, 2012 at 10:37 am

    Pregnancy can be a great weight-loss tool!

    HAHA, obviously I am kidding and hope you NEVER have a pregnancy like mine, but I was so sick during pregnancy that I came home from the hospital after birth weighing 5 pounds less than pre-pregancy. Throw on breastfeeding and now, with an 8 month old, I weigh 20 pounds less than pre-pregnancy.

    (My doctor wasn’t concerned with the lack of pregnancy weight gain – total was 8 lbs – because I was around 50 pounds overweight to start with, meaning I was only supposed to gain around 15 pounds anyway.)

    (Again, I don’t RECOMMEND not gaining weight during pregnancy.)

  • Jesabes
    February 23, 2012 at 10:38 am

    Also, I am amazed at how far you’ve come! It’s so inspiring.

  • sizzle
    February 23, 2012 at 11:22 am

    I feel you in so many ways on this. Weight loss IS never the answer you think it will be. I agree! But there is a lot to be proud of here- that you saw something about yourself that you didn’t like and worked so hard to change it. You’ve changed your lifestyle, your health, and your attitude. And you’ve lost 100lbs!

    As someone who has forever struggled to accept my body/lose weight/get healthy, I appreciate hearing your story. Thanks for being an inspiration.

    As for getting pregnant, I plan on doing that in the next 2 years and have anxiety about trying to conceive while heavy. I’ve had friends that are heavy and have had no problems whatsoever. I think some of the risks are magnified in our culture of fat shame. I have joked that I’ll lose the weight I want, get pregnant, gain it all back and be like “well fuck!” 😉

  • Erin
    February 23, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    I agree with others who have stated something to the effect of, “BOOOOOOBS.”

    Been there, can relate. :-)

  • Erica
    February 23, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    Wow 100 pounds is awesome. Way to do it.

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