Monday, June 21, 2010

Worth a thousand words

Recently a mother I knew died in a tragic car accident, leaving behind five children. When I went to her Facebook page, I noticed the most recent family pictures were of her husband and kids, she wasn't in a single one. I immediately thought how sad it was that they didn't have pictures with their mom. Then that thought pained me because I hate having my picture taken. I have two beautiful kids and an amazing husband, but when it is time for pictures I avoid being in them at all costs. Why? Because the outside of me doesn't match how I feel inside.

A little background...I was a little chubby as a child, then thinned out in middle school and spent my high school years as a member of our dance team. I exercised a lot, and ate very little. The weight I remember being in high school was 144 pounds (we had to be at a certain weight for our height to perform the routines).  For 5'9", that is a pretty low weight but I always, ALWAYS felt fat.  In college I was roommates with three girls who are all very petite (height and weight), in all of our pictures together I looked enormous and felt, once again, like a fatty. I married my wonderful husband when I was 21 and feeling comfortable and loved, started eating with abandon. I remember at one point my jeans were uncomfortably small. Instead of seeing that as a warning signal and exercising or eating healthier, I just bought a bigger size of pants. If only I could go back in time, right? It's amazing how quickly I ballooned up to over 240 pounds. We wanted to have a baby, so I did the Atkins diet and lost 40 pounds over a period of 4 months.  I got pregnant soon after and gained 52 pounds (!) during my first pregnancy. I lost 20 pounds and remained at 232 until I got pregnant with my daughter. I only gained 25 pounds that pregnancy but haven't really lost that weight and my daughter is almost 3!

I'm tired of dieting though. And every time I look at my handsome son and sweet daughter I want to stop this endless cycle of gaining and losing weight. I want them to grow up with a mom who is healthy and active. I want to be a good example for my mom and dad who are struggling with their weight. I want to feel comfortable in my body and gladly step in front of the camera. 

So here I am. I'm so excited to be a part of Win, Lose or Blog.  The dieter and competitor in me wants to do something drastic and lose a lot of weight. But this is the last time I'm losing weight, and I'm going to do it right! I'm hoping all of you readers will be my support system, to buoy me up and/or kick my butt when I'm having a bad day, and to clap for me when I'm on the  right track. 

My strategy is this: 
-Exercise at least 60 minutes a day
-Eat only when I'm hungry, and stop when I am full
-Kitchen is closed after dinner (late night snacking is a bad habit of mine)
-Weigh myself only once a week
-Blog my progress each day (so you can keep me on track!)
-Full disclosure (no secret brownie-a-thons!)

I'm excited to get to "know" you. Does anyone have other strategies they think I should add to my list?
Thank in advance for your help and support, it means a lot to me!



  1. GO STEPHANIE! You can do it!!

    You need to integrate weight training into your exercise regimen. You'll find a lot more benefit in doing that vs. straight cardio.

    I track my miles run/walked/biked/hiked. It's a good mental thing for me to help keep me on track. When I was first getting going, I set a goal of running 100 miles and rewarded myself when I hit that. That's now a too frequent occurrence for me to reward myself big, but when I hit 1,000 miles this year you can bet I'll go buy myself a new pair of shoes!

    If you're going to do running as part of your regimen, definitely go invest in a good pair of shoes. Go to a running store and get fit by someone who knows what they're doing rather than just wandering in to Sports Authority and pulling some off the rack.

    I'll be watching you :). Just keep moving, moving moving!

  2. We are in a similar boat. I am a stay at home mom to three wonderful children. A hubby that works ALL THE TIME . I homeschool too. I am busy busy. I hope to walk, walk, walk my way to better health. Good luck, I'll be checkin' in on you!


  3. Good luck, Steph! One thing I've read time and time again is to eat small meals throughout the day instead of 3 meals. Also, that overeating is an instinct, and if you feel the need to binge it's because you're not eating frequently enough and your body thinks it's starving.

    I agree with Heidi about weight training. Very important to build lean muscle. You can't change your body's shape without weight training.

    Can't wait to read more! You're a fantastic writer.

  4. I can totally relate to everything you said...I've had my ups and downs when it comes to weight issues and need some inspiration to lose weight....I'm looking forward to reading your blog and hearing more about your journey!

  5. Wow, 5'9 and 144 pounds is SKINNY! I hope you can recognize now (after looking back) what a good self image is, because I am also 5'9, and I can't imagine being 144. Be sure to set realistic goals, Stephanie. I'm currently 215, and my goal is 165 (but I'd be thrilled with 170)!

  6. Hey- it's Jen, another contestant here. Have you ever considered a weight loss diary? It's helped me in the past and I am going to be tracking my food daily. Good Luck to you, I'm going to be checking in regularly :)

  7. start taking pictures now! the best way to see your progress is with pictures... Good Luck Hun!


  8. Hi Stephanie,

    Your strategy sounds great. I agree with Heidi to include strength training in your routine and invest in a good pair of running shoes. The last thing you want is to be sidelined by an injury. Congrats and I look forward to watching your journey.


  9. Hi Stephanie! I am so excited to follow along and watch your progress! It sounds like you have a great strategy and that you've gotten awesome tips so far. I whole-heartedly second the tip of a diary. When I first began my fitness journey I was meticulous in tracking my food and I lost 60 pounds in less than 6 months. I'm finding that now that I've slacked off on tracking I'm not losing at all anymore & I'm getting lazy about my workouts too.
    Good luck to you! And at the end of the 8 weeks the biggest prize will be the new body you've created!

  10. Thanks everyone! Totally going to do the food diary, great idea!

    See you all tomorrow! :)

  11. Stephanie,
    I think it's so great that you're doing this! I admire your courage and openness about everything. I second the comments on the food diary--that is the only way I've ever been successful. You are an inspiration to us all. I've been slacking off lately, so I'll depend on you to get me motivated. Thanks for sharing your story. We're behind you all the way!

  12. Go Steph Go! Track that food - if you bite it write it!!! Even better plan what you will eat in the morning - mini meals and snacks...this has helped me realize what I eat and when I first started doing it I was shocked! Drink lots of H2O! I am excited to support you on this journey.

  13. The facebook thing was an eye opener. I am sorry for them but glad that you took it and turned it into motivation.

    You sound like you are off to a great start!

  14. Hi Stephanie, I am a stay at home mom to 3 little boys (6,4 and almost 1) You would think that that would keep me active enough to lose some weight, but like you I went from 144 in my last 2 years of highschool to my all time high of 289.1lbs...scary! I joined weight watchers and lost 25 but then got pregnant with boy#3 and gained back all but 7 pounds. I'm back at weight watchers now and am hoping to hit 25 pounds down this week (that would be 32 in total).
    I will be following your progress. Good luck on this important journey!

  15. Nice to meet you Stephanie,
    I can understand the late night snacking, sounds like you have a great game plan for your weight lose goals.
    Keep us posted and we will all help each other.

    Best wishes

  16. great post and wonderful motivation (your darling kiddos!). You have an awesome strategy down! Good luck :)

  17. I think you have it covered. Eating only when I am hungry is a big thing for me. I've found that making myself sit at the table and not at my TV or computer and taking my time helps. I think I read that it can take 20 mins before your body registers that you are full.