Once, there was a teenage girl who couldn’t put on weight to save her life. She weighed a mere 100 pounds and stood 5 feet, 6 inches tall. She was so skinny, her mother forced her to drink weight gain shakes for breakfast.
And then she went to college and discovered how to write annoying essays about herself in the third person. She also discovered beer, dark, lovely beer. She was 23 when the weight gain began. Had her mother known about what beer could do, high school could have been a lot more fun.
The weight came on slowly at first. A pound here, a pound there. But by the time she was 26 – having moved from a town to a city, and then back to a town again, and then to a city again – she weighed 135 pounds. And that wasn’t so bad, 135 pounds wasn’t so bad. She moved to New York when she was 27 where she met her husband. And she became they. Later that year a bunch of men flew a bunch of airplanes into a bunch of buildings and they moved away from New York City to the only city in the United States that lacks statehood. That’s where they discovered wine and Pasta Mia.
By age 29, she weighed 145 pounds.
They moved to San Francisco. Depressed and lonely, she stayed home most of the time while he went to work. She ate a lot of burritos from a place in the Mission and put on more and more weight until she weighed a booming 157 pounds. She was 30 years old.
They moved back to New York. And as a New Yorker who walks more each day than the average American, she lost 7 pounds just going to and from work. But she still weighed 150 pounds.
She dieted. And at 31 she lost 11 pounds.
And then later that year, she put it all back on again.
She took up running at 32. She loved to run. She ran 3 miles a day for the first part of the year and well into the summer. She didn’t lose much weight, putting on muscle and all, but she felt better, her clothing fit, and she was able to eat whatever she wanted. She weighed 149 pounds.
At 32 and three quarters she got pregnant. Her running career came to a halt, her eating whatever she wanted did not.
By the time her son was born she weighed an impressive 179 pounds. And 20 pounds of that was stored in her ankles.
Three weeks postpartum, 20 of that was gone. Two months later, 5 more dropped from the scale.
At 33 and three quarters, nearly a year after her son was conceived, she still weighed 155 pounds.
On November one of two thousand and seven her husband got an iPhone and began taking pictures faster than Mitt Romney flip-flops and the girl caught a glimpse of her arms on Flickr. She promptly made him take them down. The girl decided it was finally time to do something about it. She ran. And it nearly killed her. She also started to diet, not a massive calorie-cutting diet, supplying breast and all, but a diet nonetheless.
On November 3, 2007, 3 days into NaBloPoMo, she confessed her goal and all her numbers on the Internet.
Updates on my weight loss will take place every Saturday in a section called Saturday Stats until I reach my goal. Sadly, I need to put this on hold until I get my medical problems under control. At the time this was added, I still weigh 149. We’ll see how things go after my hyperthyroidism is taken care of.
Part of NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month), where one writes every day for the month of November, which is easier said than done.
Meh. 155, 145, 135, whatever. You are still beautiful to me and all your other readers.
Your numbers don’t matter to us, but you are a brave girl nonetheless.
I love this.
Numbers suck. Pregnancy weight sucks. I gained all the weight I lost 3 years ago when I spent a year losing 30 pounds via the gym. My total pregnancy weight gain was 45 lbs and I’m big(grrr) to begin with. I’m with you, never been this weighty before. Sure people say that it doesn’t REALLY matter and it doesn’t, but it still hurts a little nonetheless. I’m getting back to the gym already. Perhaps lactation will help it come off a little faster. Goodluck!
Congrats on the iPhone, the raddest gadget on the planet. I broke mine, but I’m getting another one. Absolutely the most addictive communication device I’ve ever encountered.
Wait, I’m confused. Who IS THIS MYSTERIOUS WOMAN?!
OK, in all seriousness, good luck!
It sucks to high heaven for a couple weeks. Starting out is the hardest part.
(says the man with a handful of peanut M&Ms in his mouth).
You are so great. For being so honest, and for even being able to just pick up your shoes and run. It takes me what feels like forever with many a false start to even get there. Good luck! with the shaping. You will totally rock it.
I read this with Jim Dale’s voice in my head. That makes it even better. (I LOVE Pushing Daisies!)
Numbers aren’t beauty and the world has been lying to you about body image, beauty, weight and size.
You were gorgeous in this story from beginning to end.
Thank you for publishing something so brave.
Best to you,
Good for you! I’m following the same path except I’m 33 and we are planning on having a baby next year so I want to drop 30 pounds. I would say my numbers but I’m not quite ready. I’m doing the same thing running 3 miles, but also I swim laps and I want to add yoga. By the way, I love your writing and blog!
Did I write this?
Your honesty and bravery are inspiring.
Thank you for this.
You’re awesome! I wish I had the nerve to put my numbers out there. Funny how those pounds just seem to come out of nowhere when you get older. Good for you for setting your goal and actually doing it. I’m all about the former. Good luck!
You can do whatever you decide is important to you. I lost my numbers and am happier for it. It takes time and hard work. There is no miracle here just plain old simple chemistry. Enjoy the journey and all the emotions involved. Good luck!
I’m with you, except for the running part – I can’t run to save my life. Although I am dieting – I stepped on the scale yesterday and I was shocked to see 165 flash before me (I’m 5’6 too). 30 pounds seems like a lot, but I’ve lost 30 before (after gaining 90 with my baby)… so I have hope! Good luck!
Just today I caught my reflection while watching my 3 yr old at her first dance class. I looked like a giant lump of skin covered in a maternity shirt. Except it isn’t a maternity shirt. I am 29, I have three kids, and I weigh 171 lobs. I have gained 10 since moving into my new house several months ago. My arms flap. Knowing all of this I came home and ate a handful of tootsie rolls. It is a sickness.
Oh My Gosh! Same thing happened to me. Was 90 pounds in high school. Mother made me drink Ensure to put on weight but to no avail. Around 100 pounds all through college—eating & drinking whatever pleased me, whenever it pleased me. Got married after grad school at 24 and 107 pounds. And over five years of marriage I’m up to 133. Not bad, right? But it still startles me! 133 is not heavy for 5 6, but it does seem like a lot of weight to gain in just a few years. Guess I need to hit the pavement for the first time in my life. oh wait, I have to be careful… I just found out I’m pregnant. Good grief, can one actually begin to exercise regularly DURING their pregnancy?
My best friend gained 90lbs with her son. Her doctor told her to expect to keep 45lbs of that on. It got her so mad she started to work out with a vengance. She was a size 8 when she got pregnant (5’6”/140). When she was 9 months pregnant she weighed 230. The week after her son was born she weighed 210. Three years later She’s now a size 6 at 130. It took her a year to get the majority of the weight off. If she can do it, you can do it.
Again, you’re definitely not the only one! I gained so much weight with my first two kids (born 15 months apart), lost it, and gained it all back when I became pregnant with my third. I went from 140 pounds to 225 pounds. It was horrible…I felt bad, and well, looked pretty lousy too. BUT! Here I am, not-too-awfully-long later, weighing in at 130 pounds. (I’m 5’ 7”). It’s hard to lose; it’s so much harder to keep off. (I think.) Running has helped me, too, and I’m absolutely not a runner. I love it, though.
(Also helping: not being pregnant. Never ever ever again. Nope.)
Very, very best wishes to you…I know you can do it! Good luck!
Ahh, welcome to what we call Project Boombalardy in our house. I’m tracking my own journey at http://www.boombalardy.blogspot.com.
Just keep going.
My youngest son is 28 and I’m still trying to lose the last of the baby weight.
I ballooned up to 199 with my first child and plummeted to a solid 125 where I stayed until the second pregnancy. It’s been up and down (more up, less down) since then. I don’t think there’s a woman alive who can’t relate in some way to this post. Nice job.
Wait, did I write this? The cities aren’t right, but the weights are more or less.
You need HIIT and weight training. Trust me, I am all these stories and more. To shred you need to sprint and lift in intervals. If you HIIT at 2:1 you won’t hurt from the weights, it raises the lactic acid threshold. Google it, you’ll see :) Get it , girl.
The numbers don’t matter, hon. But thanks for writing so openly – you’ve pushed me into doing something about it myself. The weight has crept on over the past couple of stressful years, and although I don’t know what I weigh (and I don’t intend to) I’m not happy with my measurements and the way I feel. I want to tackle it before it really goes awry!
Good luck, and keep updating with your progress! Find something that makes YOU happy, set yourself a realistic target and stick with it. I’ve found a lot of great advice at bodydoctor.com and started to shape up quickly in 2005 using that (before I got this job and had a brief hint of ‘spare time’ in my life!) so I’ll be hitting that again and making some progress before my 29th birthday in February.
My joke is that my toddler and I combined still weigh what we did the day before she was born…I was 135 the day I got preggers, 195 the day I gave birth and even after 15 mos of nursing, she is 25 lbs and I am…170. So gym-joinging I did go and yes…we’re with you brave woman! And btw, my arms are what REALLY kill me about my lack-of-shape. Surely they would have more tone after lifting a 25lb. toddler 19,432 times per day??
5’6” and 155 pounds is in no way overweight. We could probably all use a bit of toning and firming up, especially after a baby, but…c’mon. Even us smart women get caught up in this image stuff.
But still, it takes guts to put it out there. I am 5’2, 146 lbs, 53 years old and wear size 10 jeans. I stopped worrying about the number on the scale a long time ago. Muscle>fat, you know, and all that.
Your weight gain and loss trajectory follows mine quite a bit. I weighed 105 pounds till I was 24. (And I too moved to San Francisco, fought depression, and ate burritos from a place in the Mission. Tacqueria Cancun, if you must know.) And now I weigh 150.
I know the numbers don’t mean much. There are people who are my height and my weight and perfectly healthy. But I just don’t feel healthy. I get tired easily, I can’t dance in my kitchen (or in a club) for more than a song’s worth of dancing without getting tired. I’d like to be able to wear my favourite clothes again. (My favourite t-shirts now ride up over my belly.) I’d like to be able to do the yoga pose I could do a year and a half ago, but can’t even connect on now. Healthy to me means that whatever the numbers I can do what I want.
I just told my boyfriend that now that we’re in eggnog season he has to be the one to dole it out to me. Because I can’t drink just one.
that was the most incredible post that I’ve read in a long, long while….
Fantastic post – I found you through NaBloPoMo!
You are one very brave woman – I have talked about my weight loss on my blog, but I’ve never talked numbers… only that I’m working on losing 30kg – 66lb in your speak! I’m nearly a third of the way there!
Anyhoo, if you ever need a ‘losing buddy’ – come and find me. We’re all in this together!
Good luck! You can do it! I need the motivation to do it now. I just had a baby two months ago and I’m tipping the scales at little higher than 155….and by little i mean like 20 pounds higher than that. ugggghhhh.
are you sure you aren’t talking about me? good luck. i am right there with you. thanks for the added inspiration.
Are you sure you are not writing my life story? The height, the weights, the weighing 100 pounds when I went to college? I guess a lot of us are in the same boat. My husband and I just started a diet together. He has lost 13 pounds. I have lost 2. The treats in the teacher’s lounge this morning didn’t help, either. Good luck!
I’m 5’5” and in high school I was 164. It took three years, a constant steady diet, and working out at least four times a week every week, but I managed to get down to around 120-125 (depending on the week, hehe). It’s definitely doable and so satisfying in the end. Good luck!
You are brave. I have yet to talk about my decades long battle with weight on my blog, although, I am a firm believer of the cupcake diet where I’m convinced I can drop 50 pounds by eating at least three cupcakes a week.
but i think 5’6 and 150 is okay to weigh. do you not think so? i even think 5’6 and 155 is fine too. by no means fat, or anywhere close.
but this is coming from a chick with one hell of a big ass. lol
Similar ups, similar downs here, and five years after being where you are right now, the last 60 I lost is still off. There are marathons. You can do it.
I find myself wordless, but filled with intense nonverbal encouragement. From one formerly-too-skinny-and-now-not-so-much thirty-something chick to another, just know: You can’t do anything wrong. Be careful and kind.
I’m 5’5” and I would be SOOO happy and feel SOOO skinny if I weighed 155. But weight sits on me pretty well.
I weigh less now than when I got pregnant, and that’s not saying much. I’m using my baby as my excuse for pudge. But he’s ten months old now. Post-partum pudding ain’t gonna cut it for much longer!
you wrote a story about me…
What a great post! At 23, when I got engaged, I was 160, the heaviest I had ever been. We did the “pre wedding” diet ant I was 145 and looked great. Then we trained for a backpacking trip and down to 135, next came the bike riding and down to 125 and looking really kick ass, the best of my life. Then came the bike crash, 4 surgeries, and too many pain meds. Now back at 165 at age 28 and trying to start over before I have the babies. I felt SO good when I was moving, pain managements just sucks.
Keep it up!
I don’t put a lot of stock in numbers like I used to. Between pregnancy and now (where I’m training for triathlons) I’ve lost zero pounds and 3 pant sizes. I’d have to lose 40 pounds to be where I was in university—but honestly, I don’t know where that 40 pounds would come from!
Tina’s right—you’re still beautiful to me and everyone else I’m sure.
omg, This is EXACTLY my story – same weights and everything and I’m 5’6” too. I am now 8 mos pregnant and weigh 179 too. I have never told anyone how much I weigh though! you are my hero.