The scale is reading 134 these days, which is about 20 pounds down from my weight back in February. I am feeling good about what I’ve accomplished so far, but also thinking, wow, that sure took a while. Maybe it means I’ve been doing this weight-loss effort in a sustainable, healthy way — not going hungry, eating nutritious foods, building up lots of muscle — or maybe it means my total inability to cut out the late-night snacking did not go unnoticed by the bathroom scale.

(Cool Whip Free + Battlestar Galactica = CRAZY DELICIOUS.)

No matter, though; it may have taken a bit longer than I had hoped but I am now basically back at my pre-pregnancy weight, and even more importantly, fitting back into all of my pre-pregancy clothes — even the size 6 pants that are surely vanity sized up the wazoo but dude, the label reads SIX, I’d wear them if they were made out of ASBESTOS because HELLO: SIZE 6.

Ahem.

I’m stronger than I was when I did this weight loss business last year, mostly because I didn’t have to start from ground zero this time around. I’ve also joined a gym and have been alternating different types of workouts throughout the week, to stave off boredom and also keep myself challenged. I think I’m eating better, too, sticking with a good rotation of meals that feature lean proteins/fruits/vegetables and rarely include processed carbohydrates.

(Except for Cool Whip. Shut up, I quit drinking, I quit ice cream, I WILL NOT QUIT YOU COOL WHIP.)

It feels like something I can stick with. Something I can keep doing, and see where it takes me. I feel so much better like this, not just for my improved body image but for my energy, my mental well-being, my patience, my ability to lift the 68392-lb carseat.

I am trying to be patient with the process and be friendly with my slowly-retreating belly instead of cursing its still-flabby appearance. Apparently it takes time to bounce back from the effects of stretching to accommodate the World’s Kickiest Baby, and although I’m re-building my core strength I imagine it will be a while before I feel like prancing around in a bikini.

(“A while” like “when pigs fly through the gentle snowdrifts in HELL”, that is. Bikinis, oh hell no.)

I’m not the sort of blogger who normally receives exciting freebies in the form of cameras or Wiis or ten minutes in a dark closet with Ewan McGregor (although I would like to make it clear to any interested PR executives looking for someone to review the experience of ten minutes in a dark closet with Ewan McGregor that I am totally willing to accept the burden of this assignment at any time) but I did recently get a offer to try out a non-surgical body shaping/cellulite reducing treatment. The offer was quite generous, allowing me to receive four expensive treatments for free with no obligation to recommend or even review the experience.

I thought pretty seriously about accepting the offer and trying out the procedure on my belly, but ultimately decided not to. Not because I think there’s anything wrong with cosmetic (or surgical) treatments, but because I guess it seemed kind of — I don’t know, almost sort of rude to myself in some way, to say, well, I’ve tried doing some crunches but fuck it, this shit isn’t going anywhere EVER, time to visit the medical salon. I’ve accomplished a lot, health- and body-shaping-wise, why not give myself the benefit of believing that I’ll be able to achieve even more in the next weeks and months?

It’s so easy to fall off the wagon when it comes to fitness and eating well, and part of what helps me keep feeling successful is focusing on the fact that I’m doing something positive for myself every time I cook a healthy dinner or strap on my sneakers. I’m learning that I can do more than I thought possible — I can run longer, I can lift a heavier weight, I can put in an exercise DVD even when I’m feeling overwhelmed by all the things I should be working on instead. I am teaching my kids about living a healthy lifestyle, I am fueling my body a thousand times better than I used to, I am taking proactive steps to pursue what I know helps me be a happier person . . . those feel like good things, the right things. A cellulite treatment seems like a step backwards for me, an unnecessary pinhole focus on a perceived fault — one that shouldn’t even be taking up space in my head right now.

That said, if my belly still looks like a partially deflated balloon a year from now, I’ll at least be able to say I tried my best, and either learn to live with it or check out other options. Never say never, unless it comes to wearing bikinis.

Comments

46 Responses to “Navel-gazing, take infinity”

  1. Sonia on June 9th, 2008 1:20 pm

    Just because I’m so giving, I will take that treatment RIGHT off your hands. LOL! *cough* Oh! I mean….good for you for being so self aware and sensible. What?

  2. Michelle on June 9th, 2008 1:28 pm

    Was it, by chance, Thermojet Infrared Heat Body Wraps? If so, shoot me an email because I’m doing them right now and….LOVE. Not just for the body shaping/cellulite reducing effect, either. It relaxes me, gives me more energy, and seems to be clearing up my skin as well.

    Congratulations on your totally hot bod, by the way. And thanks for helping motivate the rest of us.

  3. Shanna on June 9th, 2008 1:44 pm

    So many people are really starting to preach the healthy, eat right and bust your ass, approach to weight loss. I am finally starting to feel motivated to hop on the bandwagon. I guess I used to feel like what’s the point? b/c why would there be all sorts of non-functioning weightloss remedies if the tried and true really worked? Does this even make sense? Basically I’m saying, thanks for being honest about the work that goes into losing weight. I might even joing the pack now.

  4. Belle on June 9th, 2008 1:59 pm

    Congrats. And vanity sizing? 30 years ago I weighed 134 pounds and it was a size 11. And, 36 years ago I was 120 pounds and it was a size 9. Does that tell ya something? :)

  5. Beth on June 9th, 2008 2:07 pm

    Right now I am wearing shorts that are hopelessly out of style and frayed and splattered with paint and I wear them nearly daily because they are a size TWO. Which, I’ve been a size 2 and it was disgusting and I don’t want to go back, but I do enjoy pulling on the size 2 pants and pretending my ass doesn’t need it’s own zip code.

  6. Marie Green on June 9th, 2008 2:24 pm

    Your success has been such an inspiration- I’m so glad you blog about it.

    Also, I’m really impressed with your attitude about the whole cosmetic procedure thing- way to respect your body and yourself… I’m not sure if I would have had the same self-control to turn it down, although I agree with your stance 100%… it’s easy to agree when not actually FACED with the free-(possibly)-wonder-product.

    Also, LOVE the haircut.

  7. Sara on June 9th, 2008 2:37 pm

    I feel so much inspiration after reading these kinds of blog entries. I have a toddler and another kid on the way, so if YOU can do it, dammit, so can I. BUT! I have one question. You’ve really covered everything except how you handle going out to eat, at a friend’s house, restaurant, whatever. Do you ever just indulge in what you want? Or do you now just prefer the healthier option? If it’s the latter then I pretty much hate you. Thanks!

  8. SemiDesperate Housewife on June 9th, 2008 2:47 pm

    This is such a healthy and balanced way to look at weight loss and body image- I like the idea of making peace with the gradually shrinking belly instead of seeing it as Public Enemy Number One, the way I initially did. I too am learning that getting back to pre-baby shape is just- well, not possible. Pre baby weight, or even size, yes. But the SHAPE of a mother is just different, and it is okay. It is okay to have soft, scarred skin over your belly, even if the rest of you is toned and thin and HAWT. You have earned that belly, and the right to relax in it. My mantra, especially during bathing suit season, has become “There is no shame in stretch marks.”

  9. Jennifer on June 9th, 2008 2:48 pm

    I am jealous yet inspired! You’ve done an amazing job and should be very proud of yourself!

  10. Eliza on June 9th, 2008 2:53 pm

    As God as my witness (shaking fist at sky), you have inspired me to do f-ing Turbo Jam tonight no matter how late I get off of work.

  11. All Adither on June 9th, 2008 2:53 pm

    You’re so good. And I’m so bad.

  12. Artemisia on June 9th, 2008 2:58 pm

    This was a WONDERFUL post. It is so exciting, and so motivating. Thanks for sharing. It is so thrilling to discover you are stronger, isn’t it?

    And I really liked your reasoning behind choosing not to try out the cellulite-zapper-miracle-worker thing. It is a wonderful perspective that I would have missed entirely. Thank you!

  13. sundry on June 9th, 2008 3:02 pm

    Sara: what is this “go out to eat” of which you speak? Ha ha. When JB and I went out on our own a few weeks back (during a visit from the grandparents) I gave myself full permission to eat anything I wanted. I mean, I’m not CRAZY. Otherwise, if I’m somewhere other than home — at work, visiting family, whatever — I just try and stick with what I know are good choices. Lucky for me, my office provides a salad bar at lunchtime, which really helps.

  14. Anonymous on June 9th, 2008 3:04 pm

    Why not just wear a bikini with a non-model belly? Who cares? And if someone does, f ’em.

  15. nic on June 9th, 2008 3:10 pm

    Ok.. for the cool whip, it’s really good if you mix it with pudding mix and freeze it. You know, in case you want some variety.

  16. sundry on June 9th, 2008 3:11 pm

    Anon: it’s less about the belly and more about a lack of desire to walk around in my underwear. Which is what a bikini IS, except with less coverage.

  17. Amy on June 9th, 2008 3:12 pm

    Wow – good for you! I am just short of 5 weeks out now with having my 2nd baby and, although I can totally put on (and button!) my pre-preg jeans — let’s hear it for looooowrise — I am in now way COMFORTABLE in said jeans due to the squishy muffin top factor. So appealing, I tell you. You are more motivating with these fitness posts (and your other blog which is wholly devoted to your efforts) than you will ever know. Thank you. Really.

    Also? “Cool Whip Free + Battlestar Galactica = CRAZY DELICIOUS” Awesome.

  18. Sara on June 9th, 2008 3:23 pm

    Well then, lady, I hope you are proud of yourself and that you truly know how awesome it is to see someone applying good, healthy principles to real life, shaping up, but also ENJOYING THE JOURNEY. Not to say that it has been EASY for you, but so many fitness bloggers out there go nutso and think in “12-week challenges”, or they count down the weeks until they reach X goal weight or size X clothes, and then they’re like NOW WHAT? You are a great example of how to make the healthy lifestyle thing work for you, like with your love of eating in front of the tele at night. LOVE! Also, you frequently note how good you feel, which is important. Lastly, I admire how you don’t count anything and you go with your hunger. I think this is a big mistake people make when they are trying to lose weight and shape up. We can all learn from you! Can’t wait to see the changes that unfold in the coming months. Isn’t it weird how you are doing this the NORMAL, RIGHT way, yet it’s hard to find other people who are doing the same thing? Too many people have nutsy, carried away eating rules and focus too much on the finish line. I don’t remember who said this, but I really love the quote “EAT FOOD, MOSTLY PLANTS, NOT TOO MUCH”. Ah, plain and simple.

    P.S. I’ll be checking out Turbo Jam because of you. They should be sending you a check shortly.

  19. Leah on June 9th, 2008 3:57 pm

    I love watching crappy makeover shows on TV because, I don’t know, I guess I’m just so thrilled at the idea that a new haircut and some stylish clothes can so totally change the outward look–and inward self-perception–of a person in just a week. The other day I caught an episode of “Ten Years Younger,” though, and it was really disappointing to see that the things they were doing to these women were not simple or quick or easy or affordable in the least–teeth whitening or veneers, eye surgery, crazy skin regimens involving a room full of lasers, botox, you name it. How is that supposed to be inspirational to all the people sitting at home on their asses (like me!) and wishing they could be a little cuter without too much work? I guess I just found the show more depressing than anything.

    So, yeah, cheers to you and working hard and seeing what you and your body can do all by yourselves.

  20. warcrygirl on June 9th, 2008 4:07 pm

    Can you send me some of your discipline and will-power? I haven’t sold my soul to the devil but I have sold it to the next-best thing: Sonic Drive In. I would give my eyeteeth to weigh 134 again. You are truly awesome, awesome topped with Cool Whip.

  21. kali on June 9th, 2008 4:08 pm

    YOU QUIT ICECREAM???
    you deserve a self restraint award. wow.

  22. Naomi in Oz on June 9th, 2008 4:26 pm

    I have to agree with you on the sellulite thingy. I feel a bit the same way about my stretch marks. I had always wanted 3 children, but due to medical circumstances, we stopped at 2. Everyday I can look at my belly and smile at those stretch marks because they make me remember my pregnancies.
    Do you recall the scene in one of the Lethal Weapon movies where Mel Gibson is comparing his battle scars with ?Rene Russo?. I guess it’s kinda like that. I did something that was tough and beautiful all at the same time and I’m here to tell the tale.

  23. Melissa on June 9th, 2008 4:36 pm

    Just had my son 5 weeks ago (2nd child) and I have 20 lbs to lose myself. You are giving me hope, girl! And some inspiration – so thanks! Just did a Billy Blanks Tae Bo dvd this morning and I felt like Wonder Woman until I looked at myself before getting in the shower. Need to think about the end result! Hey Amy – kudos for being able to get into those pre-pregs jeans already…Not me!! :)

  24. Christina on June 9th, 2008 4:47 pm

    You are amazing. Everytime you write about this I am inspired to keep working and not to give up. Thank you.

  25. M.A. on June 9th, 2008 4:57 pm

    I applaud you. Heartily and with abandon. Good for you, L. All the way around — good for you. I’m proud of you. You look GREAT and you so obviously FEEL great. Keep it up, keep writing, and as only K.C. could say it, “Keep it Co-o-o-o-o-o-min’ on, keep it….”

  26. Eric's Mommy on June 9th, 2008 5:03 pm

    You’re awesome Linda! I’m going to work out right now……thanks!

  27. Victoria on June 9th, 2008 6:19 pm

    Good for you!!!

  28. Caitlin on June 9th, 2008 7:52 pm

    This entry made me so proud of you–especially the second to last paragraph. You rock!

  29. Lori O on June 9th, 2008 8:16 pm

    Arghhh I need your motivation right now (and arms- i’ll take those too)!

    I was doing so well and the last two weeks went to crap on my workout, though I sort of maintained the healthy eating. It’s been so hard and yet I have to get in a swimsuit in less than a month. Yikes.

    I need to remember all that you mentioned about the positive effects of all of it! Tattoo it on my forehead (or embroider on my pillow to remind me when I’d rather nap instead)

  30. Lesley on June 9th, 2008 8:57 pm

    Would you do me a big favourooni and list what you eat every day during any given week? Including portions? Or a sample of your diet? My biggest problem is food boredom. I start a routine and then I get crazy bored and begin falling back on verboten treats. I was down with the Cool Whip until I read the ingredients (hydrogenated palm oil, which is carcinogenic. Although the label says 0 transfats, apparently Kraft lies because any hydrogenated oil = a transfat and palm oil is the absolute worst).

  31. sundry on June 9th, 2008 9:05 pm

    Lesley: I eat Cool Whip Free, you think that’s still bad? Let’s check the ingredient list . . . ah, on second thought, let’s not. (CONTENTS MAY INCLUDE LATEX, EYE OF NEWT, DESPAIR.)

    To your question, I posted a list of foods I typically eat over here: http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.jsp?articleId=281474977351746&nav=MyGather.

  32. Lesley on June 9th, 2008 9:15 pm

    Btw, re the cellulite treatment, I was going to say “What cellulite???” cuz girl, you don’t have any! and then you mentioned your belly, which we haven’t seen, but anyway… Despite that, from what I have seen from your Flickr photos you look like you could step onto a Hollywood TV set and rock any outfit with the best of them, so don’t sweat it. Also, I believe Chalene mentions somewhere in her DVDs how it took her awhile to get her belly back and it’s obvious from her workouts that she has had kids but that’s she’s also gotten her abs back. You will too.

    I’m so impressed with your achievement and a twenty pound loss since February sounds about right for true fat loss. All the experts recommend no more than losing 1 to 1.5 lbs a week. Anything more is either muscle or water weight. Plus you’ve built muscle so, you know, the whole weight thing is going to be affected by that. The true measure is inches lost and you’ve definitely done that.

    By the way, after your twitter about Hip Hop Abs, I got those DVDs and got the work out of my life today, snickering all the while at my own dorkiness. Funniest thing about his workouts are the white guys he positions at the back of the room. Yeah, they can do the moves but somehow they are still white guys who can’t dance.

    Despite my own clumsiness, I like the workouts. They’re fun and challenging.

  33. Lesley on June 9th, 2008 9:21 pm

    Hey, thanks for the food link!

    Btw, the few transfats in Cool Whip are probably still better than what’s in Ben & Jerry’s 320 calories in half a cup of chocolate chip cookie dough – and is there a person alive who can eat just a half cup in one sitting? :)

    My fav old Cool Whip Desert was mixing in a teaspoon of Hershey’s chocolate syrup (60 cals) and spooning this over apples and blueberries drizzled in fresh squeezed lime juice.

  34. Lindy on June 10th, 2008 12:42 am

    congrats on being so motivated and seeing results. The belly thing… eh it is what it is. After being stretched from here til kingdom come it may never be perfect. The size 6 should make up for it.

    I’m desperately trying to find my motivation to get rid of the 25lbs I gain since moving to the UK and having my daughter. It would be nice to be back to preUK weight before I get knocked up again!!

  35. Tessie on June 10th, 2008 6:04 am

    Such a great post. I like the idea of reminding yourself that you are HELPING everytime you made a food or exercise decision.

    This is SO, SO barfy, and the sort of thing I should really keep to myself, but sometimes when I’m going back and forth on going out for a workout, I’ll think of the Biggest Loser themesong, the part that goes “What have you done today, to make you feel proud?”. I KNOW, okay.

    It works though. I do plenty of things, like DAILY, that I am not proud of, so even if the only good thing I do all day is run, at least I had that, ya know?

  36. emily on June 10th, 2008 6:18 am

    Good for you, you have every reason to be proud of yourself. I hope the internet sends me some of your willpower…

  37. WickedStepMom on June 10th, 2008 6:44 am

    I lost 85 lbs over two years. It felt like it took FOREVER but it was worth all the hard work and it really paid off. I feel great now and I am much happier. I didn’t even have the baby weight excuse I was just a fat-girl. Congradulations on the weight loss and keep up the good work!

  38. Amblus on June 10th, 2008 6:52 am

    Congratulations! I’ve been a crazy exercise girl for the past eight years and I know the kind of dedication it takes to keep at it. You should be proud of yourself.

  39. Kizz on June 10th, 2008 7:12 am

    I think I passed out at the part where you said you gave up ice cream. I mean, I fully support everyone’s plans to eat healthy and make a happier you but TOTALLY giving up ice cream?

    You are a stronger woman than I.

  40. Joy on June 10th, 2008 7:43 am

    So very inspiring! And I love how you emphasize a healthy lifestyle, not just a quick fix. Those never work anyway.

    And also, I disagree that your goal took a long time. I think you managed to do it so quickly. I know of women for whom it took years to lose baby weight, even with diet and exercise.

    I am due in two months, and I plan to be as diligent as you in getting back into my jeans! One question though – do you know if it’s safe to diet like you did while breastfeeding?

    Thank you for your blog! You are a great writer!

  41. gmoney on June 10th, 2008 7:52 am
  42. Sadie on June 10th, 2008 9:30 am

    I will also disagree that it took you a long time to lose 20 lbs – hello, the post you linked to where you weighed 153 was from 2/27, a mere 3 months ago. And you’ve managed to lose 20 lbs while mothering two tiny boys, running a household, working outside the home, and regularly blogging all over God’s green Internet. YOU ARE SO HARD ON YOURSELF, for serious. I am impressed with your dedication and of course your results, but you should feel only one thing with no ‘buts’ or caveats: PROUD.

  43. Josh on June 10th, 2008 12:33 pm

    How appropriate, believe it or not me and the guys at work sat down and watched about fifteen minutes of a turbo jam infomercial today. Partly cause it was a hundred degrees outside, and partly cause we saw some hard nipples at the beginning. (what? We’re guys. Cut us some slack, the future of mankind depends on us being horny all the time) Anyway, we saw some hot chicks, and some scary man-chicks, and some scary girly men. I saw a lot of obviously fake tits, and I saw a severe absence of my favorite FCC approved body part, the muffin top. But what I came away from the experience thinking is: I bet that exercise lady is annoying as hell in the sack. Is there any way exercise gurus could get people in shape without being hyperactive and pain-in-the-balls cheerful all the time? I mean getting in shape is cool and all, unless you end up looking like a man, (American Gladiators anyone?) but for the love of all that is good and right in this world, don’t turn into a gigantic, muscley fucktard, cause the only thing more annoying than really, really happy people, is really, really happy people who could kick my ass.

    Anyway, congratulations on getting back in shape. I know a lot of women look up to you for that, and I think it’s cool, especially since you did it using something that would make me homicidal. Go make yourself a Cool Whip Free pie with real Cool Whip on top, you deserve it.

  44. Sarah on June 11th, 2008 7:22 am

    Good for you! I wouldn’t have had the strength to turn them down, that’s for sure! I’d love to have those treatments? Will they let you pass them off? *G*

    Seriously…congrats on getting your weight down! I desperately need to do the same. I’ve got no will-power. Now if I could find somewhere that offers it for sale, I’d be all set :D

  45. Stephanie on June 11th, 2008 7:25 am

    Crap. I guess I can’t blame the baby weight on my 2.5 year old anymore. I think I’ll go and get pregnant so I don’t have to think about it.

    You rock! That post was very inspirational and made me step away from my recent Costco purchases!!

  46. Kerri on June 12th, 2008 6:49 am

    Go, girl. You have inspired me (and a lot of other people, I’m sure) to get going on the same track too, which is brilliant. I am a total TurboJam fan, now with 6 Chalene workouts at my fingertips. Do I want to punch, kick and jam, or have a cardio party? How can I DECIDE WHEN IT’S ALL SO MUCH FUN!?

    I had the same feeling this morning when I woke up feeling not-so-good, but by the end of the Cardio Party workout I felt like a million bucks. Sometimes it’s just a matter of strapping on those sneakers and getting your butt moving.

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