June 18, 2007

I’ve been meaning to post some before and after weight loss photos, but when I sat down to dig up some ‘before’ images, I had a surprisingly hard time finding anything that captured more than my face. Out of thousands and thousands of pictures, I’m only in a few, and I’ve long since deleted the ones I deemed unflattering. Eight million photos of JB with Riley, and about five of me.

Well, anyway, here’s a few that managed to escape my itchy Move-To-Trash trigger finger:

beforeshot1.jpg

beforeshot2.jpg

beforeshot3.jpg

Some are kind of old, but those are all a fairly accurate portrayal of my shape and weight since Riley’s birth.

I think I’ve lost maybe 15-18 pounds in the last four months, which isn’t a particularly dramatic change on the scale. The real difference is in how I look in the mirror and the way my clothes fit, and I’m here to tell you that is so much more important than what the scale tells you. Fuck the scale, actually, because I never would have guessed that 15 pounds would equate to two dress sizes, but there it is. I was crammed into a size 10 when I started, and I wear a comfortable size 6 now. The scale tells me I weigh about 132.

To recap the process to date:

• I did Weight Watchers at first and that was immensely helpful in terms of understanding portion size and learning some good eating habits. After a month or two I stopped counting points and just focused on eating lots of lean protein, vegetables, fruit, and cutting out the high calorie junk altogether.

• I started exercising to a Turbo Jam DVD, which helped me kick start a routine without having to commit to a gym schedule. These days I alternate between jogging a few days a week, doing weight resistance, exercise DVDs, and yoga. I try and exercise every single day, because I feel so much better when I do so.

aftershot2.jpg
I have actual triceps for the first time in years.

aftershot3.jpg
My shoulders are no longer slumpy and untoned.

aftershot1.jpg
I don’t hate my belly any more.

aftershot4.jpg
My clothes fit completely differently, which is to say I had to replace some things.

I would say it took about three months to change my habits. To stop eating crap food and actually prefer the healthier alternatives. To want to work out because it feels good, not because I will feel guilty if I don’t.

I’m healthier today than I’ve ever been before, and I am so much happier for it. This is the me—strong, fit, and motivated to stay that way—I want to be for the rest of my life, hopefully through another pregnancy and whatever life dishes out.

I already have more photos of myself with Riley, because I’m not ducking from the camera or deleting things out of iPhoto.

aftermeriley1.jpg

Three months. That’s all it took. After years of excuses and botched attempts to get myself in gear, it took three months to establish new habits. I want to remember that. In three months you can completely change your life.

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Katie (The Yap)
15 years ago

I was just sitting here contemplating eating (another) hot dog, but I’m thinking maybe I won’t. That was VERY inspirational. You look wonderful both before and after, but the after shots DEFINITELY look like you might kick some ASS!

victoria
victoria
15 years ago

AWESOME! You look and *sound* totally freaking AWESOME and you inspire me. Way to go! Those photos — and the self-respect that comes through in this entry — are totally inspiring. Way to go, Linda!!

laura
15 years ago

WOOT!
You’re totally my inspiration chick.
Your tat rocks the house with your newly ripped arms!

Amy
Amy
15 years ago

You look 100% incredible, and I’m so grateful that you’re sharing your success! I guess I’m about halfway through a similar journey, and you’re really helping me avoid the plateau that always seems to be waiting around the corner. Thanks!

AndreAnna
15 years ago

One of many comments saying the same thing, but good job! And for what it’s worth, I think you looked beautiful before.

Ellie's Mommie
15 years ago

DANG!!! That is so AWESOME!! I’m absolutely jealous of you! I’m dying to have my pre-prego figure back, but it will never be the same with the fabulous starburst my daughter decided to leave on my stomach *sobs* No more bikinis or mid-drifts for me! (yes, wallowing in self-pity)
Super happy for you!! (mumbles obsinities about the unfairness)
Just kidding! That really is AWESOME!
CONGRATS!!

Deanna
Deanna
15 years ago

I’m still amazed that I only know you through a link from a coworkers blog, yet I feel like we’ve been friends forever. I’m so freakin’ happy for you for your success…not just in your healthier lifestyle, but also for what you went through with your drinking and with your father. Your honesty is so, hell, I can’t think of a word…

But congratulations to you Sundry! You are an inspiration to lazy-ass folk like myself (again, not just with the excercise, but with facing the other crap life dumps on you). You are like Oprah without the annoying bullshit.

Give yourself a big pat on the back. And I said this before, but please don’t stop posting, or I’ll be forced to really life my own life. :)

LLL
LLL
15 years ago

So what is it that works your arms and belly so well???? You look amazing!!!

Joanne
15 years ago

You are like freaking Oprah or something with the life changing posts here lately! And I mean that in the highest compliment of ways. You look fantastic and it is really, really motivational.

lisa
15 years ago

Sundry, you’re a bad ass! You look amazing! I actually did a very similar thing with WW back in 2002 – it took three months and 20 pounds and I wore a 6 for the first time in my life. I didn’t even realize how in shape I’d really gotten until I saw pictures of myself at the beach that spring…..I worked out at the gym every day before work until I was 8 months pregnant – and I never thought that would be me. After having my son, I never got back into the game for all the typical reasons and now we’re thinking about #2 and I’m not in the shape I want to be in. You’re an inspiration, and a great reminder of how really not hard it is, once you make the decision to change things. I’ve been using the subconscious excuse of “but we’re thinking of getting pregnant soon” to not get with it right now. NO MORE. Tomorrow, I’ll be at spinning at 10am, like I used to be back in the day.

WHY oh why is it so easy to make excuses???!?!?

nstig8r
15 years ago

you look really awesome! i was wondering how the jogging/running was going? what distance/time have you made it up to? i have decided to use that “couch to 5k” thing as a way to start back into running/jogging, this time hopefully w/o fucking up my knees or causing myself excess undue stress to the spinal column. my real goal is to just get moving again. i have become lazy about my health and it’s starting to show.

anyway, again, you look great, congratulations on your hard work!

Danielle
Danielle
15 years ago

Ok, so I don’t even know if you will read all 60 of these comments, but I have to say you are such an inspriation for me! I just had baby #2 four months ago and just started back at the gym – it is so hard to imagine that my body will ever be “normal” again, but I am sure as hell going to try. Keep up the good work! You look hot, mama!

Lesley
Lesley
15 years ago

You look seriously impeccably fabulous, Sundry! An inspiration to be sure. It really does boil down to eating healthy and exercising regularly doesn’t it? Btw, your before pics aren’t bad at all. You may have packed on the extra 15 pounds but they were firm looking pounds.

P.S. I stumbled on the Yoga Basics for Dummies and the Beyond Yoga Basics for Dummies DVDs and fell in love with Sara Ivanhoe (the instructor). I’ve never sweated more in my life doing her yoga and she teaches in such a way as to make doing the postures correctly, easy. She also includes meditation instruction and now I’m trying to build in a daily meditation practice which I find helps keep me more self-aware. (Jack Kornfield’s Meditation for Beginners is also highly recommended.)

victoria
victoria
15 years ago

I just love love love your blog more and more every year. To think that when I first started reading you I just came by for the chuckles . . .

awittykitty
15 years ago

You should never delete the fat pics. Ever. I’ve been up and down on my weight my whole life. Its good to keep them as inspiration as to what NOT to do. But for now…GREAT JOB. The tattoos must have been partially responsible. Note to self: get tats, lose weight.

laughing mommy
15 years ago

Inspiring! You look great and should be proud of yourself!

Jem
Jem
15 years ago

You look super hot Sundry. You looked hot before but you look super hot now. Congratulations.

Ashley
15 years ago

Yeesh what am I doing sitting on my ass? You are a total inspiration Linda. You look absolutely fantastic!

Melanie
15 years ago

DAMN, girl, you look freaking AMAZING!! Those arms are just awesome. I need to remind myself of that – 3 months, 3 months and you’re in a routine and your ass starts to really look hot again. 3 months isn’t all that long in the grand scheme of things.

KT
KT
15 years ago

I need to do this. Tomorrow I’ll start eating salad and working out. Thanks for the motivation!!!

Jen
Jen
15 years ago

You look incredible and are totally inspiring.

JAB
JAB
15 years ago

Way to go! You are definitely inspiring! Keep up the great new lifestyle. I’m three weeks into my new habits and you’ve definitely given me the motivation to keep at it!

Rayne
15 years ago

Congrats – you are a rock star!

Emma
Emma
15 years ago

Jeez Louise, honey! That’s impressive! The ‘jeans’ pic at the end showing the difference between your itty bitty waist and the clothes is incredible, especially for only three months!

Plus, I’m liking the ‘triceps’ shot – very cool :) Pity I have chicken arms… I’d look a bit ridiculous if I ever tried to do that!

Gentry
15 years ago

You put the “mother” in Bad Ass Smokin’ Hot Motherfucker

Eric's Mommy
Eric's Mommy
15 years ago

Wow look at you! You look great!

It’s been 5 years since I had my son and I still can’t lose the belly. I’ve always had a pudgy belly even when I weighed 100 pounds and looked like a toothpick.

I also try not to pay attention to the scale I just pay attention to how I feel and how my clothes are fitting on me.

kendra!
15 years ago

I’ve never seen triceps on my person, but I would like to meet them. You’ve truly inspired me to try to excavate them. Only. I just got knocked up and my joints have gone all Gumby on me. Annnyway. I’m so glad you have no reason to hide from the camera, anymore. I cannot bear to see “family photo archives” where Mom doesn’t appear for 5-10 years because she’s behind the camera the whole time.

katie
15 years ago

wow. you look hot! you always looked hot, but damn! look at those arms! those are angela bassett quality! :) congratulations!

alfredsmom
15 years ago

wow wow wow! That is really something to be proud of. Thanks for sharing the before and after pictures. Those are inspiring. I could loose a good 15 lbs myself, but more importantly, I need to get in shape! I think the toughest part will be resisting the tempation of delicious crap food. Especially when it is free!

Dawn
Dawn
15 years ago

You are my new idol! You look figging awesome!
Before hubby and child I weighed 105 and wore a size 2 and since I am only 5’1″ that is a good place to be. Now I am a good 150 and squeezing into a size 12 not so good on my little frame. I have been working out and eatting right (small portions, good choices , no crap) for a month now and so far I have lost 5 pounds but I think I need to step up the working out because I am not seeing a whole lot of difference. My new mantra will be “3 months only 3 months to make the change.” Thank you for this Linda, now when I feel like giing up I will just come back and read this post and look at these pictures. You rock!

LYNN
LYNN
15 years ago

I’m not sure if I missed it or what, but which Turbo Jam do you use. I went to their website and there are a zillion!!
You look fantastic! And you sound like you are in a good place right now. :)

Bethany
15 years ago

You look fantastic!!

Kristin
15 years ago

HELLA! You look so good…I am starting down this road as well..and this post has really motivated me. “3 Months” is my new mantra!

fellowmom
fellowmom
15 years ago

Check you out! Now you can always fallback on a career as a fitness model. Amazing results–especially the mental/emotional ones! I have been getting smaller, but you have inspired me to work more on my strength and fitness. Your transformation is remarkable. (I always liked your tribal tattoo, but it looks really kick ass on your bicep now.)

kalisah
15 years ago

wow. You look fantastic!

bad penguin
15 years ago

You look wonderful! Congratulations on making so much progress in such a short time.

Three months is a great mantra to have. Think about how many situations in life will seem that much more surmountable if you just think of them in three month bites.

Amy / Girl's Life
15 years ago

Thank you for this. Seriously. After a lifetime of being athletic and active, and then having a kid and feeling super nasty about my body for the past 21 months, I am finally motivated to get my ass back in shape. (Believe me, I know those delete moments with my photos, too.)

Thanks for sharing this journey with us.

Leah
15 years ago

HOLY MOLY!

Gena
15 years ago

Wow, you look hot! I’m so inspired, since I never, EVER see normal moms who have done normal stuff to look great. You look great and you make it sound like it is actually something I could achieve. Thank you.

I guess this means I have to stop eating an entire box of Cheezits while I blog?

Brooke
15 years ago

You look great, Linda! Good for you!

Alice
15 years ago

i am way jealous of your arms. so toned and beautiful!

Shannon
15 years ago

Sundry Power Activate! I have my 20th high school reunion in three months. I just bought an elliptical trainer & free weights for the home and quit the gym. I wasn’t sure that I would be able to get in shape in time & all on my own, but if you can do it, there’s no reason why I can’t! Say goodbye to those extra 15 lbs starting now! Thanks for the inspiration, Linda, as always.

DDM(Sonia)
15 years ago

Congratulations Linda! You look absolutely wonderful, and to hear that your energy is better too is very inspiring. Way to go!

K
K
15 years ago

What an incredible testament to your will power and determination to change your life! The pictures prove that you’ve been working so hard for these 12 weeks.

I keep looking back over the photos, reading your words, and it just hit me. I don’t have many pictures of myself with my child. And it’s not entirely because I’m the one generally working the camera. I don’t like to see myself in pictures. I’ve been thinking I’m thin enough, healthy enough, I eat well enough, and so on. Yet the only one I’m feeding these lies to is myself! Enough!

I’m not sure where I’ll start, but doggone it, I sure as hell am going to start somewhere today. I want to be proud of how I look, and I want to look good in family photos!

Alex
15 years ago

I have a question: how tall are you?

Sundry
Sundry
15 years ago

I am so amazed by your wonderful comments, people. Damn.

Alex: I’m about 5’5″.

joanneb
joanneb
15 years ago

I’ve never had triceps. That is awesome. I also weigh about 132, but I’m 5 feet even, so needless to say, it don’t look so good on me.

Amy
Amy
15 years ago

WOW – you look hottttt!
seriously, good for you for sticking to it, the results speak for themselves.

question – you mentioned starting with WW and learning about healthy portions. My portions are huge because I am hungry, and don’t really seem to get full. Did you find that at first (with the small portions) that you were still hungry? did you feel full? when did that change, or did it? do you still feel hungry after eating a healthy portion?

thanks, you truly are inspiring.

Sundry
Sundry
15 years ago

Amy: if the portion size of my actual meal seems too small, I mix it with unlimited vegetables and greens. Seriously, I eat salads the size of Shetland ponies. I’ve never been a small-portion nibbler.

Adrien
Adrien
15 years ago

You look amazing!