January 30, 2012

Only half-way off the wagon


Weighing on my mind with #2 weighing on my belly:

(gaining pregnancy weight, after losing baby weight)

I don't know what's worse:  Being thought to have an eating disorder because you've lost a considerable amount of weight...or... being thought to have fallen off "the wagon" for gaining weight back because you haven't spilled the beans that your expecting?  



For the majority of my life I've felt fat.  I mean what girl or woman hasn't at least once in their life.  Now whether this complex is a product of our society/media, or the environment we grow up in is a different topic all together.

Despite my feeling less than "perfect" I really never did anything about it.  I never dieted or obsessively exercised...ok I NEVER exercised!  It didn't help that I was probably the most ridiculously clumsy person in P.E. class, and was almost always destined to be picked last for teams.

We played indoor whiffle-ball a lot because of the constant rain in Oregon.  In four years I never made it to first base!  NOT ONCE!  My partner in crime and I, ironically calling ourselves the "Terminators" pretty much had to flirt our way through P.E. class.  We probably owe our passing grade to Mr. Dickover (that's his name, no lie) the student teacher, who just so happened to look like the Ken Doll.

As I prepared to go to college I weighed just about 100 lbs.  I look back at pictures now, and almost get grossed out at how skinny I was.  I was completely blinded back then, from seeing what I can in pictures now.  What I wouldn't give to look even just a smidge similar to that now!

So, I know everyone has heard of the infamous "Freshman Fifteen"  I know EXACTLY how that happens.  It all starts with a midnight curfew, and a "mandatory" roommate get-together for the nightly de-brief on the days events.  But, it's not like you can all sit around and talk about the cute Daniel Radcliffe look alike you so cleverly gave the code name "HP" without having something to eat.  That would be BLASPHEMOUS!  Then lets suppose that you head to the fridge for some deliciously healthy and oh so rabbit-like celery or carrot sticks...FORGET IT!  This is what really ends up happening:  you toss a much more appealing pan of decedent oooey gooey chocolate brownies in the oven, continue to talk and gossip, pull them out of the oven, coat them with layers of chocolate frosting and peanut butter, and then devour the ENTIRE pan at 2 a.m.  THAT'S HOW IT HAPPENS!

Needless to say, I started to gain some weight, and didn't allow my ever important roommate bonding routine to give way to an even more important exercise routine.  I went on a few previously mentioned kicks, but never anything serious.  One semester all my roommates decided to "train" for a 5k.  I wasn't that hardcore!  But I did foolishly decide the night of to run the 5k with them.  Biggest mistake ever!  I finished the run, but decided after that grueling experience on a different approach for "dealing" with by body.  I came up with my very own catchy slogan: "my gut is bigger than my butt!" I pranced around the apartment chanting it louder than the "Shut-Up" song we blared on repeat all day long.  It was as if I was trying to wear that gut proud...as if to own it!  But I was really just making a joke of myself to skirt a sensitive subject!

Later, when I'd been at BYU-I probably 2 years, a couple of my roommates and I got this BRILLIANT idea that we would enroll in "Military Physical Fitness." We just knew we would be rockin' some ripped babe-a-licious bodies, right in time for bathing suit season.  We started talking it up, bragging to EVERYONE within earshot just how hardcore we were.  Oh, and did I mention that the class was scheduled for 7:30 a.m.

Now, how we thought we could keep up with our nightly de-brief or "story-time" as we dubbed it, and still wake up for this class, I DON'T KNOW!  So the first day of class rolls around and we get there LATE!  Imagine that!  We peek through the window and see everyone standing at attention...you know military style, while some buff dude walks around talking to the class all intimidating like.

It was EXACTLY like this...gun and all! 

HOW COULD ALL 4 OF US WALK IN LATE NOW?!?!?!  We would get our faces ripped off  in front of the whole class.  No one would ever take us seriously.  So what did we do?  The only logical thing we knew...we went home and dropped that sucka' like a hot rock!

At some point, I got a LITTLE more responsible about my physical health.  I worked out occasionally which was better than nothing, and also utilized some awesome free products from my place of employment .  By the time I left for an 18-month service mission for my church, I was at a healthy 120 lbs.  But for anyone who's served a mission, you know how that goes.  My weight yo-yo'd up and down, reaching an all time high to that point. I promised myself I would not come home a frumpy unattractive mess.  I don't know exactly what I did then, but I was able to come home looking decent...thank goodness!

Then you know the deal, I got married, did some school, got a bit more lazy, and hit a record high in the lbs department, weighing more than my husband.  I did some research and found a diet called "Eat Right for Your Type" that I thought could be worth trying.  I did the diet without exercise, and it worked.  I lost some weight.  It wasn't my target weight mind you, but I still felt a lot better.  Then I finally got pregnant after trying for almost 2 years.  I started out pregnancy #1 overweight at 148 lbs. and only 5' 2".  I didn't gain a ton during pregnancy, but I think the day I was induced I weighed 174 lbs.

Post baby body is a NIGHTMARE...I didn't like the way my body was, but I lacked motivation to REALLY do something about it.  I've never been completely serious about taking control of my physical image or health.  I knew I needed to make a lifestyle change.  Not just some temporary "get skinny quick" thing, and then right back to my normal bad habits.  I would be doing the yo-yo thing my whole life!


I believe that we can communicate with God through prayer, and that not only does he listen and care, He answers our prayers.  Maybe not always in the way we would think, but He does answer.  I decided I should take my dilemma to God.  I didn't know whether I should ask for motivation, or a desire to change, or what.  So I just verbalized a need for help to get started.

One day I got a Student Update email asking for participants in the schools version of "Biggest Loser."  I decided this may be my answer.  I applied knowing that personal accountability to a program would be very motivating.  I don't like letting people down, so how could I not fulfill my commitments to the program?  That would be humiliating! I was accepted into the program in January last year, and that experience honestly changed my life.  The program started mid January and I weighed 163 lbs. and no I hadn't gotten taller to compensate for that girth either!  We were put into teams, given trainers that we worked out with on a daily basis, and nutritionist we met with once a week.

Blue Team, minus one trainer, and one teammate+ an extra cheerleader!
I learned a lot during that time.  I learned proper technique while using exercise equipment and building stamina for a more rigorous workout.  I learned how to make better food choices and portion control.  I learned that in most situations I didn't need another person to be accountable to, although that helped.  I only needed to be accountable to MYLSEF!  I learned that I was a better mother when I was healthy and fit.  I could get down on the floor with Twodles and play with him without getting winded or being out of energy.  I learned I was a better wife.  When a person feels a certain way (hot, sexy, healthy, pretty etc) they start acting that way.  And that is much more attractive to a man (in this case Mr. Medic)  than someone who constantly points out the negative in themselves and subsequently acts that way!  I learned, as in so many other instances, that I CAN DO HARD THINGS!  I learned that if I, Miss "exercising-is-for-the-birds-I'm-so-not-into-that" can lose weight, anyone can!  And I wanted to be a source of motivation to those around me.

So I bet by now your wondering what did this woman look like, so alas...

I went from this: (weighing 163 lbs)                           To this: (weighing 125 lbs on 6/18)


During this process I had some people question me with having an eating disorder, which was not the case.  I mean, who would believe that good ol' portion control, maintaining a proper calorie intake, and exercise could really do the trick, when society promotes the "get skinny quick" crap!


Here I am pregnant with #2 and all of a sudden the scale starts going up! I have had such a hard time accepting this.  I know that it is healthy and natural to gain weight within reason while pregnant, but I have worked so hard for so long to see the scale go DOWN and then stay steady, rather than go UP!   To top it off, I wasn't telling anyone I was pregnant, but I was getting a pooch.  How do you explain that?  I'm sure people were assuming I must have "fallen off the wagon."

How do I re-train my brain from "kick it into high gear, and get rid of that chicken fat" (my grandparents had this record growing up and we loved it!)  to "accept your body for what it is" when the scale keeps going up?  How do I refrain from eating Taco Bell, which is just about the only thing that sounds somewhat edible, when I know the choices I SHOULD be making?

I'm learning to find balance to a way of life that is good and healthy, while still allowing exceptions to my situation without beating myself up for it.  I'm learning to not use the "pregnant card" as an excuse to eat anything and everything.  I'm learning to keep getting off my duff, to fight the dread of the gym, and keep on running!


Whether pregnant or not, mother or not, woman or not (I think men's opinions can be most insightful) Everyone has good ideas!

How do you keep from getting caught up in societies body image expectations?  What are you doing to keep that expectation from influencing your children negatively?  What do you do to keep from feeling guilty when you slack?  What are your suggestions for getting back on track?  What are some tips for staying active while still adapting to your current situation?


  1. I don't really have very many tips- because I am struggling with all of this right now. We have no money to pay for a gym, but have a stationary bike at home. I don't have the motivation to exercise alone or the motivation to exercise while my husband is watching (I know weird, but so true)... I also have a bunch of biggest loser videos that I love, but again not with my husband. He has no job so he is home all the time. I am stuck and no clue what to do. The only thing that helps me not eat better is making sure I don't deprive myself of things I like or I will splurge eventually and I make sure I have a menu for the week because that way I am cooking at home, which is much healthier than grabbing a meal at wendy's or whatever.

    1. Are neither you or your hubs students? I guess you do live kinda far to come to Rexburg for a workout. Maybe a neighbor wouldn't mind a early morning or late night partner for an in home workout session! That way you don't have to worry about your hubs watching.

    2. No, not at BYUI. We are in Rigby and he isn't currently going to school. That is a good idea... we will have to see. Thanks!

  2. Oh Chandee, your self-motivation is motivating me. Although, I don't know if I can be much help because here I am, pregnant with #3 and I know I need to make changes now while I still can. I know that with three kids it will only get easier to pass up exercising for sleep and 'eat what I can' which most often times isn't healthy at all and in a portion size that is not recommended, pregnant or not. My pre-pregnacy weight has steadily increased, and I am just now seeing what benefits my life would have if I started exercising. It's hard to get over the easiness of making excuses and just exercising, even for 15 minutes. I don't know that we can help the numbers on the scale from going up while we're pregnant. I do know, that we can work hard to make sure that the pounds we do gain are 'healthy' pounds. Baby, blood increase, etc. I think that you are on the right track by keeping your portions under control and eating healthy and exercising. Is there any more we can do?? I can't wait to see what others suggest. All I know is that it's never too late to get healthy... even if you're pregnant (especially when you're pregnant).
    I guess my only piece of advice is that you don't have to do it alone. Just knowing that your presence is motivating another, can really help not only you, but others.

    1. I wish I could say that I am still doing a good job at portions and eating healthy. Its not terrible, but not what it was! You mentioned even exercising for 15 minutes...great idea. I think I get overwhelmed with the idea of going outside to go to the gym, or having to load up the jogger and the babe, etc when really some days I should just pop in a short workout DVD and feel like I've succeeded!

  3. I have struggled with this too! you already know that! My normal curvy healthy weight is 110ish I am only 4'10". I have always been kinda insecure and self conscious about my body. I have just decided i will go to the gym and try to just be healthy (once i get out of this 1st trimester sleepy phase!) My worst thing is my flabby arms! My hubby helps me a ton! I have never felt as good about my body until he told me that he loves my body stretch marks and jiggles and all (after one night of me having a meltdown!) I feel the sexiest when I dress up and go out with my man or when im in lingerie! I believe lingerie and sexy barely theres can turn a "im a fatty" attitude into "im a sexy mami" attitude!! They say confidence is more important than being skinny. Im trying really hard to focus on that. I have friends that are really big heavy set girls but something about them is just more than their weight. btw i totally eat whatever I want when im pregnant!! i feel guilty but im trying to get over that :)

    1. I think I went to the gym for one or two weeks after I found out I was pregnant again, and then maybe a handful of other times in the first tri. I count it a huge success if I can make it to the gym or track 2x a week and can make it through one mile of running without peeing my pants! Hasn't happened yet, just felt like it! hahaha

      Isn't it great that our hubbies love us no matter what? I'd like to think that "mother marks" make us even MORE attractive, to them at least!

  4. Seriously, girl, I envy your motivation. Your before & after pics are out of this world!!! I had no idea how different you looked before and after. I am so proud of you and your strength. I love that you found a program that jumpstarted the rest of your life. I'm also glad that you can prove that healthy eating with portion-control & exercise really do work. Great work! Oh, and I wouldn't trade those nights eating brownies for anything in the world!!!

    1. Brownies definitely hold a place in my heart, but its probably more the girls I ate them with really! ; ) I just hope I can keep up at least a bit being pregnant, and then get right back to it afterwards!

  5. I absolutely love your blog, Chandee! You are doing such a great job, and your weight loss has been such an inspiration to me. I started back on Weight Watchers January 8, and I am happy to say that I have lost 13 lbs already :-). The best advice I can give is to make sure you eat ENOUGH to keep your metabolism going. I am the kind of person who would eat maybe 2 small meals a day, so the calories I was actually taking in would just me stored. I am eating so much now, and I feel like I am going to explode! haha But even with everything I am eating the lbs are just falling off. The other thing I have learned is WATER IS YOUR BEST FRIEND!!!!! The more the better :-) You are going to do great :-)

  6. i find that i eat healthiest when I plan ahead- i'm good at a menu for dinner, but i also need to plan snacks too, especially while I"m pregnant. I like the term 'healthy lbs' that Shayna used. Try not to weigh yourself inbetween appts, but just plan on gaining 4-6 lbs per month in your last 2 trimesters. if you gain more than that, try and trade out 2 treats for 2 healthy snacks (hummus & crackers/veggies/chips, smoothies, fruit, etc). That being said, I made mint fudge yesterday & I'm trying to keep myself on the couch & out of the fudge (its all the way upstairs in the kitchen). I'm done until after dinner- then 1 more small piece. I also need to get more exercise (because I have a hard time falling asleep after being woken up in the night). cuz of the 'yucky' (inversion, under 50 degrees) weather I haven't been walking at all, which is my favorite pregnancy exercise. maybe i need to mall walk w/michael in a stroller?!

  7. Chandee! Wow. I read your blog pretty much every day. I love it. A bucket of props to you, girl, you look great! My favorite way to stay active is to go on walks. I made a goal to "go outside" every day! Its great to go with the hubby, and makes a perfect and free time to chat and plan our lives, too. My fave trick for a healthydiet is to avoid telling myself I can't have something, but instead making sure I DO eat what I need to , I.e. Five fruits and veggies each day, two servings of fish a week, whole grains instead of white, and then I allow myself one treat each day, like a cookie, a couple bite-size candies, or a serving of ice cream.(a small one :])it works great for maintaining! To lose, cut out the sweets, and shrink the portions of bread and meat, and esp. Ranch dressing and mayo, sour cream and butter! Best of luck, and remember, because you were so fit before your pregnancy , the pounds will really come off more easily after your bundle is born!

    1. Hi friend! It's so nice to hear from you! You have some great tips! The one I'm most interested in is eating fish. I have never cooked fish unless you count those really unhealthy frozen battered fish fillets! hahaha It seems scary to me and I guess I question the selection in ID. I'd love to hear more on that if you have recipes or techniques that would be awesome!

  8. I love your blog Chandee! I have several thoughts so just bear with me :). As women, we must remind ourselves WHY we are supposed to be healthy. Are we seeking for the glory of God or the glory of men? Society tries to tell us that we need to exercise and eat healthy in order to LOOK a certain way. Yet, the gospel teaches a far greater reason. We need to live healthy lifestyles in order to fulfill God's purposes, and to bring glory to His name. We need to take care of and respect the bodies God has blessed us with! If we are exercising, getting enough rest, eating healthy, etc, we have more energy to serve our families, get involved in our communities, have the Spirit with us, our minds our alert, serve in callings, etc. Instead of asking ourselves how we appear to everyone around us, we should be more worried about how we appear before God.
    Now, having said that, it is MUCH easier said than done! I have exercised regularly and eaten healthy my whole life, but I still struggle at times with finding dissatisfaction with certain areas of my body. I gained 40 lbs. when I was pregnant! I exercised until the day I was due and ate healthy, yet the weight poured on! :) It was the first time in my life that I felt like I didn't want to be seen by others. I felt self conscious and compared myself to others. It was a great learning experience for me. I had to ask myself where did I derive my worth from? God or man? Women who bear children sacrifice MUCH in order to bring a healthy baby into the world, yet we put so much pressure on ourselves! I had to stop worrying about the weight and find joy in having a healthy body to bear a child. I lost all of the weight about 3 months after Karter was born. If you maintain healthy habits during pregnancy and after, the weight comes right off!
    I totally agree with those who posted about healthy snacks. Whenever I go to the grocery store, I usually always buy apples, bananas, pineapple, blueberries, strawberries, grapes, oranges, tomatoes, avacados, cucumbers, mushrooms, lettuce, carrots, almonds (unsalted), lightly buttered popcorn, whole grains, skim milk, ground turkey instead of ground beef, etc. Having LOTS of healthy options makes it easier to eat healthy!
    The elliptical is a life saver during pregnancy. It takes the pressure off of your joints. Water aerobics is also great. Make sure you listen to your body during pregnancy. If it is painful...don't do it! :)
    Okay, I promise I'm almost done! My last thought is that we must find joy in the journey....no matter what stage of life we are in. If we are obsessing over looking a certain way, we will miss out on so much goodness around us. When I was in middle school, my mom taught me a great lesson. She taught me to take care of myself, but the minute I walked out the front door for school, the day was no longer about me. I have tried to apply that since. I do what I can to take care of my body, look nice, dress nice, etc, but once I'm "out the door", I try to make focus about others.
    Hopefully I can remember all of this during my current pregnancy haha! :)

    1. I love everything you said. I want to put your mom's lesson to practice, focusing on others instead of ourselves really can make all the difference in the world! Thanks for all the great words of wisdom...and CONGRATS on expecting #2!

  9. Comment by Terra H:

    I too struggled in the beginning of my second pregnancy with working out. I started my first pregnancy at 144 and ended up at 198! Yes, 198 at 5 foot nothin! I got down to 154 before getting prego with #2, but I learned my lesson with the first one! I was running 3 miles a day up until 4 moths prego, but alas, the exhaustion got the better of me and I pretty much stopped all together. I got back to the 190's before my c-sec and was HATING life! Well I shouldn't say hating life...hating my body! I finally got motivated and have dropped down to 139, still have more to go, but feel a ton better. All I can really tell you is just try to keep active, at least get out and walk. A little bit is better than nothing! And once you start chasing two around, you will LOVE the time you get to be on your own to workout for an hour!

  10. How long did it take you to go from your heaviest to your lightest?

    1. I had my son in July, but didn't start working out or changing my eating habits until mid January. From the time I started my weight loss program it ended up being almost 5 months exactly.