Friday, March 29, 2013

Champagne Friday: Letting it All Hang Out

First of all, Happy Bubbles in Your Glass Day to You! It has been Monday all week around here...until today. Good Friday, indeed! Also, Happy Easter!! We didn't do Easter bunny pictures or an Easter basket this year because all Blue wants to do is eat the fake grass out of the bottom, so we'll probably be somewhere incredibly lame this Yorktown. But next year it is ON!

So, let's talk a minute about post-baby body. And if you are a family member of mine, go to church with a family member of mine, or just don't care to consume your lunch while looking at photos of my uncooked-chicken-skin-belly-fat, then close this window and I'll see you next week. For everyone else, let's do this.

So, this is me:
Or was me. This photo was taken during our first trip together after Neal returned home from Iraq the first time. At the time this was taken, we had been dating for all of about 17 minutes. I was a fitness director at the local YMCA and taught an average of 20 aerobic classes/week (most of which were advanced like jump rope interval, spinning, and my very own version of kickboxing in the pool). The only reason I had any body fat at all was because of this:

*photo taken at the Richmond Children's Science Museum just last month...which tells me they are still preaching this...which tells me our children are destined to be obese*

Also, there may have been a fair amount of wine and perhaps some vodka consumed on the weekends, which is why I only have a 4-pack and not a 6. But, in general, I was smokin' hot and Neal, being 10 years older, was that guy.

Fast forward 8 years. I've delivered 2 babies (albeit one was just ounces and I only gained about 10 lbs with him, it still added to the total), one of which was 8 lbs. even. With a big head. And he loved McDonald's cheeseburgers, Sonic sweet potato tots, Wendy's Frostys (or Frosties?), pretty much anything from Chick-fil-a, and chocolate peanut butter ice cream. Sometimes he loved fruit, but mostly he liked chocolate and cheese. And that bring us to this:
And this is beautiful, too. It's the creation of life and the very essence of fertility in the flesh. It's also Photoshopped stretchmarks and not really fitting into any of my clothes anymore...even the maternity ones. These photos were taken about a month before Blue was born.

Then I had a baby. Then I hobbled around the house for almost 2 months, trying not to pee on myself every time I coughed, sneezed or laughed and I used a squirt bottle instead of toilet paper for probably about 6 weeks too long because I was terrified of rubbing something raw. It wasn't until I went back to my OB for my post-delivery exam and she said, "I can't even tell where your stitches were" that I even dared to look down there. Up until then, it was the final frontier that I had no interest in settling.

My final weight at delivery was something like 225 lbs. When I got pregnant, I was an exercising/Paleo goddess and weighed in around 170 - which is very normal for my Amazon height of 5'7" and sturdy German physique. By the time I was healed and ready to stop wearing panty liners on the regular, I was 206. Today, I'm 205. I'm stuck at 205.

Let me tell you something about being 200+ lbs and wearing size 16 pants. First of all, we ordered a step ladder from Amazon after Christmas because we had to go vertical in this apartment and we can't reach anything. It came with a sticker that very plainly said, "person plus materials cannot exceed 200 pounds." Neal argued that it meant I just couldn't stand on the top rung. But that's still pretty damn depressing. Even without my paintbrush, I can't stand on the top step because I'm too heavy. Ouch. Also, all of my jeans are size 12's. I have one pair of capris that, if I wear them for 2 or more days, I can stretch them out to a 14, but that's it. And February in Virginia is not capris weather. So I've been buying jeans at the Goodwill to get me through (because if I had to wear maternity jeans until I fit back into my old ones, so help me God...). So, now in my cedar chest, I have the entire spectrum of sizes. But I'm stuck at 205.

Let me tell you something about being married to a full-time Soldier. He is surrounded by very fit women all day long. Women who can run a mile in 6 minutes and do one-arm push-ups and carry a 30-lb rucksack on a 10 mile road march without ever busting a sweat. Right now, I can do none of those things. I used to be able to do 1 or 2 of them. I could carry my own against the GI Janes in his unit. But now I'm fat and flabby and stretchmarked and paranoid. So, so paranoid. I never thought I would say it...I'm suffering from a major crisis of self-confidence. Neal places a high price on eating well and being fit. I've been picking the chocolate chips out of his trail mix and forfeiting my gym time so that I can check Facebook and drink wine. And that brings us to this:

*Please excuse the ABC shower curtain. Blue's bathroom was the best place for this project.*

There it is...the nasty, flabby, stretched out, jellyroll, butt-in-the-front truth. I have somewhat improved upper body strength from lugging a 20+ lb child around for much of my day, but that's about it. There's no definition, no curves, just round and rotund...which would be awesome if it was the early 1800's. But it's not. And this has got to GO.

So, I have a plan. I have 30 minutes each day to work out, give or take (really just take, not give). And I have complete freedom to cook anything I desire for all of my meals. I have a college degree in Kinesiology and Health Promotion. And I have fit and trim women running around my husband all day*. In short, I have motivation. I am on week 2 of the C25K program, plus I'm lifting every other day and throwing some Pilates in there twice a week. We are trying to be exclusively Paleo**, but a) it's Easter, the season of sugar, and b) I still want my Friday night pizza and c) I'm fairly certain that coffee and red wine are not Paleo but whatever...I refuse to die and have my tombstone read "she should've just had the damn wine." So, this will probably take longer than the average bear. I don't have hours upon hours to devote to the gym. And I don't have a personal chef. Some days I only brush my teeth once. But I can do this. I can once again get to a healthy weight and, in the process, reinstate the infamous Ally self-confidence.

Here's where I'm starting:
right arm: 15 1/2"
left arm: 15 1/2"
bust: 42"
waist: 39"
hips: 44"
right leg: 25"
left leg: 25"

First of all, hey look, I'm proportional! And secondly, something tells me those are not Barbie's measurements. Even the fat Barbie they put out in the early 2000's.

I think I will update every 3 months as this could go on for awhile. I don't plan on being a model or even in the single digit jeans sizes. I want to be able to feel my hip bones when I'm laying down again and I would like to climb stairs, with or without Blue, without getting lightheaded and wheezy. So tonight I raise my single-serving bottle of champagne to you. I will still have bubbles...maybe just not the big mama size.

*To Neal's credit, he is oblivious to every feminine charm except mine and he tells me so frequently.
**My biggest weakness is between the hours of 9:30 PM and 1:30 AM, after everyone has gone to bed and I'm working. Any helpful hints you may have to keep me from snacking as I type, read, and bead are greatly appreciated. Nothing goes with a nice set of Swarovski drop earrings like a half of a loaf of bread and some Nutella, unfortunately.


  1. WAY TO GO!!! :D You can do this, Ally. Any support I can give you, you just say the word. For night time snacking, I'm a BIG fan of tea and apple cider vinegar concoctions. It cures the sweet tooth. Also: Pop Chips. For those have to have it salty cravings.

  2. Good luck and God bless you! I am on the journey too. Has been almost two weeks and I have only lost 3.5 lbs, so have about 47 to go. But I know that it is just the very beginning of the journey.
    Wish I could blame mine on baby weight gain but my kids are 18 and 22 so that won't work.

  3. ohhhh how i love you and your blog posts. you go get it girl. this is yours for the taking!

  4. Oh darlin'...I give you miles of credit for posting those pictures. That's pretty much what I look like in shorts and a sports bra too...but I'm not near brave enough to post those photos on the internet for all to see.

    I know it can be done as we've both done it successfully before. We just have to stick to it. And one thing I've learned over the last few weeks is that a few indulgences in a week really help me stick to a program the rest of the time.

    And if it makes you feel better...I weigh more than you.

  5. You are so brave!
    And beautiful!
    I have no doubt that you will be able to high-kick this in the butt.
    I am in the same boat (except without the baby to show for all the stretchmarks) and I just can't seem to make a dent in the scale. I can't help that candy helps me study...
    I can't do the paleo thing, but I just started intermittent fasting - where you eat (but not overeat) normally for 5 days/wk and reduce your caloric intake to 500 for the other 2 days.
    Its supposed to have different benefits like reteaching your body what hungry feels like, and you eat just enough on your fasting days that you keep burning fat instead of precious muscle. And the biggest plus for me, is only really have to think about what you can (or can't) eat 2 days out of every week instead of constantly obsessing about it.
    I just had my first fasting day yesterday, and it went pretty smoothly, I'll keep you posted on how it goes ;)

  6. Dang girl, I don't think you've lost any posted pictures of yourself in a body you are not happy with. That takes a ton of confidence.

    Also, nutella is my weakness. As far as snacking goes, we make it a point to never buy chips, soda or candy. If they aren't in the house we can't eat them. Is a carrot dipped in hummus as delicious as a dorito? Hell no. But I can give myself a high five after I gorge on carrots. Can't do that after I eat an entire bag of doritos (which is what I would do if we had them in the house). Another good late night snack would be popcorn....the unbuttered kind. (I know!)

    Way to go on the C25K! Keep it up. That's where I started! Let me know if you need support...I can harass you via email/twitter/text/facebook....just let me know. You got this!

  7. I'm about to buy some seedless red grapes and put 'em in the freezer for snacking. Frozen ones are so much more fun than plain. Late afternoon and late evening are my bad times, too. I agree with those who say you are awesome for posting photos and you will definitely succeed.

  8. I just love you! You are so real and I love that about you. I think you are beautiful no matter what, but here is my small tip for snacking. If you like bell peppers get some of every color and cut them in strips and snack on those when you feel a little hungry. Also, Tebo's mom makes a weight watcher's soup that she keeps on hand and when she feels a little hungry she has a coffee mug of that soup and it curbs her appetite. I will look for that recipe and send it to your email. We will all be your cheerleader, but give yourself a little slack. You just had a precious little bundle so you are allowed to take your time getting to your ideal and comfortable weight. :)

  9. Congats from Chad Allen & Tammy C. from Kentucky!!

  10. FIrst let me say this to make you feel better... I'm currently at 207 and stuck. Right before Christmas I was at 197... I gained 10 lbs from being lazy. In order to make you happy I want you to realize that I haven't had a baby - unless you count holding on to food babies.

    We can do this and with your background I KNOW YOU CAN DO IT FOR SURE!!!

    I started Insanity just to see if I could do it - this crap is TOUGH... I am in month 2... I wanted to try it before going home to see all my friends who last saw me at my wedding weighing like 180 something, tighter, firmer and fitter and wearing a corset in my dress. I feel horrible right now, about myself and just blah. So I understand where you're coming from. Mike is very similar to Neal, he only has eyes for me, thank goodness, but my ego took a serious shot last weekend when we were out at a local bar and Mike got hit on by a college age girl... I felt like no guy even looked at me. Not that I want that, but you know, it's nice to get noticed...

    I'm trying to convince myself that being stronger, and tight is more important that what the scale says. I think it's great you did measurements that's the best way to judge your body changing w/out getting obsessive. I need to do that. I've talked myself into tossing the scale in the guest bedroom so as NOT to look at it.

    As far as late night snacks - it's hard, especially when you're staying up alone. I go to bed by 10:30 PM so I've learned that if I'm going to leave stuff around the house to snack on it better be low cal, or healthy. Water does help a little bit. Guzzle a big glass of it when you get the cravings, if you are still hungry after that have some fruit or veggies prepared to snack on - something HIGH in water content would probably be best. I've been keeping 100 calorie frozen things like popsicles or italian ice (not really paelo but might still be useful for the late night cravings, especially for sweets). The best thing is to be prepared with stuff you CAN eat, to get rid of the cravings for stuff you can't.

    I think the slow progression of losing weight is smarter honestly we work hard, we appreciate the drop and it stays off longer if we make it a lifestyle change not just a gold to drop lbs.

    I'm here for you girl - we all need help these days. I wish I was still 20 something, I really miss that metabolism. You know the one where you could drink all night and dance of calories and still fit in size 10 or 12 jeans?

    PS if it makes you feel better I wear the same pair of jeans, every day. It's either that or yoga pants!


That's it, let it all out....