I Put On A Bathing Suit & The World Didn’t End!

I’ve been dreading this weekend for weeks, if not months. The date has been staring at me from the calendar like the popular girl daring me to sit at her lunch table. It is known as the unofficial start of summer – or Memorial Day Weekend.

The past several years, I looked forward to the opening weekend of our pool with great excitement. I had a collection of no less than twenty bikinis, which I wore proudly. Last summer, I was a little less comfortable than usual because I had started gaining weight. This year, well, let’s just say the bikinis are still in hibernation. An additional twenty pounds can be a little hard on a girl’s ego.

I made the dreaded trip to acquire a bathing suit and to my surprise was able to find a cute tankini (with a skirt bottom) that made me look okay and not as matronly as I was expecting. Sure I was wearing more than a teen at her high school graduation, but I was comfortable. My weight gain was no one else’s business and the more covered up I was, the better I felt.

I walked into the pool with great apprehension. We’ve been members of this pool for the last several years and therefore know the majority of the members. The first day of the pool is always an inventory of how tall the kids got and who gained or lost weight. I know first-hand because I’ve sat there and done it myself. So, I quickly found a lounge chair and spent an incredibly ridiculous amount of time getting set up with towels, sunscreen, and drinks. I finally settled into my lounge chair refusing to look around. I really wasn’t prepared for the gasps that I knew were coming from everyone once their eyes rested on me and they could see my weight gain.

Of course I could only spend so much time looking at my Diet Coke, so I finally looked around and no one was looking at me. Wait, what? That’s right. No one was looking at ME! Everyone was paying attention to their children, or their friends, or their own Diet Coke. No one cared about my weight gain. If they did, they at least had the decency to hide it well.

Once I realized the entire pool wasn’t pointing and staring at me, I got the courage to get up and walk around to talk to people I hadn’t seen since the pool closed last September. I had a great time socializing and was even told I looked great a time or two. Great? I look great? Is that possible? Why, hell yes it is!

I’m a little pissed at myself for wasting energy on something so trivial and vain. Unfortunately, I’m fairly certain I’m not the only person that does that. There have been far too many magazine covers consumed by “getting bikini ready” articles over the last few months for me to think I’m alone in this delusional thinking. Unfortunately, I wasted a whole hour of what could have been socializing on staring at my can of Diet Coke worried that people thought I was fat. What? Yeah, it sounds as ridiculous to me now as it does to you. At the time, well, I was absolutely certain that my world would come crashing down as soon as I revealed my lily white skin.

I had a great weekend. I caught up with friends, ate some great BBQ, got a sunburn, and the world didn’t end. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

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Side Effects May Include: Being Awesome

Twenty pounds. That’s what I’ve gained over the last few months. That whole saying about it just happened “overnight”….that saying I used to scoff at in my slender little frame? Yeah, well, this shit just happened overnight.

Okay, I obviously didn’t just wake up one day twenty pounds heavier than when I went to bed. But it sure seemed that way. One day I’m running my kids around, fitting in all my workouts, eating in a way that supports my goals, getting all my household stuff done. The next day, I’m still doing everything, but maybe the laundry slips. Then the next everything is done, except maybe we do take out instead of cooking at home. Then the next, I skip a workout. You get the idea? It’s not easy to be living in a perfect little bubble. Things slip up. You don’t notice at first, but the next thing you know, you’re flying through a drive thru, late for some kid practice or another, rushing back home to do 47 loads of laundry because nobody has clean underwear. The only things getting done are the ones that absolutely MUST get done – the non-negotiables. But, your list of non-negotiables shifts the busier you get and suddenly working out doesn’t make the cut. Hell, clean underwear sometimes doesn’t make the cut. It’s just easier to stop off at Target and get NEW underwear instead of doing all that laundry.

You know what Target doesn’t sell? A nice ass. Trust me, I’ve looked. The funny thing is, I care a little less about how I look these days and a lot more about how I feel. I think that break from the gym may have been just what I needed in order to step back and reevaluate my priorities.

My husband and I went white water rafting this weekend. That was some intense shit! I can tell you, not one time was I concerned about what I looked like. I was just thankful that when it came time to paddle, I could do my part. And believe me when I tell you, there was some heavy duty paddling. There was a man in our group that was in his late 60s or early 70s. That dude was paddling like nobody’s business. He was definitely carrying his weight in that raft. I don’t know him personally, but those who do were telling me how active he is. He does all kinds of adventurous things. THAT is my goal. I want to be able to do anything I damn well please when I’m in my 70s and 80s and 90s. I don’t want to be all hunched over dependent on a cane or walker and lose my breath walking to the fridge.

I don’t want to be a body builder or bikini model. I admire those that have the dedication it takes to be those things. I am personally not willing to pay that price anymore. What I want is to dance like a rock star when my daughters get married. I want to be able to take my grandkids to an amusement park and do everything they do. I want to go white water rafting with my husband on our 50th wedding anniversary. I AM willing to pay the price for that. That means treating myself kindly now. It does mean being active, but it doesn’t mean punishing my body. It means eating things that are good for me but also things that taste good to me.

Look, I’m not rushing this whole aging thing. Oh NO! I’m just saying I want to feel kick ass now and 60 years from now. I want to know that even if my running shorts are a size larger than a year ago, I can still run as fast if not faster and farther. I want to be better a year from now than I am now. And a year from that, I want to be even better. If I look awesome as a side effect, then that’s just a bonus. But, I can’t imagine being active and having the mad confidence that comes along with that and not looking awesome.

Back to Basics – Breaking Up With Fitness Mags

Dear Fitness Magazines, I’m sick of your shit. I’ve written before that it seems like the more I learn, the less I know and I feel like I’ve reached the bottom of my dumbing down. Although to say I’m “learning” from you is ridiculous. Oh, sure, back when I had no clue what I was doing, I certainly learned a few things. But now that I do know a few things, I know enough to know most of what you write is total bullshit. Your information is conflicting. You’re funded by advertising dollars from companies like diet pills. DIET PILLS! How can you try to convince me to get in shape when your pages are covered with ads for quick fixes? And I KNOW stuff! What about the poor women out there without the benefit of some basic fitness and nutrition knowledge? Those who feel they have tried everything and failed? Of course they failed! If they could get their shit together by applying what was in your pages, they wouldn’t need your magazines anymore, right?

You try to convince me that I can be long and lean like Gwyneth Paltrow. Guess what? I’m five foot frigging four. There is nothing LONG about me. I can try the Tracy Anderson Method every day for the rest of my life and I will NOT be LONG! The beautiful Gwyneth is five foot nine. Yep, she’s long alright. Regardless of what workout she does, she’ll continue to be long. Regardless of what workout I do, I won’t look like I’m five foot nine.

You try to convince me that something is wrong and unsightly about cellulite and stretch marks by completely removing any evidence of them from your pages. I don’t know a single woman in real life – not a single one – that doesn’t have SOME kind of stretch marks, cellulite, or any other kind of mark proving their humanness.  Guess what? Even my kids had cellulite when they were babies. Gasp! Oh the world would probably revolt if you featured cellulite dimpled women on your pages. But that’s only because you have completely avoided putting them there since the beginning of time.

The “curvy” girls you feature – well, a size 6 instead of a 2 or 4 isn’t really curvy. Kim Kardashian is curvy. You’ve tried to tell me she’s a size 4. I call bullshit on that too. I’ve been a size 4 and she’s at LEAST a 10, if not a 12. (Have you EVER been jeans shopping?! There’s no way a size 4 would fit over her ass. I’ve got all kinds of ass, so I know of what I speak!) There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a 10 or 12. Nothing. However, you’ve spent so much time brainwashing me with your photo shopped images that a size 10 seems like something negative. I’d like to know how you convinced me that my current size (an 8 for those of you wondering) is something to be ashamed of. Yep, ashamed. I recently had to go up to a larger size and when I saw the number 8 in the dressing room, I was sick to my stomach. REALLY? Well, I blame you! But I am revoking that power you have over me. YOU don’t get to decide how I feel about my body. Not anymore.

Signed, Enlightened (Former) Reader

PS – If your methods worked so well, why do you have to photo shop all the models on your pages?

PPS – What’s that? You’re confused about what I mean? Well, luckily I have taken a few photos of some of your ridiculous and unobtainable headlines.

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Let me get this straight? I’m going to have a “Hot Summer Body” in 4 weeks? That’s a mighty hefty claim considering you have NO idea where I’m starting. What if I weighed 300 pounds? I promise you, 4 weeks will not be long enough to give me a “hot summer body”. Furthermore, a safe amount of weight loss is 1-2 pounds per week. At most, I should lose 8 pounds on your 4 week program, not 10. If you don’t think that’s a big difference, just ask those who live by the number on the scale as a result of brainwashing. By the way, “Fast” is a relative and confusing term causing many to give up their fight if they don’t see results in the first week or two.

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Really now? My dream body in just 2 weeks? TWO weeks? Oh please, do tell! Because thanks to your images, my dream body is about 30 pounds lighter with absolutely no cellulite whatsoever. I’m just going to guess that nothing about that dream will come true.

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NEVER fall short of a goal again? NEVER? Well, either my goals will suck, or this is another example of your total bullshit. People fail all the time. By making them think that “failing” is something bad is, in and of itself, a failure. Your cover fell short of its goal to motivate me.

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You. Cannot. Spot. Train.

The End.

Moving On

“Perfectionism doesn’t make you feel perfect. It makes you feel inadequate.” ~Maria Shriver

Seriously. Have truer words ever been spoken? Here’s how it works for me. I’ll be chugging along nicely. Working out several times a week. Eating like a normal person, rather than a starved homeless person. Then I’ll get tired. Or bored. And I’ll skip the gym. Then my motivation begins to waiver. One day turns to two, followed by too many nights on pinterest pinning fitness rather than achieving it. Or I’ll be home alone and suddenly decide I’m ravenous. So I’ll eat a bowl of cereal. And by bowl, I’m talking a big jethro bowl. Followed by another. And possibly a third.

So, I’m not working out. I’m eating like crap. I’m in a slump of epic proportions and since I think I’m supposed to be “perfect” I just sit there and wallow in my funk.

What I should do after a misstep, is just pick myself up and keep going. Had a bad week? Whatevs. Own it and move on.

Move. On.

Do You Have A Fitness Girlfriend?

Every time I feel like giving up on this blog and the facebook page, the universe seems to have something else in mind. I’ve had a pretty crappy couple of months as far as my overall fitness goes. I’ve gained weight. Of course that comes as no great surprise considering I’ve basically stopped working out and I’ve been eating like a homeless person at Thanksgiving dinner. So I thought, “who wants to hear fitness stuff from ME?”

I started this blog and the facebook page because I was so excited about everything I was learning about fitness, nutrition, and losing weight. It was all clicking for me and I couldn’t believe I had learned all this information that other people may not know. I was on a roll!

Then the last year or so I’ve struggled. My motivation has been so up and down it needs it’s own Prozac prescription. My eating…well, let’s just say I’ve rediscovered my bad habits of cereal and Pop Tarts in the evenings. I’ve joined new gyms, tried new classes, blah blah blah. Nothing seems to make a difference. I’m still struggling. I’ve gone from hitting spin class several times a week, strength training, and stellar nutrition to working long hours sitting on my ass and shoving anything in my face with more than 20 carbs.

Pop-Tarts

Personally, I prefer strawberry.

So, really? Who wants to hear fitness stuff from me?

Fitness Model 1

This is NOT me.

Then it occurred to me that the people who would want to hear from me are the people who are just like me. Okay, well maybe you’re not quite as fabulously demented as I am, but I digress. Here’s the deal. I don’t work out every day. There are some months I don’t work out at all. I don’t eat CLEAN. I eat sugar and drink diet coke. I eat Pop Tarts and pizza. I struggle trying to find time to be both a kick- ass mom and having a kick-ass ass. Some days I have so much work to do the last thing on my mind is exercising. There are days I think I can actually feel my thighs expanding. I’ve picked the least dirty clothes out of the hamper to give my kids to wear to school because I just didn’t have enough time or energy to do another frigging load of laundry.

The short of it – I’m human. Although I know exactly what to eat and how to exercise to get that “perfect” body, I just don’t have the energy for that shit. I’m a 38 year old mom who would just like to jiggle a little less. I would like to be able to spend time with my kids without wanting to poke their eyes out because I’m so tired. I would like to go to bed knowing that I’ve put out all the fires my job requires so I don’t get fired from said job. (I don’t want to be an actual homeless person even though I may eat like one at times.) I want all the important people in my life to actually feel important. And if the laundry gets done, that’s a bonus.

I’m no fitness expert. I AM your fitness girlfriend. (Not THAT kind of girlfriend. I’m a girl who is your friend, as my 8 year old says.) I have a lot of knowledge but I’m not so smart that I think I know it all. If you read this blog, I hope you know I’m here to inspire the “every woman”. There may be days where the inspiration is “Damn! I worked out today and she didn’t. HA!”. Or it may be, “I haven’t worked out in a week, but hey, neither has that fitness blogger. I’m NORMAL!” OR maybe you just want to read my stuff because I’m ridiculously hilarious.

Norman Wisdom Laughing

This guy really gets me.

Either way, the universe tells me that my job here is NOT done. I don’t know what that’s all about, but I’m not one to question the universe.

Shit Happens – Move On

In an effort to hold myself accountable, I remind you of this. I challenged myself to work out more days than I didn’t in December. In other words, work out at least 16 of the 31 days.

Wellll…..I didn’t. In fact, I worked out once. Three times if you count the couple of walks I took with my dog. Since he’s a Yorkie and his legs are approximately six inches long, let’s just say those walks weren’t exactly “brisk”.

Girl pouting because she didn’t meet her goal

There are reasons for this. I had to make a change in my work schedule. I’ve had the same job for the last ten years and I’ve always worked until 5:30, sometimes much, much later. This allowed me to hit the gym on my way home because my kids were always in their extra curriculars until around 8pm. A change in circumstances required me to be home when they got home from school instead, so I started leaving my office around 3pm. That meant I went straight home from work and helped with homework, got the kids ready for extra curriculars, and sometimes did car pool. After they left I would be able to focus on me. That ended up translating into laundry, making dinner, and picking up around the house. Basically everything for everyone but me. The thing is, once I walk in the door, my resolve to work out is G.O.N.E.

However, reasons why you didn’t do something are really just excuses, aren’t they?

At first I was all, “YOU SUCK! I can’t believe you can’t do this. You committed to all 4 of your readers that you would do this!” But, then I remembered this was the year of “Flaws and All”.  So, I forgave myself. Yeah, I know better; I know I could have easily done something. I didn’t –  and I’m moving on.

How can I try to “inspire” people when I’m not authentic? The truth is, we all have bad days, weeks, or sometimes month. EVERYONE. I cannot authentically try to motivate you to love yourself and have a positive body image, if I’m expecting perfection from myself. I blew off my work outs all month by making excuses. I’m human.

Moving forward, I’ve designed a work out plan for myself. I’m committing to exercising 3 days a week. That’s not a lot, however, the reason we often fail is because we set our expectations so high. Three days a week is a helluva lot better than what I’ve been doing, which is nothing. I’ll stay accountable to you even if that means telling you a month from now that I didn’t meet my commitment.

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The thing is, shit happens. I can’t change the past and since what “you think about you bring about” means dwelling on past failures will lead to future failures, I’m not too worried about it. I’m focused on the future and being the best me I can be.

Is it time for you to forgive yourself of past failures? Whatever mistakes you’ve made, you have the opportunity right this second to change everything. Who else is ready to move onward and upward?

Why We Quit

Give Up Graffiti #ds367

Give Up Graffiti #ds367 (Photo credit: brendan-c)

“You can’t fire me – I QUIT!”

I’ve never said those words, but I’ve been in a few situations where, had the opportunity come, I might very well have. Can you just imagine that scenario? You’re working a job, probably one that sucks pretty badly. You think about quitting, but, well you’re not really that into dumpster diving for dinner so you keep showing up to work. One day something blows up and you end up getting fired (wrongly, of course). You think, ‘WHAT? I hate this place. You can’t fire ME. I’m firing YOU!” You are appalled at the very idea that YOU were the one in the wrong when you actually show up to this crappy job every day. It’s not like you’re heart broken that you no longer have that job. Quite the contrary; it’s a relief. But YOU didn’t get to make the decision – your boss did.

You didn’t control how it ended.

I think we’re like that with a lot of things, not just some crappy job or our commitment to fitness. We are so afraid of failing that we would actually rather quit. That’s why the diet industry is a $20 billion a year business. How many times have you started a fitness routine or a new “diet” and it was hard? Anyone? Anyone? It was SO hard, in fact, that you just gave up on it. You thought, “Ya know what? This doesn’t work. I quit.” Except here’s the truth – that work out DVD you gave up on? It would have worked. The reason these companies can offer you a money back guarantee isn’t because their program is magical or the only way to get in shape. It’s because if you go from doing nothing to do something – anything – you will see result. But you don’t see results, because you quit.

Quitting is easy. It puts you in charge of how things end. You can walk proudly away from your “stupid” gym because you didn’t like it anyway. You can come up with a million reasons why you quit going and they can all be because of the gym. But the reality is, if you would have put the work in, you would have gotten results. Putting the work in can suck. Putting the work in might mean admitting that you aren’t as strong as you thought. Or you might get embarrassed because you aren’t sure what to do. Putting the work in is uncomfortable.

Your fear of failing is so great you’d rather walk away.

Stop being a quitter. Easier said than done, right? Yes, especially if you’ve always been one to walk away when the going got tough. YOU are the decision maker. People don’t quit on you; you quit on them! But if you’re truly ready to meet your goals, you have to be prepared to keep going even when you want to quit. You have to prepare to fail. Failure isn’t permanent; quitting is.

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”  ― Maya Angelou

You owe it to yourself to fail. There is no great success without failure. Pick a goal, any goal at all, and determine you are going to stick with it. If you struggle with discipline, read this. It was written by Matt Frazier of No Meat Athlete (don’t worry carnivores, it has absolutely nothing to do with vegetarianism) and is by far my favorite thing I’ve ever read about creating habits.

You can start right now. Set goals that are worthwhile and be determined to see them through. If you are willing to quit on a goal when it gets rough, what’s the point in starting? Is it something you really wanted anyway? Make your mind up right now, in this moment, to only devote your time to things that are worthwhile. When that’s the case, quitting is not an option.

Body Hate

Vintage Postcard ~ Girl w/Glasses

Vintage Postcard ~ Girl w/Glasses (Photo credit: chicks57)

Almost everyone has done it. Sometimes we get so “good” at it, we don’t even realize we’re doing it. Self-deprecating behavior. That thing we do where we say out loud to no one in particular; “I hate my body”; “my thighs are so fat”; “I look ridiculous in these pants”. Or how about when someone compliments you and you turn it around to insult yourself. “Oh, you look great today!” Instead of replying with a simple thank you, you respond with, “Oh my gosh, you must be kidding?! Look how tight this shirt is today. I feel so gross. I really need to get back in the gym.”

Thinking and speaking to yourself in that way is damaging enough to your own psyche. However, that doesn’t seem to be enough to break the bad habit for some. Oh who am I kidding? Most people fail to break this bad habit. So, how about this? The next time you catch yourself with an insult swirling in your head, think about the people who look up to you. Particularly, any little ones you may have in your life.

If you have kids (or nieces, nephews, etc), think about how confused they must be to hear you mutter, “I am SO fat!” You know what? They think you are beautiful. They look at you as a hero. But if their hero is telling them that the image they view as beautiful isn’t, what does that say about them?

Take glasses for example. If you constantly say you hate the way you look in glasses, but then your child ends up having to get glasses how will they feel? Most likely, they will think there is something wrong with wearing glasses. After all, if you hate the way you look in glasses, you probably hate the way they look in glasses too. However, if you wear your glasses confidently and your child also ends up wearing glasses, you’ve been a fantastic role model.

If you look in the mirror and tear your body apart, what do you think your children will do when they look at themselves? “If mom thinks she looks fat with her belly, then I MUST be fat with mine.” My youngest daughter had the most precious budha belly of all time when she was around 3 years old. She thought it was awesome. She would rub it and say, “look at my belly!” She would run around lifting her shirt to expose that beautiful, round belly to anyone who would look in her direction. But what if I rubbed my belly in the mirror and proclaimed how fat it was? Would that change how my baby looked at herself? I wasn’t willing to take that chance.

I hope you aren’t anymore either.

Do It Anyway

I’ve been in a funk. No, not the usual funk I write about where I’m just lazy and don’t want to work out. I’m talking about one of these funks. As I talk about in that piece, they come and go randomly. This one has been sticking around since last week and frankly it’s making me want to choke someone out. I haven’t yet – but I’m not making any promises to continue that trend.

Yesterday a little before 5:30 (the time I typically leave my office), I started thinking of ALL kinds of great reasons why I couldn’t go to the gym. Too tired, too hungry, too late, too sort of stormy looking. Oh yes, I had a lot of spectacularly stupid excuses. I knew they were just that – excuses. I looked at the gym’s group fitness schedule. None of the classes fit my schedule that evening. Oh, another excuse. However, I knew if I left work and skipped the gym, I would be sitting at the pool for over an hour waiting for my daughter to finish swim practice. That would be an absolutely ridiculous use of my time. Especially considering I didn’t have a book or anything to pass the time.

So I went to the gym. Begrudgingly. The front desk dude even said, “haven’t seen you in a while.” I offered a weak smile and just shrugged my shoulders. Inside I responded, “whatever, jackwagon. I was just here a week ago.” I know, I know, that’s not really a consistent effort on my part. I think he was probably pointing out how consistent I had been in his own stupid way. But, let’s not forget, I’m in my “I wanna choke you out” mood.

Anyway, I went. I lifted. I became aware that when I’m feeling pissy I can lift about 5 – 10% heavier than a normal day. So I did, in fact, get in a good work out. Did I leave there feeling like a new woman? Nah. I didn’t. I know they say exercise puts you in a good mood. It’s also a great stress reliever and can help cure depression. I didn’t experience any immediate satisfaction. But I was glad I didn’t skip the gym. At least it was one less thing to feel pissy about.

The moral of the story? I can’t promise you that working out will make you feel “better”, but it sure as hell won’t make you feel worse. So go do it! No, seriously, right now! Go! Oh, and try not to choke anyone out.

Getting Fat – Part 2 – We're Having A Baby!

A pregnant woman

Image via Wikipedia

This is part 2 of how I got fat. If you missed the beginning of the story you may want to get caught up.

I was just catching my groove on the whole working out thing. And by “catching my groove” I mean I hadn’t missed an appointment with my personal trainer in two weeks. Maybe three. I’ll give myself the benefit of the doubt here. You may remember this was about the time my husband and I decided to start our family. Much to my surprise, I was pretty damn fertile.

We both really wanted to have a baby and I realize how incredibly fortunate we were to get pregnant pretty much right away. That, however, did not take away from the utter shock of that positive pregnancy test. And the other four that followed (in the next 10 minutes). I made my doctor’s appointment right away and yep, there was in fact a little bun in the oven. Also, according to my doctor, I was a little short for my weight. He told me I’d have to be careful with putting weight on since I was already considered “overweight”. Thankfully it was only by a few pounds (if I remember correctly I was 155 or so and I’m 5’4), but seriously, who wants to hear that crap? And, it’s not like I could start dieting then anyway. But I did decide I would still go to the gym. I vowed to myself that when I delivered I would have really buff arms and perfectly pedicured feet. I went to approximately two aerobics classes and the only sport I did after that was eating. My feet, however, looked fabulous on delivery day!

I left the doctor’s office and headed straight to the first Wendy’s drive thru I could find. I was a hot mess and hadn’t been able to get in touch with my husband. (I think I had paged him. Hello, it was 2000!) I ordered a salad (of the taco variety). Hey, I was eating for two so I was being healthy. (This was before I knew a taco salad wasn’t actually healthy.) I also ordered a large Frosty. For the calcium, of course. (I’m not even sure those are actually milk based to be honest with you.) This was just the beginning of my pregnancy melt down. Oh, and I was approximately five weeks pregnant at this point.

There were many, many binges during this pregnancy. And the food wasn’t just craptastic. I was a freaking maniac and would eat anything I could get my hands on. I remember laying on my bathroom floor crying in shame because I had just eaten five bananas. I was hormonal and clearly unstable. The good news was, my pregnancy was a breeze and I absolutely LOVED being pregnant.

Toward the end of my pregnancy our 15 year old nephew, Chris,  started staying with us to take care of our dogs when I went into the hospital. I had also already began my maternity leave because I was too fat to work. Okay, that’s not really true. But the simple act of blow drying my hair literally winded me. The walk from my car to my office was exhausting. It was summer time and you don’t even want to know about all the sweating. UGH! Plus, there was food to be eaten. I was far too distracted for working. So, instead, my nephew and I went to Golden Corral every day for lunch while my husband worked. We would see who could eat the most. If you have ever seen a 15 year old boy eat, you know how absolutely ridiculous that is. I gained 10 pounds in my 8th month. Yep, ten. Iwas wearing XXL maternity clothes. DOUBLE EXTRA LARGE! Holy fatness!

Two days before I delivered our daughter, I weighed 201 pounds. Two hundred and one pounds. I weighed the same as my husband (who had also gained the required “sympathy weight”). You know that gross, blubbery, snotty cry that people do? Yeah, I totally did that. And then went to lunch at Golden Corral. I fully expected someone to come out of the back and yell, “YOU GO HOME NOW!”. They never did. And we kept eating. And eating!

I told myself after the baby was born it would be on like Donkey Kong. She was born in August 2001….