The Skinny(er)

So I’m sitting here with a too-late cup of coffee, deciding how to do this.

But I promised you all, after the pics yesterday, and so here’s the skinny…or at least the skinny(er). πŸ˜‰

So, I’m sure most moms can relate to the extra poundage that hangs on after having a baby.

For some reason, I had it in my mind that the 44 pounds I gained with Maelie would just magically disappear once I started breastfeeding. What I hadn’t anticipated were difficulties with latching, making it necessary for me to pump around the clock for months. (Ugh…there I go reminding myself.) And for whatever reason, the weight, which was supposed to come off…didn’t.

In the fall after Maelie was born, I started running again. It took me a long time to build back up the endurance I’d had before I got pregnant. I set a goal to run a 5k that November, and I did run it…but there’s no way I’m sharing my time with you all! :) During that time of running and training, I continued to eat whatever I wanted.

I think, in some ways, food became that stability. It wasn’t like I was gaining a lot…I just wasn’t losing anything. But at a time when everything was new…city and neighborhood (COUNTRY, for that matter), friends, church…at least there was always chocolate and Chicago deep-dish and pretzels. (And a lot of other things.)

Last summer, I finally got serious (or, at least thought I did) and joined a Biggest Loser competition with some friends. I worked out religiously…5-6 times a week. However, I didn’t?

Stop eating whatever I wanted.

At the end ofΒ  the summer, after losing only a few pounds, I knew I had pinpointed a problem.

Food had started overtaking me.

Gosh, that’s hard to admit. I’m really, really struggling with hashing this out for you all…just being honest.

Tobin, Maelie, and I went to Mississippi for a week in September to see some good friends. While we were there, I found some inspiration in the form of my friend, Sarah. She had worked really, really hard and looked fantastic…after having three kids in less than four years, no less. She told me a few things that had worked for her, and I decided I needed to do something.

I came home, joined another round of the Biggest Loser, got rid of the bad food in our house, and got serious.

I counted calories…1,000-1,200 a day.

Plus a workout or two each day. (I let myself take a day off every week.)

It worked…in nine weeks, I was down 22 pounds and just 14 shy of my goal weight.

I survived the holidays, only gaining a couple pounds back, and joined yet another round of the BL.

Ten weeks later, I was one pound from my goal. (Which I did eventually reach.)

Yeah, so I totally realize that if I stop here and post this as it currently is, I do sound like a brat.

So, bear with me, ok?

This journey was a good one for me. I needed to get myself into better shape. I needed to be healthy. I needed to stop squeezing my size 14 into a size 12. πŸ˜‰

I needed to feel better about myself.

Yes, it was a good journey. (And it’s not over! My goal now? To stay here!)

But, it was also a hard one.

I battled through a lot…I learned a lot. I was humbled a lot.

And maybe sharing this will help someone.

I learned…

First and foremost, that no amount of weight loss and skinny can make a person truly beautiful. One day, after an especially frustrating morning in which I was NOT a good mommy, I caught myself staring at my reflection in the mirror and thinking about how good I looked. But the truth is? I. Felt. Ugly. I’d said things, done things that day that didn’t honor my Father and didn’t show Maelie that I loved her. I was reminded that morning (and am being continually reminded) that having a beautiful heart is so much more important than having a beautiful body.

Also? That any obsession apart from my Father is wrong. There were days when I was SO focused. I HAD to get that second workout in before I went to bed. I HAD to burn this-many calories before I could end the day. And those things? Got in the way of time I could have spent in His Word, in prayer…growing in Grace. There is nothing wrong with having a goal, but when that goal takes away from what’s really important, then it needs to re-evaluated.

I have to admit to you that I continually work on that one. Sometimes it’s hard to miss that workout or run because of something more important.

God also taught me something that I never thought I’d share here…but I feel like I should.

He gave me a glimpse of what it was like for someone who struggles with anorexia. Because I think, at one point, I was headed down that road. Every waking thought was about food. I obsessed to the point of not eating enough and working out too much. All I could think about was clothing sizes and being “skinny”…and it began to overtake my mind.

Thankfully, I recognized it…and that was totally from God. I had a pretty tough conversation with a friend, who was really gentle with me but also pretty honest. After talking with her, I knew I had to recognize the fact that this obsession could potentially be dangerous.

I don’t think I ever reached the point of anorexia, but I honestly don’t know. What I do know is that I asked two friends to keep me accountable. To ask me if I’d eaten enough…and to check in on me. I needed that.

Since that time last November, God has been really good. He’s teaching me to find balance and ways to stay healthy without overly obsessing if I miss a run or eat a cupcake. (Or twelve!) πŸ˜‰ He’s working on my heart in ways that are painful but necessary. He’s teaching me so much about loving what He’s created and being satisfied in who I am.

That doesn’t mean I’m there at all…but He’s working on me.

I never understood people who struggled with eating disorders before this journey, and perhaps He gave me this glimpse to help me to be more empathetic. I get it…or at least a small part of it…now.

So often, we focus on becoming what society has termed acceptable. We have it in our head that a number on a scale is what’s most important. And it’s not. Because I’ll tell you that that number goes up and down a little. And if it goes up by two? I can’t let it ruin my day. Or my week. I just have to keep going.

I can’t think of a way to end this.

Maybe by having a good cry? (Because I could sure go for one about now!) πŸ˜‰

Maybe just to encourage you…to keep your focus where it needs to be. And if part of it is on losing weight…that’s OK. As long as you don’t forget about the other things that are important, too.

I’m really thankful for the last eight months…and for me, the hardest part is yet to come. Because, as with any goal, sometimes when you “arrive” is when you start to slack. I’m working hard to not do that. I’m also really thankful that, on this earth, we never “arrive” spiritually…He continues to mold and shape our hearts if we’ll let Him.

God is GOOD, isn’t He? Find some time today to thank Him for what He’s done. :)



  1. theresa pietenpol says:

    A balanced life is a beautiful life :-)
    Love you!

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