Weight loss Update: Beyond Size & Scale

weight loss after 2

UPDATE: For a follow-up to this post read, 15 month post-baby update: how to find your natural weight (without losing your mind).

 

It’s been awhile since my last weight loss update.

As ya’ll know, I took the summer off from posting, then have taken my time getting back to the rhythm of things. But I suppose it’s time for another update.

If you haven’t followed my weight loss journey (you can do so, here), here’s the gist of it:

I gained lots & lots of fat weight with my fifth pregnancy.

After I had the baby, I weighed in at 204 lbs. (I’m 5’9″). I also had gestational diabetes during my pregnancy (which I have no doubts contributed greatly to the excess weight), which puts me at higher risk of developing diabetes later in life.

SO, the short story is, I had about 60 or so pounds to lose to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight, which is one of the many preventative measures I can take to keep myself healthy & diabetes free.

As of the end of May, I had lost 35 lbs.

During the summer, I stopped tracking my food & was lot more casual & laid back about what I ate & my exercise was consistent but wasn’t very challenging. I still kept to the principles in the FSL approach, but it wasn’t forefront on my mind.

Basically, I had other priorities (like taking care of my five kids all day & dealing with getting treatment after a car accident). But, despite my more laid back approach, by the end of July, I was somewhere between 160-165 lbs. Since then I’ve stagnated & maintained, & you know what, I think I’m okay with this.

Sure, a lot of my old jeans still don’t fit me, & many are still tight, BUT, I’m at a healthy weight. My BMI is no longer in the overweight category. I can move without feeling like I’m lugging around 40 extra pounds.

The thing is, at my thinnest point, I was exercising several times a day (as a professional fitness instructor), doing lots of gardening & lawn work, & taking care of my young kids. Pretty much I never stopped moving. I was the pinnacle of fitness. At 18% body fat, I was strong, could run 5 or 10 miles without blinking an eye, & my abs were rock solid (even after having four kids).

Now, I am a bit more rounded & soft. I’m strong, in fairly good shape (though I’m probably not up for a 5 mile run, if I’m being honest). My body fat percent is in the twenties rather than teens. I’ve got curves that fill my size 10 jeans.

weight loss after 3

(You know how I’ve learned to love said curves, which you can read about in this post.)

With all the childbearing of the last decade, I’ve been thick, I’ve been thin. I’ve gained, lost, gained, & lost. Through this all, I know it’s much better to be fit, to be strong, & to be in a place where I’m not carrying around extra pounds that only stress out my joints & make it hard to get around.

Though, is it better, am I actually happier, my life better, when I can fit into size 4 jeans instead of 8 or 10’s, or 12’s?

Nope.

My husband doesn’t love me more, I don’t love myself more. Beyond hitting that initial healthy weight range, I don’t enjoy life more at a lower weight. In fact, being at an even lower weight in some ways is more stressful because there’s less wiggle room in order to maintain.

So what am I saying?

I’m content. My focus is now on the internal, on making sure that I’m exercising every day. I’m focusing more on strength training (kettlebells a few times a week, plus body weight & weight training) & making sure to do some yoga &/or pilates mixed in.

I’m not running, I’m not doing HIIT or bootcamp style training (these things are great, just not on my exercise priority list right now). Since I’m even more short on time, I’m focusing on what really delivers, which in my opinion is strength training & yoga/pilates (& get in a daily walk when I take my kids to school).

→ Interested in learning more about how to get fit, strong, & lean?
Check out my exercise ebook,
which includes weekly workouts & accompanying printables.

weight loss after 1

That stack of size 4 jeans does beckon me from time to time, & maybe someday I’ll wear them again.

But now that I am at weight that doesn’t compromise my health, I’m focusing on daily healthy habits, getting beyond focusing on a certain size or number on the scale.

Which means–at this point in time I’m not weighing myself. I don’t see the need. I’m at a healthy weight, I’ve already lost 50ish pounds. If it takes me six months or a year to lose 5 or 10 more, I’m okay with that.

I had a conversation with another mom, someone I met at a park a few weeks ago. We got on the subject of losing weight after kids.

“Yes, because you know, I still have about 10 more pounds to lose…” I said.

She stopped me mid-sentence.

This woman was in the process of losing weight herself, & had a lot of weight to lose. She admitted she was at least 50 pounds away from being at a healthy weight.

“What? You know you are not fat, don’t you?”

As soon as she said that, I felt ashamed. Petty. So off the mark.

Of course I knew I wasn’t fat & to even think, let alone say I needed to lose the last 10 pounds, I was conveying a mindset that I don’t believe in (which is, that there is perfect number on the scale, or “right” number), one that I knew I needed to correct in that moment.

“Yes, I know I’m not fat. And you know what? I don’t need to lose those last 10 pounds.”

The conversation moved to other things, but it got me thinking.

About the things I say, to myself & others. Do I really need to lose 10 more pounds? Would it be nice lose 10 more pounds? What would be the benefit of losing any more weight, considering the effort & work I would need to put forth?

weight loss after 4

The other day I put on some jeans.

I hadn’t worn them since early last year, before I got pregnant with Tyndale. I called Joseph at work.

“Honey! You’ll never believe it. I fit into my jeans, you know the ones that I haven’t worn since last year!”

He knew the ones.

But the thing is, they’re a little too tight.”

I went on to explain that when I looked at my unclothed body in the mirror now, I think–dang, that’s a woman! I never once think, when I see a bit more flesh hugging those curves, “Sheesh, you look F-A-T. You need to lose a few pounds.”

But as soon as I put on my old jeans, that are a bit too tight, I do think–I need to lose a few pounds.

Back to the conversation with Joseph. After my “too tight” comment he says,

“Well, you know, it’s a little silly to let your jeans dictate what you’ll do. I mean, they’re just jeans.”

Yup. He’s right.

I shouldn’t let some old jeans determine how much I *should* weigh.

//

So that’s my update.

I’ve lost around 45 pounds. I’m focusing on continuing with my healthy habits (especially exercise). If I lose any more weight as a result of healthy habits, great. If not, great too.

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Other bring joy posts you might also want to check out:


Comments


  1. Hannah
    on March 11, 2015 at 9:46 am said:

    And this Janae is why you are awesome. I love this post. Thank you for writing it.

    I got married to my hubby when I was 18 (18 for one week actually) and immediately got pregnant with my first baby. I was a rather fit individual. I was a dancer and I was very careful about what I ate so I had a svelt figure. But when I put on almost 70lbs with my first baby, I really struggled with my self image. Over the next few years (and 3 more pregnancies), I was continuously plagued by thoughts of uncertainty and doubt surrounding my physical appearance and my self worth often leading to some really awful and destructive thoughts.

    Then I recently thought: Is it worth it? I mean, my body is awesome and has created 4 beautiful human beings. How cool is that?

    I discovered a gal named Tegan Westra who writes all about the topic of body love and enjoying your life. The idea being that if you love your body, do things that you love and feel fulfilled in your life that you’ll take care of yourself (exercise, eat healthy etc) because you love your body and your health (and maybe weight) will naturally improve with your mental state. This has really helped me to accept my fuller, matronly pear shaped figure and learn to pursue my interests that I might have put off until I lost the weight I wanted like a wardrobe that suits my figure or new make up. I’m not looking back on my teenage pre-baby-bearing figure anymore but embracing my body as it is now and the amazing things it has done. And it’s awesome.

    Thanks again for sharing. I love your perspective.

  2. Natalie
    on October 30, 2014 at 11:12 pm said:

    I must say, I have zero children of my own (only two beautiful step children) and you look AMAZING. When I read that this was your FIFTH child, there is no way you can tell. AT ALL. Your waist is so toned, your arms are so thin (I’d kill for your arms- I’m a newbie vegan and I am loving my arms slimming, but yours are so nice!) You are doing wonderful and you should feel VERY proud that you look this bomb after 5 kids. My husband and I are on the fence about having ONE because of my body/self esteem issues with my stretchmarks and weight issues (stretch marks are from being anorexic in middle school and then gaining healthy weight too quickly…ive got stretch marks everywhere..boo) I’m 25, 5’4″ and 143lbs. I need to lose about 20lbs myself…*sigh* But anyway, seeing your progress makes me happy and makes me not so scared if I were to conceive. Keep up the good work Mama!

  3. Lauren | Breathe & Nourish
    on October 2, 2014 at 9:21 pm said:

    I’m so happy that you’re content with your body and are not trying to kick yourself over not being able to get back down to the size you were before! You’re beautiful and strong just the way you are. Keep up the movement and nourishing yourself. 🙂

  4. Alicia
    on September 30, 2014 at 4:16 pm said:

    Well said, Janae. I’ve been going through a very similar journey myself and it feels great to know there are other like-minded women like yourself out there! I always remind myself that I’m not going to let media, sizes, and even Satan control how I feel about myself and my happiness. Life is too short to let a number or negative self-image bring you down. I tell myself to “chase away the darkness”! Thanks for sharing.

  5. Dayle
    on September 27, 2014 at 10:45 am said:

    After three children, I too have had this experience. Loving our soft curves helps us give better hugs! I also had AML in 2010 and a bone marrow transplant in 2011. I had lost so much weight and I was back to my teenage weight of 128 and I felt way to skinny and couldn’t stand it! I am a happy, soft 42 year old cancer survivor happily weighing in at 158. I still have some toning to do and my hormones are healing, but I am happy to be ALIVE to love on my husband and kids. Life is too precious to worry about too tight jeans! Amen girl – you are an inspiration!

  6. lfwfv
    on September 26, 2014 at 9:05 pm said:

    It’s been inspirational to see your attitude change over the years Janae. Your daughters are lucky to have you as their role model!

  7. Lisa C
    on September 26, 2014 at 6:39 pm said:

    Great post, Janae!

  8. Linda
    on September 26, 2014 at 6:27 pm said:

    Loved this post so much as it mirrors my own feelings. I’ve had a dream for nearly 20 years now of getting back to how my body was then. But that was a time when I was single, had no kids, so could spend all my out of work time exercising. I lost about 10 pounds last year, and am still 10 pounds off that dream body but my priorities have switched. After a couple of people I knew died in their early 40s recently, my priority is absolutely about being healthy into later life and spending time with my family not about a number on a scale. Love your blog 🙂

  9. Robin
    on September 26, 2014 at 6:03 pm said:

    Thank you so much for your consistently candid updates. Though I am not, and never have been, overweight, I’ve struggled with proper eating habits for several years now and have been severely underweight. As I learn to love myself again and gain some needed pounds, it always means so much to me to read about people who have struggled in their own ways and have found a place of peace. I’m only nineteen and it really helps me put my life in perspective to follow bloggers who have more life experience than I do. At this point in my life I can see myself having a “teenager mindset” and thinking about myself too much. Truth is, other people don’t care. They don’t care what I look like or what my scale reads. On the other hand, it isn’t fair to my family to worry them when I am at a low and unhealthy weight. I need to be healthy for ME. For my life and for my future.

    Thank you for this. I’m so impressed by the progress you’ve made, both mentally and physically and I truly hope that we can both continue on this path of healing and body peace.

    Robin

  10. Ellie
    on September 26, 2014 at 3:22 pm said:

    I love this so much. And CONGRATS on your progress!!!
    Today I had a moment when, after a pair of size 00s didn’t fit me, I decided I didn’t “need” to lose ten more pounds, I needed to go jeans shopping. In fact, I probably “needed” to gain 10 pounds when I wore those jeans. I’m healthy, and I don’t need to fit into 00 jeans to prove that!
    This moderate, “healthy weight but you don’t have to be as tiny as you once were” update really made my day.

    • Janae Wise
      on September 26, 2014 at 4:12 pm said:

      “I decided I didn’t “need” to lose ten more pounds, I needed to go jeans shopping. In fact, I probably “needed” to gain 10 pounds when I wore those jeans. I’m healthy, and I don’t need to fit into 00 jeans to prove that!”
      Absolutely! I feel the same way about my super slim days. A few pounds probably wouldn’t have hurt me. It’s silly that we let sizes & old clothes dictate our happiness sometimes. Too often we’re just wearing the wrong sizes/clothes & it has nothing to do with needing to lose any weight at all.

      Thank you so much for your comment! It made MY day 🙂

  11. Alanna
    on September 26, 2014 at 2:21 pm said:

    “I’m focusing on continuing with my healthy habits…”

    I think this is awesome. I sometimes hear people use a “sexy curves” argument to justify poor lifestyle choices. Or, the opposite, people who are so militant about the scale it makes me sad for them.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this update. 🙂