Monday, July 5, 2010

30 x 30


I debated whether or not this post, and the related ones to follow, would go up on this blog, or if I’d start a separate blog.

With a deep breath, I’m taking the plunge and publishing here, with the disclaimer that if I get too many discouraging or useless comments, I’m going to take these posts elsewhere.

That said, I’m about to start on a journey that intimidates me more than any other I’ve taken.  Not my move to California, my marriage, my pregnancies, or any other “adventure” I’ve embarked on excites me – or, if I’m being honest – terrifies me as much as this one.

In part, I’m anxious because I don’t have a real game plan, and you know what they say: “Fail to plan, plan to fail.”  In addition, I know that this is a sensitive topic, and I fear that those I want to hold me accountable will fail to do so, fearful of hurting my feelings.  And lastly, I’m anxious because I’ve embraced this goal, and I don’t even know if it’s possible.

In short, I don’t know what the heck I’m doing, but……

I’m going to lose 30 lbs.
by September 30 –
my 30th birthday.

I have roughly 90 days to accomplish this, and, inspired by Blair, I’ve mentally broken down those pounds into more doable, I-can-wrap-my-mind-around-this-number chunks of weight.

Phase I:  Technically, completed, and not part of my 30 x 30 journey, was Erin’s baby weight.  I gained 17 lbs. over the course of my last pregnancy, and I’m happy to say that I’m 1 lb. less than my starting weight from September ‘09.

That said, Phase II is a chunk of 16 lbs. I wish I had never gained in the first place.  These all came on in rapid fire succession between May ‘09 and September ‘09 – the months I was actively grieving for and recovering from Duncan.  It breaks down to about 4 lbs a month – or “only” 1 lb. a week – over the course of the summer, but still.  Drowning my sorrow in respective bowls of chocolate and peanut butter ice creams was not the smartest way of dealing with things.

Phase III is either going to be my favorite, or my most hated, either because I’m going to breeze through the relatively small amount of only (hah! “only”!!!) 7 lbs., or it’s going to be where I plateau.  These pounds can be attributed to my back-to-back-to-back first, second, and third pregnancies between January ‘07 and October ‘08.  Between the hormones and the subsequent antidepressants for PPD…well, no excuses as to why it went on.  It needs to come off.

And finally, Phase IVmy “honeymoon” weight – is approximately 10 lb.  Similar emotions are wrapped up in Phase IV as in Phase II – these are pounds I wish to not have gained in the first place.

It’s no secret to those who lived through it with us that Jim and I did not have an “easy” first 9 months of marriage.  Technically, the period between February ‘05 (when we got engaged) to May ‘06 (when we moved into our first house) was rough with a capital R.  The gory details of that season are part of another journey – a story I have yet to tell here at Writer Chic.  The relevance is only that this is where the crux of my emotional eating began – or at least, it is where I first recognized it.  I think that is why those last 10 lbs. will be the most rewarding to take off.

I know that if you add up those totals, it comes to a complete loss of 33 lbs., not 30.  Eh.  I’m a little too type A to not shoot for a round number, that’s all. ;)

So, here is where I toss caution to the wind, ask you how the heck I’m supposed to do this, and hope you, dear readers, can help me on this journey.  I’m open to your suggestions.

Here’s what you may want to keep in mind as you brainstorm.

  • I’m not ready to take the plunge with the monetary investment of a nutrition plan such as Jenny Craig or Nutrisystem, though I’ve heard of many women who have found great success through these mail-order meals.
  • I’m open to Weight Watchers, but meetings would have to have the option of childcare.
  • We do own a Wii Fit.  It’s been approximately 10 months since I’ve fired ‘er up. ;)
  • I don’t mind being active outdoors during the day, but need to continue to put Erin and Seth’s safety and wellbeing first in these 90+ temps.
  • Jim’s workday is approximately 5:30 am to 6:30 pm, so relying on him to “parent” while I workout – while something I know he’d be WILLING to do – is not very practical for our family.
  • I’m still currently taking Prozac for prevention of PPD, and will be on this through 2010.  (I don’t know if it causes or inhibits weight gain – I just thought it worth mentioning.)

Please be sweet in your suggestions.  As any of you who have also taken this journey, or struggled with your weight, know, it is hard to admit that you need to shed a few (or more than a few).  I don’t know why that is, seeing as how SO many people struggle with this.  I’m not sure where the shame and embarrassment come from.  But it’s there.

Shoot, I haven’t even told Jim about this goal.  Seriously.  He’s reading it for the first time right along with you.  (Hi, honey.)  I guess I took the “band-aid” approach for getting this out there: a 0ne-time, take-a-deep-breath-, fire away and let’s see what happens approach.

So, in the famous words of Bob the Builder (who has surprising pull in our home, believe it or not)….. Can we fix it?

Yes, we can.  Or, I can, with your help.  Won’t you, please?


Anonymous said...

You go girl! Most will say I do not understand the whole dieting thing, but for the first time in my adult life I to am struggling with weight gain. Mine for a different reason, menopause, which you will look forward to someday also. I use a site called myfitnesspal. You can set up a profile, which you set you goals. It will calculate the amount of calories you can intake on a daily basis to reach your goal. It keeps track of your progress. I have found that once you start seeing what you intake each meal it becomes more realistic. Along with this you must do some cardio exercise to burn your calories. Use your wii fit or find a gym that may have day care for the kids or find a teenager who is off for the summer that wants to make a few bucks to watch the kids while you work out. Once you commit to this you have to stick to it. Don't set yourself up for disappointment. Clean out your pantry, except for Seth's snacks, Sorry Jim. Cut out the eating out also. I know, I know. You can do this. I am proud of you for taking the first step. Good luck, I'm hear if you need encouragement. Love you know who.

Angela said...

Good for you, Monica!!!! I just joined Weight Watchers for the 2nd time, the 1st time being before I got pregnant w my third son. Now, he is 3 months old, and I am back on the proverbial WW Wagon. It's admittedly harder this time b/c I'm breastfeeding. (WW accounts for this and give you extra points, but I'm just so darn hungry!)
I have found that WW has been the only thing that has really worked for me. The first time I did it, I went to the meetings, but to do it online is half the cost, so that's what I'm doing this time.
It can be a little overwhelming at first to get the hang of, but only for a week or so. Once you start doing it and learn the program, it is like second nature. I wrote about it last year here:

And then again here:

I'd be more than glad to answer any questions you have!!

I have set a not-as-lofty-as-yours-but-still-one-destined-to-kick-my-butt goal of 25 pounds by Oct 2, the day we leave for the beach again. I'd already lost 10 but then went to the beach last week and I was weak. Oh, so weak. I think I regained at least half of it.

Anyway, I weigh in again this Thursday so I have three days to be "good." Which is probably why I'm not that excited about the 4th of July (yes, on the 5th) grill-out at my mom's house today. Ugh. I have such a love/hate relationship with food, and such a hate relationship with exercise! (Not to mention such a love relationship with sitting on my couch and watching TV!)

Good luck! Just know that you CAN do this! :)

Sara said... Yep. That's where I be. You know where I am if you have any questions or want advice. :) My biggest thing is don't be discouraged if you don't meet your goal. Down is down. Every pound counts. If they don't come off as fast as you want, they are STILL coming off. Remember that you need to make it for life, not for "diet". I'm an emotional eater so I have to log my food/exercise every single blinkin' day b/c I'm not safe on my own. But that's ME. You can do it. Step-by-step. :)

phasejumper said...

Monica, I too, have a goal to lose 30 pounds. (But not by my 30th birthday, that ship has sailed!). I am doing weight watchers on my own. (Got materials from a friend and use info from dotties weight loss zone and the message boards on the weight watchers site.) I've lost ten pounds so far. I agree with Sara, it's for life. I'm coming to grips with the fact that I will never be a person who can just eat whatever they want, but I can have any food I want as long as I "budget" it. I keep a food journal (old school paper and pen) and am strict about portion control (measuring cups and a food scale for me!)
My exercise routine- 45 minute family walk on Mondays, elliptical 45 minutes on Tuesday nights after kids go to bed, and dance game on Wii Thursday nights. (I'd like to add one more elliptical session a week, but so far haven't done it.)

Every week, I weigh in and share my loss (or once, gain) with a couple of friends on facebook. We share tips, motivational saying or recipes that work for us. The more people you have to encourage you and do it with you, the better. (Plus, it makes it a bit of a competition and I'm a little competitive.)
I admire your bravery and honesty for sharing this with us. I look forward to future posts, and losing weight with you!

Blair@HeirtoBlair said...


No, really. You can. & if you need some inspiration, stop by my "place" on Mondays for McFatty Monday & you'll find links of girls & blogs in the exact same situation. It's wonderful, really.

I'm using Nutrisystem & have had a TON of success on it (lost 35 lbs) but I am also working hard on getting fit, not just thin. So I'm doing Couch to 5K and 30 Day Shred. It's tough, but I'm tired of being fat & flabby & settling for that as my life.

oh, & the anti-dep can totally hinder weight loss. I'm struggling A LOT with that recently. Not to discourage you, but just to let you know that it can be yet another battle on weight loss.

savannahgirl said...

I'm doing WW online and it works for me. I simply don't have time for the meetings, but I get a lot of support from the Health Board we have on SM. Those girls keep me going. I work out sometimes at the gym when I can get away, but usually I do step aerobics, workouts through Netflix from their "Watch Instantly" section, and a few times a week after the kids go down I'll do a two mile jog/walk in the neighborhood.
You CAN do this! From March to June I lost 18 pounds! I still have a lot to go, but WW and exercise are definitely showing me results. I'm down 2 pants sizes and it feels GOOD! I'm here for ya, Mon!

Amy said...

I decided to lose 25 lbs when my second child was 9 months old. I was just tired of carrying around the extra weight.

I would recommend keeping a food journal of everything that you eat or drink. Buy a calorie counter book (either WW or Biggest Loser) that gives you the calorie counts. A food journal will hold you accountable because you actually "see" how many calories you are eating, plus having to write down what I just put in my mouth would usually stop my from "having just one little bite".

Heather said...

Way to go! I have two friends who have done some blogging with great tips throughout their large (80 lbs-ish) weight losses. Maybe you can check out some of their posts!

House of Collinsworth said...

I'm not going to tell you what to do, but I will simply tell you what I'm doing. Over Memorial Day Weekend a friend of mine came to visit me. She has lost 35+ pounds in just a few months. How did she do it? Eating healthy and running. I had already lost 12 pounds on my own but was just kind of stuck for a while. I was eating healthy every few days and exercising every few days...but I know that the only way for me to lose weight is to do both consistently. She really inspired me. She was here for 4 days and we ran together every day.

I have NEVER been a runner. In fact, the first time my friend and I ran together I thought I was going to DIE!!! She really pushed me and I ran 1 mile...the first time I had ever run an entire mile without stopping. I couldn't believe it. After she left I continued running at least 5-6 days a week. Then another friend of mine one day said, "hey, let's run a half marathon!". I thought she was CRAZY. After all, I've barely ever run a mile...I've never run a 5K or 10K and she wants to run a half marathon!!! But then I realized this was JUST the motivation I needed to keep going. I will be running a half marathon on September 19th. Since Memorial Day I've gotten my running up to 3.5 miles and I've lost 10 pounds and hope to lose 13 more by my 30th birthday which is just 1 month before yours...August 27th.

I pray you will be successful at your journey. The only way to succeed is to prepare yourself MENTALLY. Then the physical part really isn't that difficult. Tell yourself every time you are tempted to eat something you shouldn't, "By not eating this...I'm losing weight!!! Right at this very moment, I am losing weight!"

Good luck!!!

Kendra said...

Girl- I feel ya. I had 13 pounds of pregnancy weight left to lose at my 6 week post partum follow up.

I still have 13 pounds left to lose.


Also, the babies & I currently have thrush, and I was reading about how sugar can...not really cause, but not HELP...this problem. Sugar is my main food group lately.

I did ww on my own (no meetings, no "joining", just found everything I needed on the internet) before we went to Hawaii and I found it very easy & successful. Thinkin' of starting up again, but I need to factor breastfeeding into my point value....speaking of which, are you still going to be BF/pumping?

mandie lane said...

GO, MONICA! You can do this, I have no doubt about it. I haven't read through the other comments (nap time only lasts so long, you know) but what really helped me kick my butt into shape after Anderson was the evil Jillian Michaels and her 30 Day Shred. It's a 30 minute workout DVD that really works you out. And even the busiest of mamas can usually squeeze in 30 minutes somewhere. I'm planning to start with it again soon and my goal is to do it 3 times a week during nap time. I get bored with repetitive workouts, so I'm not going to commit to the '30 Day' part, but I figure by combining a few Shred workouts with my usual daily double stroller walks (when weather permits) ... I'll get my skinny jeans back on this fall. :)

Good luck, girly.

Heether said...

Monica, you can SOOO do it!! I lost 30 lbs in 3 months. I did Weight Watchers online, only $17/month and you do it all from home. No meetings. I also did my workouts on the Wii. I used the Wii Biggest Loser game. I didn't do the whole BL plan, just the workouts and the weigh-ins.

The biggest part is already done, finding someone to hold you accountable. By opening your life to us, you have a group of supporters who want nothing but success for you.

Good luck!!

Kelly @ Sufficient Grace Ministries said...

I am right here, with you, Monica. I have not been doing very well with my efforts, but I'm trying to get back. Maybe we can encourage one another on this journey! I am soooo an emotional eater. I love weight watchers but do not have the time or desire to attend meetings. I have done the weight watchers online and that worked very well. You do not have to go to meetings and you have access to all of the information, recipes, and other online sources.

The other thing that I think is important for those of us who struggle with emotional eating, or at least for me...I think it's important to pray and take it to the Lord instead of covering the feelings with food. That is a battle I have struggled with...had victory over...failed again...and currently am working on, with His grace. Sometimes it's so much easier to just eat Doritos...but in the long run, true freedom is worth it. It's just hard to tough it out until the victory comes, you know?

OK...I am so excited with and for you...and you've inspired me to stick it out and not give up the fight, as well. Thank you, my dear friend!

Love to you...and prayers for this next part of your journey. Will you pray for me, too?

Kate said...

You are so not alone! After having one too many "fat dreams" where I couldn't fit through doorways and aisles, I decided I needed to deal with my weight problem--that like yours, crept up over weddings, pregnancies, and emotional traumas. So, about 3 mos ago, I joined Weight Watchers. I do the online version, which is great if you can't do meetings. I've lost 19 pounds so far. It would probably be about 10 pounds more if I hadn't intermittently taken a couple weeks off here and there. :-) Good luck!!! You can do it!

crystal theresa said...

i would love to get on board the healthy train with you :).

i'm sure you may have heard much of this already, but i guess it's worth repeating: make sure you get enough water, trade in simple/refine carbs for whole grains, use the wii fit :), snack on raw fruits and veggies, get enough fiber, and maybe do some leg lifts and booty flexing while you blog.

there is a LoseIt app for the iPhone, and I think there's either a free version or a pretty cheapie version.

Ellie said...

I have just committed to making a huge change too, not weight loss but quitting smoking. It's hard to write about it on your blog, I know I was scared to mention it because then others would know if I failed. You are strong and brave to talk about it on your blog, and I know you can do it. I also know it will be hard, I'm sure at one point (or one hundred), we will both want to give up. But we can do it, we can make these changes to be healthier!

D. Jean Quarles said...

Good for you. Having said that, I have been working on losing weight, but haven't blogged about it. I applaud you for your courage. I have been eating 1200 calories a day, eating whatever I want, but planning appropriately. In two months, with nothing else done, I've lost 21 pounds. Nutritional guidelines was the key for me and the book, Eat This, Not That. Good luck.

Lori said...

I was also going to suggest but Sara beat me to it. LOL (That's how we met.)

Kelly said...

You are not alone!! I'm going to be getting back on track again when I get back from this trip. I know so much about losing weight, having struggled with it forever. My problem is motivation. I don't have a lot of time to get into detail, but I'll leave you with this:
1. The simplest advice: eat less, move more.
2. Check out It's free. It's awesome. The last time I lost weight (before TTC), it was what helped me most.
I'm right here with ya!

MaryBeth said...

Good for you Mon. After Evan I had 8 weeks to get myself Bridesmaid dress ready and I found that having a deadline made it "easier" to stick with it. I hung the dress in our bedroom where I would see it all of the time as a reminder. So my advice...go buy a dress...or pull something out of the closet that you really want to wear again...plan something fabulous for your birthday so that you'll have to wear the outfit and work work work. You can do this.

Michele said...

Hi Monica. I haven't read through all your comments for lack of time, but did want to mention that Weight Watchers does have an online program; therefore, you can forego the meetings. Now, I used the meetings as my "accountability" so I do much better when going to the meetings, but I can totally understand why you may not be able to make the meetings. Therefore, I suggest doing the online WW program and using your Wii Fit to both exercise and weigh-in.

I've done wonderfully on WW, when I was in the right mind set; hopefully it will work for you as well.

Good luck!

Brooke said...

If you want to count calories and see where they are coming from instead of doing something like WW, is great.

I absolutely hated Nutrisystem FWIW. Their food was disgusting. And I also firmly believe in eating real food, non-preserved.

I think that cutting all sugar in the beginning is really effective. South Beach Diet is actually really effective I think.

Anonymous said...

Good for you! I too am getting rid of post-baby weight followed by some weight that I wish I hadn't gained in the first place. You can do 30 pounds in 90 days possibly but that's a pretty big goal. Don't beat yourself up if you don't get there. I started a diet 3 weeks ago. 1000 calories a day, no more. No eating past 8pm. Lots of water. Workouts 1-2 times a day. I've lost 10 pounds in 3 weeks. It's basically like WW but you don't have to pay. Anyone can count calories. I eat cereal or oatmeal for breakfast, a lean cuisine or something of that sort for lunch and grilled chicken and a vegetable or a salad for dinner. It's not much food. The first week was really hard but now I'm pretty used to it. I'm doing lots of cardio and some pilates for exercise. Best of luck to you! You can do it!

Anonymous said...

Monica, I would never have thought you needed to lose weight! Babies are good excuses for gaining some, for heaven's sake!
However, I am certainly not the one who should be giving advice. I weighed 125 at 16 and was 5'9". Plenty skinny. Let's just say (1) I never really dieted before now and (2) I've continued to grow a size a year!
Recently, though, I began taking Paxil to control my pre-menstrual disphoric disorder (PMDD)---or severe PMS. Since that time, I noticed a generous weight gain and actually had to start shopping in the "fluffy" girls clothing section. So, I went to a dietician who is covered by my insurance. I've lost a total of 7 pounds in about two months, a healthy weight loss. I did this by simply watching my caloric intake. I'm not near by goal weight by any means, but I only have a "few" more pounds to go, right?
Keep up the good work! Taking the step to choose to lose weight is the first step to getting better.

Jenny said...

Hi, Monica!

I recently invested in a couple 'Biggest Loser' DVDs. I bought them at Target for about $12 a piece. The one I REALLY like is Jillian's '30 Day Shred'. It is only 20 minutes!!! It kicks my butt. The other one is strictly cardio but I haven't started that one yet. The goal of the 30 day shred is to do it everyday for 30 days but I'm not kidding myself. I'm doing it when I can and still noticing results and an increase in endurance. You just need 3-5 pound hand weights. Good Luck! YOU CAN DO IT!

Valerie said...

I'm right there with you, girl. Now I just need to find the time to exercise and the motivation to stay away from sweets.

Good luck! I know you can do it.