Sunday, April 15, 2012

By the numbers

Deep breath in. Deep exhale out. Audible sigh.

(I started this post over 2 months ago and haven't had the courage to finish it for several reasons. But tonight...)

Please understand me, the numbers on the scale do not define us. Do not. My character is not directly proportional to the size of my thighs.  One comforting thing about working on this particular post is looking back at myself and my sizes through the years. And I see the same girl. The things that are wonderful about me were wonderful about me at my highest and lowest weight. The faults and vices I carry with me have plagued me at every weight. I have had great friends and great fun at all sizes. I wouldn't change a moment. My scale doesn't change who I am as a person. It doesn't change who you are.

It is one indicator of how healthy (or unhealthy) we are. On Tuesday I'll be lecturing on obesity and other related diseases. I'll spare you the lecture, but when our weight goes above a healthy range, our risk for disease rises with every pound, especially once you hit the "obese" category. When I was stepping on the Wii and it would tell me "that's obese" it was also saying "you have an increased risk for heart disease, breast cancer, and diabetes". (Annika always thought it was saying "that's Sophie" and would ask me why it was calling me Sophie.) There are many other factors that play into disease risk: heredity, physical activity, other lifestyle choices; but weight is in the mix. So I decided to change mine.

And not that the scale matters, but people have been asking "how much have you lost?" So I've decided to share, in pictures, my journey with the scale.

Preschool age. Last time I was at a healthy weight.

That's me in the bee costume. About the time my weight started the rise above healthy levels...I'm sure the two are unrelated. I later inspired a Blind Melon CD cover.    
Fourth grade is when my weight really started to rise relative to my height (I looked at my school records). Not coincidentally, that was the same year our family went through some stressful crisis situations. Enter emotional eating. And I had really bad hair. So no pictures. I have a little dignity left.

Junior High, High School, and college weight was in the 190's. Luckily I was active (this was taken before a triathlon) or I would have easily been 300+ pounds. Seriously. I had food issues. 

After college I lost about 25 pounds to be at 172ish. I met Andrew, got married, and stayed close to that weight until getting pregnant with Annika.

I gained 50 pounds during my pregnancy with Annika. I was 223 right before delivery. I lost about 30 of that before getting pregnant with Aaron. I thought "I can't gain that much again" so I was better about my eating and my weight before delivery was 219. In this picture Aaron is 4 months old and I'm around 205. Over the next year I lost 10 with exercise and trying to eat healthy. The following year the same thing...and that's about where I was stuck. 185. Still lower than my high school/college weight, but above where I wanted to be. Especially considering I have arthritis in my knees that is made worse with excess weight and my HDL's were too low. So if I wanted to live a quality life, I needed to do something.
November 1, 2011. 186 pounds
Weight today: 151. I am 1 pound from being at a "healthy" weight. Do I want to see the 150? Yes. Am I obsessing about it? No. I am very happy where I am. I feel healthy. I've introduced new foods and have been maintaining my weigh with "normal" eating and exercise. My mom (pictured here) & dad have both been on this journey with me and have been so inspiring to me. We enjoyed lots of unhealthy meals over our life we enjoy new veggie recipes together.
So the simple answer would have been:
35 pounds since November

But the story was more of a journey than that:

Over 70 pounds from my highest weight
Over 40 pounds from my high school weight

And I am happy where I am. I feel it's a healthy weight for my knees and for me mentally. I could try and go lower, but I'm not going to be living my life on a "diet" or pursuing magazine images of fitness models. But I am going to continue eating all the healthy vegetables, fruits, and whole foods that helped me lose the weight. But I'm going to be healthy with just enough sugar to be fun.*

* (a phrase stolen from my friend Melody)


  1. Love this blog, you are an inspiration to others. I just want to let you know also, that I have always thought you were a very attractive young woman! My daughter struggles with her weight and the pictures were very similar to her growing up years.

  2. Thank you...I really think we all have beauty at any size. I think I've finally grasped that weight does not equal beauty. But it can be one indicator of our health which is why I worked at changing it.