How Many Calories Do You Burn With A Good Cry?

Let’s talk about something I don’t like talking about out loud.

My health.

I hate talking about my weight, my diet, my lack of exercise. My deep, dark, decades-long love affair with baked goods. Mostly because in all other areas of my life, I am an incredibly disciplined, regimented, and competitive person. I’ve always been the good student, the hard worker, the church-every-Sunday kid. I barely ever drink, I’ve never smoked or tried drugs. I don’t go to wild parties or stay out all night. I work hard at my job and for the most part, go home and go to bed early. My second-to-last indulgence – shopping – has been hedged off by my Dave Ramsey schooling. Sugar is my one last thrill, and I should be allowed to have it. So goes the rationalization in my head.

Except I’m not 22 anymore. And I can’t just eat whatever I want then spend a day fasting and have my stomach shrink down so I eat smaller portions from then on and lose 10 pounds like THAT. And there’s that whole thing with this tiny human I am raising that kind of makes me want to be healthy and be around for him to grow up.

But my soon-to-be 32-year-old body is not allowing me a pass.

So that last bastion, the last battle, the last stand of denial and indulgences in my life is going to have to make its (painful, brutal) exit.

And I hate to talk about this topic and any attempts to change my life as they begin, because then it’s just a loud, public, written record of failure. I HATE being one of those people proudly, stupidly, declaring “THIS TIME!? THIS TIME WILL BE DIFFERENT!” when all prior evidence would lead you to believe otherwise.

On the other hand, some would call that optimism, so maybe I should just jump in and do it.

Here goes. The painful, painful truth, courtesy of the Lose It app, which has been on my phone since I thought 149 pounds was a bad place to be:

(I hesitated to share this, like so many women. But I’ve come to the mindset that you’re not hiding anything by keeping the actual number on the scale a secret. People aren’t blind. They know what I look like. Knowing the actual number changes very little. So there it is.)

Now here’s how I’m moving forward.

My strategy:

  • Public proclamations of intent. Step one, achieved. Hello world, I weigh 204 pounds and I’m gonna try to NOT weight that. A healthy BMI for someone 5′ 3” is 135. Don’t make me laugh. I’m pretty sure the last time I weighed that I was in college, ate nothing because I was broke/hated dorm food/didn’t have a car and walked 8 miles a day. How about let’s see if we can get in the ballpark of 150 first.
  • Limit baked goods, simple carbs and excess sugars. I’m already in the high-risk zone for developing diabetes, so it’s probably a good place to start. And this is really my worst problem, because all I want at night is Sonic Blasts and giant bowls of sugary cereal.
  • Get rid of coffee. Yeah, that lasted 36 hours. Let’s not get crazy here.
  • Eat fresh, and eat at home. Maybe I wouldn’t feel sooooooo tired all the time if I was actually getting some vitamins. And I’m pretty sure the gummy vitamins I keep in my desk drawer at work and use as a “snack” when I’m craving something sugary aren’t quite getting me there. My budget could also benefit from the “at home” part.
  • Keep it appealing. I need to feel like I am not punishing myself. (You know, once the initial sugar withdrawal passes.) So I am going to try a little harder at making healthy meals that actually sound good, and not view it as a diet where I punish myself with a salad every day. (Photos to the right are my attempts so far.)
  • Tackle exercise next. I loathe exercise. I have never been athletic, I hate sweating and being dirty. I am INCREDIBLY uncoordinated and clumsy (ask anyone who knows me). I get bored on the treadmill, and for some weird (probably bad) biological reason, cardio makes me yawn a lot. Probably because my brain is not getting enough oxygen. So I think I’m just going to stick to my normal exercise of toddler-wrangling until I get into a nice maintenance mode on my diet/lifestyle change.
  • Find my own inspiration. As a writer, I love a good, witty, inspirational quote. But to be honest, they don’t do a whole heck of a lot for me when I am feeling down. I have a little picture frame on my desk with quotes on card stock that you can rotate out. And on the days when I actually need them, I mostly just look at them with mild contempt for their overly-upbeat retorts. What I’ve found most motivating so far:
    • Friends who are on the journey with you, and are real about it. I have more of a support system than I allow myself to acknowledge, if I would actually accept the help. So I’m gonna. Case in point: my friend Rachel who works for the Chamber has an amazing Instagram of super healthy, super yummy foods she shares on her journey.
    • Lady Gaga. Because her new Joann album is pretty good, and you can’t listen to Born This Way without feeling better about yourself than any quote ever could have achieved. Also, her body in the Born This Way video is pretty much my ideal self. I should probably tape that to my refrigerator.

So let’s hear it. Feedback on the strategy? What works for YOU? This is all so not my area of expertise.

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23 thoughts on “How Many Calories Do You Burn With A Good Cry?

  1. You already know I think you are amazing and have your life together way more than I do. I struggle so much with weight, diet and exercise. I am here anytime you want an accountability buddy for food or exercise. Just remember its one day and one ounce at a time.

    1. <3 Thanks, girl! I might need ya. You are rocking it right now, too!

      PS - Madeline keeps texting me workout invites. That I keep ignoring. Bless her. Lol.

  2. I would say you have a great map for you. Just don’t be afraid to modify it if you need to. I think sometimes people quit when something doesn’t go as planned insyead of tweaking for a better result right now.

    1. Good point! I definitely see life as shades of gray, but for whatever reason I get very black and white about dieting. All or nothing, instead of the sum of many actions.

  3. GIRL! Seriously. Been in your exact shoes. Turned out I ended up with PCOS and started to show signs of insulin resistance. I saw a functional medicine doctor and she recomended a paleo/whole foods diet. And it WORKED. I don’t like to exercise either. You’ve got to find something that you LIKE to do. If you push yourself to do something you dread you likely wont continue with it. I have found that even low intensity work outs (brisk walk for 30 minutes) and a couple quick sets of some load bearing exercises (under 10 minutes worth) is a good balance for me and I don’t dread It.

    Your plan sounds great to me! Sugar is the root of all evil… for real. It is seriously addictive (I am legitimately addicted to sugar).

    You will accomplish your goals. Remind yourself about the state of your health. It’s really not about the numbers on the scale, it truly is about your health. BMI is a joke. Being mindful about what we put in out bodies is key. I love the saying “eat to live don’t live to eat!” <3

    1. So good to hear! Thank you for sharing, and I like that way of thinking. That’s also why I’m putting exercise on my procrastination list for now, haha.

      BMI is SUCH a joke. I really should take measurements, I think that would be good. Although really the 14 or so dresses in my closet in 6 different sizes that don’t fit are measurement enough, lol.

  4. First, let me say you are a fantastic writer! You drew me into your world with every word. Next, I just turned 40 and have some health issues I chose to attack with diet and exercise starting in January. One of the most empowering thing I did was implement a quote I read in a health book. On my bad days when I wanted to eat everything bad I said to myself ” I’m an adult and I can choose to eat or not eat ( fill in the blank), I’m choosing not to eat it because I’m focusing on my health and I’m valuable and worth keeping goals for myself”. I also stayed off the scale except once a month and just focused on how I felt and how my clothes fit. Hope this helps you with your journey. Don’t beat yourself up if you slip ups

    1. Thank you so much! I really appreciate the compliment and love writing 🙂 🙂

      I love your strategy too, thanks for sharing! It feels somewhat similar to what I do when I want to impulse buy things. Which is really not all that different anyway. 😉

  5. I don’t know you, but I’m on a similar journey since the end of January. What is it about that 200 number that makes us freak? I’m nearing 60 and I can honestly say that the whole quit craving sugar is a myth for me! I have managed to remove almost 30 pounds by doing just what you plan – only I’ve added walking my dog for 20 to 30 minutes almost every day. I just walk, no jogging or other crazy stuff. Maybe you could start each day stollering your toddler. When I went to the doc for blood work, my numbers were better and that has kept me trying. I’m hoping/working for another 35 pounds, but don’t know if I’ll be successful. I wish you the best!

    1. Thank you for sharing your story! That 200 is a big one, no kidding. It was that and some other things that really led up to the “this HAS to happen” mindset. Glad to see our similar strategies are working! I agree it’s probably going to need to be tweaked as I go if I want to lose 50 pounds, but you’re right, it’s not just about the number. The health aspect, and getting to a better place with that, is a the BEST and biggest step. Congrats, Kathy! 🙂

  6. Wow! This is so brave. I resently had a similar realization. Well I say recent but, I joined a cross-fit gym 1 year ago. I work out 4-5 times a week. But in one year I lost a total of…5 pounds. Yep, now of coarse I got stronger but my pants fit the same. I really did not change my eating habits that much. That is until May of this year. I thought I have to have a goal, or an end to the madness at least. So I did a 30 day trial, no processed sugar or grains. It’s sucked!!!! I came out of it 15 pounds down. My hubby and I went to the Cheesecake Factory to break the fast and it made me sick. Apparently you should ease back into sugar. So then I was stuck. I love good comfort food, but I really like losing weight too. So then I looked at the keto diet. It’s a high fat, low carb diet (that means you get cream cheese). Seriously check into it. I have been on for three weeks now and lost 4-5 pounds each week. I still miss bread of coarse, but hopefully when I get my carb addiction under control I can enjoy a slice with out eating the whole loaf.

    Down 24 pounds and counting!

    1. That’s amazing!!! And incredible that you were doing Cross-Fit 4-5 times a week! I’ve heard someone say it’s 80% in the kitchen, 20% in the gym. Curious to see how true that is…

  7. Hey girl, check out Trim Healthy Momma! It has been a life saver for me! I get to have sweets but they are not packed full of sugar. Don’t give up, this is possible. Hit me up on FitBit and I will challenge you. I went from 225 lbs down to 189 at the moment. I keep pressing in. I am an emotional eater and struggle but with Trim Healthy Momma it doesn’t seem so hard. The women that developed the plan based it off of biblical principals.

    1. Very cooL! I’ll check it out. Thanks, Tricia! 🙂

      PS – I’m definitely an emotional eater too. And a bored eater…

  8. I gained some major weight after my pregnancy. I can definitely relate to the getting healthy train but having no motivation. I am now proud to report I have been on the wagon 2 months and here is my advice. One log your food on the Fitbit app. So helpful! Also, as a mom with a full time job as well I felt like I had no time. Finally I found something that works. Beach Body on demand 30 minute workouts. You can do any time 99 dollars for a year subscription. It’s amazing! If I get bored I just start a new set of videos. I highly recommend.

    1. Good to know!! And congrats on your progress so far! Yeah, I definitely would have liked to blame the baby, but I was overweight before I even got pregnant, and he is now almost 2, so that doesn’t fly. Lolol.

    1. Haha! I’m not the only one?!! 😉

      Thank you, Janelle! I PROMISE I will read that blog of yours soon. I honestly totally forgot :/

  9. Kudos to you! I know it ain’t easy! My advice would be to not try to do too much at once or you’ll burn out. Small changes add up. I started by just cutting one or two things out of my diet for a few months. Then i slowly started working out like 3 days a week. Then added things in like supplements, and got more strict with clean eating. What’s really helped me is finding a really good weekly planner to write everything down in. I’m kinda OCD so if I write something down and I don’t end up doing it I have extreme guilt over it! Also, I downloaded a few workout apps that have training programs that you have to complete to get to the next level (YogaGlo and Running for Weightloss) and I really get into the reminders of “you’ve got a scheduled class for tonight!” I don’t wanna mess up the cadence! haha Also with eating, I’m not a natural in the kitchen so it’s taken me YEARS to get comfortable there. Pick a few healthy dishes that you know inside and out and can throw together in a pinch so you’re not tempted to eat bad. I’m big on Sunday meal prep. it’s the only way I survive! I take River running with me (in a jogging stroller) on saturday mornings and we sing songs and make games out of it. I also do some weights while we are playing and it helps me to not think I am spending time working out instead of with him. And he’s all over me when I do yoga! He’s started mimicking me and i think it’s hilarious, but I also like that he sees his mama trying to be healthy. It’s a good habit for him to form! Good luck, girl! Please let me know if I can be of any help! I’m on my own ongoing journey and I have learned a few things that work well for me!

    1. I like that advice! I do tend to feel overwhelmed when people get all “well really shouldn’t be eating cheese” when my “before” was Sonic Blasts. Baby steps, lol.

      That’s so stinkin cute that he mimics your yoga poses. Love incorporating it with your time with him though. And that really is the hard part, huh? When I get home from work, I want that 2 precious hours with Teddy, but then when he goes to bed (at 7 pm lol) I am so exhausted I’d rather just crash.

  10. Lauren—I miss you. And this does take A lot of courage. I think you have a good plan going just educate yourself on the food your eating. Also anything that you love…don’t just cut out. Just keep a small portion as a treat at some point in the day. That way it’s a reward and not a failure or punishment. I stopped weighing myself and focused on how I felt instead. Those things helped my mentality. At first I didn’t see a lot of weight loss but after a couple of months it just seemed to come off. Also, find something to keep your mind off of “cardio” a book—the news—video blogging?—meal planning—and walking on an incline maybe in 2 15 min increments a day is effective. If you incorporate a small amount of exercise in your change in diet naturally your body will crave healthy things. Personally I found that if I have 1 part of my day that I have no excuse it becomes easier to take a walk or do whatever. Everyone is different, this has been my experience and I hope it helps.

    1. I miss you too, Lizz! REALLY appreciate your feedback. I think I need to do the part about small treats. Because so far I’ve resisted, but I am SO all-or-nothing I know if I do let myself have something sugary I’m going to feel guilty about it and like I’ve failed a little bit somehow. If it’s part of a plan,that might make it easier to get back on track, because I was never technically off track. Wow, that sounds insane. Lol. But yeah, great ideas!! 😉