Get Your Groove Back!

by Carletta on June 2, 2011

This spring I took this picture with Julie Bogart of BraveWriter, and I did not recognize myself:

Some Big Lady with Julie Bogart of BraveWriter

Seriously… Who’s that? Do I really look like THAT?

It doesn’t help that Julie is teeny tiny little gal. But after seeing myself next to her, I realized for the first time that the dryer didn’t shrink my jeans, I didn’t look good for a mother of 4, and I wasn’t a few pounds overweight, but hiding it well.

I mean, seriously… Who knew?

At first, I wasn’t going to post the picture. But I know that I’m not the only mom who has had to deal with the ups and downs of weight that come with pregnancy, nursing, age and the stress of life, in general.

I know I’m not the only one who has lost myself in the nonstop busyness (and often sheer exhaustion) of caring for an infant and a preschooler, while homeschooling older children and managing a home.

I know I’m not the only one who has looked at a picture of herself, and saw a woman she hardly recognized and felt… well… shame.

I was tempted to hide my struggle and post pics after I’d come out on the other side. However, because I know I’m not the only one, I wanted to share my struggle with you.

I’ve lost 6 pounds already, and I still need to lose 20 pounds in order to feel healthy, 30 pounds in order to look good, and 40 pounds to get back to the weight I was at when I married. I know I may never reach the last goal, and I’m okay with that. My approach to goal-setting has always held to the principle, “Shoot for the stars, and you just might reach the moon.”

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to share what I’m doing to change my diet and get moving so that my outside will look as great as I feel inside. You won’t hear me talking about 800 calorie low fat, low carb, low food diets or four-hour workouts – I’m going to share real tips for real moms.

You’ll also find out what I’ve done to get my groove back mentally (IOW, to be kind to myself even though I’m fat). And you’ll hear from friends who are also on this journey – one of whom has already lost a whopping 75 pounds!

Summer is a time when we can put the school books away for a bit, take a break from outside activities, and pay a little attention to ourselves. I want you to pay a little attention to yourself, and use this summer to get your groove back.

We’ll get started tomorrow.

However, for today, just step outside and let the sun smile on you. Know that all is well, and you’re well on your way…

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Rachel E. June 2, 2011 at 5:40 am

You are beautiful none-the-less. I also struggle to stay on a program. I have a six month old and am down to my pre pregnancy weight. Yet, I still have to rid myself of those 20 pounds which have been around since the first pregnancy 14 years ago. You do feel it after a while, but like you said – you get busy. I look forward to hearing more.

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Wendy Anderson June 2, 2011 at 6:46 am

I just wanted to say that I personally think you look great after having 4 children. I never saw you before, so I don’t have anything to compare to, but don’t be too hard on yourself!!!!!

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Summer June 2, 2011 at 7:23 am

Amen! Thank you for posting. I too am struggling with this issue. I love to be behind the lens, not in front of it. My best friends have scheduled a Glamour Shot session for their husbands for Father’s Day (this Sunday).

Last night, I finally built up the nerve to let them know I want to be there to help and not actually do the shoot. I have a five (5) year old and a one (1) year old. I’ve been having some medical issues since my youngest daughter was born. There are days where I look 7 months pregnant again. Next Tuesday I’m going in for “the” gi test – the one you don’t get until after fifty.

That said I find myself hiding in the house. And when my daughter takes photos of me, I delete them…I have no idea how I got here.

Okay, maybe it was the tall, full-fat, extra large decaf Santa White Christmas iced coffees I had everyday throughout my pregnancy, or maybe it was the holiday size bag of M&Ms, I would devour on the way home from Target (on every shopping trip)…nonetheless, it’s still here stuck to my thighs, hips, and rump – oh did I mention the double chin and pregnancy mask! I keep reminding myself…if it’s on the hips, it’s been through the lips!

Thank you for posting this article. Please know you have a few of us holding your hand, walking this journey with you! We will rock it soon. Hugs.

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Carletta June 3, 2011 at 8:32 am

I can relate. I finally had to accept the fact that Starbucks Frappuccinos are supposed to be a treat, not an every day pick me up!

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Stef Layton June 2, 2011 at 8:28 am

exciting – I just joined Weight Watchers after carrying around 20lbs extra weight and was (almost) unable to climb back into our boat (getting up the ladder). SHOCKING to see the photos of that day, thinking – who is that woman?!

can’t wait for these posts!

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MamaLaundry June 2, 2011 at 8:31 am

Carletta, I could have written your post, word for word.

My youngest of 4 is 6 months old and *it is busy*!! It’s an exhausting time of life as you well know! But it’s also fabulous in a million other ways.

What is NOT fabulous is looking like I do. The weight has crept on after each baby. I don’t have any clothes that I can wear. And I definitely don’t look good “for having four babies”.

My weight loss goal is almost exactly like yours: I need to lose 20 pounds initially. Then another 10 to be really healthy and then another 5 or so to be where I was when I got married. I’d be really thrilled with 20. 😉

Honey from Sunflower Schoolhouse really inspired me yesterday with her ‘No Excuses’ attitude. I make a million excuses (too tired, up with baby and didn’t sleep well, too hot outside, too tired, too tired…).

But it all stopped this morning. I got my tired self up and completed the first day of Couch to 5k! I could hardly believe it myself! Downloaded the app last night and away I went this morning.

I’m coming back here tomorrow for inspiration! Can’t wait to take in everything you write!

-Lauren

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Nony (A Slob Comes Clean) June 2, 2011 at 9:11 am

Oh Carletta, you’re gorgeous!!!

I will be following along because I need some motivation!!!

And oh my word, your caption under the picture totally cracked me up!!!

And yes, I did just realize that every single sentence in this comment ends with THREE exclamation points. Until now.

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Sarah at SmallWorld June 2, 2011 at 9:59 am

Best thing I”ve done to combat the flabbies: Couch to 5K program. We started it last year in our homeschooling group with about a dozen moms. We run in a park where we can see the kids the whole time. I have always HATED running, but this program is so gentle and amazing. I ran my first 5K last month! I haven’t necessarily lost tons of weight, but I feel soooo good. If you have a few friends who would do it with you, I highly recommend it for the accountability! Just google it. There are several plans out there.

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Carletta June 3, 2011 at 8:33 am

I love C25K! This morning I finished day 3 of week 7. Only 2 weeks to go…

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Julie June 2, 2011 at 11:19 am

You’re absolutely right on! One day I looked at myself and said WHAT IN THE WORLD HAPPENED TO ME?????

I lost ten pounds in January and felt absolutely fabulous. I’ve been holding steady since then, but have completely lost my motivation. My goal is to lose ten more by the end of June (seventeen in all), but I just don’t seem to care enough.

One thing I have finally done is going a gym that had the classes I wanted AND childcare. It took me forever to find. I finally found it at the local rec center, and now I can go to Zumba, tone and sculpt, yoga, etc while the kids can play in a clean safe environment for an hour. Oh and the rec center has showers, so I can go shower before I pick up the kids. Plus, the rec center was the most reasonably priced of everything locally, so I consider it money well spent. Of course, I have to stop letting my todo list from getting in the way and actually go.

Oh, and once I lost the weight and got into a smaller size? I THREW OUT MY “FAT” clothes. I plan to do this the entire weight loss journey. There is no need to clutter up my life with clothes I never want to fit into again, so why hold on to them just in case? That way, if I start not fitting into my jeans, I know I have to get back on the wagon!

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Stephanie June 2, 2011 at 11:46 am

Thank you for being so real! I am right where you are. And as a mother of 5 I do sometimes hear the comment, “You look good for having 5 kids”, but that doesn’t make me feel any better when I know I’m not where I should be and I have hid behind the excuses too long. And no, you’re right, I probably won’t ever loose that 40 lbs. that gets me back to my pre-pregnancy weight but it doesn’t give me an excuse to not at least take care of myself and loose 20 that will get me back to that point I don’t feel like a slob. I have recently started getting up early enough to start walking and maybe even jog a few steps so I am already making steps and I will most definitely be following your posts.
Thanks again, I love your blog!

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Kelli June 2, 2011 at 2:38 pm

Carletta this article was right on time. I started my regiment just last week. Boy it’s hard to get that belly down. I am trying to do bike, walk/job, swim. At least one or two each day. Nutrition is really what’s the important factor of getting the weight off. I just can’t stay away from McDonalds Mocha Frappe. Might take up a sailing class this summer. We will see:-)

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Kristi June 2, 2011 at 5:38 pm

I look in the mirror and wonder “Who is that strange woman is in my house?!”
I LOATH exercise. I can’t run because I wet my pants. I refuse to join a gym because…well…LOOK at me! Have you seen the MIRRORS in those places?! :-) My “baby” just turned 7 last week and I finally decided to DO something about it besides cry and whine – because those things really weren’t taking off the flab.

I have asked a good friend (who won’t take “no” for an answer) to help me 2x/week to push me a little bit hard and hold me accountable, and the other days I walk or just run up and down my stairs when I don’t feel like going outside. Every muscle hurts every day this week. My friend is going to come early tomorrow to hurt me some more. I sweat. I stink. It’s not fun yet. But I’m not going to stop.

I love real women and real moms. Thank you all for being candid. Carletta, I’ll pray that you have the stick-to-itive-ness to accomplish your goals. (I’m a CC mom of 4 too, so I can imagine that if you can do Memory Master, you can do this!)

See you tomorrow!

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Susan in the Boonies June 2, 2011 at 6:12 pm

You go, Carletta! I had a similar experience recently. I am trying to make some changes myself!

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Mindy June 2, 2011 at 7:07 pm

Dearest Carletta, remember that man (and woman) looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart…and what I see in you is a godly, humble, gracious & loving heart that is adorned “with the lasting beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in God’s sight.” (1Pet.3:4) Yes, shoot for a healthy weight and you go, girl!, but remember that your life is filled also with things that have true value in God’s kingdom. You’re a beautiful person inside and out. So the next time you look at at picture of yourself and are tempted to feel shame, remember that Jesus has taken all of that shame away and has filled you with lasting beauty. And that shines through you through your smile, your sweet spirit, and your godly example.

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Carletta June 3, 2011 at 8:34 am

Mindy, you are so sweet. Thank you!

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Kori June 2, 2011 at 9:14 pm

You go, girl!
A similar thing happened to me in January. I blogged about it: http://psalm30v11.blogspot.com/2011/05/im-new-girl-or-maybe-i-just-found-old.html

I’ve lost 24 lbs so far. It IS possible with kids. Who knew?! :)

You will do great! Bless you!
Kori

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Carletta June 3, 2011 at 8:35 am

Thank you all so much for the encouragement. And congrats to you who have already made progress toward your goals. I think this is going to be a long journey, but worth it!

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Honey @ Sunflower Schoolhouse June 5, 2011 at 5:05 pm

You can do it! I will be rooting for you too. I am on the same journey too.

Blessings
Honey

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Cristina June 7, 2011 at 9:12 am

I’m going to take your word for it, even though you look great to me. :-)
I’m also trying to get some (a lot) of weight off. I never could shed a pound after my third was born…nine years ago, so I’ve been focusing on just getting back into the level of fitness I enjoyed when I was still street performing. It is difficult when you spend your days running around, taking everyone to their activities/jobs/classes, which is the way of the homeschooler.

Good luck on your journey!
Peace and Laughter!

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Angie June 7, 2011 at 2:56 pm

I know what you mean about a picture jarring your own mental image of yourself! I too had to take my life back into my own hands after one too many fat pics surfaced. I went back on a diet and started going to the gym regularly and lost 30 pounds. Then I got pregnant again (#8), and miscarried, and got bogged down with life. I’ve managed to keep the 30 off, but still would like to lose 45 more pounds.

I just wanted to share that spending time outdoors with the sun on your face has weight loss benefits too. Outdoors is good for kids and adults, too. Who knew?

Good luck on your journey, and know you’re not alone.

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Gen June 7, 2011 at 6:17 pm

I also have these moments when I look at myself in the mirror and wonder who that woman is but I have a different approach to dealing with it. I go out to a thrift store and buymyself a whole new wardrobe. :). Then I go back home and shop in my closet. I only keep what I would buy that day. This usually costs about 100$, but then I am mentally ready to take on my body. For one thing, I already look better just from getting rid of my OLD clothes. Give it a try! It’s money well spent!

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Jenny June 14, 2011 at 9:12 pm

I have just recently begun a weight loss wednesday link up on my blog. I would love to have you all join us! I came over here from Honey’s blog.

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Carletta June 16, 2011 at 4:13 am

Thanks again for sharing your stories! I had a bit of a slump this week, and came back to this post for encouragement. :)

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