Thursday, January 04, 2007

On Pounds

I was always 20-30 pounds over weight.

I am 5’6” and throughout my adult life, since my junior year in high school, I generally weighed somewhere between 150 and 160 pounds.

On the days that I delivered both The Mayor and Rooster Girl I weighed 204.

Sweet Fancy Moses on Buttered Toast!


Lard. Lard. Lard.

I heard that baby weight took nine months to put on and nine months to take off.

When Rooster was nine months old I still weighed 175.

Oh, the HORROR of the Fatty McFat Fat Lady Flabina.

In the middle of June last year, I started counting Weight Watchers points.

Since I started, I have lost 42 pounds and this morning I weighed 133.

For the first time in my life I weigh what the chart in the doctor's office says I should weigh.

I have NEVER even been in the neighborhood of the right weight range for that chart before.

Mom-O-Matic has a “Future MILF’s” Project going on at her blog and she’s gone INSANE and named me an Honorary MILF Mentor.

I’m not totally sure what that means, but if it means what I THINK it means then the next time I’m in Chicago Mom-O-Matic and I are going to get BUSY in that “roll, roll, roll in zee hay” kind of way.

[Roll porno music: Bow chicka bow bow...]

Mom-O-Matic asked me to reveal the “secrets” of the only successful diet I’ve ever been on in my life.

It feels like a complicated request.

Losing this weight hasn't been as simple as "diet and exercise."

It involved wrassling my own personal history and baggage, personality quirks, food obsessions, high performance at thrift stores, jealous competitiveness and a three pound boneless breast of turkey to the ground.

Are you with me?



This post is going to be a long diatribe about my weight and my psychology of dieting.

I am writing this for the Future MILF’s and anyone else wanting to lose weight because all my life when I've asked people how they've done it they haven't really ANSWERED, at least not in detail.

Unless you are interested in a detailed account of my weight loss equivalent to sitting next to a stinky old man on an airplane who turns to you and says, "Lemme tell you ALL about hemorrhoids," you should give up on this post.

Still with me? Here goes...

My adult body never looked like it was supposed to look.

It was supposed to look like one of the computer enhanced media images American women are constantly bombarded with thanks to the beauty industry.

It didn't look like that.

Not ever.

I felt ashamed of my body most of the time.

Sometimes I could overcome feelings of shame and inadequacy about my body by imagining my extra weight as a political statement. My extra pounds were a revolutionary act against THE MAN and his oppressive, narrow definition of beauty.

Viva La Gordita!

But mostly I just felt fat.

I felt exactly the way Heather (from Yummy Sushi Pajamas) does in this post.

When the "Revolutionary" fat argument wasn't working for me, I was fat because of my mother.

It was HER fault.


My Mother (a.k.a. Grandma Seattle) was Miss Teenage New Jersey and captain of the varsity cheerleader squad at her high school.

I am the spitting image of my father.

Beauty was always very important to my mother and she has always taken great care with her clothes, her diet and exercise and her appearance in general.

Until recently, this pissed me off to no end.

For years I felt angry about her efforts to help me learn about diet, nutrition, healthy habits and exercise.

We finally came to an agreement some years ago that she simply was NOT to discuss or mention my body in any way at any time.

After I had children, so much of my “mommy baggage” packed up and left.

The ways that she invariably “pushed my buttons” before I had kids suddenly seemed trivial.

She came to stay with us to help out after The Mayor was born and I distinctly remember her arrival.

She was standing at my front door with her jacket on pulling her rolling suitcase behind her when I grabbed her, threw myself in her arms, started sobbing and said, “You can’t leave.”

She was only supposed to stay for three days but she stayed for ten.

The day before she left I started to cry all over again in anticipation of her departure.

It had been a long time since I felt so lost, anxious and afraid. It had been forever since I NEEDED my mom so much.

As I have grown to understand myself as a parent and absorbed that new piece of my identity, I have developed so much compassion for my own parents.

My mother was 19 when she had me. My father was 22.

At 19, or even 22, I would have won an award for THE WORST PARENT EVER.

Considering that they were barely adults, I think they did a very good job.

As a parent, when I think about my mother's parenting, love and motivation, it is impossible for me to continue to blame her for my struggles with weight.

Oh, I get it. It's NOT her fault.


As with anything, my weight has always been my own fault.

I initially added the pounds in High School when I started drinking and smoking. There is nothing like a few (thousand) alcohol and munchies calories to send you up the scale.

I also ate whatever I wanted and lived by the life philosophy;

“If the pie makes you happy, eat the pie.”
The thing is, the pie only made me happy in the pie eating moment.

I usually felt angry (and fat) pretty soon after the last bite was gone.

[Unless I was stoned... then I just wanted more pie.]

I stopped drinking and smoking in 1995 when I met K.

I might have lost weight then if I had not spent the next 10 years in a spoon-for-spoon ice cream and berry cobbler eating competition with him.

When Rooster was nine months old and I was still 25 pounds over my ideal weight, a few things happened that made me commit to losing it.

First, my neighbor, friend and parenting guru, Michele, joined Weight Watchers. She told me she was on a quest to be “hot by 40” (we are both 39) and that she didn’t want to be one of those dumpy moms that sit on the sidelines all the time.

The “dumpy mom” image resonated with me.

I am of solid Irish peasant stock and have tremendous potential to achieve the quintessential middle-aged thickness.

Thanks to female relatives that have gone before me, I can see a version of myself in a housecoat and slippers with whiskers on my chin and upper lip buying knee-high panty hose at Sears.

It is not pretty.

I hate the idea of just watching while The Mayor, Rooster and K run, hike, bike, swim or MOVE.

I worried that if I gave over to the sedentary lifestyle then The Mayor and Rooster would follow my lazy lead and join the ranks of the many obese children in America.

With all the junk food, fast food and television to entice them, they don’t need any help from me to learn how to lead an inert life.

I want to be a fit mom not a dumpy one. I want to move with my family, dance when they dance and run when they run.

Additionally, I sheepishly toyed with Michele's notion of being a “hot mom” -- or at least trying to be a "hot enough" wife to K.

Becoming parents and parenting toddlers has put an incredible strain on our relationship and while it is strong enough to bear the burden, we argue much more now than we did before.

Looking reasonable, rather than hilarious, in lacey underwear can't hurt given the circumstances, you know?

My resolve started to firm up.

Next pure jealousy and competitiveness worked their way in to my head.

So many of my female friends with children are thin and beautiful. I was tired of being the fattest mom and the fattest wife at gatherings.

It made me feel like a failure.

I was relatively new to blogging at this time and discovered this on-line realm of smart, capable women who were also hotty, hot, hot and I just wanted to be exactly like each and every one of their beautiful, amazing selves. (I need a lot more words in this sentence to even begin to come close to capture how many of them I am profoundly strengthened to have learned about here in Blogville... and her, and her.. and you get the idea.)

All of this combined led me to get my game on, so...

What did I do next?

I decided to cook a three pound boneless breast of turkey.

Of course.

I picked up this gelatinous mass of bird meat to put it in the roasting pan and realized
that three pounds of meat in your hand is a big, heavy, disgusting thing.

Then it struck me
that I needed to lose TEN TIMES that amount of flesh. I had TEN three-pound boneless turkey breasts stuck all over my body.

That just made me sick... but I kept thinking about that turkey breast.

Michele gave me copies of her Weight Watchers documentation and I read it cover to cover.

I didn’t join Weight Watchers.

I didn't join on-line and I didn't go to any meetings.

(The Weight Watchers CEO is so happy that I am posting this.)

I don’t think Weight Watchers is the ultimate diet strategy or a silver bullet solution, but I think their "points" system worked for me because it fits my personality.

If you give me $20 and tell me that is my whole budget to furnish a room I will end up with a room full of matching furniture and accessories because I am the Queen of the Thrift Store (though Marcie may want to fight me for the title).

I have a special gene for budgets and bargains.

The Weight Watchers points system plays into my strength here.

I get twenty points per day and I have to make them stretch as far as they will go – make them equal as much food as possible each and every day - because let’s be clear…


Besides "budgeting points" the whole thing seemed logical to me. Nothing was off limits and I understood that I had X amount to eat every day and anything beyond that was too much.

I could never get my head around this insanely basic concept by counting calories.

(Maybe 1,500 or 2,000 or whatever is just too high a number for my pea brain to think about counting up to each and every day.)

Anyway, I wonder if finding the "right" diet isn't about finding one that triggers something in your personality...

So, now that I have waxed mercilessly on and on for pages and pages...

Here’s what I did:

The weight watchers “points” system allowed me a certain number of points per day, plus “floating” points.

Confession: I almost never allowed myself access to the floating points.

(See the Weight Watchers CEO frown.)

I did this because I assumed that I was going to miscalculate the total points value of the things I ate - more specifically, that I would miss things like an oil serving here, milk in a coffee there or loose butter sneaking around in my food.

I assumed that I probably used the floating points most days without knowing it.

That said, I was conservative and fair in counting the actual points I used to the best of my ability. I tried hard to be as realistic as I could about the portion sizes and the total points.

I did use floater points when I was in a situation that forced me over my allowance on a given day.

For example, I was at an all day barbeque event and pulled pork bbq and baked beans were the only options.

Baked beans? Beans are a vegetable, right? How bad can they be?

Oh. My. God.

Do NOT eat Baked Beans. You will PAY.

I wrote down everything I ate and the accompanying points value every single day and I am still writing it all down now.

I struggled a lot getting used to all of this, particularly because (I have learned) I eat when I’m bored.

To compensate for this, I looked up all the “zero” points foods and if I want to eat for the sake of eating, which I pretty much want to do every single day, I eat something with zero points.

I eat the zero point item (and eat it and eat it) until I am bored of eating.

Here are some examples of disgusting ways I over eat, but don’t use points…

I can sit and eat half a bag (the big bag) of the peeled baby carrots. (I will never need glasses.)

I chop and store celery in celery sticks right when I get home from the store. I eat an ungodly amount of celery with my favorite salsa and pretend the celery is a tortilla chip. It’s crunchy and provides a vehicle for the salsa.

Domestic Chicky recommended keeping sliced cucumbers (and I like to add tomatoes) in a container with a little vinegar. Excessive snacking on this gives me a little bit of an upset stomach – which means I have to wait a while before I eat more. The joys.

Beets have zero points. I actually like beets, but I tried buying canned beets and when I was bored-hungry I opened a can and ate the whole thing. The beet eating was a zero points experience and that is the best thing I can say about it.

Brussel Sprouts also have zero points, but as Moobs will tell you, they make you fart.

I am here to testify that all of the zero points food will make you fart.

The whole “five servings of fruit and vegetables a day” thing will make you fart.

Seriously, I have become a jet-propelled, cartoon woman zooming around the house from room to room fueled by the power of my own gas.

Al Gore would LOVE me.


Moving away from the near and dear subject of my mighty wind, let's talk about breakfast.

I am a huge believer in eating protein in the morning and I eat scrambled eggs for breakfast every day.

K makes them for the whole family. He uses eight jumbo eggs and only three of the yolks, so the overall points value is very low.

Instead of toast, I have a “Kavli” cracker. This is grossly unsatisfying compared to actual toast but I have become used to it.

Kavli crackers seem to expand a bit if I eat one and then drink one of my ten thousand daily glasses of water. Sometimes it fills me up for awhile, other times I have to resort to a giant bowl of brussel sprouts, hence forth to be known as "jet fuel."

Yogurt has replaced ice cream. I like to eat it over fruit and have discovered that, of all the brands, Yoplait Light has the least points. Some of the flavors are truly nasty though. I like their vanilla flavor – especially over strawberries.

I did not cheat.

I did not take little bites of things I wasn’t supposed to eat.

In one of the Weight Watchers brochures it was actually suggested that you carry a zip lock back in your purse and every time you wanted to “take a small taste” of something you put a bite sized piece of it in your bag so that at the end of the day you could see how much food you “tasted.”


The image of a nasty bag of food in my handbag was enough to put me off cheating through “little tastes” and I didn’t do it.

If I ate ANYTHING, I wrote it down and counted the marscaponing points.

Finally, I swam.

I swim a mile to a mile and a half three to five times a week and have I have done that for many years.

My friend Gary watched me swim one day and said, “Damn, Jessica. As much as you swim, you’d be thin if you didn’t EAT so much!”

(Gary is now dead.)

(Okay, he’s not dead, but WTF?!)

Swimming is an exercise that I love because it is solitary and non-competitive. I don’t race against anyone and so I don’t ever feel like a “loser” at swimming.

That said, I am competitive with myself and am always trying to reach some new goal.

Most recently my goal was to swim one mile of the butterfly stroke without stopping and I did this twice before
Christmas and then came down with the plague.

Lately, I've started thinking about what it feels like to be thin for the first time in my life.

The truth is that physically, in an every day way, it doesn’t feel that different.

Emotionally, it feels a lot different.

I am not depressed about my body every day.

When I look in the mirror, I am not dismayed. (I am sort of amazed at how old I am though. I am OLD!)

Clothes fit well. I don't have to try on 400 pairs of pants to find on that I can stomach.

I have discovered belts. Belts holds my pants up, a job formerly done by my wheat basket-y, kangaroo pouch of a belly. Belts?! Who knew?

My husband notices the difference. Definitely. There is much getting busy here at House of Joy... as much as there can be between two overly-tired, middle aged, parents of two toddlers.

It is a relief.

It is a life long dream that has come true.

If it is your dream too, I wish it for you.

A Perfect Post – January 2007

Alpha Dogma nominated me for a Perfect Post award for this post.
I've never been nominated for one before so I'm humbled and blushing.
Many thanks !


Dan said...

Joy, the past is the past. The most important is that you feel good about your weight now and I congratulate you for losing the weight you did. Unless one is dying of some emaciating disease, malnourished, or an alcoholic, the lower your weight the better. So you are healthier. And that's always good. Brava!

I wanted to thank you for adding my blog to your blog roll! I have reciprocated!

deb said...

Congratulations on the weight loss and lifestyle changes. I especially like your info on zero point, aka farty, foods. Good to know. You are too funny.

Mel said...

133! That's awesome!
(And I think you are fabulous and hotty hot hot yourself, miss lady. And I have since we met, so it's not weight-oriented.)

Lotta said...

This is a great post! I'm going to include a link to it somehow in my first Friday MILF post. You are the honorary mentor cause you're smok'n hot. But..I'm still not getting it on with you. ;)


Alpha Dogma said...

Can some blog-savvy person nominate this for a perfect post award?! Or follow the link to my site and tell me now. This was a GREAT post.

Since I have the cholestrol of an 80 year old Floridian, I'm eating more of those 0 point foods. Thursday is our vegetarian day. We eat beans. Lots of beans. So we follow up Veggie Thursdays, with Flatulance Fridays. No one gets buys here on Fridays. So sad.


Marcie said...

First of all you are beautiful. The proof is in your profile pic (I've always thought that). Second- This whole story has blown me away. I know it's so hard. I have a very good friend who has been fighting her weight since I've known her and I think it's got to be the hardest thing to beat. With smoking you can get away from it, with food you can't, it's around 24/7 and you still have to eat!
To add couple of more healthy eating tips that I live by.
No eating while watching T.V. I only eat at the table.
Eating shouldn't always be for enjoyment, sometimes it's just fuel. I tell myself this one when I'm eating oatmeal in the morning.

I'm so proud of you.

P.S. Thanks for the linky love. And anytime you want to fight for the Queen Thrifty title, you know where to find me ;)

IzzyMom said...

a jet-propelled, cartoon woman zooming around the house

The visual for this is so fucking funny!!! Someone ought to draw a csrtoon of it.

And good job getting down to 133. I haven't been that skinny in at least a decade!

Plain Jane Mom said...

Fabulous post, and congratulations on reaching your goal.

Marmite Breath said...

You are an inspiration!!

If we meet at Blogher, I bet I will fart louder than you. Or if not, I bet Yvonne will! :)

I am not having a good week points wise, but I'm determined to get back on the wagon. I need to post about this, so thanks for the reminder.

Congrats on your success. You're so beautiful though, that I bet even when you were heavier, people thought you were a stunner.

jen said...

oh, honey. you are so precious. your heart and mind and body and soul.

i always thought you were stunning. and i am so happy you've found something that makes you FEEL as stunning as you do now.

i am wildly applauding you. not necessarily for your weight loss (which rocks), but in awe of your self - love and love for others.

hat's off.

Mrs. Chicken said...

I was always thin. Now I am not.

You are an inspiration, and I am actually going to WW on Monday.

Thank you for this great post.

Rachel said...

Congratulations! It's hard work. Thanks for sharing your journey with us. I could relate to what you said about your mother, especially about how you were able to let go of a lot of your issues after becoming a mother yourself. Love the "jet-propelled" image. That made me smile.

Isepik said...

Thanks for the link. :) I'm proud of the fact that you wrestled your demon and banished it. Good for you. You want to tell me how to banish mine?

I now have a desire to become a MILF myself. Though I suppose it would be a DILF as I'm actually male. :) I'm not sure the Queen would be very happy with me if I became a MILF.

Rock on, Hotty McHots alot!

Janet a.k.a. "Wonder Mom" said...


It is a lifestyle. A choice and it is so hard to live. I commend you!

Good luck!

And thank you for sharing.

Heather said...

This post is really awesome. I love what you said about needing to find a program that fits your personality. It made me realize that might be why WW didn't work for me. I am crap with budgets. CRAP! Right now I am doing Slimfast just as a quick fix before I go to Greece. When I come back... I don't know...

Anyway, thanks. This was inspiring.

QueenieBadd said...

Dude, so not boring. That was an awesome post-I agree about the perfect post award thing. And 133! I haven't weighed that since before the kids. Congratulations!

mamatulip said...

Wow. Congratufuckin'lations! I'm so proud of you. :)

I had a pretty tight little body going on until I got pregnant with Julia. My mom had died two months before and I sat around and cried and ate. And ate and ate and ate. In my fourth month with her I gained thirteen pounds. It was ugly.

I didn't lose any of it after I had her; in fact, I gained more. I had just started to lose some of it when I got pregnant with Oliver. I gained half of what I had carrying Julia with him and since last February I've lost thirty pounds.

For me, the key has been watching what I am putting in my mouth (although I do slip up from time to, every day) and portion sizes. I actually eat my dinner on bread and butter plates a lot so I'm sure I'm not overeating.

And now that we're relatively healthy (knock on wood), I'm going to get back into my workout routine, to tone up and shed these last few pounds.

So...anyway. I'm right there with you, sista.

Pendullum said...

What a post! What a journey!!!

That is indeed an accompishment and a lifestyle change!

133 you Red HotMomma!!!!
No Mamma Jeans for you....

But I have always loved you for your mind...
and your blog...

Congrats Jessica....

Waya said...

You're very brave to put yourself out there, and I applaud you. I'm glad you're comfortable in your skin now. 133 lbs is a wonderful feat. It will take me a while to take off this pregnancy weight the way I'm eating. But heck, I'll have 4 reasons to get off the eating wagon afterward.

Great post as usual Jessica.

Sayre said...

You fought the good fight and WON! I've been fighting for nearly a decade and am still way down in the fox hole. However, this year, I have my doctor on my side and we've come up with a plan together. I LOVE food, but hate thinking about it. And most diets involve a lot of thought. Not for me. So he told me, stick with these three things. Eat all you want of them and you WILL lose weight. Fresh fruit. Fresh veggies. Whole grains. If it swims, flies, or runs, avoid it. I can do the fake eggs (which aren't too bad, actually) and drink lots and lots of water. Move when you can and get enough sleep. It won't happen overnight, so don't get discouraged...

Guess what? My clothes don't remind me of sausage casings anymore. They aren't exactly loose, but they're starting to let me breathe.

And what does MILF stand for? I can't seem to find that bit of info anywhere....

Bob said...

Congrats to you! Contemporary standards of beauty are merely what corporate america wants you to think so you'll buy more of their "beauty aids". There is so much more to beauty that is not found in a size 2. Being happy in your body is beautiful.

MILF=Mom I'd Like to F@#k.

S. said...

Joy, I agree w/the Weight Watchers mantra, if you will.
It also makes sense that it fits w/the anal-retentive (in a good way of course) personalities.

Congrats on losing the weight and getting to where you want to be.

I finally got fed up with following the plan half-assed and have been doing really well this week.

I am gunning for the 130's by my next appt w/the OB in June.

Tabba said...

Good for you! I was reading this laughing & beaming & nodding....Happy that you are happy. And looking at my own kangaroo pouch and saying to myself: "Hmmmmmm"

Mad Hatter said...

The Weight Watchers people should be paying you. None of their literature has ever been as appealing as this post.

I lost weight with Weight Watchers once. I was HOT. Then I got pregnant. 2 years later I weigh more now than when I was 9 months pregnant. Erg. I blame the last 2 months of carb-intensive bedrest for creating this blood sugar dependency but I vow I will overcome it. I have in the past. I can in the future.

First step: curbing the post toddler bed-time need for a stiff drink. From what I understand, according to this post, there are other stiff things in this world that can also help to take the edge off?

As always, great post, Joys.

Nikki said...

OTJ - you impress the hell out of me...and I mean that.

You inspire me.

carrie said...

Woo-Hoo for you! What an inspiring post!!! Now...on to the jet fuel!


The Sour Kraut said...

Don't you pretty much carry all your weight in your 32F bust?

Congratulations. I have so much to say in my comment that I just may do my own blog about it. Heck, you're one of my only readers anyway, so it would basically be a comment to you.

Long Island Dad said...

Congrats! WTG!

Kristin said...

You skinny bitch.

What are belts?

I hate you.

No, not really... actually I am IMPRESSED.

But, I am still thinking of just investing in a lot of caftans.

Mrs. Chicky said...

I would just like you to know that I have zero attention span but I felt compelled to finish that entire post.

Kinda like feeling compelled to finish everything on my plate. Heh.

I am soo impressed with you, lady. My husband, who also struggles with his weight, has started swimming again in an effort to shed some of (okay, a lot of) those pounds. I may have to print this out for him. Way to go!

Mommeee said...

You are a wonderful inspiration! Thank you.

Natalie said...

I have also never been on the weight charts where I was supposed to be at the Dr. To make it worse I have always been under normal in the height charts. I'm going through a similar journey (although the last month has been pretty bad)and always enjoy success stories. Congrats!

Karana said...

First, thank-you for mentioning me in your long, way cool, paragraph of blog links. I am honored. I am also LMAO because my husband was also mentioned as one of the 'smart, capable women who were also hotty, hot, hot' which completely made my day!!! :)

Second, I think you have inspired me, because physically I am definitely NOT hotty, hot, hot... LOL!

I haven't told anyone yet, but I think my new year's resolution is to 'declutter' -- and I mean everything... me, my fat, my life, my house... :) Baby steps. I took the first step by stepping on the scale today. Ugh.

Anyway, thanks for the inspiration.

Iris said...

Congrats on the weight loss. I am first on the road to learning to just love myself the way I am, no matter whether I lose the weight or not.

Come and visit my blog Imperfect Perfections and witness my journey.

Grim Reality Girl said...

GREAT post! Thanks for taking all of us through the journey and sharing your personal weight struggle. I'm working on this myself and it is a heck of a challenge. I guess I'm a MILF wanna be? Anyway, your tips will help me. You post inspires me. Your blog is a joy. Thank you!!!!

Mamma said...


I've had such an issue with my weight for so long. I spent my late 20's at my ideal weight and loved not worrying about getting dressed in the morning.

I have food issues, have for most of my life, but I need to give them up. Thanks for this inspiration.

I so want to be a MILF!!! Just for myself.

As soon as this plague is done...I'm on it!!

THANK YOU!!! I almost cried reading this. I'm so proud of you and I hope I can do it myself. I hate worrying about my body!!!!!! I'm tall so I can "hide" a lot of my weight, but I don't want to be that sideline fat mom.

Girl In Her Underwear said...

ACK! Where did my comment go from this morning? I don't usually check back later to see if they're still there, but it's not there! Anyway, I was telling you how impressed I was with you and basically said I'll have to email you when I get the chance about my own issues. BTW, I gained over 50 pounds with my twins, almost that much with my next pregnancy, and cried when my mom left after being with me for 3 weeks when the twins came home from ICU. I also meant to tell you how I think it's amazing how you can make any post funny no matter what the topic!

OH! Almost forgot! I came back b/c I was getting hits on my blog from your site. THANKS for including me in your links!!!! You're too sweet! That would have taken me three years to post! :D Do you have the linking system memorized now or what? It still takes me forever! Ha ha!

FYI...I did a tribute to Ironman for you and Janet...mainly Janet who demanded more pictures, but Ironman is in hog heaven that you two said he was cute! Ha ha!

BethGo said...

Weight Watchers is great. You have inspired me to get back on the horse. I have about 20 pounds that have got to go. I was going to wait until the not such a baby anymore stopped nursing but it doesn't look like that's gonna happen any time soon. I'm starting tomorrow.

Carrie said...

It is funny that you posted this. I am currently doing weight watchers and spend a lot of time on their message boards. Someone posted a link to your blog one day because they thought it was funny. I now read your blog every day. You are an inspiration.

suz said...

holy hell, that was a long'un. Didn't have time to read it all, but congratulations on the weight loss! That's my kick right now, primarily believe it or not for the health benefits (don't want to drop dead on my kids).

And my mother never thought she was beautiful, even though everyone always thought so, she was gorgeous! So don't be like that!

Karen Forest said...

I hope to draw on your experience as inspiration.

I have never thin. Ever. I have never been really fat either, but I am much closer to the fat side of the scale. You know its bad when everyone uses the "you are not are just built are bigger boned." Whatever? I would like to see the scientific research proving that I am "bigger boned".

Everyday I struggle with these issues. EVERYDAY! I look in the mirror, I critique....and I detest the way I look. Maybe this will be the year for change.....

PunditMom said...

Thank you so much for this post. I like that you talked about how weight issues aren't all about the eating (OK, a lot about the eating, but not ALL!). The women bloggers I have found since I started blogging have been inspiring to me, as well, and that's been helpful in lifting and modifying my outlook. So I figure that's GOT to help with the munching-for-munching-sake problem I have.

Also, thank you so much for the kind link in your paragraph!

karrie said...

Heehee. Might wind. HEE!

South Beach and Body For Life here I come. All 243 pounds of me. (Eeek! eeeeeek!)

Cece said...

Thanks for such a GREAT post! It was very inspiring!

*clapping* Congrats on the weight loss.

Paige said...

This was just a great post, not only because it speaks very honestly about weight struggles and victories, but because it's just so damned funny. I seriously had to wipe the tears from my eyes laughing at the image of you as jet propelled cartoon woman...

Indecisive Woman said...

First of all, no matter how much you weigh, you have a beautiful face. Now that you have so much more confidence, I bet you really are a MILF to Kevin.

I admire your willpower. I have always been naturally thin and have never worried too much about food, although I have tried to steer away from pure junk. Now I'm pregnant, so I've been trying to stick to the pregnancy diet, you know, the wind-inducing fruits and veggies. That lasted about two weeks. Last night I broke down and went to McDonalds, which I would not even normally eat. I'm going to blame this on cravings. Sigh.

And I have discovered that pregnancy may let me give you a run for your money in the Mighty Wind contest. I have run my husband out of the room multiple times now. :)

Denguy said...

Roll porno music: Bow chicka bow bow...

Oh, that's funny stuff.

Kevin Charnas said...

Wow...Jessica, I.AM.SO.PROUD.OF.YOU! You rule. That's it, end of story. You rule, and you're my woman.

However, Al Gore might be upset, because methane gas is bad for the atmosphere as well. I know this, because he's been trying to get me to stop eating oat meal every morning with flaxseed, then following it with an Aloe Vera juice chaser. Yeah...I hit mock 3 by about 9 am.

Gary should be dead. Give me his address and let me and the gay mafia do the rest.

ONE MILE OF BUTTERFLY????? ONE MILE???? HOLY SHIT. See? Case in point, you rule.

and I'm proud of you.

and I've missed you...greatly.

Lisa Goldstein/Kelly Kelly said...

That is awesome! Thank you for your honesty and openness about this process. You really hit all the right points on how personality drives diet. I have definitely noticed that too.


Fat Writer said...

Thank you so much for that. I am a lurker, and I read your blog almost every day, but I have never commented. I am also a SAHM in the deep south, struggling to lose weight, and swimming and counting points to do it! Small world...

urban-urchin said...

Wow- that is amazing Jessica- you should be proud of yourself. Now, will you please email me the info because my formerly skinny self needs to lose 20-25 lbs? I can't bring myself to go to a meeting and be weighed in front of everyone.

Gina said...

I weighed the same 204 when I gave birth too. Uhg!

GREAT Post... like Mrs. Chicky said, I HAD to read the whole thing!

Way to go, Lady! such a HUGE accomplishment!

Ortizzle said...

Extremely entertaining and USEFUL post. I am gonna give the points thing a try. And I totally agree with you on the "put the nibbles of food in a baggie." I think I could get the idea by writing it down. Who needs to walk around with their sins in a see-through bag!

Oh, almost forgot: Congratulations on the weight loss! Now you apply for membership in O.H.M., One Hot Momma!

kim said...

Ohhh Joys im sooo happy for you! That is awesome!! Im amazed you included me in your Hotty Hot Hot paragraph, but BELIEVE me I suffer from EXACTLY what you describe...its amazing!
I have had a body image problem my entire life, I still have the baby weight from the 16 yr old ffs ... I had that SAME relationship with my tiny well-put-together mother... and I remember holding on to her leg crying when she tried to leave me after each one of the kids lol

You have truly inspired me like no one else ... thank you so much
for sharing *hugs your skinny butt*

The Medium Swede said...

I love to eat too! I was 6'1" and 180 lbs of hard rockin' Swede, but then 35 hit and I became 6'1" of 200 plus Swede. I am on my way and this time I am doing it sensibly. All this gas talk has made me a little urpy though. I think I just threw up a little in the back of my mouth..... ugh I just swallowed it back.

mad muthas said...

hello lovely, gorgeous you. ouch! was that a pointy little elbow i felt there? i've always found you gorgeous - just glad you agree with me now!

Anonymous said...

By The Sour Kraut

First, OTJ, I have been looking at photos of you for a long while and have never, ever thought you had a weight problem. I am happy for you that you're doing this and that you're feeling good about it.

I, too, LOVE to eat. I love it, love it, love it! (Think Molly Shannon's character, what's-her-name, lifting her leg in the air, toes pointed.) I also hate most vegetables.

I come from a family of 5 girls plus my mom -- all are very thin. I have been the only one who seems to have trouble staying thin. Now, I have never been grossly overweight. I have always been about 10-15 pounds over where I'd like to be. I carry most of my weight in my stomach and haven't tucked a shirt in for about 4 years. The upside to carrying it in your stomach is that you can easily dress to hide it. The down side is that twice, yes twice, I've been mistakenly thought to be pregnant when I wasn't.

About 6 years ago, I was put on a steriod for asthma. This steroid made me feel like Super Woman. I went from 158 (post baby weight) to 132 in one year. Rather than enjoying it, the hypochondriac in me was convinced I had some life-threatening illness. During that time, I had a number of people tell me I had gotten too thin. I truly never tried to lose the weight in the first place and actually fought to keep from losing more. I was always on the go and never had an appetite. In addition to the weight loss, I had energy to burn. This was both good and bad. I never felt too tired to do anything. However, I also never settled down. Internally, I felt like a car idling on high all the time. I was also very, very irritable. I had two very small, very active children at home with me. It made for a highly-charged household. I never realized any of this was a side effect from my medicine until a few years later when I read an article by Jane Pauly who had a similar experience.

The steroid was substituted for another type of medicine and my weight eventually started creeping back up. However, the nervous energy remained. My nerves began to feel out of control about a year ago when I was shaky all the time and my blood pressure was out-of-control high. It was also during this time that I began the early signs of menopause. The PMS was severe and I had frequent migraines. I started to think that I needed to ask my doctor for an anti-depressant. I began high blood pressure medication and an anti-depressant in Nov. '05. My weight was about 140.

Gradually over the last year, I became more and more fatigued. I was sluggish and sleepy. The usual active person in me had long since retired and was replaced with the new I'm-too-tired-to-do-anything-about-anything person. (My doctor has since weaned me off the high blood pressure medication and I'm feeling a little more perky lately.)

After my nieces wedding, I really started packing on the pounds. When I got on the scale after Christmas saw I was 156, I couldn't believe my eyes. I have never been this heavy without having just had a baby.

I decided that:
• I need to stay on my medication
• I need to fight through the fatigue and get active again
• I need to practice portion control

See, I will never, ever, be a dieter. I have virtually no will power to stay away from fatty foods. Nor do I want to deprive myself of them. I need to make healthy choices. I need to do this not only for myself but for The Swede and Junior Swedes as well. Because, it matters not how I feel, the sad reality is that 50 will be here before I know it and I want to be a hotty, hot, hot, MILF of a 50-year-old.

(This morning's weight was 151. My target is 140. If I ever again see 135, that would be ideal.)

hk said...

I am going to comment lazily - that is, I haven't looked throught the other comments so forgive me if I am repeating someone else.

Weight Watchers rocks! That is, their point system does (you said it much better). It is the only plan/lifestyle that has Ever worked for me and it is nice to hear from others who say it helped them as well.

It's refreshing to read on positive body issues (and getting there) and thus motivating me.

ewe are here said...

Wow! What a journey! Congratulations on the weight loss!

And the butterfly for a mile?!?
Wow! I can't even do that stroke!

Anonymous said...

Jessica, send me the point system - Grandma Seattle has some holiday weight to loose! (OK, so a little just fall 2006 weight as well). Love you and I'm so glad it's not my fault anymore. You have always been my beautiful perfectly awesome daughter.

carmachu said...

Great job!

Blog Antagonist said...

I can personally attest to the fact that you have reached your goal of MILF status. I thought you were beautiful and very svelte!

That said, I can relate to much of what you said. I lost around 60 lbs in 2004, and then let it all creep back because I rebelled on every level, even though the eating well and exercising regularly made me feel SO GOOD.

I wish you lived nearby! We could go to WW together and swim together. I too love to swim. We would be good moral support for one another.

Starrlight said...

That was an awesome post and it was inspirational cause ya didn't come off like some saccharine uber perky nut job, you came across like a real person. You go, MILF!

Her Bad Mother said...

I've always been slim. Then I gained some 65 odd (yes) pounds during the gestattion of the WonderBaby and kissed my girlish figure goodbye. For me, it's been about learning to love my new motherly form.

BUT, but. I still have some preferences, some wishes, for that form. And that's giong to take some work. Thanks for the virtual moral support, the inspiration. As soon as I'm done with the Toblerone I'm going to act on it.

julia said...

Thanks for this post. I seem to lack some essential stick-to-it-iveness gene when it comes to weight loss. I've done WW and I get bored. I think about dieting and I have to go eat some chocolate.

That said, I NEED to lose weight. Because, in spite of the fact that you think I'm hotty hot hot (big smooches for that, by the way - the check's in the mail), I am mostly just fatty fat fat. And desperately unhappy about it.

Sandra Miller said...

Fantastic post!

Jessica, your determination is truly inspiring.

(Oh, and thanks for linking me in your paragraph... you are too kind :-)

cinnamon gurl said...

What a fantastic post! I just came over here from Alpha Dogma and although I've seen you around I don't think I've ever actually visited your blog. Yesterday I saw denguy's reference to your "Cue porno music: bow chicka bow bow" and I thought I gotta check her out. When I visited Alpha Dogma today and she had you on her new blogroll up, it seems the universe agreed.

I especially identified with the fat as revolutionary idea. I lost weight by getting sick years (I really don't recommend that method) before I got pregnant. Now I'm still carrying 25 pounds of extra weight, and it's hard to get used to the person in the mirror. And I find myself feeling guilty for having a hard time with the new me.

Momish said...

OTJ, this was an amazing post. You are not just a MILF, but a hero. I am so happy you did it for yourself. That is what I read throughout this post. That is soooo hard for so many people to do, including myself.

I have always been thin, but gained weight after I hit 35. When you are rail thin your entire life, 35 pounds is a LOT, even if it just puts you at the high end of normal. I could not get those pound off for the life of me. Until I got gestational diabetes. I was able to drop 40 pounds to protect my baby. Doing it for yourself is much harder, even if it shouldn't be. I applaud you. You have no idea how many people can relate to this and you have just helped in so many ways!

Mignon said...

I can't, although I would like to, read through all the comments, but I'm sure I'm not the first person to say that this is a truly inspiring piece of work. I'm not jealous, and I'm very very happy for you. Hard work SHOULD pay off exactly the way it did for you.

I usually copy parts of a post I identify with or want to ask about, but in this case it would've been the whole thing: eating when I'm bored, blaming the weight on unrelated factors, "...tired of being the fattest mom and the fattest wife at gatherings."

My problem? Muscles. I've got a lot of 'em, and while I don't look at myself and think "Ugh! Big fat fatty!" I think, "Huh. These jeans would fit a lot better if I couldn't squat 250 pounds." But I'm glad I can squat 250 pounds. Scales are my sworn enemy - I just have to gauge by how tight my clothes are.

Well done. All of it. The weight loss, the writing, and I can see in the next post that you look totally f*cking hot!

KC said...

This is a wonderful evolution to share and I'm sure very inspiring to many.

You totally rock.

And you're so right about farting.

M'Lynn said...

Thank you so much for these words. They mean a lot to me.

This time, it's gonna be different.

Dee said...

Congratulations on you success! I am just about ready to start back on Weight Watchers points (after my trip to Hawaii next week) and reading this was very encouraging. I dropped almost 50 pounds, regained 15, and am now ready to commit again to reaching my goal weight.

Mrs. Flinger said...

I think I love you. No, really, I'm in pregnancy #2 and I hear that you gain about the same weight and last time around I went in to L&D at 210. Because! Like you, I'm 5'6" and always weighed around 150.

Holy mary I'm on my way to 200 again, damnit!

But I have this wonderful plan after baby is born and I am so completely inspired by your post that I just might go walk and maybe eat something green tomorrow. What a great post and inspiration. Seriously.

QT said...

I am so happy for you! I love this post because I love to eat too and that makes it harder, I think, to be on a D-I-E-T.

I'm glad you feel comfortable in your own skin finally. That is an enviable goal.

Jen3 @ Amazing Trips said...

Yay for you!!!

This morning while I was laying in bed thinking about the homemade chocolate chip cookies my husband made yesterday, and how I ate 5 of them in about as many minutes, and that now I feared that I might be having a heart attack because the two sticks of butter had completely clogged my arteries closed ... I am 5'6 and about 25 pounds overweight.

Yes, I'm currently pregnant. And yes, I gave birth to triplets a couple years ago - a pregnancy where I packed on 100 POUNDS, in less than 7 months.

BUT. I too, LOVE to eat. And I don't love to eat healthy food all the time. I love to eat homemade chocolate chip cookies. And although I love to exercise, I don't do it as much as I could/should/ought to ... because it is *hard* with 3-2 year olds.

BUT. That's an excuse. Because if you (meaning I) want it bad enough - you do what you have to do.


You PUT ON YOUR SHOES and go for a walk.

You drink more water.

You give yourself a challenge like swimming the fly for 1-mile. And then, you feel good about how damn awesome your body looks because of your efforts.

Your inspiring. As soon as the cookies are all gone and the baby is born - I swear I'm going to lose all the weight I've packed on since highschool and be ONE HOT MAMMA. I might even have to change my blog site name. HA!!!

Michelle said...

You've inspired me to buy one of those bags of baby carrots and find out what times my local swimming pool is open! (But only after the leftover holiday-chocolates are finished!) Congratulations though!

kimberly sherrod said...

Thank you for that awesome, truly inspiring post! Do you see the roses strewn about your feet? I am Calamity Kim, also a Milf, and pleased to meet ya! You and Lotta give me great side holding, coffee spewing from mouth and nose gobs of laughter! Thank you! I will go have me some celery & Salsa....

Nutty Mummy said...

You know I;m working on a poost just like at the moment for my blog. I amon a MILF mission. When I met my bloke (Big for the purposes of Blogdom) I was 9.5st 137lbs I think that is.. Two babies and seven years later, I am 219lbs.

I have just joined weightwatchers online and it is the first thing that has made me want to stick to it. I have too always struggled with weight and have already lost 6.5st once in my life.

I am determined to get back there again.

Your post has made me smile. May I link to it in my post? I've not finished it yet, but one thing I did do to start was posted a picture of me at 'the beginning' a couple of days ago..

Watch me disappear.. loving your blog, can't stop reading and Big is sighing boredly in the background :)

I will be back..

Kristi said...

Holy Cow! I can see why that garnered a nomination.

Now, I should start taking some of your brilliant descriptions to heart. Thanks for the inspiration.

Heather said...

Fabulously said. Thanks for sharing your story!

Biddy said...

you are seriously a woman after my own heart. It was like reading many of my own thoughts...

Anonymous said... a headsup from an anonymous person...

You can counteract the gas from canned beans if you dump them in a collander and rinse the hell out them.

Claire B. said...

Wow. I've been reading you for a little while now, and have been impressed by your wit and honesty, your talent and yes, your gorgeousness. I was *a little* jealous of how awesome you look after two kids. Me? I have somehow allowed myself to gain nearly every pound WW helped me take off in the late 80's. 20 effin years ago I was at my own ideal weight (for about 6 hours), after being Porky Porkina my whole life. (I loved your turkey breast reference; I think of my excess pounds in terms of 5-lb bags of sugar, as in "I'm carrying SEVEN.BAGS.OF.SUGAR.ALL.THE.TIME.OMG!!!"

Following my six hours of Incredible Lightness of Being, I managed to look good for quite a long time. But did I feel ok about myself? NO! I still bitched unceasingly about being fat. And over the last few years, when my hub and I started a business together, I really let it go. Suddenly (?) I am within five pounds of my all-time high.

And do I think I need a program like WW? The one where I lost forty ugly pounds? Until I read this post, no I did not think that I did.

So thanks for the inspiration and for helping me remember that hot sexy women don't always just happen (like I used to think you did). Mostly they have to work very hard to pull it off.

liv said...

You're an amazing gal. It's been hard for me to fight the fat girl feeling from the inside even though people tell me I'm not on the outside. I salute you for your journey, your candor and the love you spread for all of us!

Poppy Buxom said...

This post inspired me to join Weight Watchers.

And I'm leaving this comment to document the fact.

That way, when the Zero Point Foods mega-methane effect causes my house to explode, the insurance company will know it was not my fault, but yours.

susie said...

I read this post months ago and adopted "hot by 40" as my goal as well. (I have about 13 months left to go.) I have lost 25 lbs on WW so far and I am going to keep going until I'm ON the doctor's weight chart instead of off of it. Thanks for the inspiration.

yeb said...

you are, like, totally perfectly ridiculously hilarious. hilarious and sweet and just genius.

mighty wind, eh? congrats on your weight loss. several people are on the ww bandwagon. i admire how you analyzed your weight, took responsibility for it, and told, like, the entire WORLD about it.

high five to you.

Scary Mommy said...

I always knew I really liked you, but now I love you. I, too, have always struggled with 20 pounds. It's been a life long, depressing battle that I blamed on my Jewish mother. Typical. But not her fault.

I love food. LOVE FOOD. I am following WW now and have lost 5 out of the 30 I need to lose. It seems so unattainable, but you have just inspired me.

Thank you for this post, I'm glad I found it.

Cricky (Who Is More Than Just A Girl) said...

Thank you for pointing me here.
Unfortunately I have more than the 20-30 pound lot to lose. I am well over double the 5'6 ideal weight.

I've been contemplating joining WW for a few months. I've watched a few friends join and have seen them excel. This has been the extra little boost I needed (possibly related to the jet-fuel).

Recovering Sociopath said...

I am SO happy for your weight loss! Congratulations!

But I have to ask...what kind of chart are they using in your doctor's office?

I lost 50 lbs last year, and am now, at 5'7", between 150-160. The BMI calculator at the NIH website says I'm within a normal weight range.

How is it that one inch of height makes a 20-30 lbs difference in terms of acceptable weight? Or does it not, and I'm really still fat? That is SUCH a depressing thought.

jaka nische said...

Thank you for this post, I'm glad I found it.