Last year my husband and I lost a combined 130 pounds. He lost 80 lbs., and I lost 50 lbs. There are so many prefaces and things I want to say before I start this post (like this is a moment in time/I have a long way to go/weight is different for everyone/you’re beautiful no matter what size you happen to be/you never know what’s going on in peoples’ lives) but I don’t think it really hit me how incredible the loss is until I’m here typing it. This is our couples weight loss story. This post is vulnerable and not for everyone at this moment, so please skip it if you’re not in a place to read it. Throughout the past year, I jotted down some notes and experiences as I’ve been on this journey.
I had never set a weight loss-health related goal before. Maybe I’d think about losing weight around New Years like “I should lose weight” in a fleeting sense, but I never really put any thought or set goals around it.
Sure, I’ve tried just about every diet to lose a few pounds quickly. But I always found a work-around on a restrictive diet – Whole30, Atkins, South Beach, etc. Another example, gluten free…guess what, I can make you the best gluten free cake full of butter and sugar and chocolate (butter, sugar, and chocolate are gluten free and so is rice, and so is cheese and omg the list goes on). Want me to eat nothing but meat? Great, send some bacon my way! If I was supposed to restrict something, I’d just think about THAT THING until I hit x day when I could have it again and then I’d have way too much of it.
The diets worked, for a short period of time. Then I’d eventually stop them, because, life, and I’d gain whatever weight I’d lost back, and then some.
I’ve never been a “small” person weight-wise and don’t aspire to be one. I think people are beautiful no matter their size, and truly have never understood all the fat shaming that goes on. It can be hurtful, and of course, during the bigger phases I’ve had people make comments about my weight-all the way back in grade school when I got teased when I wore this beautiful bright blue sweater my dad had gotten me for Christmas and someone called me “the world” because I was so big that I was like all the lakes? I guess?
Or when a “healthy blogger” I met in person was telling me why this other blogger was so big because she didn’t make her weight a priority, just like I didn’t make mine a priority, and that’s why I/we were so big…um…never mind that it was mean girl stuff and that who cares what size a person is and why are you talking behind someone’s back? Even if there was truth to what she was saying, it was so awful the way she was saying it in a condescending way. Because you don’t know what someone is going through. Just a p.s., at the time I was on medication trying to get pregnant and it made me retain weight and feel puffy. I cried in the bathroom. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized it’s usually about the other person’s insecurities.
I’ve always had supportive family and friends, and always felt like I knew how to dress for my body shape and size and pose in pictures (kind of, awkward for sure, but that’s what people tell me). I’ve always loved food.
Weight is one of those weird things. It’s so incredibly individual. What works for one person might not work for another, even if they’re doing exactly the same thing.
It’s hard when you’re trying to lose weight and your partner seemingly isn’t, but does so anyways. I’ve come to realize that’s all internal stuff and has nothing to do with the other person. I’m so incredibly proud of and happy for Nick.
Here are a few of the hard moments from the past year:
- Even though he didn’t have a health goal, when my husband started to lose weight, it seemed so quick and easy for him. It was like he blinked and was 30 lbs less.
- I remember when his weight dipped below mine and I cried. He had lost 60 lbs and I had lost 37. 37 lbs down is a lot, it’s a toddler lol. I tried to think about perspective.
- When we moved in August, I was down 39 lbs and my husband was down 65. We were going through the coat closet. Last year around Christmas we realized my husband hadn’t bought coats in years. He had like 1 ratty old winter coat. So we in the fall I got him a gorgeous LL Bean coat, then he got a North Face winter coat and a some Carhart outdoor gear. All very pricey items. He tried on the coats and outerwear and it looked completely ridiculous. It looked like he was playing dress up in dads clothes. He was annoyed at all the money that had been spent. He asked if he should just keep 1 or 2, and I said absolutely not. He was annoyed and I was annoyed at him for being annoyed instead of in awe and happy. I mean yes, I understand how annoying it is that now he doesn’t have a coat, but really, I told him he should be so incredibly proud and happy that he’s lost so much weight. Plus I want this to be a forever thing.
- UGH -between August and October, I would go up a pound, down a pound, up 2, down 1, down 2, up 1, down 1 down 1. It was awful. I thought I wasn’t losing any weight, but it was snails pace, and a few months later it was cumulative down. It definitely goes slow slow slow sometimes.
- I feel like you can really see the change of shape of Nick as a whole, and my turning point like that hasn’t happened yet. Maybe it will, or maybe not. I’ve come to terms with it being different for everyone.
- Nick got a pair of jeans that was super small. But they fit so nice. He put them on and just looked like a different person. I remember tearing up. I didn’t want him to think the reaction was about him, so I went into the other room and called my parents and cried. It was so stupid I was so emotional about it. My parents were so sweet and reassuring that everyone is on their own path, and that weight loss for women and men (and every single individual) is so different.
- Ben came up to me and pushed into my stomach and said “mommy you’re SO squishy.” I jokingly laughed and said back to him “you’re so squishy” and he said “no mama, I’m rock hard and you’re squishy” and laughed.
- Weight loss with your partner – it can drive you mad if you’re doing different things. Nick weighs himself all the time. Like 6 times a day (I’m exaggerating…but am I?) And I only want to see the scale once a week, I go crazy if I try to weigh myself every day. But that’s the thing, what works for him is completely different than what works for me.
- I’m just sharing to show you that it’s hard sometimes, even with the most supportive partner, there’s stuff we as individuals need to work on.
- biggest success has been in portion control, not eliminating anything, just eating less of it.
- no in-between meals eating
- piece of dark chocolate instead of looking for a dessert after a meal
- Before you eat, ask yourself this: I read somewhere that if you feel like you want to eat, to ask yourself if you’re actually hungry for food or something else (like if you’re frustrated at work, you want a hug, and that is triggering you to want comfort in the form of food etc.)
- Portion control: Try to eat a little less. I’ve also read somewhere that what you eat is 80% of weight loss.
- German saying: I was talking to my mom (who is German) and she was asking me what I was doing, and I was telling her I wasn’t doing much, just trying to eat a little less, and she said it reminded her of this German saying that goes, “Fress die haelfte,” which means loosely translated, “eat half (of it).” However, in German there are two words for eating: essen (to eat for people) and fressen (to eat for animals), so…it’s a little more tongue in cheek than just eat half.
- Start small and write it down: you don’t need to set crazy goals, but you do need to have some kind of goal, that you write down. My goal was lose 52 lbs (1 lb a week) and do some kind of movement/exercise 30 minutes once a week.
- Special equipment myth: You don’t need any special equipment if you want to move a little bit . Literally you need zero equipment…I googled a free yoga workout and did that in my pjs in the bathroom one day.
- Movement/exercise app: I heard about this free app iphone app called Workout For Women. It can be overwhelming because there are 5 million resources, this one is nicely laid out and not too intense. They have a program called ‘the daily 7’ and it’s 7 minutes a day.
- Food/portion control tip: separate a big bag of chips/pretzels/snack mix into single servings/little containers – there’s some psychology behind the likelihood you’ll stop sooner or eat less by the act of having to open each bag vs trying to stop yourself after getting going on the whole bag.
Joyce McCollum says
Thank you so much for sharing your weight loss journey. I really appreciate the fact that you recognize there are so many ways to reach these goals. No one way is right for everyone. And thank you for sharing your goals and “plan”. It’s so simple yet so effective and inspiring. Thank you.
Thank you so much for commenting and your words of encouragement. There’s definitely so many ways to work toward health goals. I always love hearing other peoples’ stories too. I feel like I have a long way to go, but am excited about the journey.
April Meiller says
Wow wow you amaze me and others! True a path that is yours is not the same as others! You have a wonderful support system and husband (shares real lif yeah) glad you shared it all with us. Yes the portion control is what works and everyday it is easier.
Thanks for sharing you don’t realize to the level that you helps so many and yourself. You are a beautiful person your kiddos do/will adore you every stage of life. One day at a time we all can try to do our best! Queen for sharing! You look amazing smile you deserve it keep that chin up! Be kind to yourself you had an amazing 2020! You are worthy and you lite the world keep it going anyway you wish girl/2020/2021! ? ??????
Thank you SO MUCH for your kind words and encouragement April!!!!
There are definitely hard moments when you’re trying to work on something as personal as weight/health.
I don’t want my kids growing up thinking a ‘cookie is bad’ so I’m trying to set a good/better example for them.
Thank you again for your beautiful words. I’m so excited for the journey ahead. Hope you have an amazing 2021!
Wow, a pound a week is great progress!! I have been working to lose weight since July 2020 (it’s January 2021 as of this comment, for future readers) and have only lost 16 pounds in all that time. I do have Addison’s disease and am on lifelong steroids (hydrocortisone and fludrocortisone) to replace what my body no longer makes (cortisol and aldosterone), so that definitely makes it harder because i am hungry basically all the time, so i know i have to cut myself some slack, but still! I gained 90 pounds in 9 months (!) after I started the steroids in 2019 and i wish it was as easy to lose as it was to gain, LOL! My hat is off to you for your continuing progress!
Thank you for sharing your sharing your story. There are so many factors that go into weight loss, aren’t there? And I couldn’t agree with you more that i wish it were as easy to lose as it is to gain! Arg! I feel like I’m just at the beginning of the journey and have a long way ahead. Just this week (second week in January) I did a weigh in a week early – I try to only check once a week so I’m not driving myself crazy – and noticed I was up 3 lbs. Ughhhh, not the way I wanted to start the year, but it’s time to course correct and move forward. I try to think small steps and things I can do. What can I do tonight, not put it off tomorrow. So tonight you’ll find me drinking some extra water and maybe trying to do a quick 10 minute bedtime yoga. Thank you again for sharing, wishing you all the best and progress towards your goals in 2021!!
Absolutely beautifully written. Thank you so much for being so honest & real. I totally appreciate it. And this is exactly what I needed today. Your blog is amazing!! Have a wonderful HAPPY NEW YEAR with your cute family!!
Thank you so much for your kind words and encouraging comment. I truly appreciate it!! I hope you have a wonderful new year as well!!
Liz @ The Lemon Bowl says
I am SO proud of you both!!! Not only for both of you but for the example you’re showing your three little ones. I am so happy for you friend – keep it up and keep inspiring! Xoxoxo
Thank you so much for the kind words. I feel like I/we are just at the beginning of our journey and I’m just looking forward to continuing. We always want to be better for our kids (at least I know I do lol) and I don’t want them growing up thinking that a cookie is “bad” or anything, but maybe just one or two cookies would be better than a dozen at a time. Right now I’m in a phase where all three kids like different things…at different meals (one will only eat vegetables, the other fruit, and the other carbs) so it’s all about balancing and trying to keep up with them. Thank you for taking the time to come and comment.
Nancy Savage says
Congratulations to the two of you. I agree diets don’t work they just set you up for failure with limiting this and that. I too have been on a health journey much like yours. I use Myfittnesspal to help me stay on track. Yes I’ve done the WW thing but writing things down wasn’t my thing but plugging it in on my phone or iPad was. I’ve lost 70 pounds and, more importantly, have kept it off for more than 9 years. I too set up small goals, for me it was 10 pound increments with no deadlines on achievement. I still have 10 pounds I’d like to shed but it’s not going to ruin my life if it takes me all of 2021 to achieve that. Again congratulations on your health journey, you’re doing fantastic. ❤️
Thank you so much for your kind and encouraging comment Nancy. And WOW, 70 lbs and kept it off more than 9 years is incredible!!!! And inspiring!!! Thank you again for commenting and being part of this community. Here’s to 2021 and reaching those health goals!
Julia Clarke says
Congratulations on losing 50 lbs!
Thank you for sharing your story with the SweetPhi community.
Thank you so much for taking the time to comment, I truly appreciate it!
I feel your JOY and your PAIN.
You found a path in life that will most likely lead to a healthier life in your golden years, let’s your children learn how food should fit into a life plan, It’s sensible, sounds like most would consider 80/20 eat what your body needs 80% of the time, and no matter what the scale says today if you can stay close to this path the rewards are life affirming.
You are one of a very few who starts and even makes it this far–congratulations!!
I pray for your continued success of one of life’s extreme challenges because we all have to eat food, we can’t give it up.
Nancy, wow, thank you so much for your comment, it gave me goosebumps. Thank you for the encouraging way you speak about weight and life. I’m hoping to continue on my journey this year and forever after! Just the other day Ben (my 3 year old) said he wanted to ‘do exercises’ with me, it was just my little 7 minute app thing I’ve been doing, but it was so cute he wanted to be involved and saw that I was doing it!
Judy Brady says
Congrats to both you and your husband. You are truly an inspiration, and I so
Enjoy your blog. It’s very well rounded not just about your wonderful food inspirations but also your life and family. Your weight loss journey is something
I can relate to. I wish you a happy healthy new year ❤️.
Thank you so much Judy, I truly appreciate your comment and your kind words more than I can express here. Thank you for being part of this community! I can’t wait for the year ahead, this truly feels like just the beginning for my health journey.
Kay Bastian says
Thank you for sharing! I definitely could tell you both were losing weight but did not want to comment because it is such a personal journey. This article is so great from the perspective of both you and your husband being on the journey and everything you have dealt with. You both are an inspiration!
Thank you so much for your kind words and comments Kay, and your continued reading and support. You couldn’t be more right, it’s such a personal journey, and one never wants to be insensitive to what someone is going through. I’m so grateful for amazing people like you who encourage me to continue and keep at it, so thank you again!!