20 Pounds

Along with our car, our kitchen stuff, and all the other good things one gets when their move finally arrives, I also received something I knew would be bearer of bad news:  my scale.

Sure, I have weighed myself here and there since arriving in Manila, but it was not my usual scale and I know calibration varies, so I was taking it with a grain of salt.

Did I know I gained weight?  Heck yeah!  I just didn’t know how much, since I was afraid to face the scale even before leaving DC.

Turns out, since my marathon and wedding I put on 20 pounds.

20 POUNDS!!!  Lily weighs 9 lbs now, so it’s like I tackled one Lily to each thigh, with a bit more to spare.

Some of this was right after our wedding – we gorged ourselves on our honeymoon and subsequent week in Rio.  I wasn’t worried as I knew everything would go back to normal when I arrived in DC and was back at long-distance running.  Then I had the MRI on my foot and was told “no running for a month” then when I ventured back out, I had the mysterious hip pain that got me limping, and it was another month away until I was back at it.

By then, we already knew we were moving to Manila and our whole routine was out of the window, and who wants to diet when they’re saying goodbye to a country?  It was dinners out, and “we won’t have Tex-Mex for two years” excuses.  Then traveling and moving, and though I was back running when I left DC (I did run two half-marathons and one ten miler during my last month there), I haven’t run anything over 4 miles since landing in Manila.

Heck, I can’t even say I’ve run 3 miles a week since I’ve been there (which is a far cry from my 20-30 miles this time last year).  And we’ve been eating out a LOT.

I don’t think I put on much weight since arriving in Manila, at most 5lbs, if that much.  All of the weight was put on during those 5 months right after the wedding.

20 lbs!!!  I’m at my fattest EVER.  I can’t wear half of my dresses, because though they still fit, they just look too hoochy-mama with all the extra curves tugging at the seams.

And it’s no wonder running is now so tough.  I am carrying a lot more weight!  My legs, which have always been jiggly, are now worse than ever.  Even wearing my beloved running skirts is offensive since there’s just so much wobbliness in full view.  Half of my sleeveless running shirts are too tight to be decent, and forget about me in a bikini, it looks like everything is about to pop out. 

(Talking of bikinis, true story from this week:  I put on my bikini bottom and saw how small it was on the back “Oh, crap, I put on backwards!”  Took it off, turned it around, and then realized, nope, the back was correct the first time around… *sad face*)

Now how does one get back into the swing of things, when you pretty much have that sinking “why bother?” feeling after you gained more weight than you even thought possible?  We all know that losing 20lbs is WAY harder and take WAY longer than gaining 20lbs does.

I’m not looking for sympathy, and “poor you” attitude here – it sucks, I know it, I know you agree.  What I’m looking for is motivation, tips, ideas, and anything that can help and motivate me to get back to the same shape I was last year.  Was that body perfect?  Far from it.  But it was enough that I could pose for pictures in a bikini and not even untag myself when they got posted on Facebook…

Rio 2010 raw 108 1

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51 Comments

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51 responses to “20 Pounds

  1. Jessica

    So, I’ve been getting hooked on the Les Mills Body Combat and BodyPump classes, as well as Zumba. I don’t know how expensive fitness facilities are there, but it looks like the 360 club has them: 13th floor
    Strata 100 Building, F. Ortigas Jr Ave, Ortigas Center,Pasig City,, Manilla, Philippines

    Might be worth a shot, to at least try something new and different. Maybe the gym will give you a free pass for a week or two?

    • Jessica

      The Fitness First actually has a lot more of them… Fitness First Manila 3rd Level Robinsons Place Manila, Ermita, Philippines

      • You’re too nice — and funny! Pasig City *might* look close by, but with traffic it can be over an hour away. There’s a Fitness First here in Makati that’s within walking distance, but I found that for $80/month it was ridiculously expensive, specially for Manila! (And it was SUPER crowded when we went there to check it out. SUPER crowded.)

  2. Lindsay M

    I feel your pain Carla! With all the injuries and happy hours…..huge sad face. Maybe try more weight training….that’s what my friend is pushing me to do

    • I’ve been trying to do that, and even bought that “the new rules of weightlifting for women” that every blogger talks about (haven’t read it yet). But what’s the point of toned muscles if the fat covering is not showing them off? 😦

  3. I am in the exact same boat – I bought a scale and realized I’m about 25 lbs more than I thought. I’ve tried everything to try to motivate myself, but I just lose interest when I don’t see results quickly enough.
    My boyfriend decided to help me by giving me a little incentive. We decided to have a fitness challenge. We both have a goal weight loss that we want to achieve, so we weigh in weekly and at the end of the month, the person closest to their goal wins $25.
    So far it has kept me working toward my goal for the last month and a half

    • That’s a great idea for motivation, but Karl had gained weight too, then caught an amoeba here in Manila, had a few bad bathroom days and got to his goal weight and now is just maintaining. I joke that it’s unfair that he got sick and I didn’t when we ate the same thing!

  4. Oh, I have BEEN there. I gained 15lbs after our wedding, and was so bummed out the entire time. I stopped exercising as much, but mostly I stopped walking around the rest of the day (like, I never left the apartment) – so I wasn’t burning nearly as many calories as I had been when I was in school or campaigning.

    In my first year of law school, I lost 30lbs by tracking my calories and making sure that I worked out for at least 45 minutes a day. This time, my strategy was to track my calories (I used MyFitnessPal, it has a really good database) and make sure I was doing more walking than I had been. I set a rule that I had to walk a mile a day, and I *wasn’t* allowed to “count” it as my workout. So I would go walk a mile a day, and then go to the gym for 45+ minutes. That’s when the weight started to come off, and I lost a little more of it when I had a job and wasn’t able to sit at home and snack all day. I finally lost the last 5lbs when I did a detox diet and started to cut back on carbs and white flour.

    I would recommend with starting with committing to not eating out for a certain period of time – whether it’s just a week or a full month, or decide on where you will be eating before you go out. Also, definitely either cut back on drinking calories or work them into your calorie count for your meal. I find that the first step to losing weight for me is to cut out salt and cut back on alcohol – that lets my body stabilize a bit.

    Sorry for the crazy-long-essay comment – I’ve just so totally been there, and I know how hard it is – but you CAN DO THIS!!!!

    • It’s funny, you’re the second person that suggests cutting back on alcohol, but those who know me know that I rarely drink — I drink one beer a week, if that much. I AM guilty though of ordering fresh mango juices everywhere we go to eat just because I can, so cutting that is probably a good idea.

      And I like the “walk a mile everyday and NOT count as a workout”

      (And I don’t mind crazy long comments, I’ve been known for doing the same!)

      • I put in “drinking calories” meaning juices, not just alcohol – because I know I’ve seen you post a whole lot of yummy fresh fruit beverages here! Which is totally fine, but it’s important to factor it in and think of it as a “dessert” or a “treat”. I drink a glass of wine at least a couple days a week, but I try to think of it as a dessert and not “part of dinner”.

        Do you like to cook? Now that you have all your cooking stuff, can you challenge yourself to making healthy and delicious meals with local produce/food? (If you don’t like to cook, I’ve got no suggestions.) Also, can you make your own mango juice and not put as much sugar in it? My rule for snack foods is that I have to make them myself, and it’s cut back on my overindulging a lot.

        • I know, definitely back to water when we go out now. Boo!

          And I like cooking but I go through phases of cooking a lot, then not touching anything for weeks. BUT, we do have a helper here (have I mentioned how great it is we can afford a maid?) so she can definitely make the healthy stuff for us, and now that my cookbooks are here (lots of them healthy ones), I’m going to put her to work for sure!

    • And I should add, that I do walk a lot more here than I do in DC, which is why the scale surprised me so much. I walk everywhere, pretty much daily, since we live in such a pedestrian-friendly area. But I’m walking with my flipflops and purse and not really putting any speed in it. I should concentrate in walking with a purpose!

  5. I have no wisdom whatsoever. If I had wisdom, I wouldn’t be the weight I am now.

    I’m basically just commenting so I can check the “notify me of more comments” box and read what everyone else says.

  6. mm

    I recently started seeing a trainer (about a month ago)… and just yesterday she recommended something specifically “to see the weight come off faster”. She said to walk on a treadmill at a really high incline (15-30%), with a backpack on my back that has a 5lb weight in it, for 45 min. to an hour 4-5 times a week (in addition to my regular weight training), and as I lose weight, to add more weight to the backpack. So if I lost 5lbs, the backpack would then have 10lbs in it, and so forth…
    I haven’t tried this yet, but it’s worth a shot, and it might help you too if you’re still having pain when running.

    • That is really different! Wouldn’t the weight in the backpack be bad for your knees/back? Or it’s just so little weight that doesn’t add up to much?

      One of our friends from my running group runs with a 25lb body vest at times, to make him run faster.

  7. Beki

    Carla, first of all, you’re absolutely gorgeous don’t forget that! I met you just before you left DC and by your account that was after most of the damage had been done and I thought you were just beautiful! I know weight gain can wreck havoc on a girl’s self-esteem so I just wanted to make sure you know that.

    I’m done 40-some pounds now and I really feel like counting calories made all the difference in the world! But I also found this: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080708080738.htm which makes it sound like counting calories isn’t even necessary, just keeping track of what you eat alone helps! Hopefully you’ll be back at a “happy weight” in no time!

    • Beki, you’re so sweet! And yes, when you met me it was after most of the damage has been done — those race pictures were horrendous!

      I’ll check out the article and see. And I guess I need to count calories, which is hard when you’re eating out, but I should stop eating out so much!

  8. I know it’s frustrating but you CAN get back to where you want to be! After the marathon I noticed I was gaining weight b/c I was still eating like I was in marathon training mode. I tried the counting calories route which had worked for me in the past but got frustrated. So…I sucked it up and joined WW onlin at the end of April. Most people in real life don’t know that I am using WW (the Points Plus version) but I have lost 6-7 pounds (depending on the day) and while it’s a SLOW process I feel like it’s ultimately worth it and has definitely taught me portion control and has had me focusing on putting real foods in my body. One thing I like about WW is that I can eat anything I want, it’s just a trade off based on my choices.

    • That was my problem at first — I still ate as if I was marathon training (when I wasn’t too careful because I didn’t have to be).

      I tried WW online before, but it doesn’t work as well for me… I lost weight at first when I wasn’t exercising due to injury, and then as soon as I got back to running I hit a 3 month plateau and gave up (and only didn’t regain the weight because it was shortly before marathon training).

    • Oh, my one pet peeve with WW is that it doesn’t emphasize healthy eating as much as it does eating low calories and low fat stuff. Just because a processed product is fat free, doesn’t mean is healthy, so I ate a lot of unhealthy stuff that way… And things I love, like fruit, had a ton of points…

      • Hi Carla! Just reading all of the posts here! I’m not on WW’s but I believe they’ve revamped the points system recently to encourage eating more fruits and veggies. 🙂

      • The new points plus system has changed that. Fruits and (most) veggies have 0 points. And the empty calorie/FF “junk” is now higher in points. I think indirectly it encourages lower carb, higher protein diet. Obviously it would be easy to gorge on fruit, but I’m much more likely to choose a banana over a 100 calorie pack b/c now the banana is 0 points but the 100 cal pack is 3 points (and I think they used to be the same)

        • I don’t know if I want fruits to have zero points either — I can eat a crapload of fruits in one seating. It’s one of my weakness really, going beyond it being healthy. But I might try it again if nothing else works…

  9. I’m right there with you! I was close to my highest weight when I got pregnant. I kept the baby weight to under 35 pounds. I was so excited to have lost 25 pounds of it within 6 weeks of giving birth. But my diet sucked (Hello 2 giant easter baskets that I devoured!) and I started gaining, rather than continuing to lose.
    It’s really amazing how it can sneak up on you when you aren’t paying attention.
    I’m getting back into running and am trying to clean up my diet so I can get back to losing weight. I need to track what I eat every day. I’m addicted to chocolate, and it’s hard to cut things out after you’ve been eating them for 4 months. My goal is to loose 20 pounds by October 1.

    • I’d love to lose that much weight by October as well! I have no excuse of baby weight though, and if we want to have kids after Manila, I definitely want to have lost the weight before then. I want to be at my healthiest prior to getting pregnant.

  10. Mary Ellen

    Or you could get pregos now.. Gain 20 more ponds that DO NOT come off with breastfeeding no matter what everyone says, and then just go around blaming the baby forever. Works for me:-). Or I guess you could try out Crossfit and the Paleo diet. To bad they took Manilla off our dang list or else Ken could come train you. But check out Paleo. Meats, nuts, veggies, healthy fats-ie olive oil. No sugar (a little fruit but less almost none at first and a but mire later), and no Carbs (except veggies which are a carb contrary to popular belief). No counting. It’s hard work but it helps your health and your waistline. Do it for 30 days and I’ll be surprised if you don’t have more energy. Were doing it now and have before. Ofcourse if you don’t want to get pregos and do this diet be careful. Fertility is a side effect! 🙂

    • LOL on the prego! I definitely want to be at my healthiest and fittest before I get pregnant (isn’t that what you did? You were super-fit before!).

      And it SUCKS they took Manila off your list! I didn’t know 😦

      I don’t know if I could live without fruit, specially now that I have tropical fruit at my disposal… And the crossfit in Manila is nowhere close to me (traffic here is a bitch, so a few miles away can easily turn into an hour drive).

  11. I was exactly where you are with the 20lb gain last year and I have to say that spinning is how I lost my lbs. I’m not sure if you can get to a spin class or get a bike, but man…being in a hot, dark room pedaling and pouring sweat for 45-60 minutes at a time (a few x’s a week) will def. get those extra pounds off!

  12. Claire

    I have been working on losing weight now for the last 6 months and have lost 19 lbs. The big thing that works for me has been tracking what I eat and keeping a journal. I do Weight Watchers online because it is an easy way to do track everything, but there are many free online tracking places to do it such as spark people, Livestrong also does. Just by tracking I lose weight, I seem to make healthier choices just by being more aware of what I am eating and being accountable to myself. One thing I have learned is that you can’t out train a bad diet. I can run 25 miles a week but if I don’t monitor my intake I won’t lose any weight, so it has to start with conscious food choices. I try to eat lean protein with each meal especially breakfast (eggs, Greek yoghurt or peanut butter are my choices here). That helps me keep full longer.

    In terms of exercise I run a lot but I also am adding 1-2 days of weights too as that builds muscle which means my resting calorie burn is much more. I would add though make these changes one step at a time. I have been making them over the last 6 months. I would recommend making 1 change and living that for 2 weeks, then adding another one, living with that for 2 weeks. The changes will add up and you will soon drop lbs and the better you feel the more motivation you will get. Good luck!! You can totally do this.

    BTW I think you are beautiful 

    • Funny, I find that the more I workout the more I make healthy choices, not to “undo” everything. So marathon training I’d eat a bunch of crap on weekends but during the week I was soooo good at eating healthy!

      Sadly, no Greek yogurt in Manila (I know!! The disgrace!!). And I’m definitely starting to weight train again — it’s been an on and off thing since I was 15, but hopefully now that IN MY BUILDING, I will have no excuses.

      I do love the “one change at a time tip” so it’s not all at once!

      And thanks for calling me beautiful (who doesn’t like compliments!), but I rather not be one of those people where people go “oh, she has such a pretty face, if only she lost some weight… (I’ve been guilty of saying that too!)

  13. Karena Schlatter

    Hi Missy!

    Well, looks like you’re not alone by all the comments. Mine included. 😉 Argh! So frustrating. I can’t even wear most the clothes in my closet! I thought perhaps I was being overly critical of myself and tried on my bikini’s from Brazil. Ha!!! Wow…is all I can say.

    Point is…..I’ve never been able to maintain my weight simply to “be thin”. I must have a deeper motivation. Both Ted and I have identified ours: mostly spiritual awakening and increased vision for God’s call on our lives and the obedience to joyfully pursue that as well as getting free from distracting “obsessions” with various “comforts” that create physical/psychological and spiritual bondage.

    Ted and I are about to start a 40 day cleansing detox and fast. We’ve ordered the cleansing products, missing parts for the juicer and supplements, such as vegan organic protein drinks and adrenal support, to keep our energy up.

    It will be mainly vegetable and fruit juice.

    I’ll keep you posted as to my progress. I’m thinking I will blog about it. It’s sure to present plenty of challenges and opportunities for growth. 😉

    I trust you’ll find what works. Please keep up posted. I have heard many good things about WW.

    • Definitely let me know how it works! For me the hardest is trying to eat healthy but getting invited for dinner. We can’t say no, because we’re still meeting new people and we want to be able to hang out with them! But then as much as you have good intentions when you leave the house, you go to this amazing restaurant and OF COURSE you want to try the food!

  14. how about trying to find another fun activity that you enjoy as much as you did running? i didn’t read all the comments… so maybe it’s already been suggested- but how about a fitness class, or joining a boot camp or challenge, to get you started and motivated again?

    and might i add, i think every marathoner is at their best weight around race day. AND on top of that, your wedding! i’d imagine most gals are feeling their best around wedding time, compartively. that’s not invalidate your feelings, because i know how it can be dissapointing (i’ve gained weight since the marathon too!), but just to say, try and look at with the perspective of… you’ve been enjoying life, eating what you want, eating new and different things, and while it was fun for a while, now you know you want to buckle down again! good news is, you know you can do it, because you’ve done it before!

    • I LOVE volleyball, but after much googling and asking for help on Facebook, I have yet to find a place to play here. I love swimming, but the pool across the street costs $5,000 to be a member (yes, that’s in dollars, and that doesn’t even include monthly dues). The one at our temp housing is about 40 min away with traffic.

      I’ve looked for bootcamp classes or crossfit, nothing like that in Manila (there is a crossfit location but also super far).

      I hope you’re right and I can lose the weight! SO frustrating, specially in a new place that doesn’t have all of my go-to options of exercise…

  15. Hey love! I’m just now seeing this post as I was on vacation.

    You are beautiful regardless, but I know how frustrating the extra pounds can be. I think you’re off to a great start with the treadmill, and I did notice that someone else mentioned myfitnesspal.com. That’s what I’ve been using, and it has a great database! It’s also very customizable, and it’s because of it that I have learned SO much more than just calories. I have mine set to track my calories, fats, carbs, sodium, protein and sugars. In the New Rules.. book I just got, it suggests that we eat a 40/30/30 ratio {carbs/fats/protein}, so I set up my diary to calculate my goals that way. Before I figured out how to customize it, I was always under carbs and over protein but since I’ve changed it, it’s now the opposite! When I used to track calories only, I’d eat all kids of crap as long as it was within my magic number, but this site has forced me to open my eyes to the bigger picture. Maybe giving it a try would help, and it’s totally free!

    • I’ve been reading the same book too! It got here a few weeks ago, but with the move I didn’t have a chance to crack it open, and yesterday I started reading and couldn’t put it down! The sucky thing is that we need protein powder and for some reason Amazon won’t ship that DPO even thought IT ISN’T restricted! UGH! I’ll have to ship it to a friend and have them forward it to me, we’ll see.

      I’ll check out the site you sent me!

  16. I constantly am up and down in my weight and have not figured out why sometimes I eat healthier and others I don’t. It all has to do with my mood, but I haven’t figured THAT out. 😦 I bet once you start to meet more people and make more running buddies it will come right off!

  17. What I do when I notice that the number is creeping up is sub one meal a day with a salad. I do it while Hubby is at work so we can still have a “normal” dinner together. I agree with the others, don’t drink your calories (juices, etc.). Tropical fruit has tons of calories, so make sure you don’t eat too many of those either. Try keeping a food log for a few weeks so you can identify your own weaknesses. It is really eye-opening to have to write things down and see the whole list at the end of the day.

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