Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Weight of Responsibility

I really can't call it baby weight anymore.  Sophia is nearing five years old, after all.  Not to mention the fact that I have since lost (and regained) the "baby" weight so many times that I would weigh around 90 pounds if it weren't for that little part about regaining it. 

No, this weight is all mine.  I can't blame it on my children.  Nor can I blame it on my husband (much as I would like to).  Just because he's a fabulous cook and makes the world's best mint brownies doesn't mean I have to eat the whole pan when he makes them.  Nobody is holding a gun to my head forcing me to eat my weight in desserts at every single holiday.

I have made these decisions.  Me.

And now I am choosing to be healthy, and let me tell you it isn't easy.

In fact, it's one of the hardest things I've ever done.  And that's just the way it goes.  The things that are hard to do are the ones that bring us the most happiness and self-worth in the long run.  The easy way actually makes life harder, once you look past the moment and realize the consequences of the easy choices.

I have always given up dieting and exercising after being mildly successful.  After hitting a plateau, or getting bored, or deciding that I'd rather sit around eating crap when I could be at the gym or, at the very least, eating vegetables instead of, well, crap.  And once I give up, all the weight I lost comes right back on in a matter of minutes.

The thing is, part of my giving up is whining about how hard it is, and how if I just didn't have PCOS or thyroid issues, or if I just had more time to make myself healthy food and to exercise, or if my metabolism and genetics were just thinner then I would be successful.

Well that's crap, too.

PCOS and thyroid may make it slightly more difficult to lose weight, but they certainly never made me eat a brownie instead of broccoli.  Having a busy schedule may make it hard to eat right and exercise, but I have sure found time for other things in my overscheduled life that aren't necessary.  My metabolism and my genetics?  Bah, humbug.  Just more excuses.

I have been obsessed with The Biggest Loser this season.  I've never watched it before, as I'm not much of a TV watcher, but it has been so inspiring.  Olivia Ward is my new hero.  I really identified with her. Not only is she an opera singer, but she has PCOS and she is my exact same height.  I watched her do things she never thought she could do--things I still don't think I can do--every week.  And in the finale, when she got on that scale and the number was right around what I weighed when I got married, it brought me to tears.  She did this, and she had much more weight to lose than I do.

I can do this, too.  I have been doing it.  I've lost 15 pounds since April.  But I have been teetering on that precipice of giving up because it's too hard to lose the other 40.  So I'm writing this to remind myself.

Lara Neves
Lara Neves

Lara is mom to three daughters—two teens and a tween. She loves to share her parenting and homemaking triumphs and failures here at Overstuffed! She was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2015 and has been fighting it ever since. When she isn't working on her mother of the year award, you can find her reading, singing, or taking photos.


  1. You CAN do hard things. And I'm on your side...I want to hear how it goes. Keep us updated. I started my healthier journey (again) today and already I want to make a big batch of chocolate chip cookies. But I won't, because 40 is around the corner.

  2. Me too! I need to jump on your band wagon! I've been exercising at the gym this last month, but haven't really been watching what I eat so I haven't seen much of any result!

  3. I just have to say, Lara--you are gorgeous. I remember the first time I saw you (not too long after you had Sophia) I thought, "Woah. Dr. Neves' wife is way pretty."

    I'm so glad you posted this, though. I've only been married a few months, and I can already feel my metabolism slowing down. Ha. It's terrible. I'm inspired by your desire to keep yourself healthy. I'm definitely going to use this as motivation to continue hitting the gym. If you can do it with three kids, I, surely, should be able to do it with none.

  4. I LOVE this post. This weight-loss journey is so hard for so many different reasons. I'm learning a lot about myself along the way.

    2 lbs a week is my goal. It's a healthy goal for my body. And I can say that out loud a kazillion times but still hope and wish for more. I wish I could stop. It's hard when I have a friend who's consistently losing 7 lbs a week (albeit with drugs in addition to exercise and diet).

    I loved Olivia, too, and I have the same amount of weight to lose as she did. I have no doubt I will reach my goal because I refuse to stop until I do. But there is room for ups and downs along the way (which is a truth that's hard for me to admit.)

    You can do it! We both can! And now I'm going to put down the computer and do the weights I've been putting off all day. <3

  5. My hat's off to you! You CAN do it!

    That commitment over time is the hardest thing for me. Or maybe it's motivation. Maybe those amount to the same problem. All I know is that I have been playing with the same 10 lbs for the past 3 years, never making it down the last 10 that I need. So at the moment I am 20 lbs overweight, trying to figure out how to care enough to stop my love-affair with refined sugar and my feud with exercise.

  6. You can totally do this!!! I will be your cheerleader! I have about 30 to lose and have been really working hard on making better food choices but it has come to the point where i just have to get off my butt and MOVE! And I hate every min of it on my exercise dvd's....but I just gotta keep trying because I hate how I look and feel right now, something's gotta give and it's stubborn ol' me!

    You go girl!

  7. Yes you can! You can do this and though I can't relate to the hard things you've gone through, I know you can make it. I'll pray for you that this hard time will pass and you'll grow into a new season with energy, excitement, and ease.

  8. *clap clap clap clap*

    I want to be like you.

  9. Just so you know, I think you are probably the best person in the world.

  10. Go Lara!!! (and thank you for writing this)

  11. Don't give up Lara! You can do it! And know, you're not alone either. I am up and down and all around. I think I've lost the same 3 pounds about 35 times. Just watch your portion sizes, and keep movin! :)

  12. Lara,
    You just hit on my family motto:
    "Kemavors can do hard things". "Hard" is no excuse.

    I am completely right there with you. I started my own weight loss journey Sept 2010. By Dec. 2010 I had lost 48 pounds...and I've kept it off. I had to use a supplement that made it easy because it's too easy to give up if you don't see success. With this, I was fast and easy BUT I learned how I should be eating so I've been able to keep it off. Now it's all I talk about. It's ridiculous, really, because I never wanted to be "one of those" women.
    Anyway, if you're interested, you can see my before and after pictures here:
    If it's even a little interesting to you, I'm happy to tell you all about it. I has worked for me and a dozen (I'm not kidding) of my friends that have done it. It's part of what I do now, I teach people how to jump start their healthier lives. Seriously, who would have thought that would be me?

    BEST to you, my dear friend.


    <3 Alanna

  13. What a great post Lara! My stake started what they call the Tri-Fit Challenge last year. This year they created an 8 week program that gives direction on being "more fit for the kingdom" (physically and spiritually). If you like checklists (which I think you do), you might want to take a look at it and see if it would be something that might help you with doing this hard thing. The website is http://www.mapletontrifit.com. I'm finding it very motivating, and it's only two days into it.

  14. You CAN do hard things. You can do this. You're awesome. Don't give up. Yeehaw!

  15. Good luck!! You will do it, you just have to be fanatical about it. I find every time I get "cOMFORTABLE" and let myself slip, I put on a few pounds and then it's easier to say, "tomorrow."

    Also, Sister Beck changed that statement a little bit at Women's Conference. She said that we should say, "I DO hard things."

  16. Thus the battle that I think 99% of the women in the world battle.

    Keep going, keep working hard. It will be worth it.

    I loved the season finale of The Biggest Loser - those sisters were AMAZING and inspiring!

  17. Taking charge of it is the hardest part. We (meaning me) hit a point where just letting everything happen doesn't come without results-- heavy ones-- anymore. It's hard to have to pay attention and actually WORK at it. In other words, it's hard to not be lazy and it seems unfair when it's suddenly something you have to work at, but you can do it. I'm trying too.

  18. LARA! Did you post this for me? Because this is EXACTLY what I needed to hear today! Exactly. I'm trying to get rid of 30 extra pounds....and oddly enough, it's going to be harder while training, because I will be so HUNGRY! But you inspire me and you make me want to keep going, because I struggle with the same up-and-down, so THANK YOU!!

  19. I actually followed this year too (I hadn't watched since the second season). I loved it when she sang a bit at the end of that one weigh in--seeing Bob cry! She looks like a totally different person and it's so exciting.
    I have to admit that I've struggled with having a husband who has no sweet tooth. But, it does make it easier to avoid those types of temptations. If my husband was a great maker of sweets like yours and another good friend of mine, it would be so, so hard. It's really a lifestyle change. Diets don't last and work long term.
    By the way, have you seen Amelia Poll lately? She's down to her goal weight via Weight Watchers.

  20. Good luck! Weight loss is SUCH a hard thing. And honestly, most of it is mental. I'm the one that destroys all of the hard work I do. And why? I have no idea. Because, like you said, I think it's too hard. But I know you can do it! It really isn't easy to start, but once you find your groove, it will get easier. And with exercise? It's like going to church. I do it everyday. I don't give myself a choice, it's just something I do, like go to church. I don't ask myself on Sundays if I should go or not. I already know that I'm going. If you can get that way with exercising, it becomes much easier to stick with it! The only times I don't go to the gym are when my kids are sick or I'm out of town. I will take a day off every now and then, but for the most part, I'm there 5 days a week.

    And great job on losing the first 15 pounds!!!

  21. You're my hero. That is so awesome. Stick to it! I really want to get back to where I was maybe 5 years ago. About 3 kilos lighter, but mostly just healthier. Yes, I ate baked stuff regularly, but I also snacked on healthy foods and didn't ALWAYS turn to a cookie. I'm doing better than I was a few months ago, but I want to actually enjoy eating dried fruit and nuts like I used to, instead of feeling that, "it's so hard" that you talk about. I'll just keep working toward it. Because of you, after we play outside and when we're having a morning snack I will skip the mint chocolate cookies and candied popcorn I made for Children's Day yesterday and eat a nectarine and maybe some yogurt instead.

    Thanks for that. Every time I eat a healthy snack I feel like I'm that much closer to BEING there. Where I'm a healthy eater.

  22. I'm trying to do hard things too. Thanks for this post.


  23. I'm in the same boat. I've been exercising faithfully, but gave up on the diet side. Which means I've stopped gaining weight, but am struggling through a plateau right now. I need to re-up my dedication again, too.

  24. Good luck to you! I love it when tv shows remind me of things that are important to me (like the Food Revolution).

    It also helps when I don't make an entire pan of something. I can't eat it if I never made it.

  25. This is a concept I've been thinking about for the last year - the concept that the things most worthwhile, most important in life are the most hard things as well. The easy choices rarely bring us any lasting joy. It's always momentary. Love the way you phrased it!

    Sounds like you are doing awesome! I'm sure you will reach your goal!

  26. yay for the 15 pounds, but sometimes it just helps to focus on what you want to do (eat less junk, follow WW or whatever) instead of the scale. The scale follows, as long as you're making good decisions, I have found.
    I love Olivia too -- and I thought of you when she sang. :D

  27. I love The Biggest Loser. I have been on a good run lately and have felt better and lost weight. So much of it is psychological. Best of luck!

  28. I needed to read this tonight. Thanks! And I'm looking for a walking buddy for the summer - so let me know if you want to do a few miles with me and my double jogger.

  29. That is fantastic, Lara! It's not coming off as fast for me either, but I figure you just gotta keep plugging away. Putting it on your blog will make you more accountable, so good for you! Can't wait to see you and Bria!!!

  30. I love the way that you are honest and no-excuses with yourself. It's inspiring. Congratulations, too, on your weight loss.

  31. Sounds like you are right on top of this weight loss thing...I wish I could get my act together. These last 2 babes have been hard on my body. I don't even WANT to go on a diet. I tried the exercise plan and I just ended up with tendonitis in my achilles. I'm not complaining (ok maybe I am complaining) but I know my choices are my own. You are amazing and an inspiration.

  32. As always, you're an inspiration. Why is it that we tackle all sorts of hard things without batting an eye, simply because "it has to be done," but it's so easy to get discouraged and give up on something like this? Thanks for helping me renew a little dedication today—time to strap on the walking shoes and head out the door!

  33. What a great post! I think that we all feel the same way at one point in our lives or another. I, too, have a HUGE desire to lose weight. I am still in my "child birthing years", so I just want to lose what I gained when pregnant. It's hard work!
    I have found some great blogs to help me.
    They are both incredibly useful!
    Good Luck and Congrats on the 15lbs!