Small Steps. See also: ::Head Explosion::

July 18, 2011

If you’ve read me for any length of time you’ve probably stumbled across one of my McFatty Monday posts. For the past year, I’ve been blogging and linking up with Blair on and off as I tried to lose the baby weight, then the not-so-baby weight, then the “Yes, I’ll take seconds” weight.

But during that time, especially the past 6 months, I’ve started to work through some of my true feelings about my body. It’s one thing to tote how proud you are of what you look like because you just had a baby. It’s another to actually believe those words while you stand in front of a mirror and wonder what happened.

As I poured out my heart on here, I began to feel something happen. A shift in my thoughts. I often reflected back on my “Porker” post and wondered how I could capture that feeling more often – how to accept where I was instead of hating it?

There was a point after “When it’s not something you want to talk about” where a part of me snapped. Someone commented how, for Bella’s sake, I should try to heal and not pass the body image concern on to her. And I really took that to heart. I never, ever want Bella to hear me say I hate my body. Or how fat I am. Or watch me eat seconds and then go on and on about how I shouldn’t have. I want her to see a mom who has self control and loves her body the way it is.

So the past few months in writing my McFatty posts, I started to do things I’d never have dared before. Even 15lbs lighter.

  • I bought clothes that fit.
  • I bought and wore a swimsuit.
  • I started cooking recipes I loved that were healthy.
  • I made a daily decision to, at the very least, not loathe the way I looked after a shower.
  • I threw out most of my old clothes before we moved – the ones I’d carried to each new place we lived and tried on every few months only to end up in bed crying because they didn’t fit past my thighs. And hadn’t in three years.

Then a few days ago, I was thinking about clothes for BlogHer. How they needed to be business casual during the day – and I had to go buy some. Because the only business casual I had was hanging in my closet from being a teacher. I hadn’t even worn a few of the pieces because right after I bought them I got pregnant with Bella.

With determination to try them on one last time, see if there was any hope of wearing them unzippered with a long blouse or something (hey, they were expensive clothes!) I headed into the closet of tears and took one skirt off the hanger. It was my favorite, a Talbots that I wore one time – at the kindergarten graduation.

I said the little reminder I always say, “It’s ok if it won’t fit. I’m not going to die,” and pulled it up.

And up.

And over my thighs.

And to my waist.

And then?

It zipped.


For a moment I simply stood in that closet in complete shock at what had happened. My clothes. My teaching clothes from 3 years ago right after I went on Weight Watchers. They fit.

Sensing a fluke, I tried on another. Zipped. Another. Buttoned. I grabbed them all off the hangers, threw them on the bed and screamed in delight, jumped up and down, danced around the room – then dialed up my Mom and Sam to leave them inaudible messages full of, “OMG” and “In a million years”.

In the past year, I’ve gone from nearly a size 14 (last summer) to a size 8. But most of it happened within the past 4 months. Moving here helped because it’s so hot, we’ve had to work so hard on this house, and we eat like normal people together.

But in the bigger sense, somewhere along the line I lost that struggle with my body. I gave up, decided that focusing on how much I hated the way I looked all the time wasn’t doing anyone any good. I felt like I was missing so many other, more important things, in life because of that. Swimming with Bella, buying clothes I like, just being kind to myself and others in my same boat.

All of these things, all the writing and comments from you and reading your stories, and Blair being brave enough to sit down for 18 months and share hers – they changed me. It’s not because I’m thinner that I stopped my line of thinking, because that would be easy. It happened months ago. And when it stopped being my focus all the time, when I accepted at least part of it and started to force myself to move on, I changed.

So thank you. For all the support and encouragement and the comments that made me think twice. For sharing your struggles.

This isn’t over. I still have my own issues and it’s so easy to eat it all back on in a fit of, “I’m thinner, I can eat 27lbs of macaroni and cheese.” But I had to share it with all of you – letting go of the obsession and the self loathing helps. Whether it’s to write or see someone or join a meeting or learn to love food in a new way. You have to figure out how to change the focus from hatred to taking the small steps to acceptance.

And yes. I’m pretty mad that I gave away all those clothes I’d never fit into again.


  • Good Girl Gone Green

    July 21, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    GOOD FOR YOU!!! YAY! I know exactly how you feel. I went through all my clothing and none of it fit….I ran around the room jumping up and down and called my husband. he was happy but not happy that I needed some new clothing considering I am trying to but only eco-friendly clothing…*sigh*

  • jess

    July 21, 2011 at 6:37 am

    You are beautiful! And I’m excited for you!

  • Dana K

    July 20, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    Pretty amazing how much our “head” affects our weight, huh?

  • kario

    July 20, 2011 at 9:12 am

    What a terrific story! That’s a powerful reminder to just be who we are in the skin we’re in and go about living our lives for the joy of it. The rest of the pieces fall into place, for the most part. Thanks for sharing.

  • Katrina

    July 19, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    YAY!!! SO happy for you! I think feeling good and healthy should be more important than the way you look…and the better you feel about your health standing probably the better you will feel about your looks.
    And I understand about the post-baby body. I’m a “skinny minnie” but I frequently look at my body after having had two kids (and the fact that I always look about 4 months pregnant or like I have a saggy baggy belly) and wonder how on earth my husband can find me attractive. But he does and that’s what is most important…right?

  • Katie

    July 19, 2011 at 10:00 am

    Yay!!! Good for you 🙂

  • Teresa

    July 19, 2011 at 7:47 am

    That is amazing. I am approaching a size 12 and I need to change my lifestyle FAST. The sitting on the couch with my phone/laptop doesn’t help, I’m sure. I wish I loved to exercise. Thanks for the post, it gives me hope.

  • Suz @ Suz’s Treats

    July 19, 2011 at 7:33 am

    Woohoo! That’s so awesome Diana. I’m excited for you & can’t wait to see those cute outfits.

  • Kim

    July 19, 2011 at 6:31 am

    Yay!!!! How amazing are you?? Happy dancing for you and the fun, fab clothes shopping you get to do!

  • Devan @ Accustomed Chaos

    July 18, 2011 at 11:43 pm

    amazing feeling right! i can’t wait until i get there myself. good for you D!

  • Krista

    July 18, 2011 at 11:35 am

    Atta girl! Being a positive roll model for your daughter is fantastic inspiration!

  • Dana @SearsFam

    July 18, 2011 at 10:52 am

    COngrats! I want pics!!! So proud of you, I needed some inspiration. Can’t wait to see your Hot Body!

  • Hanan

    July 18, 2011 at 10:24 am

    That is SO awesome!! It’s that attitude that will last in the long run over any diet!

  • Alena

    July 18, 2011 at 10:13 am

    Yay yay yay!

    It really is great when you release the hate…because that hate somehow holds on to the pounds.

  • Mrs. MidAtlantic

    July 18, 2011 at 10:07 am

    I love how body image can be so vastly improved with a few simple steps… and then BAM! You’ve lost a few inches by simply taking a healthier stance on life. This is such a great achievement for you!

  • Samantha

    July 18, 2011 at 10:06 am

    Yay! That is amazing – congrats hun!

  • Elle

    July 18, 2011 at 10:06 am


  • Miranda

    July 18, 2011 at 9:25 am

    YES! Go YOU! This is awesome, Diana! So, so proud of you!

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