Thursday, September 16, 2010

Why gaining weight cost me money

One caveat before I dive in. One, if you noticed that my weight loss tracker (on the left) looks different, it's because I'm an idiot. In my head, I'd lost 30 pounds, when in reality, if you do the math, 180-158.8 is. .. uh, not 30 pounds. More like 20, give or take a few. So, I adjusted my tracker to reflect my appropriate weight loss. *hangs head in embarassment*

How I got where I am:
Here's a little background about my overall weight. I was at a healthy weight until I went to college, but I remember having to work hard to maintain a healthy weight ever since about middle school. I would work out & watch what I eat, paying close attention to making good choices. My parents are both very healthy people, & taught me early on about healthy food & balance, as well as the importance of working out. I have never, ever had a fast metabolism. I played sports year round in school, and the exercise is what kept me at a healthy weight. Fast forward to college - I went from 130 lbs to 160 lbs (I'm 5'5"). It was not good. I was unable to really lose any meaningful weight until I graduated from college & started my first job.

My first job came with a plush gym membership, which I utilized. I paid attention to what I ate, and worked out 5 times/week. I got back down to130 lbs within about 5 months, & maintained that weight for 7 years, until I went to grad school. Grad school was not easy on my diet. I was in an executive program where you work full-time, and go to school in the evenings/weekends. The program provided all of our food, to make life slightly more convenient. I am not good with these situations & the food choices were rarely healthy, & always involved dessert. I also didn't have time for regular workouts, & had to quit my soccer team to study. The end result? I got up to 144 lbs.

My first goal upon graduation from grad school was to ditch the weight. I signed up for a two week surfing camp in Hawaii, hired a trainer, & got serious about losing the weight. M & I went on a celebratory trip to celebrate my graduation & came home with a small *souvenir*. I first discovered this souvenir when I was working out with my trainer & had to stop to hurl. Despite taking all appropriate precautions, I was pregnant! :-) I was worried about starting my pregnancy at a higher weight than I had hoped, but my doctor assured me all would be fine. And, it was. I had a beautiful baby & ended the pregnancy at 180 lbs.

Immediately after I had my first son, I started working out religiously & paying attention to what I ate. I did pilates, went for runs, & hit the gym - a minimum of 5 times/week. In fact, I was at 153 pounds four months later. Woo! M & I went for a little trip to have some alone time, & we had a fabulous time in Las Vegas. (Do you see a theme, here? :-))Again, I was taking all of the appropriate precautions.

I'm sure you can imagine my complete & total shock when I went to the doctor to have my IUD put in & discovered that . . . I was pregnant again. I had a 4 month old baby at home, & I was pregnant. . . . It actually happened to be my first day back from maternity leave at work, & I remember sitting in the bathroom & crying. I was so ridiculously overwhelmed. Anyway, the surprise of my life arrived 9 months later, & child #2 is the light of our lives. Can't imagine not having him, of course.

I'm not exactly sure how to articulate what happened next, but M took a job where he was traveling 40% of the time, & I was working full time & juggling motherhood to two small kids. I never lost the baby weight, and in fact, gained more. I topped the scales last Christmas at 180 lbs. That's right, the same weight I was at the day I delivered my first child. *shudder*

After I saw pictures of myself over the holidays, I decided it was time to get serious. I hit the gym again, started tracking calories, and I've lost 22 lbs. (Sadly, not the 30 I had in my head.) I'm almost 1/2 way to my goal of losing 50 lbs, so my next goal is to hit 153 by our anniversary trip in 3 weeks. That's the weight I was at when I got pregnant with my second child. It's totally within reach, and is 5.6 lbs away. My eventual goal is to be back at 130 before my oldest son is 5. His birthday is in February.

How gaining weight cost me money:
Now that you have a better picture of how I got here, I'll give you some details about how this has cost me money. First of all, let's consider my 1 year membership at Weight Watchers, which did nothing for me. I believe that was about $800. And, the personal trainer I hired - $1500. I also had to join a gym in my office building, as the one my employer pays for is not close to our current location. $100/month, so a $1200 hit for the year. If I wasn't desperately focused on losing weight, I would use our treadmill at home, & focus on non-gym workouts. 

Bringing me to, by far, the most expensive part of this. Back when I was a yuppie single girl, I spent a minimum of 20% of my generous salary on clothes, shoes & personal maintenance. It wasn't my brightest move, but I was saving plenty of money, fully funding my retirement, and not necessarily thinking about the future. I have upward of $5000 of clothes in my closet (I'm guessing this is conservative, but I'm too scared to do any real calculations) that don't fit me. I've had to buy everything new since having kids: undergarments (expensive!), workout gear, jeans, work pants, suits, dresses, bathing suits, jackets. . . you name it. Some of my shoes don't even fit, and my gorgeous watch won't clasp over my wrist. My rings are too tight. . . The list goes on & on. And, I have a closet full of gorgeous clothes that don't fit me. My plan is that for every 10 lbs of weight I lose, I ditch some of the clothes that I had to buy after I had kids. I was sure I was going to lose the weight right away *snicker*, so they are not high quality items. I want to get back to my nicer clothes! I'm sure they will be out of style by the time I fit back into them, but most of them are classics that I should be able to work back into my wardrobe.

My first goal is to fit back into my favorite pair of black JCrew cords - size 6 - in the next month. Sadly, I also have them in a size 4 in my closet, but first things first. I'll post a picture when I get them on again! :-)

If you stuck with me for this long, I'd love to hear about how gaining weight has cost you money, or any challenges you've had on a similar roller coaster.


  1. Can I just say that I am really enjoying reading your blog? maybe it is because you are writing about things that I am doing in my life right now (keeping to a budget, losing weight, tracking calories, etc). I'm trying to get down to 125-130 and I'm 5'4". I have a three month old girl that gave me the little padding I'm currently carrying around. I post my weight stuff on Mondays so if you want someone else's numbers - there you go.

    Also, maybe because I'm a Seattle girl, or maybe because I'm a little like you, but I can fully relate to a lot of what you say and write. Too bad I can't post actual numbers because my blog is not as anon as yours, but it is fun to read about someone who is pretty similar to me. (although I am a SAHM and both my hubs and I are in our early 30's and we have four kids - but you and I are much alike HAHA)

    I hate being 'big'. I'm always a size 4-6 and I always work out. So I really hate the times when I am trying to lose my baby weight. The largest I have ever gotten without being preggo is when I was 136 one summer when I was really hitting the bottle (liquor bottle). This last round of losing weight has been really tough. I think it is because I have four kids, a husband who works an awful lot, and I'm almost 35 yrs old. But I'm still on the bandwagon - trying to make it work!

  2. Thank you so much! I am so, so very impressed with you with your four kids! And, jealous of your baby girl. We have thrown around the idea of having another, but it's definitely something we would only do if I was staying home.

    Totally agree on the "it gets harder the older you get" thing - I'm also 34 & have found it to be a much bigger struggle this time around, compared to when I was a young thing of 22. :-) I also had all kinds of free time to work out, play soccer, & I skipped meals like it was going out of style. Now, I have to prepare meals for the kiddos, and once it's in front of me, I'm eating it.

    Looking forward to keeping up with your progress as well!