Thursday, April 22, 2010

Announcing the Winners of FAYE: The 2nd Biggest Loser Mom Contest

The grand prize winner of The 2nd Biggest Loser Mom contest is...
Andrea Shockling! And we have an additional surprise for her. In addition to getting some coin, she will also be receiving a Motiva Strapless Mio heart rate monitor watch compliments of the good folks at MIO.*

Second prize goes to Tiffany Blue, and she will be given coin, and she get a surprise too...A month's membership to Gold's Gym!

We are so excited by the progress all of you have made during the contest.  And it doesn't have to stop! Sarah and I still have not made  our goal weights, so we are going to start up another contest! Details will be published next week. So check back with us! Whether you lost 30 pounds,3 ounces, or nothing at all we are damn proud of you and you should be proud of yourself. Sometimes it takes a while to make that connection, so don't get frustrated if you didn't keep with the contest until the very end. Slow and steady wins the race too. We're all winners at losing!

Devra and Sarah

* MIO has also made a generous donation to Susan G. Komen Foundation in honor of our Loser Mom contestants.  If you buy a pink MIO watch, 10% of the proceeds will go to Komen. Yay!

Special shout out to RoadTripMom for creating our LoserMom Award pic!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

We're tallying up the final scores!

Haven't forgotten you FAYErs! I'm just slow at Math and Sarah is on her elliptical. We will have the winners posted tomorrow!

Folks have asked if we will be conducting another contest after this one ends.  It seems quite a few of you found your groove and want to continue grooving. We think this is totally groovy! So in answer to the question of whether we will have another round of the contest...


Not sure about the start date yet, but we'll announce it either at the end of this week or the beginning of next week. 

Thank you for your continued patience. Now while you're waiting, why don't you get some cardio in?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

In the spirit of the Iconic music group Europe; It's The Final Weigh-in!

Okay FAYErs, it's the final weigh-in for The Second Biggest Loser Moms. Now step on the scale and yell, "FAYE all the weigh!" at the top of your lungs. And don't forget to send your weight to us.

Looking forward to the final results and announcing our grand prize champion and second place champion!

Today I walked for two miles. It felt great. My goal for this contest was to increase my exercise, and I've been steadily working toward that goal. I'll write more about all of that later this week, right now I need to get to bed. Evidently walking two miles exhausted me.


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The 12 of Lies

I'm down about 10 pounds. Which, according to fashionistas, means I am technically down a size.  Okay, but really what size am I now down to? See here is what is going on in the world of retail, and has been for years, only now it's even worse than what it once was. The size is a big fat lie.  Did you know depending upon the brand, or even the store, sizes of clothes may vary? Yup. More expensive lines of clothing, have been doing what is known in the industry as "vanity sizing" for eons, but now less expensive stores such as The Gap and H&M have followed in their footsteps. In simpler terms, manufacturers want people to feel good about the clothing they are buying and so they downsize the actual size. So a size 8 in a Banana Republic store, may actually be a size 10 at Target. 

What is a person to do? I say fuck it. Wear what fits your body and don't even look at the size anymore.  No one is a "00" it cannot physically exist, and yet you can purchase a size "00" in some stores! This is crazy talk.  Don't buy into the madness. Don't get hung up on what size your clothing says it is on the tag, it's just one big lie.  For every 10 pounds you drop, go buy something that fits your body. Try on all the sizes, who gives a rats ass what it says on the collar or on the waistband.  You're not wearing your clothes inside out.  If the label bothers you, take it out.  We all know the Feds are far too busy pursuing people who remove tags from mattresses, and no one is going to bust you for taking your scissors to your Ann Taylor dress and cutting out The Lie from the back of the neck!

Size is just a number, and by the looks of it, it's not even a real number. So go buy what fits, feel good in what you are wearing. Maybe you can't afford a whole new wardrobe as you lose weight, but one pair of jeans, or a top, that fits you at the size you are, may be all the encouragement you need to keep on track and not feel discouraged.  Let's take back our own vanity and not let the fashion industry tell us how to feel about ourselves!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

This Might Help

If you still need help getting motivated, I'm giving away a Wii and a Wii Fit Plus over on my review blog.

I'm not guaranteeing anything, but it can't hurt to try.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Weigh-In Wednesday: Good News on the Homefront

I don't think I am going to win this contest, but I have great news.

For the first time in a long, long time I am under 180. Yes, this morning I was 179.

I still have a long way to go but for today I am pleased.

Don't forget to weigh in! We are only a few weeks away from the end of this!

- Sarah

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Front Lawn Diet

A couple of years ago I was on the phone with my friend Laurel.  See Laurel is a Girl Scout Leader, and it was cookie season. I was lamenting to her about the fact I had consumed far too many "Samoans." Yes, I realize they are technically "Samoas" but I continue to refer to them as "Samoans" because I know it drives Laurel crazy.  Makes me a good friend, I know, driving her crazy on purpose. Friend of the year? YES! But back to our story...

We're on the phone and I am eating Tagalongs. Having eaten all of the Samoans, I had no choice. However, I could feel my ass expanding almost immediately with every bite. I finally thought, "Dammit, I need to get these things out of the house." So with Laurel on the phone with me, I opened the front door and threw the remainding Tagalongs onto the front lawn.  In my ferver to get rid of the little bastards cookies, I hadn't noticed my neighbor walking his dog.  While I am confident he saw me tossing my cookies, he has never brought it up, but at the same time he doesn't maintain eye contact with me all that much either.

It is once again cookie season and this morning I noticed my son had left half of a Thin Mint on the kitchen table.  I decided to maintain Pie Hole Control. Grabbing the cookie, I raced to the front door, swung it open and tossed the little bastard cookie outside. Only it landed on our front walk.  I did what any normal person would do, I walked outside, picked up the cookie and and in mid-throw something caught the corner of my eye.

My neighbor, walking his dog.  I'm confident he saw me. Especially since this time I was wearing these.  But I don't care because I am also confident the next time I throw those little bastards cookies onto my front lawn, my PJ's will be really baggy on me.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Don't Forget Weigh In Wednesday

We're still here. We're just busy exercising.

Or something.

We still love you.

Don't forget to weigh in! Progress reports to come as soon as my children go back to school.

Did I say I was exercising? Ok, I lied. My twins both have strep throat. Ian lost three pounds. Can I count that?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Numbers Game

I've lost 30.8 lbs since January 9, when I unboxed the scale purchased especially for this contest, stepped on and tried not to cry. When I weighed in on January 15 for the first time officially, I was already down 9 lbs from that original scary number. (New number: still scary) I attribute that quick and sudden drop to a lot of things, but I'm fairly certain it's accurate. You see, after years of being anti-scale, relying instead on clothes sizes and family photographs to measure my successes (and failures) at weight loss, I am now totally and hopelessly committed to my little bathroom scale. I've become a full-fledged player of the numbers game.

I weigh myself daily, sometimes more than once a day, but I only record the number first thing in the morning. I'm using the Lose It! iPhone app, and I will admit to a bit of a thrill when I open it and see the steady downward slope of the weight line. I record negative changes by the ounce as they occur, but I prefer nice round numbers. Who doesn't?

But how much is too much of the numbers game?

During February's snowpocalypse I fretted over my loss of momentum and will power being stuck inside for most of a week. I gained 8 ounces in 4 days, then worked twice as hard to lose that and more to get back on track. While I have heard similar stories from everyone else on the East Coast dealing with being cooped up this winter, I've started to notice other trends in my numbers game. For example, we are going to the beach at the end of August, and I recently added up my weekly average weight loss so far (about 4 lbs) and applied that to the remaining weeks until we go (about 24) to come up with a ridiculous potential additional loss (96 lbs). When I giddily shared that aloud, my husband was quick to admonish me. Goals are one thing, but this had never been about the number for me in the past. Why was it now? (He has been incredibly complimentary and supportive, by the way. Important to note.)

I've thought a lot about this, and I think the numbers game is a product of several factors. First and foremost, it is EXCITING to see that scary number going down! I am so proud of myself, and I feel great. I posted to Twitter yesterday that there must be something about 30 lbs that just opens the door for people to notice, because all of a sudden this week people are. And that is AWESOME. But it's also the way I'm going about this that is in fact all about numbers - my weight is just one of them. I'm tracking calories, fat, protein, sodium, fiber, carbs, sugar and cholesterol with Lose It! I enter every single thing I eat into the app and record every minute of exercise. (We joined the brand new gym in our neighborhood and I go at least four times a week with a gym buddy.) I cook daily, experimenting with recipes and dutifully writing down alterations to ingredients, portions and procedures. I've cut out almost all processed foods so I'm constantly dealing with calculating the numbers from combinations of raw ingredients.

Sure, weight loss was never about the numbers for me, but it is now. And it's working. I think as long as I keep things in perspective and continue to approach it in a healthy, realistic way (i.e., no more multi-week pound projections!) I might really be on to something here. It may have taken five years, but I'm pretty confident I can finally lose that thousand or so pounds I gained when my son Avi was born. Thanks to the numbers game.

Andrea Shockling is an arts manager, designer and educator in Pittsburgh. She's also a huge hockey fan and is bummed that Sarah can't appreciate Sidney Crosby as the gifted player he is. Find her

Monday, March 1, 2010

Worth It: The Inspirational Guest Post

Worth It

Think back to two months ago: January 1, 2010. This was it. It would be different this time -- the start of a new decade and the start of a new you. The fitness goals were set, the determination was there, focus was rock solid. You jumped into your new fitness routine and perfect nutrition with gusto.

Fast forward to now. Slow (or no) results. Snow, snow, and more snow. The oatmeal is not hitting the spot anymore and there seem to be more reasons why you need to do drive-bys of the neighborhood Dairy Queen. The goals and focus have given way to boredom and burn out. What is the point, anyway?

That’s a good question: What IS the point? Why should you stick with this? Well, I’ll tell you the point:

You are worth it.

I was putting my kids in the minivan the other day and laughing with them while getting them buckled in. My daughter asked, “Why are you in such a good mood, Mom?” Before I could say anything she answered her own question, “Oh, you worked out, that’s why.” Nice.

After years of extensive research and experimentation, these are my tried and true formulas:

Workout + Eating Well =

Happy Mom

No Workout + Eating Crappy =

“You’d Better Do What I Say NOW ‘Cause I Just Might Bite Your Head Off” Mom

Being a mom is synonymous with giving. You are giving to the kids. Giving to the PTA. Giving to your husband. Giving to the neighborhood. Giving to work. Giving to your dog. Giving to everyone. You must give back to yourself. It’s that simple.

Regular exercise and awesome nutrition are healthy, productive ways to give back to yourself. Sure, you could sit in front of the glow late night TV, finishing off the half-gallon of ice cream and coin it as “Mom time”. However, this is undermining what you really want – time to feel like yourself again, and the energy to meet the demands that are being thrown at you from every direction.

Your kids are worth it.

Our kids are watching our every move. If we are taking the time to care for ourselves through healthy, smart food choices so will our kids. If we are carving out some time to exercise every day, so will our kids. Perhaps not immediately, but someday they will fall back on our example of health.

As a child, I would wake up early to watch The Electric Company on our old, black and white television that could only change channels if I turned the knob with my teeth. I would watch my mother silently sneak out the back door every morning to meet her running group. I also watched her eat a huge salad every day for lunch as I downed my PB&J.

I became and adult and found myself heavy and miserable. When I was ready to commit to make changes in my life, guess who looked to for guidance? Mom. Her example had always been there, I had just chosen not to follow it for quite some time. The healthy habits that were instilled in me as a child got plucked off the shelf and finally put to good use.

Your future is worth it.

I have a client who is 75 yearsold. Mrs. J has never, I’m talking, never exercised or stepped into a gym in her life. Ever. She complains about having to exercise and I finally asked if she hated this so much, why did she call me? At first she said she called me because she liked my teeth (the channel changing as a kid must not have done much damage). But then, she went on to admit she has been stubborn and stupid (her words) about fitness and knows she has no choice. She has 13 grandchildren. She is tired of being left behind and passively observing the action from the perspective of her La-Z-Boy recliner.

It is never too late. Whether you’ve had no children, one child or five. Whether you are a former college athlete or were a dedicated band geek. Whether you are 35 or 75. None of this matters. We are doing this for our life 40 years from now. We want and deserve a high quality of life now and then.

Our bodies don’t like being inactive. Our bodies don’t like eating lousy food. Our bodies let us know that by rebelling in not-so-kind ways:

Heart disease.


High blood pressure.



Sleep apnea.

Abdominal hernias.

Varicose veins.


Gall bladder disease.

Respiratory problems.

Liver malfunction.

We are not just exercising and eating clean to fit into our skinny jeans, gals. Weight loss is a very welcome side effect, but we are also doing this for our overall and long term health. We don’t want to be left behind and just observe life. Now is the time to live it.

Your future is worth it.

Your kids are worth it.

You are worth it.

-- Mandi Reading is a certified personal trainer and a certified nutrition consultant. She works part-time training clients, then spends the rest of her day (and some nights) chasing after her three rascals. Check out her blog Trainer Momma at for daily fitness and nutrition tips for mothers and their families.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Weigh-in Wednesday: I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike

Send in your weigh-in result! 

Did you send it? Don't read another word until it's sent.

I'll wait.

And while I wait, I'm going to go get on that lonely looking exercise bike. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I Get Knocked Down but I Get Up Again

First and foremost I would like to apologize for getting a Chumbawamba song stuck in your head. I assure you that was not my intent.

My intent is to let you know that if you've gained a few pounds in the last couple of weeks you are not alone. I have fallen off of my diet wagon. I went to Houston for the Mom 2.0 Summit and there I ate a shocking amount of queso and drank my daily recommended caloric intake each day.

And there is a big butt.

I came home and while I still may be exceeding 1400 calories a day (fine I am exceeding 1800 calories a day) I am back on my elliptical. I am drinking my water. I am not giving up, and neither should you.

Fun things are in store for the Loser Moms. I think we have a giveaway coming up as well as a motivational guest post from a personal trainer.

Sometimes we take steps backwards and it is okay. I am still in better shape than I was when we started this thing.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

So this is what Valentine's Day looked like at our house...

And I only ate half of those two pieces of candy that you see in the video which are half-eaten.  I'd like to think this was my way of not being half-assed about my commitment to lose some El Bees. 

 Regardless of whether you observed the holiday, weekends are unstructured which usually pose challenges regarding food choices. I tend to choose Chinese food. Le Sigh.

On a positive note, those PJ's were a Chanukkah gift from the kids and they are definitely less tight than when I first put them on in December! 

What about you? How did your weekend go?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Weigh in Wednesday: C'est La Vie (You Never Can Tell)

My weigh-in never ceases to surprise me.

This week I worked out pretty much every day. I think I may have skipped a day, it is impossible to tell because the Snopocalypse is making my days all run together. I haven't left my house in a week.

Apparently being a shut-in also makes me eat and drink more because I was up 2.5 pounds this week.

I am a little bit discouraged but even though I am back up I feel better. I look better.

My scale can suck it.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Fitting In: A Guest Post

How do you fit it in?

I've been an on and off exerciser for many years now. When I feltlike I could fit it in, I did. I would exercise for months at a time,up to three times a week. And then, work would get busy, I would have a baby, my husband's hours would pick up... whatever. And then the weather would change, the baby would start school or I would find a new gym, or pool, or something.
So how do you fit it in? How do you decide not to quit?
This time, back in September, before I started going to the first gym I could find, I thought about it. What would I do? When would I do it? What where my goals? Why do I want to do this? I thought about it for a month, maybe a little longer even. I visited more than one gym that would have been happy to have me start that day. And Ididn't sign up. Once in a while, I thought about just jumping right in, but decided not to and though a little more. How often would I go? Who would take care of the baby? What would happen when she was bigger than a baby but not in school yet?
I wanted an activity that would push me. I have tried many, many sports. I could go on and (and on and on) about each one and what about it did and did not work for me. But this time, I spent more time thinking not just about what I would enjoy this moment in time, but 6 months from now, and a year from now and three years from now.
(I decided further than that was just silly).
I started working out 4 months ago going one day a week to my gym.
And theoretically, every day (but it was really more like 3-4 additional days) I would work out at home for fifteen minutes. And sometimes that fifteen minutes took an hour due to crying babies and potty emergencies, but I would do it. And a month ago, I started to the gym twice a week. And I was thinking about upping it to three times a week but then I realized that I had stopped my fifteen minutes at home, and I should start that up again before moving to three days. Commitment and intent. But I'm hoping, that if I can keep up my fifteen minutes a day and twice a week gym commitment, I will be ready both mentally and physically to go three days a week next month. And beyond that, I can not say, but I hope a year from now, I will be going at least twice a week and spending fifteen minutes a day at home.
So the short answer, How do I fit it in? With intent.

- Natalie can also be found at Eating Local in D.C.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Changing My Mood About Food

This week we had a whole helluva lot of snow dumped in our region of the country.  Over two feet in our neihborhood, up to three feet in others. It was a mighty big storm. The night before it hit, my husband moved our barbeque grill (AKA Max*) into the garage.  I took it as his hint to me that he might be right, and I wrong, about, you know, our power going out during the storm. I said "Nah." He said "What if?" and he was urging me to purchase a generator.
Admittedly I gave him a hard time about the generator. I even invoked his childhood in rural Colorado into my argument with "Did your family have one? How often did you use it?" And his answer of "No, we didn't have one, but we could have used it if we had" didn't win me over.  No generator would be purchased on that day. I nixed the idea.

The weather gods laughed, but I couldn't hear them.

So early early Sunday morning our power went out.  I apologized to my husband when I awoke later that morning and felt the chill in the air.  Both from him and the lack of heat. I shouldn't have made fun of him about the generator. I thought he was awfulizing the situation.  I admitted I was wrong to have laughed at his suggestion that our power might go out. But in my defense, I've been in a lot of snow storms and never lost power. Rainstorms? Yes. But not snow.  I'll chalk this up to "live and learn" and we might even buy a generator when they restock the shelves.  After a day without power, I learned something surprising about how I have been stuck in a bad mood about winter food.

Winter cooking, for me,  has always translated to big pots of soup, slowcooker cooking, meat and potatoes, gooey warm cinnamon rolls. Stuff that is rich and heavy. I seem to eschew anything cold, anything resembling a salad. I turn away from tomatoes in the grocery store because I fear they will be bland and grainy.  I skip melons, I ignore berries.  But is it really necessary?  Why do I have to eat the big vats of comfort foods?  Maybe I should pay a little extra for the vine ripened tomatoes and enjoy them?  If it keeps me from packing on the pounds during winter, then maybe it would be a worthwhile investment. Every winter when I pack on the pounds I get grumpy as I make my way (weigh?!) into the Spring.

 As I stood over the hotdogs grilling for lunch (all beef, reduced fat) and later the hamburgers (90% lean) I had an epiphany.  It doesn't have to be summer in order for me to make healthier eating choices and I actually decided I had been allowing myself a "pass" on gaining weight in the winter because it is winter.  I was using winter as a justification for weight gain.

As I sat down for dinner with my family last night, I looked at the happy faces enjoying the burgers and thought they love summer too, why not bring summer into our lives all year 'round?

Here is a recipe my whole family lives on during the summer, and I'm going to make this sucker next week. It is from My Stolen Cookbook (or more commonly known as The Creme De Colorado Cookbook). All of the ingredients can be purchased in the dead of winter easily.

Grilled Sesame Chicken: 4-6 servings
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup soy sauce
1-2 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 tablespoon dry mustard (I prefer Coleman's)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup chopped green onions
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 whole chickens quartered (or you can just use a lot of chicken breasts)

Combine marinade ingredients in a large ziplock bag. Add chicken. Squeeze out air and seal. Marinate in refridgerator for 4-8 hours.  Remove chicken, reserving marinade.  Grill over medium-hot coals or if using a gas grill, low to medium heat for 15-20 minutes or until chicken juice runs clear and it is cooked. Baste frequently with reserved marinade

Feel free to add your own favorites in the comments.  Let's get some more Loser Mom recipes on the radar. Maybe more of you will join me in my mood swing!

*As far back as I can remember we have always had Weber grills in our family. My father loves his Kettle grill, we now have a gas Weber. Being the daughter of not one, but two sociologists, I cannot help but name our grill Max, after the famed sociologist Max Weber. I know, it's a sickness.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Weigh In Wednesday: It Goes to Show You Never Can Tell

I spent the weekend at my mom and dad's house with beer and Doritos.

I'm not proud of myself. I have foods that I cannot control myself around: bacon, brownies, Tootsie Rolls and Doritos. I cannot keep Doritos in my house but my mom buys them for the kids and then I eat them.

Oh, it gets worse.

Since I drove to Florida with two five year olds - 13 hours both ways - there was crappy fast food to be eaten.

Here is the interesting thing, fast food doesn't even taste good anymore. I thought I would miss it, but as it turns out some of those burgers are really, really gross.

But I ate it anyway.


The silver lining to the whole fast food thing is that all that grease gave me horrible intestinal distress. While I don't recommend trying this at home (or on the road) I did lose two pound this week.

I know, the irony is killing me.

The real truth of the matter is that I think all of the exercise is finally working. My belly is decidedly less disgusting even though I haven't even lost six whole pounds yet.

Some of you people are kicking my ass in this contest, but I am still pleased with my progress so far.

Keep sending in your weights and guests post, so far this contest has been a huge success.



ps - Clearly not my scale. I haven't weighed 124 since sixth grade and my toenails don't look that nice.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I Need a Pep Talk

Hi, sister friends. I'm trying to win this shebang this time around. I signed up for the Biggest Loser Moms contest last time too, and ended up gaining something like seven pounds over the past four months. I totally half-assed it. (Or really, I one and a half assed it, considering my weight gain.)

This time I'm taking it seriously. I need this. I need it for my self esteem and my mental health. And probably my actual health too, but whatever. I am here to KILL THIS. I don't care if I lose the prize, because my prize is a substantial start on weight loss.

But here's the thing. We're heading into the third weigh in, and after a disappointing week and a great week, we've arrived at the I-want-to-kill-myself week. Because I seem to have gained weight from last week, bringing me to just one pound under my start weight.

Normally, I'd be all, "Yep. That's sucks." And then I would go eat a batch of cookies and forget I was part of this contest. But not this time. This time I want to know: What? the? FUCK?!?!

Here's why:

* I cut out my daily morning brownie.

* I eat waaaay fewer calories than I used to.

* I have been working really hard at exercising. I'm doing the couch to 5k three times a week and I'm trying to get in a Wii Fit or EA Active Wii workout six days a week on top of that. And I'm doing it. I am actually working out once or twice a day for a total of an hour.

* I've been drinking more water.

* I've been eating vegetables.

* I've cut down on my evening snacking.

I'm doing everything right. So what am I doing so wrong?

Stimey can be found grumbling into her salad at Stimeyland.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Please Don't Call It A Cake Walk

How come I am so talented at effortlessly gaining weight but losing it takes a lot of planning on my part? I can stare down a piece of cake and almost instantaneously gain a pound. I don't have to get on the elliptical for an hour to gain that pound.  Losing that same pound?  Oh hell. It takes a month and I have to think about it constantly.

This sucks. I know I need to work past the anger and frustration. And while I know there is "no easy way" to do this, I can't help but resent that gaining this weight seemed like a piece of cake.

Or maybe a few pieces of cake. Dammit.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

You Know What Day it Is

That's right. It is Weigh In Wednesday!

I cannot speak for all of us, but I am down .5 lbs.

Half a pound.

Not great, but it is progress and that is how I am choosing to look at it. Besides, I know that even though I am only down 1.5 pounds total my belly is less disgusting already and even my husband said he could see my body shape changing.

Slowly but surely.

I may not take all of your money, but I sure will look good not doing so.

Ugh. It is too early for me to try to spin clever phrases.

And listen, if you are feeling bad about only losing one pound, go in your pantry and take a look at what a one pound bag of flour or rice looks like.

Feel better?

Good luck losers!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Once Upon a Time (A Guest Post)

Once upon a time I wore a size 4. Really, when I was in high school I was very slender. I wasn't an athlete, but I danced and did marching band and occasionally ran for exercise. I went up to a healthy and more realistic size 6 during college but didn't put on a bunch of weight then. It wasn't until after college that I picked up some bad eating habits and my exercise dropped off, and that's when the weight started to slowly creep on. It was a sneaky devil, only a pound here and there, until one morning I didn't recognize the person looking back at me in the mirror. Something had to go.

Amazingly the weight came off easier than I expected. I had a few starts and stops, but eventually lost 55 pounds and managed to keep it off with healthy eating and bicycle commuting.

Then I took a new job, one with long hours and a long commute, almost two hours each way. I loved the project I worked on but my body didn't love the demands and 15 pounds crept back on. About nine months after starting that job I got pregnant and my thyroid started misbehaving, and it was all downhill from there. During my last pregnancy in 2006 I was diagnosed with a nasty stomach disorder, and unfortunately the medication to treat it can cause weight gain, the absolute last thing I need. So I've been losing the same 10 pounds over and over and over for five years, and despite exercise and eating right, for the most part, I have not been able to get past that plateau to get back to a healthy weight.

Then last week in a completely unexpected development, I broke that through the plateau. As I stared at the scale I couldn't believe my eyes, and I stepped on and off about a dozen times to make sure it wasn't a mirage. Then I did a little happy dance. I've still got a ways to go before I reach my goal, but seeing that number on the scale gave me more hope than I've had in a long time.

Andrea is a forty-something mom to three young boys, and her favorite healthy activities are biking/spinning, yoga, and Pilates. She writes about cooking, edible gardening and occasional delicious travel stories at Andrea Meyers: cooking, gardening, & four hungry guys.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Weigh in Wednesday

I lost one pound. It isn't earth shattering, but it is something. It also means I'll spend all day entering your new numbers into my spreadsheet so I will be too busy to eat.

Please don't forget to send your new and improved weights to

It is our second weigh in Wednesday!

Friday, January 15, 2010

True Lies

Reflecting back on the past two days I think I've done alright. I"ve lost 40 pounds, I'm not a bit hungry and I find Bran Buds and Celery entirely satisfying.  8 glasses of water? Easily down the hatch. No problem. I am up to 7 hours a day on my elliptical and I feel awesome!

And if you read that first paragraph really fast you can count it as cardio.  HA!

The first few days of a new routine suck.  I have increased my water intake. This means we're going to need more toilet paper. That's how it is. Really.

What's happening with all of you? How have the past couple of days been?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

In Defense of the "Before" Picture

I'm going to take a stab in the dark and guess that most of us are none too happy about having our pictures taken. Honestly, no one who wants to lose a noticeable amount of weight wants their "fat face" documented.

But I'm here to tell you that you should. In fact, I want you to go RIGHT NOW and take just about the least flattering self portrait you can imagine.

It's time for your "before" shot.

The first reason you need to do this is because you need a reality check. If you're like me, and have avoided being in front of the camera as much as possible, and have no full-length mirrors in the house... you need to know. You need to see where you are right now. For some people, it might be a little disappointing. For some of us, it might be an intensely harsh slap in the face. Welcome to rock bottom. It sucks there. But now you know. You need to know.

august 17

Here's what I know: on August 17, 2009, I weighed 226 pounds. I'm 5'5" on a good day. Two. hundred. twenty. six. pounds. This is how I walked around for the two years following the birth of my children. I hate this picture (and what it represents) with the heat of 1,000 suns. But I took it. I needed to see that. I needed to understand where I was.

OK, so now you've got your motivation. You can make it the desktop on your computer, post it on your blog or your refrigerator, or just let it sit on your computer. You know it's there.

The other reason you need to take that shot, though, is so that you can see your own progress. Weight loss can be achingly slow, the changes subtle. And if, like me, you've got an awfully long way to go, it can feel like you'll never make it. That's why, once you're down 5 or 10 pounds (or some other portion of your longer-term goal), you have to take another one. Preferably in the same clothes. And then you need to take those two pictures and hold them next to each other. Lo and behold, progress!

I think I see a difference!

Here's me, six weeks in and 10 pounds down. You see, I still felt plenty "fat" after six weeks. And 10 felt like such a tiny fraction of my overall goal. And yet, it was heartening to look at these two shots side-by-side and see changes.

A few guidelines for your "before" picture:
- Do not wear a big t-shirt and baggy sweatpants. If you want to see the pudge go down, you have to see where it is in the first place. Wear something form-fitting, probably something that's a little too snug to wear out of the house at the moment. That includes whatever you're wearing on your legs. If you're feeling really bold, take a picture in your sports bra.
- Get as close to a full-body shot as you can. Find a full-length mirror (maybe it's in the back of your closet somewhere?) and stand back so you get the full effect. A side-view is a good idea, too.
- The photo self portrait can be tricky. Make sure you look at the camera's reflection, not your own. Or get a trusted friend/spouse to take it for you.

And here I am, today. Five months in. 26 pounds down. Ready to kick ass and take all of your money!

january 13

Thanks Liz for the awesome guest post! You can always find Liz over at her site Goddess in Progress.

Today is the Day!

Alright, it has begun.

There has been some confusion so I will try to make sense today. This is all you need to do.

1) Make sure you entered by sending $10 via paypal to

2) Weigh yourself every Wednesday. Ideally this would be at the same time each week. Please try to wear approximately the same thing each week. Every Wednesday send your progress to . This is on the honor system. Please don't cheat.

We will not publish your weight. We may be unusual but we are not cruel.

3) Do whatever it is you do to drop the weight.

4) Talk trash in the comments.

Okay, steps three and four are optional, but they will help you get the most out of our little contest.

We welcome guest posts and pictures but neither are required.

You can also follow us on twitter @losermoms . Our hashtag is #losermoms. If you tweet that you are participating I will follow you back and add you to our list. If I don't please DM me and I will remember.

Any questions? Leave a comment, DM us on twitter or send an e-mail to

For those of you who we have confused (and also due to popular demand) the two prizes will be as follows - 1 prize for the person who loses the most weight and 1 prize for the person who loses the largest percentage of their body weight.

Seem fair?

Our final weigh in will be Wednesday, April 7th.

Good luck to everyone and FAYE.

Let the wild rumpus start!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Last Dance, Last Chance

Okay people. This is your last chance to sign up.

For those of you that are already signed up today is your last chance to eat.

I just had some chocolate.

That being said, I've already stopped drinking (beer and wine, I still do water and coffee) Monday through Thursday. It might not sound like much, but if you know me this is a huge deal.

If I can do that, you can throw your $10 in the pot and give it the old college try right?

We've got over 35 participants already. The winner of this contest is going to win a serious chuck of change.

Bring it on!

We will see you tomorrow.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Scale Rider

MammaLoves left a commment on Sarah's previous post:
"You know this means I have to go out and actually purchase a scale, don't you."
Guess what? I need a new scale too.  I've purchased many in my lifetime and never found one I liked all that much.   I guess it would be easy to blame the scale for telling me things I don't want to know, like I weigh more than I thought I did.  Damn scale. Truth teller. Condemning me for my love triangle with these guys.

I've had both digital and the kind with the needle that goes around. (Is that called analogue? My husband and I just had about a 5 minute debate about it. Still no answer.) The problem I've had with digital scales is they tend to record my weight differently each time I hop on. This causes me to step off and on the scale a few times and attempt to average my weight after three attempts. The hopping on and off does not raise my heart rate and I can't count it as cardio, plus it makes me do math.  I hate both. Math and Cardio.

The scale with the watch face (what the hell do you call it?) I'm never sure if I get the cheap-o one if that one will be accurate.  I'm not sure I even know why I feel as if the mechanical (that's still not the correct term Is it?) one has to be expensive for it to be accurate. Do the less expensive ones do the job and last? I have no idea. The expensive scales seem really big and might take up the entire square footage of my bathroom. 

For those of you who have a scale, or purchased one recently:

What kind did you get? Digital or the manual? (that just sounds wrong. Is it?)
  • Do you like it?
  • Where did you purchase it?
  • How much did it cost?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Are You Ready to Rumble?

You people are awesome. We already have over 25 people signed up for our second Biggest Loser Mom Contest. This means the winner will probably be taking home over $150.

Not too shabby.

I just wanted to clear up a couple of things:

1) I think we will do our weigh-ins on Wednesdays. Devra and I were talking about it and smack in the middle of the week seems fair. Plus the Weigh-in Wednesday has a nice ring to it.

We don't really care when you weigh in on a Wednesday, we just want you to weigh yourself at the same time each Wednesday and preferably wear the same thing. If that sounds complicated just weigh in in underwear or naked. I personally will be wearing clothes since I will be posting pictures.

2) Anybody is welcome to guest post here. In fact, we encourage it. Tell us about your loser journey.

3) You don't have to be a mother to participate. Hell, you don't even have to be female. You just have to pony up your $10 and be honest.

4) E-mail your weight each Wednesday to We will not share your weight with anyone. Only Devra and I have the password to this e-mail. We are not cruel, just unusual.

5) Invite your friends. We still have time and the more the merrier!

Bring it on!

- Sarah

Saturday, January 2, 2010

SIGN UP NOW For The Biggest Loser Moms 2nd Contest

Okay everyone. We have a new contest, it's going even longer and it comes with it's own battle cry for which we can all thank Stimey (pictured on my left, your right. Only she isn't wearing an innertube under her blouse. I am. Ahem.). Given that improving grammar is not on my list of New Year resolutions, I am just going to ignore any issues with that first sentence and continue on. Again, I am defying grammatical protocol and ending a sentence in a preposition. Let me remind all y'all this isn't a grammar blog.

Which is a fabulous segue (and yes, this still is a blog where we will throw in gratuitous SAT words from time to time) into our 2nd Edition contest. The rules are the same as our first contest. The contest dates are from January 10th until April 10th. It just so happens that April 11th is my birthday, it's a coincidence people, not a dastardly plan for me to be able to eat copious amounts of cake and ice cream.

Whose in? Or who's in? Remember, no grammar police. Although we do acknowledge that some of you may not be comfy with announcing to your friends and family, "I'm doing The 2nd Biggest Loser Moms Fuck All Y'all Edition" so for you people, we suggest the acronym "F.A.Y.E." Sarah and I have even made it easier for you to win. We've gained about 10 pounds between the two of us already, although we like to think of it as bulking up for the winter. Spring will be here before we know it, so let's get going, let's shed the poundage together!

Sign up for The 2nd Biggest Loser Moms Contest (aka FAYE) right now!

Rules are simple. Because if they are complicated we'll just give up, drink beer and eat icecream.

Length of Contest: Begins January 13, 2010 Ends April 10, 2010

Entry fee: $10.00 per participant. Contest is open to anyone over the age of 18 who wants to participate. Entry fees will be kept in a PayPal account which will then be used as prize money for the two winners. All monies collected will be distributed to winners, no money will be kept by Sarah or Devra (unless of course we win the contest fair and square.)

Liability: None for us. You participate of your own free will, medical clearance is your responsibility. Basically we're holding the contest, but participation is at your own risk. Think of this declaration as being similar to the sign you see in restaurants stating they aren't responsible for any articles of clothing left at the establishment.

Weigh-in: Weekly. Weigh yourself on the same scale at the same time of day, wearing the same clothes for each weekly weigh-in. Loss will be measured in pounds. Once everyone is signed up, we will create a Google Doc contestants can access and enter our weekly weight.

Awarding of Prizes: The week of April 10th when the contest officially ends. Two prizes will be awarded, with first prize going to the person who has the highest percentage of weight loss, and second prize to the next highest percentage of weight loss.

* The contest is named for our site "Loser Moms" there is no requirement that participants be moms. All are welcome!

Our PayPal button is tempermental, if you can't access the page, please send payment to via PayPal.

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