Dropping the Doughnut and Picking up the Pace: Finding Motivation from Your Child to Lose Weight

A few days ago I was changing my son Ben’s diaper and caught a glimpse of something scary on the baby monitor screen – something BIG and terrifying.

My butt.

Ugh, baby mama got back. SERIOUS back.

Exiting Denial

I shouldn’t have been surprised by how plump my posterior had gotten. It did feel pretty cushy back there. I knew I was fat. The signs were pretty hard to miss. After all, I still wear some maternity clothes over a year after giving birth. I have more chins than feet. And my four-year-old niece recently proclaimed “Aunt Marie has the biggest belly in the world!” (Ah, there is nothing like the brutal honesty of a toddler.)

Despite knowing how much weight I had gained, when I looked in the mirror I just saw myself – a much chubbier version of myself, but myself nonetheless. The rear end taunting me from the baby monitor was that of a stranger. And not one I wanted hanging out behind me for too long.

The Long List of Excuses

Here’s a little background on me: in December 2012, I moved back to my beloved hometown of New Orleans after living in New York CityLosing Weight copy for nearly a decade. I was five months pregnant, stressed from a hectic move, and mourning the end of my fabulous, Sex and the City-ish life. New Orleans welcomed me back with open arms – arms full of love, laughter, and a whole lot of fattening food. That food, the New Orleans cooking I’d missed so much over the years, combined with leaving behind a lifestyle where I walked everywhere I went and months spent taking Prednisone for health issues, had me packing on the pounds before I could even start unpacking my darn moving boxes.

With those pounds came excuses. “As soon as I have the baby I’ll get back into shape.” “I was up all night with Ben, I’ll go to the gym tomorrow.” “After changing that diaper, I deserve a doughnut. And a glass bottle of wine. I’ll start my diet tomorrow.” Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow. I was living in a world where my theoretical “tomorrow” never came. The pounds, however, were annoyingly punctual, and I am now seventy pounds overweight.

Time to Do Something About It

ben copyToday, Ben is fifteen months old and a very active boy. He loves jumping on the trampoline, running around the park, and climbing the stairs. As much as it pains me to say, carrying around these extra seventy pounds is using up a lot of the energy that should be spent on my son. Every time I skip that workout or don’t cook that healthy meal, I am stealing from him. I am stealing from him an afternoon of being chased by his mom in Audubon Park because running is hard on my knees. I am stealing from him a day of splashing around in our gym’s pool with me because I am too embarrassed to be seen in a swimsuit. I spend all of my time caring for Ben, but disregarding one of the things that he cares about the most: quality time with me.

So, maybe I shouldn’t look at this weight loss journey as something that I want to do for myself, but rather I should view it as something that I need to do for my son. I need to get healthier for him. I need to get stronger for him.

I always say that I would do anything for Ben.

It’s time for me to prove it.

Have your children ever inspired you to something that you couldn’t find strength to do on your own? Do you struggle with your weight? If you have had weight loss success, what do you do to stay motivated?

21 COMMENTS

  1. Oh Marie! You are singing my song! I too derive inspiration from my little girl to get back to healthy. I’m just starting the process and I have a two-part approach:

    1) Accept the body I have today andake great efforts not to shame it, especially in front of my daughter. Now I don’t go wearing a fatkini or anything, but I dress for the weather (shorts, tanks, etc.) so that I stop blaming the heat for not going out and playing with my daughter, but that I accept my body image issues and move on.

    2) That rather than join some fad diet, I do what I know works for me. I stick to a 1200 calorie cleaning eating diet and always burn more than I eat. Which right now is done mainly by cardio because my joints aren’t very forvgoving of the weight I’ve packed on.

    Best of luck to you! You got this! I hope you share updates soon!

  2. My 12 year old has become my trainer. He is a competitive swimmer, so we spend at minimum 2 hours a day, 4-6 days a week, at our local Y. Me sitting and visiting with other moms is not acceptable. They have an indoor walking track, so I walk while he runs for half an hour…I Try and make it 45 minutes. Then he’s in the pool for 90 minutes, and I do therapy exercises and water aerobics in the pool. Only difference is, I finish my workout with a soak in the hot tub!

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