Fighting off Frumpy: AFTER

Welcome back, y'all. I know you were just dying for me to post the "after" part of my story. You probably couldn't even sleep last night, huh? You were biting your nails with nervous anticipation, weren't you?


*cricket cricket*

Well. Anyway. If you've not been around for a few days, or if you just need a refresher, or if you just like to click on text-embedded links (click! click! click!) you can check out the "Before" post here. Now where were we? ... Oh yes.

To summarize: after three kids in five years, I was within spitting distance of 300 pounds - my heaviest weight ever. I was depressed, despondant, desperate and any number of other unpleasant d-words (like, uh, dumpy?).

I knew something had to be done. But nobody could do anything but me - and that was a hard pill to swallow. The journey seemed nearly impossible, the task insurmountable. I mean, I was having a hard time summoning the energy to even get dressed each day. And I literally felt drained at even the mere thought of diet and exercise. I can't even get started, I would think. I can't do this.

But from somewhere deep inside, the girl I used to be screamed, "Oh yes you can!"

So how do you eat a whale? One bite at a time.

Initially, I got a gym membership, which I vowed to use and then hardly ever did. Truth is, I felt too fat to be at the gym. I'd go and trudge along on one of the machines, rolls bouncing everywhere, inevitably ending up next to some hard-bodied, never-had-kids twenty-year-old, and I'd feel horrible (and then go home to drown my sorrows in sugary carbohydrates). So to lose the first few pounds at home, I started using my Wii Fit. It never failed to chirp, "That's obese!" when I weighed in (thanks a lot, a-hole. I hadn't noticed).

As my weight started to drop, my depression began to lift; I was veeeeeeerry slooooooowly crawling out of my black hole. Bit by bit, I started forcing myself to pay attention to the little things again - like painting my toenails, brushing my hair, dressing in something other than pajamas (even though spending money on size 22 jeans - when there were size nines and tens gathering cobwebs in my closet - was painful). There were times when I felt like just giving up and letting the misery engulf me again. It seemed easier than working my ass off only to lose a couple of pounds a month. But I kept dutifully chipping away at the fat-girl cocoon I had built around myself, even when it felt like I was just treading water.

And it all got easier. I'm not going to tell you it's ever been a piece of cake (mmmm ... caaaaake), but it's always the hardest right at the beginning, when you've got the farthest to go. Once you start seeing results, once you've got a momentum going, it really does become tolerable ... if not enjoyable (at least sometimes). I had my fair share - okay, probably more than my fair share, since I'm being honest - of slipups. Times when I didn't even bother to watch what I ate, like during my phase of making desserts with an uncanny resemblance to poo. I even gained back twenty of the lost pounds at one point. But when you fall off the wagon, no matter how hard, you've just got to dust yourself off and crawl right back on. And so I did.

This past December, I finally felt confident enough to go to the gym, so I got a membership to the YMCA. I was just going to use the machines, but my neighbor, Nicki, convinced me to try a Zumba class with her. And from that first class - even though I felt like an uncoordinated goober - I was hooked. I've been going ever since.

It was two years ago next month that I realized I had to reclaim my life. Two years of slow progress and setbacks, hard work and moderation. These days, when my Wii Fit tells me my BMI? It says, "That's normal!" instead of calling me obese. That's music to my ears, y'all. I'm down approximately 112 pounds. I wear makeup every day again. I go for less than six months between visits to the salon for a trim. I change out of my pajamas (...usually). I shave (...most of the time.) I feel better. I know I look better. And my husband can't keep his hands off me. (Wink wink!)

Here's a current picture of me, taken just a couple of weeks ago. This is the way I usually look now: all dressed and stuff!

To me, the most exciting thing to come out of all this is my discovery of Zumba. I love it! And as of this Saturday, August 27th - three days shy of my 31st birthday - I will offically be a licensed Zumba instructor. I went from straight-up dreading removal of my ass from my couch, to looking forward to teaching an exercise class. Oh, how much things can change if we're just willing to allow it!

Recently, the Mutual of Omaha insurance peeps contacted me via the Frump and asked if I'd be willing to film an "Aha! Moment" for them. So I did. I was extremely kinda terrible on camera (that's what I was talking about when I wrote this post) but luckily, they have some talented people who edited the bejesus out of my bumbling diatribe until it resembled something well put-together. Anyway, I'll share it with you.

Considering I was sweating buckets and my mouth was dry enough to make a cotton ball jealous, I'd say it turned out all right. Bonus points if you recognize the shirt from the photo above ... I may be getting dressed these days, but I still have to maximize my wardrobe dollar. (Fourteen bucks at Forever 21, y'all.)

Anyway, that's it. The story of how I really did "fight off frumpy." And though I don't think the battle will ever be completely over, and I'll have to keep on fighting ... I think it's safe to say I've won this round.

Tomorrow, for the last part of the story (yeah, I decided to post a Part Three) I'll post my top tips - the things that worked best for me along the way. See you then!


  1. And now for my Joey Tribiani impression: "How you doin'?"

  2. Gurl- you are SMOKIN'! I mean seriously smokin' hot! Way to go. I am so proud of you and am going to take this jealousy I feel and use it as motivation to continue on my Eat Less Move More goal. Congratulations- so, so, SO impressed with you.

  3. Jessica Armstrong LasaAugust 23, 2011 at 9:44 AM

    Wow. I really wanna fight off this frumpy and now I see that it CAN be done! I need to get back on that workout horse. I like the video, total cotton mouth, LOL!

  4. You are one hot lady! Wow! And that Aha Moment is awesome. Brought tears to my eyes.

    I have been wanting to try Zumba. Where do you go? And good for your for teaching, now. That is AWESOME. Congrats, girl. You have worked hard!

  5. I'm so proud of you, Rita! What an empowering experience--and now you get to empower others. I'm so inspired I might just march upstairs and change out of my yoga pants (that were yesterday's pants/last night's pajamas)!

  6. I hope you are so, so proud of yourself! What an amazing story, what an amazing success!!

  7. you are so gorgeous! way to go!

  8. Wow, that's so impressive. You look great and I'm so excited for you to be a Zumba teacher!! I love Zumba and I haven't done it since I've been pregnant.

  9. That is so awesome!! It is so great to hear that someone has succeeded!! You are an inspiration to a lot of people - and you definitely have a lot to be proud of!!


  10. You look amazing! Good for you!!

    I'm not sure if we talked about this before, but like you, I gained a tragic amount of weight with my pregnancies (80lbs or so each). I lost all of it after Riley (but still had a different body). And when Jonah was 4 I finally kicked myself and dropped 65 pounds and got to my pre-pregnancy weight. I have since gained back 25 pounds of that (at least it's spread over 5'10 inches of me... =/) and am using YOU as inspiration to get rid of it again. I'd also like to knock off an extra 15lbs and be at my smoking hot, amazing 21 year old weight.

    I am fascinated by your Wii fit usage and can't wait to hear more. I can't get to the gym and have been wondering if it's worthwhile to get something to work out with for the Wii or Kinect.

    Also, I've "known" you for, like, wow... almost 10 years or so? That's the first time I've ever heard you talk! The interwebz are an amazing thing.

  11. You look amazing, and your story is inspiring. Any type of life change of this manner is hard, and you did it!! Coming from a woman with an eating disorder? You did amazing, things I see women in my program fighting to do each day- WITH a team of dieticians and others.

  12. YAY! So amazing! I never realized....and now, I wanna do it too! You are truely an inspiration!

  13. I know we don't know each other, know each other, but I feel like I could definitely be your real-life friend. No matter the size. But I'm happy for you that you are the size that you WANT to be. :) Congrats on the loss! And people are right, you do look HOT, I mean great!


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