Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Size 18 to Size 8 - My Weight Loss Journey in Photos.

Hi there! This is me. 
I'm known here as Sunshine Mama, and this is my story of gaining and then losing a whole bunch of weight. When we got married in 2005 I weighed about 135 pounds and was a size 6, the smallest I'd been in my teen and adult life. After my first pregnancy I started on a roller coaster of weight gain and then eventually weight loss. From 220 pounds to 155 pounds, from a snug size 18 to a slightly loose size 8, from 2006 to 2012 - this is the whole experience.

September 2005. The beginning of the whole journey. I was a newlywed here, below a size 8 for the first time since my teens. I was proudly showing off my size 6 pants - I'd bought a bunch of cute new clothes for our honeymoon. That little bit of tummy there? I thought it was too much of a pooch and was self-conscious about it. Yeah. Time changes all perspectives, huh?

June 2006. Almost immediately after we got married, I was pregnant with Bug, and here I was at 40 weeks with him.

July 2006. Bug's first outing, to a BBQ with The Man's co-workers. He was 4 weeks old. I'd lost most of the pregnancy weight by this point.

September 2006. Bug was 2 1/2 months old and was nursing very well, as you could tell by looking at me. Sheesh.

October 2006. The pregnancy weight was still gone, my breasts had figured themselves out and were more reasonably sized. I was feeling pretty good by this point. This was the month I decided to go back to work full-time.

November 2006. I was starting to eat fast food pretty regularly as I was on the road a lot for work. It was also the start of winter, so my usual winter pounds had started to pack on. Usually it was only 5 or 10 extra pounds, though.

December 2006. I was pretty frazzled by balancing motherhood, working, home, and life in general, and was eating a lot of crap to make myself feel better temporarily.

January 2007. You can definitely see the increasing weight here. I've always dealt with a touch of depression during the winter months, and that coupled with postpartum depression was really hard.

February 2007. When I look at myself in this picture I see an unhealthy person. I was pale with random skin problems and I was sick all the time.

March 2007. My depression shows pretty strongly in this picture.

April 2007. Comfort eating, anyone? Starting to gain weight pretty quickly by this point. My pants were size 14.

May 2007. The Boobs are Back.

June 2007, celebrating Bug's first birthday.

July 2007. I had recently bought cute new clothes hoping that they would make me feel (and look) more slim, but I was so self-conscious that I couldn't make myself seem confident. I hated the numbers on the size tags.

August 2007. I always feel better in sunlight. :)

September 2007. Our two year wedding anniversary. The shirt was an extra large and the pants were size 16.

October 2007. By this point most of the pictures that were taken of me were taken "secretly" like this one that The Man took of Bug and me cleaning up before bed. I didn't voluntarily get into many photographs.

November 2007. Trying out a new hairstyle to try to look younger and thinner, ended up looking older and fatter. Those were maternity jeans I was wearing, having given up on regular jeans by this point.

December 2007. This was about when I started to realize I was hitting a really bad point with my weight. I was feeling snug in my size 18 stretchy pants and I was about 210 pounds.

January 2008, I either didn't allow any pictures to be taken, or deleted any that were taken. I can't remember at this point, but no pictures of me exist for that month.

February 2008. Another picture that was taken "secretly" LOL. I'm honestly surprised I didn't delete it. I think the only reason I kept it is because Bug looked so cute in his little hat.

March 2008. I was about my heaviest at about 220 pounds here.

April 2008. A view from behind, as if you needed more proof. ;-) This was around the time we gave up eating at restaurants for Lent. No take-out, no dinners out, no breakfast sandwiches or burgers from the drive-through. We started making all of our own food, instead of just saying we did and eating half of our meals away from home. I sincerely cut out the fast-food breakfasts. We both lost a fair amount of weight from that experience.

May 2008. I had started to feel a little looser in my clothes, and the sun was out again. It was a good month.

June 2008. I had finally started to lose a bit of weight, but struggled, and still did a lot of emotional eating. I was working more than full-time for a while during the summer of '08 and was back to eating on the road a lot.

August 2008. I had lost a few pounds and then plateaued pretty quickly.

September 2008. Oh yes... totally dreamy. ;-) No further weight loss going on by this point, I hung out at this size and shape for a little while.

October 2008. I was my sister's Matron of Honor in a maternity dress because it was the most flattering outfit I could find. 

November 2008. I avoided full-body pictures like the plague. I was actually starting to lose again, though. Having to wear a maternity dress as the mom of a 2 1/2 year old was upsetting enough to jolt me back into working at it again.

December 2008. Had successfully lost some weight and actually come down a clothing size! The Man had just started working at his overnight job.

January 2009. The month we decided I should give my notice to my boss and become a stay-at-home mom.

February 2009. I'd lost more weight and gotten a cute hairstyle, and was starting to feel good about myself. I left my job at the end of this month and it felt like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders.

March 2009. I went for a drastic new look.

April 2009. I was finally starting to dress up a little and feel better about myself. My weight was definitely on a downward curve and the sense of relief was huge.

May 2009. Down another clothing size. I was super excited to be wearing my cute size 14 white jeans to this party!

June 2009. Irony in weight loss took the form of a little bean that was just starting to form in my uterus. This was right around the time I got pregnant with BooBoo.

August 2009, the very beginning of a bump.

September 2009. I wasn't gaining any weight - the number on the scale was the same or even slightly lower at each appointment. I was completely dedicated to being in the best possible shape for my VBAC, so I was eating an extremely healthy diet and getting regular exercise.

October 2009. This was the month we found out we were expecting another boy. :) This picture was taken during our first vacation to California, a glimpse into our family's future, although we didn't know it yet. 

November 2009. I still hadn't gained any extra weight by this point, but I was no longer losing any either. There was an ongoing joke about my butt and thighs being food for the baby.

December 2009. From looking at my face and the rest of the body I can see that I was keeping unnecessary weight off. By this point in the pregnancy I'd only just started gaining weight. I wasn't doing anything to manage my weight other than eating well and walking for exercise.

January 2010. We moved from our farmhouse to a small apartment in a more populated town.

February 2010. BooBoo's due date came and went.

March 2010. On the 8th, in the wee hours of the morning, BooBoo made his appearance.  I was absolutely huge, but I felt beautiful. I was very aware that this was a different kind of growth and that it was only temporary. I loved the way I felt and looked while I was pregnant.

April 2010. No longer pregnant, baby and mama were both doing very well, I was feeling pretty good. I was only 4 weeks postpartum so there was still a fair amount of belly left, but weight loss was still well on track.

May 2010. Gah! Getting some much needed sun, haha. I must have been starting to feel more self confident if I'd go in public wearing a tank top and shorts. ;-) Around this time I was struggling with some family drama, because there's always gotta be something going on. I was making a conscious effort to stay busy and motivated, though. I had a determination to not go down the road of severe depression again.

June 2010. I was walking a lot, and the walk back to our apartment ended with a giant hill, a rigorous burst of exercise at the end of a long walk! We had a sweet little yard and I always had my hands in the dirt. It was very therapeutic. 

July 2010. Looking at this now I can still see so much belly and so much extra weight, but when this was taken, I was looking really good and starting to feel pretty confident. My walking had slowed down; it was a very humid summer and I got lazy about walking because it was uncomfortable.

August 2010. It was hard to get a picture of me without a child attached to me in some way, LOL. Still is, actually.

October 2010. Started to hit my usual winter plateau around this time, but I also came down with a horrendous sinus infection that left me without much appetite for about two weeks, so it all evened out. ;-)

November 2010. Constantly wearing a 20 pound person helped a lot with keeping the weight off.

December 2010. Still holding steady at the same weight and size, but not getting any larger, so I was perfectly happy.

January 2011. I pulled some slightly smaller shirts out of storage and bought some new pants - very motivating. 

February 2011. Hooray for New Years inspiration to get more exercise, my weight loss had picked up again!

March 2011. I must have lost a substantial amount of weight if I can still look noticeably thinner while holding a platter of cupcakes. ;-)

April 2011. New clothes out of the tax return, woohoo!

May 2011. This was during our second vacation to California, when we realized that we felt so amazing all the time in California that we needed to make it permanent. I was very excited to be down to a size 10!

June 2011. We came home from our vacation and immediately started planning our move. Hello, summer of constant running around and not much time to eat!

July 2011. Again with the birthday cake, LOL.

August 2011. This was during our cross-country drive. I lost about 15 pounds just during the road trip.

September 2011. Getting used to soaking up that lovely California sunshine, and going for lots of walks. Bug started school and I walked to pick him up almost every day.

October 2011. It's been a while since a view from behind, haha.

November 2011. Our Thanksgiving pictures made me realize that the new clothes I'd gotten earlier in the year, that had fit me so perfectly, were now hanging off of me and were unflatteringly large.

December 2011. I had gotten out some of my few remaining outfits from the year after Bug was born, before I'd gained so much weight.

January 2012. I wore that shirt SO WELL in college and I've been ridiculously excited to fit into it so well again.

February 2012. Picture from behind, courtesy of my five year old, haha.

March 2012. Yet another birthday rolls around, this time Booboo turning two. My size 10 pants were really getting too big by this point.

April 2012. The month I reached my size goal, the size goal I'd been working on since having my first baby nearly six years ago. It's been a long time coming but I'm back in size 8 pants and size medium tops, which was my size from puberty until the summer of our wedding. I feel comfortable in my body, in a way that I haven't felt in years. I feel energetic, strong, and healthy. Still another 10 pounds to go until my weight goal, but I'm very happy to be where I am right now!


  1. You are AMAZING! LOVE this! ♥♥♥

  2. I just reached a size 8 too! SO so happy. I use Myfitnesspal to try and keep me on track. Congratulations and I hope the rest comes off with the California summer sunshine and lots of CA activity.

  3. Love! Love! Love! You are so amazing and beautiful!

  4. This is fabulous, my friend!! Congratulations!!

  5. You are fabulous. And beautiful and all sorts of other stuff.
    PS: I like your hair long.

  6. Yay! You've worked hard and smart to be healthy!

  7. So proud of you, you look fabulous!

  8. Thank you SO MUCH to all of you for the support! This means so much!

  9. You are so beautiful and I'm SO proud of you!

  10. What an amazing journey!
    You are glowing in the pictures documenting the last year.

  11. you look amazing, sissa!! I love you:)

  12. You are amazing! So proud of you big sister! <3 <3

  13. Thank you!! Lorel, I've had a really happy year. :)

  14. i read your article about elective c-sections and was moved by it. great job. I had the exact same situation with my first birth. it was an induction gone wrong. Luckily, i was able to have a vbac two years later as well with a midwife at home. it was a very healing experience. Now i am studying to become a doula to help other woman who are on that journey as well.

    Thank you for writing and sharing.

    1. Thank you so much for leaving your comment, Chelsea!