Celebrating 3 years…

I’ve always struggled with my weight.  Hold on, let me rephrase that with a more honest appraisal – until 2009 I ate too much and exercised too little.  Even at University when I was wearing tiny sizes I still always thought I was on the chubby side mostly due to my love of a St. Andrews fish supper, and my lack of motivation to do anything physical in cold, wet and windy Fife.  At school I didn’t participate in any of the few sports available, again due to lack of aptitude and interest.

When I arrived in the US, in 2000, for some reason I thought the heat and healthy eating would help me lose weight.  Who was I kidding?  I very quickly paid the price of the HUGE portions that I ate ALL of (there are starving kids in Africa you know!), the cheap beer, and the sun loungers – how the hell can you exercise in 90 degree heat?  It was the ultimate constant vacation.  As I moved into my 30’s I resigned myself to the fact that I was a ‘big’ girl and I should just stop worrying about it and enjoy life.  I hated shopping for clothes and in hindsight I was probably more miserable about my weight than I was prepared to acknowledge.  Don’t get me wrong it wasn’t all bad but I did kind of feel I was letting MM down as he had always been physically active playing football, running and just generally being more ‘get up and go’ than me.

My daughter arrived in 2006 and I PILED on the pounds.  I really did adopt the mantra eating for two.  Because I then lost a lot through breastfeeding and stroller pushing I persuaded myself I was back to ‘normal’ though I never stepped on scales – all I knew was that my pre-pregnancy clothes fit again, but given they were all US size 12s that wasn’t saying much…A year after my daughter was born I was pregnant again.  Hooray another opportunity to eat all I want.  Admittedly I didn’t gain quite so much with my son but I was still probably unhealthy.  When my son was born in 2008 I was in a much happier place, we had moved into our new house and I was feeling more settled.  I had a sense that changes were afoot.  While on maternity leave I discovered the joy of being out and about and had even ‘jogged’ a little with the stroller.  Maybe I could be more active?  I knew I had it in me as I had done step classes, jogged a little and played some football in the early 90’s – but my downfall was always that I was consistently inconsistent with any form of exercise that I tried to embrace.

When I returned to work I noticed a good friend had started to lose weight…she was changing shape dramatically and quickly and I asked her for her secret.  It turns out it was Jenny Craig.  Now I am NO fan of fad diets or paying to lose weight – I really do believe it is down to the simple math of burning more calories than you consume, but I needed something to get me on the right path and give me a kick up the backside.  So at the beginning of March 2009 I headed with some trepidation to a Jenny Craig center and signed up for membership.  I returned home with my bags of food determined to make it work – especially as I had just spent what seemed like a small fortune (but worth every penny now).  In the first week I think I lost 5lbs which was incredible motivation.  By September 2009 I weighed 135lbs – I’d done it – I lost almost 40lbs!

So today I celebrate 3 years since taking the plunge, and keeping it off has completed my metamorphosis into the occasional half marathon runner who thinks nothing of running 6-8 miles, cycling 30 miles, and swimming 30 laps of the pool.  Oh and hence the short hair – I was so thrilled to see my neck and collar bone again I wanted to show them off!  Not surprising that I don’t recognize the girl in the photos – who is that again?

Summer 2007

Summer 2007

Summer 2007

Fall 2008

Fall 2008

Fall 2007

Fall 2009, post-Jenny, in my 26″ Diesel Jeans

Post JennyPost JennyPost Jenny


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25 thoughts on “Celebrating 3 years…

  1. Emma Cameron

    Wow, well done on the weight loss. A great achievement.
    Ps I am currently living in Paris but am from Stonehaven, a short drive north of St. Andrews.

  2. Emma S

    You should be incredibly proud of yourself – not just for losing the weight but keeping it off 🙂 I have a similar story – piled the weight on during pregnancy – 14st 9lbs the day I had my c section with my youngest – I now weigh 9st 4lbs but it is a constant struggle to keep it off – I must do some exercise but can’t seem to find one I actually enjoy.

    1. Poppy's Style Post author

      I do stray occasionally – it’s tough when we’re on vacation as I still love my baguettes and rose:) But it’s much easier to get back on track these days by just putting the running shoes back on…I should say it took me a while to fall in love with running and I still hate it sometimes when I’m doing it – it’s the feeling afterward that is addictive:) Congratulations with your loss – my advice on exercise is find something that is easy to fit into your schedule. Running out of the front door is much easier than getting ready and then driving to the gym – there are too many opportunities to bail out before you even start the exercise:)

      1. Emma S

        I really should try to run – I live in such a beautiful place that it wouldn’t be too much of a hardship although I would need to learn to love running in the rain!!

        You blog has really motivated me to think alot more about what I wear each day so maybe you can inspire me to run 🙂

  3. Conor

    Great post Jo, apart from your use of the word ‘math’! It would be good to read a post on the actual dieting process. I’m sure you tried diets in the past. Why did you succeed this time when you were unsuccessful in the past? Conor

    1. Poppy's Style Post author

      Not sure it was the diet itself – more I was in the right frame of mind to do it. Jenny Craig did make it easy – all portion controlled, prepared meals, so it helped me reassess what a true portion should look like. Don’t worry I still stuff myself with pizza and Chinese occasionally – I’m no saint:) And I’m an American now so it’s Math:)

  4. Marta

    I said it before, and I’ll say it again: you did great and look amazing! You are a huge inspiration (no pun intended ;)), bet a lot of people will try and do something about their weight after reading your blog 🙂

    1. Marta

      forgot to say: you look very pretty and young with a bob haircut, so now I can imagine what you’d look like if you let your hair grow 🙂 You look damn good now too though, so whatever you decide to do will be great :)) A pretty girl like you can rock anything!

  5. Martina Walsh

    Wow, I would never have imagined you as the girl in the ‘before’ photos. An amazing transformation. You can’t beat running to keep weight down, although I have to be clever about what I eat as it does give me a bigger appetite. Hats off….

  6. dinagideon

    Holy Cajoley! Wow. I commend you, congratulate you, and am in awe of you for what you have done.

    100% agree with you on how difficult it can be to maintain a healthy weight in US South…dang near impossible…

    The food, omg, the food is SO good and SO plentiful and people show their love by eating and cooking. Good Lord. And the heat, omg, the heat, so HOT in summer. (And in the winter when the wind howls and rips through your bones, eek!)

    You inspire me, and I plan to use your example to help me take off my pregnancy weight. Thank you!!!

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  8. Mia Toft (@MiaMau5)

    I just started jenny craig today and reading your post really helped inspire me. Thank you! Its amazing what a huge difference 40 pounds makes! you look AMAZING! I’m looking to lose about 25-30…wish me luck!

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