Confession

I have thought long and hard about whether I should write this blog. I have struggled with its appropriateness as there’s nothing worse than writing something, having it go live, and then worry that it offends someone, or others feel compelled to ‘cheer me up’ as I don’t need cheering, just a frank conversation.

I wanted to write about this for a couple weeks but didn’t–wouldn’t since its personal and maybe annoying for readers who think I don’t have  an issue–but the real me, not the author Jane, is struggling so I’ve decided to write about it anyway.

I’m heavy. And the weight isn’t falling off.

During the last 18 months as I underwent fertility treatments and the first round of IVF, I began gaining weight. By the time I delivered Mac, I’d gained well over 50 lbs, closer to 55 from my starting weight. Not the end of the world as I have a beautiful baby to show for it, but difficult as even now my normal wardrobe doesn’t work and my body doesn’t feel right.

I’ve lost 25 of those 50+ pounds, but easily have another 25 to go. Normally a size 6, I’m at 10-12 now. Again, not the end f the world, but something’s happening to me. Mentally. Emotionally. There’s something happening on the inside and its a deep loathing, almost despair.

I *know* I’ll eventually lose the weight but that day is far off, probably around Christmas and that’s too long from now. I don’t know how to live in this body and look in the mirror or present myself to the public as a chunky girl. I’m angry and disappointed and what scares me is how much I really dislike–yes, loathe–fat Jane.

Why is the loathing so strong? Why does extra weight change me, my value, my mindset?

Yesterday was my one day off this week as I’m working hard to meet my deadline for Shey’s book and I’d promised Ty I’d take Mac down to the beach but after trying on outfit after outfit, and swimsuit cover up after cover up, I gave up. I stayed home with Mac. I sat in a hot house because I hated how I looked in a swim suit, even though I’d covered up. You see, even with a cover up I know what I look like underneath. There’s so much of me. Too much. Jane apparently is only lovable without stomach rolls.  Jane is only valuable if lean and tone.

Is anyone else like this? Does anyone else feel unlikable, or worse, unlovable, if your weight changes?

I know this sounds shallow. Ty Gurney doesn’t understand it. I don’t like it. But I need the old me back. I need the one that felt attractive and successful. Maybe she was an illusion. But it’s an illusion I apparently need.

67 Comments

  1. I know how you feel, I’m 55yrs old. and was 130lb. but I’ve put on weight menapause, and I hate myself but I need to start loving myself again, I’m dieting and its not comong off fast enough for me, but I need to make me pretty, take your son outside, your a beautiful person, wear a bathsuit that makes you feel pretty, or shorts, cover-up, I see alot of heavier women on the beach, but I need to be outside too. You’ll lose the weight, but don’t beat yourself up, for sure you’ll fail. pat yourself on the back.. carole

  2. Been there. And I applaude your honesty. My take is this, akin to what I told myself when at that point.

    The post-partum body is what it is. Any magic, shed-the-pounds solution is temporary, stressful and degrading. Give yourself six months to eat when you’re hungry, exercise when you can, and otherwise adjust to this new lifestyle (because parenting a baby IS a lifestyle).

    THEN, if you’re still unhappy with the digits on the scale, I hope you will be more rested to tackle the baby weight beast.

    Also, as a c-section veteran, I enlisted the help of a trainer who specialized in post-partum recovery – best money ever spent. Her input was based on health, not vanity.

    Best of luck to you!

  3. Jane, I think a lot of your readers can relate to this. I’m also struggling with weight- it’s hard being the skinny girl and then hearing from your doctor that you need to lose weight. In some ways, I think it’s harder when you’ve always been thin and to look in the mirror and realize the much heavier stranger is you. Love you lots and sending lots of prayers your way.

  4. This post is right down my alley! I, too had rounds of IVF. Unfortunately, no baby came of them, but, to this day, I swear the drugs changed my body. I gained a lot of weight. Granted, it is a very stressful time, but those hormones I injected really made it very easy to put on the pounds. I have also been skinny all my life, so this heavier person is just so damn hard to love.

    I look in pictures and can’t believe what I see. I tried on a bathing suit the other day and was mortified. Even though we’ve been experiencing extreme heat, I’ll be damned to show up in public in a suit.

    So, yeah, you’d think I’d be on this diet. But, my mind has really got a hold of me. I wake up each day ready to eat healthy and not snack. But, my emotions get in the way, and I give in. I am running a few days a week and trying not to beat myself up… but the eating is a huge challenge. Practically I know it’s a mindset, but I can’t keep that mindset.

    Sorry for the long comment, but I so get it…and I love hearing about it. It gives me comfort. Please keep us posted on your journey. Maybe it will help inspire me. We can do it, (right?) 🙂

  5. Oh Jane. I do understand what you are saying and how you are feeling. My son is 5 1/2 now and I have finally shed some of the weight. I have recently even gotten into a 6(from a 12) but even now I still view myself as heavy. I work out as regularly as possible but I don’t see it. I bought these tankinis this summer thinking to cover myself up but my friends had to tell me they are actually big on me…Am I that pathetic? My body will never be what it was over 10yrs ago before I had my kids but when will it be good enough for ME?

    And I know everyone is telling you how beautiful you are, Jane…and they are right but that is not going to change what you think of yourself. I have faith in you and know you can do it! And think of all the people cheering you on and supporting you all the way to happiness…Love and kisses to you!!

  6. I’d say I know exactly how you feel, but even though there are a lot of us with weight problems we are all different and react in different ways to our situation. I’ve been heavy most of my life. A few years ago I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and had to take massive amount of steroids until they could find something that would work on me. Well, as you can guess, that added a lot of pounds on an already to heavy body. My face was so swollen you almost couldn’t see my eyes. Well, I’m down to a really low dose now and I have dropped off some of the weight but alas, I am still heavy. I’m 56 with a very low metabolism but I haven’t given up and hope one day to just be moderately heavy. Don’t give up, there are a lot of people out here sending you caring and compassionate thoughts.
    From one of your many loyal readers.

    Linda Henderson

  7. Jane, I sent you a note on Facebook, but I forgot to include this. Please ask your doctor to do a TSH test. Everything’s probably normal, but it’s always good to know, and the thyroid tends to cause weight gain.

    Julie

  8. Heavy people get to have fun and enjoy life, too! You feel like you don’t deserve it because you hate to be less than perfect, but GET OVER IT! You are still the loving mother and partner, successful, accomplished, beautiful, admired Jane we all love. Love yourself, no matter the size. Gaining weight is not crime to be ashamed of and hide.
    I have a natural slim build, but started to gain weight after 50, and I didn’t feel like myself and l got so depressed, which didn’t help at all. I couldn’t talk about it, so good for you for reaching out.
    It wasn’t easy or fast, but I worked out and ate right and got the weight off, and you will do it, too, Jane. In the meantime, don’t punish yourself. Be as kind and understanding and compassionate to yourself as you are to others. One of the things I like about your books is your female characters are always there for their friends, and we are here for you!

  9. I am 59 years old and I gained so much weight taking prednisone for my rhuemotoid arthritis for 3 years until they could figure out how to treat it. Then I have had a knee replacement, ankle fusion, gallbladder surgery and back procedures so laid up a lot. I weight 255 lbs. so a size 12 would look good to me. But if I dwell on my weight, I would only be discouraged all the time. So I just get up every day and decide I have to like what I cannot change and enjoy that day. If I died, would it matter whether I was thin or not. It is what I do with today that matters.
    I have had my times of struggling with weight every since I was in my 20s.

  10. Hi Jane,

    It’s strange how obsessed with weight our culture is. I wish we could be more focused on being happy and cue into each other’s heart. Our heart is really who we are. Not our weight. It’s seems like weight is the new status symbol and status indicator. It’s ridiculous. First of all status is dumb anyway. Status is shallow. Status has nothing to do with what kind of a person that person is- what their character is. To me- the important things about a person is if they are sincere, honest, come from a place of caring in their heart most of the time—noone is perfect. And are they (and am I?) happy?

    I have also let my weight get in the way of just living far too much in my life. I have wasted so many opportunities and moments because I was self concious about my weight. Ssometimes I really was overweight and often it was so minor it was ridiculous. But that isn’t the important thing- the important things is- looking back- it shouldn’t have ever mattered. People naturally fluctuate in weight. And to allow our weight to have more than a tiny impact on our state of mind is just a waste of time. I vow (and I ask you to think about) to try to stop the negative voices in my head related to weight and to focus on all positive thoughts. And to just enjoy whatever it is that fits in our lives right now. And to eat to be healthy AND also to enjoy eating. When we don’t let weight consume our thoughts we begin to naturally eat in moderation for what fits in our life at that time. Sometimes we need a little extra weight due to stress and big life changes (ie- hormonal changes, a new baby!)… for me it has been school, a new career, and a new job. I vow to enjoy all moments I can regardless of whether or not I am at my desired weight. I have also decided that my desired weight is not the weight that leaves me hungry all the time and constantly feeling pressured to exercise. My desired weight allows me to have enough energy to enjoy the things I want to do and need to do. I recently gave away all my “skinny” pants. I decided I never wanted to try that hard again for just a dumb fashion/status statement. I could go on but I better stop… thanks for sharing and letting us voice our experiences too! Enjoy every moment of this precious time you have this summer with your precious loved ones in beautiful Hawaii! Go enjoy the beach and don’t starve yourself- the weight will come off naturally!

  11. I hope I’m not hogging the site on this topic- but I wanted to share another experience- I was friends with a woman I knew a long time ago who left a big impression on me- she had big legs- and quite hairy -black hair. She also had a big personality to go with the big hairy legs. I remember thinking that I would NEVER wear shorts if my legs were that big and hairy. But she didn’t care. She never even talked about it. She wore short cut offs and lived her busy life full of passion and opinions and purpose and love. And everyone liked her- because she liked them and she liked herself. Her life and thoughts were all outside herself in the big fascinating world- not focused on her huge hairy legs. She was so great to be around. Noone cared about her huge hairy legs! And her boyfriend who later became her husband didn’t either!

  12. Jane, although I had my son 30 years ago, I can identify your feelings about your weight. I have had a bad relationship with my weight since I was very young. Growing up “chubby” left it’s mark on me.
    When I lived in WA, before I would come to CA to visit family I would start on the diet ASAP, and just worry about it so much. I would miss events, because I didn’t like how my clothes looked on me or fit. Today, I still worry to be honest, I’m hypercritical, but would rather be “healthy” and not be thin from being in the hospital.
    You have a beautiful little guy, a hunky big guy and are in Hawaii!!!! You are loved for being “Jane”, not just your size 4 body.So throw your suit on and sarong, flaunt what childbirth does for your “uppper body”! and enjoy each day. Remember we all look better tan!!! Seriously, you are still “Jane”, and will be back to where you are comfortable, and your hormones will settle. 🙂
    In the meantime, you have much support here

  13. Jane,
    Thank you for your honesty. Weight and body image is a difficult subject for many women. Since your weight came on suddenly, I can imagine it is difficult to recognize yourself right now. Just remember that YOU are still there inside, and try not to dwell on the outside right now. Think of your beautiful baby and enjoy your family. This time with them goes by so quickly.

  14. Jane, I understand. I have gained so much weight since my parents passed away 3 years ago that it’s almost obscene. I ate for comfort, when stressed, sad, mad, upset, grieving, whatever. And now I am 50 lbs extra & I can’t stand to look at myself. I disgust myself. I even yelled at my boyfriend when he told me I was beautiful. All I can see is a mound of flesh. I don’t feel worthy of love. Yet he is so patient, kind & loving, and he loves me anyway. I just can’t love myself. So yes, it is hard, and you are not alone. I long to wear cute clothes again. I’m 48 & metabolism slows, & I am having such a battle. I plan to win. You will too. We all hang together & win the fight. Get a diet buddy; they say when you have to be accountable to someone & also have them as your cheerleader, it is easier. I’m going to give it a shot. I’m too young to be sad. Good luck…you will do it! Have a great day, and LOVE YOURSELF.

  15. Jane,

    I’m a size 10-12 and I have serious body issues. Although I haven’t been a 6 in 10+ years, I love a size 8. I think that’s perfect for my height and curves. As I near 40, I can’t lose weight if my life depended on it. I eat well and exericise a decent amount.

    BUT, in your case, I don’t think that age or diet have anything to do with it. REMEMBER… it takes a full year for your body to get back to what it was before you had the baby. A YEAR! Don’t let Hollywood publicity and ridiculous pictures of actresses skinny after baby skew your perception of how long it actually takes normal people.

    Now… get a few items that you can wear… just don’t spend a ton because they’ll be too big in 6 months.

    Your honey loves you and your boys love you. Remember… you need to give yourself some room here!

    Sheri
    A Novel Menagerie

  16. Jane!
    You do have our support and we are listening! It’s difficult when we are uncomfortable about ourselves in anyway. But we love you no matter what!

    I am trying to loose weight because I am uncomfortable and want to be more healthy but its slow and I easily sabotage myself. I have not usually let my weight deter what I do. I wear bathing suits, tank tops, shorts, etc. and do things and if people don’t like it they don’t have to look!

    Enjoy your boys and Ty and Mac and it will all come…and if not then you can get a personal trainer in the fall! 😉

    XOXO
    Monie

  17. I think we have all been there at least once or twice in our lives. I am there now, still trying to lose all this baby weight I gained from years ago. It seems like it really shouldn’t be hard, you see all of these celebrities lose it in a month or two. We just need to be realistic and know they have personal trainers and I’m sure sometimes surgeries to help out! 🙂 I kept going on diets and then I’d crash and think, “oh, I’ll start again next week.” Well, no more of that. I have stuck to eating better and exercising daily and have dropped 15 lbs. I still have a lot to go, but it can be done…slow but sure! I know you will be able to do it too. I wish you the best and enjoy your family!!

  18. Jane I wrote to you on facebook, but I didnt tell you what size I am, and its 16. I do not hate myself for this even though I recall being a 4/6 in my 20’s. When I die (and we all will one day) my kids and my hubby and everyone who loved me will not care one bit that I struggled with my weight, and if I suddenly lost it and was thin again they wouldnt build me a monument! Weight is weight. Your self esteem is apparently attached to your weight…how about attaching it to something else, your beautiful family, your success as an author.

    I recommend you take a long walk every day, not for weight loss, for the endorphins cause honey, you need them!

  19. me too me too! i feel the same way. while others tell me i look great, fine and to shut up- i see whats underneath! i see the rolls and how one holds up the other and the smallest roll holds up the boobs!! *sigh* getting older is not as pretty as oprah has made it out to be!

  20. Jane! I think every woman struggles with body image, even the skinny ones.
    I have always been a size 8 (I have four boys), my last pregnancy, albeit 10 years ago, I gained 55 lbs. I did lose it and get back to my size 8, BUT within the last couples years and little age on me, I had gained 30 lbs, still a size 8 and a few 10’s. I shrugged it off and continued on my path to high cholestrol and blood pressure. I go to a holistic doctor who put me on an oatmeal diet and red root because my cholestrol was dangerous and ‘it wouldn’t hurt to lose a couple pounds.’
    I have never had someone say that to me! DARN doctor!!
    The oatmeal and red root didn’t work so with a prescription in hand and weight loss on my mind, I ripped up the script and headed to weight watchers.
    Remember I am still a size 8 (OK! sometimes 10) while most the ladies there were 100 lbs over weight, they all listened to my story about my cholestrol and welcomed me with open arms!
    Happy to say, five months I lost the thirty pounds by going to the meetings and eating healthier. My doctor is super happy because I don’t have to take meds, my levels are as if I was in my twenties or thirties! I can go up and down the stairs with a laundry basket full of clothes and not become out of breathe. I can keep up with all my boys and wear a size 4 to boot!
    I have keep the weight off for five months. It all boiled down to writing down everything I put in my mouth. It doesn’t take weight watchers, although I highly recommend it because of the support (which I still go every week and they offered me a job-due to writing, being a wife, mom, sister, daughter-hell for that matter breathing, I don’t have time!)
    It really is about eating healthier and I will never let myself allow my body to be unhealthy. I don’t want to take meds like my family before me, I am stopping that cycle now. And your right-I feel sexy, I look better, more confidence and although my husband said he loves me no matter what – I can see it in his eyes that he loves my new attitude and body.

    Hey! Thanks for all the Easy on the Eyes goodies!!! Nice surprise in the mail!

  21. Hi Jane,
    You are so real and sooo honest. I’m now 49 and I try to exercise regularly. I don’t think I’m fat, but when I look in the mirror I don’t like what I see. No matter how many crunches, lunges, arm toning exercises I do, the elasticity of the skin just isn’t there anymore – and I hate it! It is what it is and I guess all we can do is to keep trying, and to focus on the healthy aspect of it, rather than the self image. I know you will get back to your ideal weight so don’t worry. Take long walks on the beach and enjoy your family and your beautiful surroundings. I just bought your book and can’t wait to read it! Thanks for the goodies in the mail. Thinking of you, Jane.

  22. I have battled my weight all my life… I was not really fat, just chunky and curvy. I am 5’4″ and at 18 weighed 168 lbs. At 19 I met the man I later married and he was a rower and I took up the sport — I dropped 45 lbs in less than a year and was able to eat pretty much anything.

    Then I started having children. I hated being pregnant… I never liked the look of pregnancy and I had issues with not being able to control the weight gain or how I looked (loved the end results though). I was able to drop all the weight between babies 1 and 2. Five pounds remained going into pregnancy #3 and I started pregnancy #4 15 pounds overweight. In my 8th month I refused to get on the scales at the doctor’s office because they read 180 lbs.

    I felt awful after the birth of my fourth child… cumbersome, heavy, flabby. She was born in February and by summer I was still 25 lbs overweight. I started running and at 33 I did get down to my pre-first pregnancy weight of 125 lbs. But it was a lot of work… I hated when people used to say I was so lucky to be small… having to run 3 miles a day and watch what you eat is not lucky it’s hard work! I did my best to ignore the stretch marks and the little belly pooch that only surgery would remove.

    I’m now 47 and have slowly gained 30 lbs over the past 5 years. I hate how I look. I can’t run anymore due to a car accident 8 years ago. So in May I bit the bullet and started dieting, walking a lot, taking the stairs every chance I get and riding a recumbent bike. I’m down 12 lbs… I know at this age I’ll probably never be 125 lbs again, but I’d settle for 135…I’m getting there, 10 lbs left to go. It’s depressing how long it takes, but it’s worth it… I just bought new clothes and I like my slimmer silhouette. I’m still not comfortable in a bathing suit, but in the end not many women are!

    It will happen Jane… it took time to put the weight on and it will take time to take it off. I’m so glad to hear that Ty loves you the way you are, that’s so important.

  23. Hia Jane: Stop! Stop! Stop! Kathy Gee said it all. Your baby weight will falloff! Goodness, look what you have been through this past year! And look at what you have been blessed with. Everytime you think of your weight or look at yourself or don’t want to go to the beach “”to show off that handsome little fellow” just stare at him and tell yourself he was worth it.
    The weight will fall off – I promise!!

  24. Two years ago I had my daughter. That weight is gone, but the weight from moving across country/buying a new house/furnishing the house/writing a new book has not. I have a lot more than 50 pounds to lose. But I’m working on it. I find that at least some of the depression over being fat/not my “true” self fades slightly after a good workout.

    Also, you’re the harshest critic about yourself. The woman at the beach who’s truly overweight (25 lbs is nothing!) will be envious over your body.

    Hugs.

  25. Jane,

    You should never worry about offending other people by your thoughts. Even though you are a celebrated Author, you are also a normal human being, who struggles with things like the rest of us. There is no shame in that. Many of us, myself included can certainly relate to what you are going through, and appreciate your willingness to share your struggles and feelings with us. What you are going through is perfectly normal, and although many of us can relate to it, your struggle is yours and yours alone to make peace with. Yes, many of us have been in the same position, myself included, but only you can get back to your happy place. Which will happen. It took several months to get to where you are, and you’ll find your way back, of that i’m sure. You have the blessings in your life for a reason, and although you don’t always feel that way now, others know it about you, and you will get back there again too. You are obviously a talented, beautiful person, but what makes you who you are is the inside. Your spirit. That is most certainly what people love about you. Take it one day at a time, surround yourself with your many blessings, and the rest will come faster than you think. Best wishes!

  26. Hey,

    I haven’t had IVF, but I did gain weight throughout graduate school. I tried to deny it at first. I didn’t want to see a set of scales. Eventually though, I had to face facts. I had gained 30 pounds, didn’t like the way I looked or felt. It wasn’t just about the fact that I felt unattractive, I simply did not feel my best. I felt tired and sluggish. I tried detoxes, had my thyroid checked, and tried eliminating fattening foods from my diet. But nothing worked. Then my mom heard about a diet by Dr. Ian Smith called Fat Smashers. I thought that it was probably not going to be helpful. But I looked at his website and bought the book at Barnes and Nobles. He combines healthy eating and exercise. He tells you exactly how much food to consume and exercise to do each day and offers encouragement. I started losing weight immediately. I have lost between 28 and 29 pounds. I feel the best that I have in a long time. As soon as the weight started falling off, I started feeling more like me, even though I had not lost all of the weight at first, of course. My point is, I understand weight gain and not feeling like you. If you feel like it though, check out Fat Smashers because when nothing else worked, it totally worked for me. It hasn’t been easy every day, and I have had lapses in following the diet periodically when circumstances prevented me following the diet, but it is really easy to just fall back into it. Good luck!

    Christian

    p.s. I am a girl… people sometimes think that I am a guy because of my name… I just thought that I should mention that since I think guys have an easier time in general losing weight than girls, and I didn’t want you to think that I was some guy who didn’t get what you are going through.

  27. Jane,
    I hear you,sister. I know how you feel. I’m short and forty. Five pounds makes a big difference on a short person. Every pound shows. Sometimes people don’t realize how 20 pounds can effect a persons self-worth. Men just don’t get it. What’s a few pounds? A lot.
    A few years ago the pounds just started creeping up. I was able to drop 20 lbs, but it is a never-ending battle to keep them off.
    My advice-drink lots of water–eat lots of fruits & veggies–step up your workouts. Try a “jogger” stroller.
    Be patient it will come off. Get outside and enjoy the walking on the beach.
    Thanks again for the goodies.
    Hang in there!
    Denise

  28. Hi Jane,
    You bring up a subject that I think a lot of people can relate to. Weight has always been an issue for me and all of the women in my family. First of all, I want to say congratulations on loosing 25 pounds already. That couldn’t have been easy so I hope you can give yourself a pat on the back for that. I try to remember that the women I admire most do not look like models and that it’s more important to live a healthy lifestyle than it is to be a certain size.

  29. Jane-
    Being overweight sucks. I dont care what anyone says about big is beautiful. B.S. I’ve been trying to lose my baby weight since had I had my first child and hes thirteen now.
    The only advice I can give you is this.Get Angry. I didnt start losing weight until I turned thirty eight and my gall bladder had to be removed. Even though I was told that it could happen to the healthiest person, I knew it was those late night big macs that did the job. I got angry enough with myself to do something about it. I was weighing 220 pounds. I live in Miami so we spend a lot of time at the beach- I was swimming along side a manatee and I saw the resemblance it was horrible- I started walking then running 20 to 40 minutes a day on my treadmil I dont eat after 6:pm unless its something simple like cereal- I’ve lost a good 40 pounds- I’ve also given myself goals. I want to run 5ks again- eventually train for a marathon- I think it helps to focus on what you want instead of what you dont. Get your support system in order- find a girl friend who understands you well and wont let off the hook when you mess up. You’ll get there- just look at like a day to day process. Wish you all the luck but I know you dont need it.

  30. Hi Jane,

    Thank you for your honesty !! I think it is the society that we live in. If we are not a certain size then we are not pretty. That is not true. I understand your point because you are used to your size 6. Hang in there. You will lose the weight.

  31. HI Jane. I can relate on the blogging issue. I’ve heard so much about it in a few egroups I’m a member of and didn’t think about it. When I joined Twitter in mid-May, I contemplated it and started plunging in last month. I wish I had more followers/viewers though. I have three. The one from my website is my personal one. They say confession is good for the soul. I think you spilled your heart out just fine. I’m only 33 and trying to become a successful author. Hang in there.

  32. Jane — I’d start this comment by saying “do as I say, not as I do,” but that’s just wrong. It sucks to loathe the body you’re in. I’ve loathed mine on and off for the past ten years — ever since five rounds of IVF and then infant loss left me reeling with grief and hormones. I’m sending you hugs, even though I barely know you, having met you only a time or two at conferences. Never forget that you are incredible — a writer, a mother, a woman — and those are not listed in order of importance, just the order they poured off of my fingertips. I’m fighting 15 more pounds of the 25 I put BACK on three years ago after we adopted. Why does our body image affect us so? I wish I knew. But I have to believe that your “talking” about this topic and your feelings today so honestly can only help you…and a whole lot of other women out there who feel the same. Hang in there. You can do this. ;o)

  33. It is so hard to be kind to ourselves, isn’t it?

    It’s not enough to be a mother, a partner, a writer, a friend, and all the other hats you wear–you must also be pretty, and pretty in a very specific way according to a set of guidelines that you can use to punish yourself if you stray outside them… I know how to do this, too. I’ve been doing it all my life.

    I know that the only thing that helps is to recognize the despair, but try to be kind to yourself anyway. I’ve always found that the anger and fear and loathing I throw at my body when I don’t like how it looks always always always reflects something else. And the weight doesn’t go until you figure out what.

    Just know you are loved.

  34. Jane,
    ugh. Been there, worn the coverup! I was an 8/10 and desperately wanted to get back to a size 6 for my book launch party last November. I figured I could lose 10 pounds in 2 months. Wrongo. It took 6 months, working out almost every day & giving up sexy food like cheese & chocolate. Damn. You will get there!! In the meantime, chunky jewelry!! Hugs to you

  35. Women are so hard on themselves. Why? Well how many times do women say mean things about another women. We feel that women are making the same comments about us when we go out in public. For example, “God look how gray she has gotten”, “Can you believe she wore that outfit”, etc. So we have a good reason to feel bad if we do not look like the latest Victoria Secret model. This will not change until women stop putting down one another. We should be supporting each other and looking for the good in other women. Women are each others worst enemies.

    I have also been working very hard to lose the 25 lbs. I have gained since I entered perimenopause and had surgery. I am trying to approach all the hard working by saying feeling good is more important. I still have days when I do not feel very good about myself. If we try to be the best we can be what more can we ask of ourselves.

  36. Hi Jane – Like several of the comments I read, I started packing the pounds one when I had to start taking steroids at age 28. I’m 39 now, and my formerly 125 body is about 180 now. My emotions around this go up and down, from being horrified to not really caring. The steroids & other meds have never given me good control over my disease though. As a result, I frequently struggle with mobility issues. That has actually given me the most emotional strength – if I can manage to get out & do something, I’ll do it. Bathing suit & fat rolls & all. Because the only other option is staying home, and that’s no way to live. Did I feel awkward today when I left me home in shorts, dimpled thighs and all? Yes! But I’m not going to let that hold me back.

    Good luck, no matter what happens, –Lara

  37. Well Jane there are times I feel just like you. I have always been over weight since I was a child. Most of my family is over weight. In my early twenties I lost about fifty pounds but still was not a small person. Over the years that weight has come back on. I will loose a few pounds then gain it back. It has been a battle for me all of my life. Sometimes I tell myself not to worry about something I can’t seem to change, but you know I still worry about it. I still wear my shorts and tank tops, fat and all. Believe me when I say I have fat rolls and since I have gotten older its all moved to the tummy. I didn’t gain a lot of weight when I was pregnate, about 16 pounds, but packed it on after the baby was born. I am in my mid 50’s now and can’t seem to loose a pound no matter how hard I try. I feel your pain!

  38. I wrote a fairly long post and then deleted it but I do want to say this. I think it’s very unhealthy to think of yourself as “Fat Jane” and “presenting yourself as a chunky girl” when you are a size 10-12. You are at a size that is uncomfortable for you, but size 10-12 is simply not fat. If you are genuinely seeing yourself as fat, you should probably look into seeing a therapist with a specialty in body dysmorphia. Actually, talking to a therapist about your despair might be a good thing regardless.

  39. Hmmm… I think you should draw on this experience and these feelings and introduce us to a new character in a future book. I would say you’d have a tremendous amount of women who whould identify with her. I certainly could!

  40. First off,
    Always write or blog about what’s on your mind. Your a real person not just a fantastic author. Hmm. Real person. Kinda like those characters you have to create. LOL.

    Second,
    Obviously you are not fat, but just at an uncomfortable weight for YOU. So yep, that will get one out of sorts. I know I’m still waiting for my baby fat to fall off too. LOL. ( My son is seven now)
    Third,
    You have a beautiful child to be with everyday. That’s a blessing in itself. Now, I of course don’t know any of your details, but you mentioned fertility treatments. I’m guessing ( and I’m not a doctor) that this added stress, along with pregnancy and all those nasty hormones that comes with it and possible post-pardom depression-even a mild case- has your body out of sync.
    My advice would be to enjoy your blessing, work on the last 25 pounds( hey that’s not very much at all to work at- 🙂 ) and don’t give yourself a hard time. You are still YOU. No matter what happens physically.
    Now, if you really want to loose that weight without starving or depriving yourself. I would suggest weight-watchers. (I’ve used it with success but never joined or went to meetings- I just borrowed a friend’s point counter, found recipes and found the points for food at various restaurants on the internet and got busy. I need to get back on it myself, but at the moment its too expensive for me to buy that kind of food. But, the food is great. You can still cook wonderful meals your family will love and watch the pounds fall off. And the best part. You can still have chocolate- not the whole enchilada of course- but enough to get you through. Good luck, hang in there, and in time you’ll feel like your old self again.
    By the way – LOVED FLIRTING WITH FORTY!!!

  41. I think you are amazingly, stunningly beautiful no matter what your size. But I get that you are loathing being a bigger size and uncomfortable at the beach. I know if you are determined, you will lose the other 25 pounds, slowly and surely. In the meantime, I do hope you still go to the beach with baby Mac and enjoy these precious moments, especially in beautiful Hawaii. Just know that you friends, family and fans all love you no matter what and try to cut yourself some slack—you just had a baby a mere few months ago! We are all our own worst critics. I guess it is the “Mrs. Perfect” syndrome. Be kind to yourself – we all love you!

  42. I hated being pregnant. I was sick and could only stomach carbs both times. Gained over 60 pounds with both.

    I tried diet, exercise, the fact is, working fulltime and having a young family is not conducive to weight loss. Cried in the doctor’s office time and again as everyone said, “Don’t worry, it’ll eventually come off.”

    Spent 6 years hating the way I looked. Finally joined Jenny Craig, and have lost 45 pounds over the last year — not following it as strictly as I should, but I cut myself some slack, sometimes the kids just want their Mom to have a slushie with them…it’s life.

    It’s the best money I’ve ever spent — I still have 10 pounds to my goal, and would like to go another 10 after that to get down to my pre-wedding weight, but I’m happy now and feel so much better about myself!

    My advise is to do what you have to do to get it off. Now. Be aggressive!

    But in the meantime, don’t miss out on going to the beach with your kids, or appearing in family photos because you don’t feel pretty…

    Good luck. And thanks for being so honest.

  43. So true, I can feel, really feel for you. I bounced right back after my first child. Then after my second, well, nothing was the same. Worse yet, I did eventually lose the weight (except for a few lbs.)and my body is still yucky. It really sucks, loose tummy & no amount of exercise is going to fix that, only a knife. Part of the problem is society and the beauty obsession. We have been cultured by it, molded by it and defined by it. However, beauty on the inside in someone’s soul matters so much more. People remember your heart, your love, your generousity and your goodness more than your looks. Yet sometimes we have to look good to feel good. It is a fine line and somewhat of a double edge.

  44. I love your posts Jane. They are so honest and I love that you speak your mind regardless of whether or not some people may or may not agree with you and whether they may or may not be popular to some.

    I think that your struggle is what so many of us women deal with everyday. What you have described is what makes you and your books so amazing. It is your honesty and your ability to connect with women.

    I met you a little over a year ago for lunch in Bellevue and was amazed at what a strong and insightful woman you were. You are beautiful outside and inside as well. All the best to you and your beautiful family!

  45. Jane, what a honest post. And so many of us can relate to it. You’re so right, the weight WILL come off. I won’t tell you not to feel self-conscious and upset, because you have every right to. And I’m sure part of it is just life and being postpartum. And you know, I think you’re absolutely sexy whether you’re a 6 or a 12. You’re gorgeous.

    I’ve never been thin. My sexy smallest size was a 10-12 (which I’m getting close to again!). I gained 80lbs in my pregnancy and am still trying to lose that last 20. It’s different for me, I’m not in a relationship. I have days when I feel sexy now, and days when I felt sexy when I still 30lbs heavier. I’ll never look good in a bathing suit no matter what size I am, lol, but screw it. I want to swim! And I may have cellulite, but my boobs look good! 😉

    Enjoy your son(s) and time in Hawaii. Know there are so many of us who envy you and the life you’ve built. The weight is just that. Weight. It’ll come off. (Hugs)

  46. Jane…

    I feel your pain. I have gained a lot of weight over the last few years. I would love to blame it on baby weight, but the fact is that my baby is now 9 years old. It seems my baby has changed over the years and it is getting a lot harder for me to loose, and a lot easier for me to gain. I have tried Jenny Craig… I lost 30 lbs doing that, but eventually got tired of eating their food. When I went back to the normal stuff, I gained all of it back plus 20 lbs. I have also tried Weight Watchers more times than I can count. With every attempt at weight loss, my spirits are in the dumps. I feel like my husband and kids no longer have faith in me. In fact many times my husband and I will argue about things. I am very sensitive about my weight. Once a month I also go through having these huge craving for sweets. they are uncontrollable. I could almost kill someone for chocolate! When I am dieting, my husband will see this that I am eating chocolate… even if it’s one piece and he will ask if that’s on my diet plan. I get so angry that I end up eating more than I should and gain all of my potential weight loss for the week back.

    I have suffered like this for years.

    I completely understand what you have said about the thin Jane and how it makes you feel successful and happy and better about every aspect. I too felt the same way when I had lost all of my weight with Jenny Craig. I felt amazing. Everything in my life at that point in time was perfect! I was writing more than I ever had, and what I was writing was great!!! I won a contest for my WIP… Every where I went someone noticed me and how good I looked. I had cute clothes and shoes and purses. I looked and felt amazing. Now that i am heavier, it’s like I am not only dragging the weight around on my body, but my personality as well. It’s holding the real me down. Keeping me from having any fun. Makes me sad, and angry at times as well.

    I have to put my thumbs up to you for what you have already lost! Don’t worry about the weight. It doesn’t make you who you are. You are still inside that person you see in the mirror. Lovable, fun Jane.

    We will always love you!

    Now I think what you really need is some time away from the house. Take that baby out to the beach. You don’t have to have a bikini on! Wear shorts and a shirt…. Capris… A sun dress.

    Take care Jane.

    hugs,

    Micole

  47. Hi Jane, I completely hear you as I am going through the same thing at this moment! I had lost over 52lbs over a year ago and was digging being a size 8 again after 14 years. Well over Thanksgiving, Christmas and winter 20 lbs slowly crept up. I’m so madd!! It totally makes you doubt yourself and your selfworth. I am so glad you posted this today. I know you’ll get the weight off and so will I. It’s just hard to loose weight as you get older.

  48. Jane, don’t fret over those few remaining pounds..they will come off. Don’t sit in the house either. That’s not good for your body, mind or spirit plus, little Mac will pick up on your depression and that’s not good for him either. Stand up and be proud of your new “womanly curves”. Put on that bathing suit, with a little extra spandex, walk yourself and Mac down to the beach and refresh your spirit!

    My Ty loves Jane not the size 6 pants that are hanging in the closet. Of course he doesn’t get it, he only sees you, the woman he fell in love with. Put down the remote, turn off the computer, get you suit on and go outside and PLAY.

    The fresh air and sunshine will help with the post-partum depression and the exercise will put you a little closer to your goal.

    We all get “fluffy” as time goes by. Staying in the house only gets us “fluffier” quicker.

    Good Luck from your “fluffier”, sort of sister in law.

    Sherri

  49. Jane–big hugs sweetie!

    I went through the same thing when my babies were four month old. The “easy” weight loss was over and the pounds just weren’t dropping anymore. And I gained 60 pounds with each pregnancy. I felt so lumpy and unattractive I could hardly bear it!

    But please remember–you have a newborn!! Which means you aren’t sleeping through the night. Which means you are giving every ounce of your energy to your family, instead of yourself.

    I remember being so exhausted that the only way I could get through the day was by chain-eating chocolate chip cookies drenched in peanut butter. I just left the cookie container on the counter for easy access.

    “Nine months up, nine months down,” as other women on this blog have pointed out. You’ll get there! Especially after Baby Mac starts to sleep through the night and you have more time to take care of yourself!

    You’re under the baby undertow now. You can barely breathe. Be patient and loving with yourself. Raising a newborn is a joy but it’s also completely consuming. Cut yourself some slack! You’re doing great!!

    If it’s important to you, you’ll be back to your old fighting weight by next summer. For sure!

    In the meantime, just relax, snuggle your baby, and eat some chocolate cookies dipped in peanut butter.

    *hugs*
    Jennie

  50. Dear Jane,

    Your post really touched me. It comes from that difficult place where I’ve been – often – that place where you feel uncomfortable in your skin and your clothes, and where you know you’re treated/perceived/ differently because you’re big. “This is not the real me!” you want to shriek. “I’m smaller than this inside, I look good!”, but somehow they don’t hear you and just see the flab and cellulite and you’re discarded before you even open your mouth.

    Have to say though, this is strangers. What do people who love you see? Simply the person they love. My kids comment when I moan I’ve put on weight (and a lot of weight, not talking a kilo or two) “Hey, I didn’t even notice.” They see their mum. My hubby mentions not a thing (clever guy:-) You know, I think it’s all about the love. And I must remind myself to think this when next time I go to pool and have to bare my white chunky legs (oh, to have long legs and kneecaps – I wish!)

    Yes, I’d love everyone to think I’m hot, but hey, at my age, there’s way hotter. My hot days are shot. But I would settle for well kept.

    It’s a really valid concern. Having had four kids, the last not exactly planned and too soon after the 9lb11oz’er, my body didn’t have a chance to recover. I only wished I’d looked as good as you did with baby Mac in my baby photos!

    Remember what you have achieved – losing 25lb already is huge – almost 2 stone! That’s massive. It won’t happen overnight and that’s probably good too. Better for your health long term, and that’s nothing to be sneezed at.

    Love you lots!
    Trishx

  51. Jane, please know that you’re loved, your books are loved, and you lost the weight once before and this’ll come off, too. Your body’s been through so much for ao many months. Give it time to recover so that it can get on its business to returning to what it was before.

    Ty may not understand it, since men rarely go through this. We understand it, since many of us have been there. And we’re telling you, you can do what you wish your body do, just be a little kind and patient with yourself.

    Keira

  52. Hi Jane!

    I started working part-time and haven’t posted in awhile. I miss it! I loved your post about weight issues and can totally relate to it. I was teeny tiny until into my late 20’s and being a carb lover it all caught up to me. Now I have to work super, super hard to maintain a size 6 and over the winter it always goes up. I used to gain around 5 pounds and now its easily 10 and being in my 40’s it is so incredibly hard to get off. I have to watch each and every thing I eat and if I cheat as I did this past week camping with my family the pounds to just add on. No one around me complains it is just my self-image that I want to uphold and work so hard to attain. So I understand what you are talking about and I feel your pain! It will get easier. And I know how hard swim suit season is too! I am nowhere near happy with my swimsuit “look” this summer like I was last summer. But there’s always fall and next summer!

    Ordered your new book and am anxiously awaiting it arriving!

  53. I’m totally with you! Weight in the mid 40’s YUCK! but happens, weight from hormones – YUCKIER!

    It does affect how you feel when you look in the mirror and you are post partum. So at least you have that excuse. I did not – BUT – to prove you’re on the right track, my solution was to do the first year of Grammy duty, and while the weight isn’t off yet, (took me way longer than a year to get it on) baby duties with a now 9-month-old has tone me up well and YES I am feeling better when I look in the mirror and SEEING the weight leave. And FINALLY feel decent in a swimsuit again.

    Not sure if this helps, but at least know it doesn’t matter if you’re normally a 6 or a 12, when weight is an issue, you’re not you, and want you back. Babies are the best medicine.

  54. Jane,

    Once again you bring forward an issue that resonates with so many of us.

    My body will never be the same after giving birth. I try to look at the stretch marks as signs I held life inside me, but it’s hard to be all whimsical when looking in the mirrow at a body I am disgusted by.

    I wouldn’t be caught dead in a swimsuit and I almost never wear shorts. Yet I LOVE the water and the sun.

    It’s sad! But then I start to hate myself more for caring. I want to look in the mirror and be proud of my body. It’s just so difficult as a mother and wife to find time for me. And especially to want to spent that precious alone time working out.

    I know it’s a mental thing. I know I have to change how I think, how I view myself. I just don’t know how we stop comparing ourselves to others or even to what we “use” to be.

  55. Isn’t it natural that our rational self can explain away that your body needs time, every pregnancy is harder on the body and will take time to recover and bounce back. And what’s important is your healthy new baby. Plus you have the love of a wonderful man and two other wonderful kids.
    However, our nonrational inner self is the one we end up listening to….so as speaking as someone who’s been heavy most of her adult life (it took me 18 years to lose my baby weight..and actually I’m still losing it…) Allow yourself to wallow a little bit- but not to the point of shutting down. Go out and buy yourself a really cute sundress or new cover up in your current size- you’ll feel better and won’t be afraid to go out. (You looked terrific in the photo you posted!) Besides, this time of year everything is on sale!!
    Continue to eat healthy, get some exercise and before you know it- you’ll be back in those pre-pregnancy jeans. And if even if you never get there again- it’s okay. You’re a beautiful person on the inside and out and that’s what counts!

  56. I, sadly, know how you feel.

    Be patient, and work hard. The weight will come off. Just be patient with yourself. You have a baby to show for it, and that is permanent!! The weight is temporary, and will be a thing of the past. Just take care of yourself, time will pass, and you will be in shape again. Believe that. Bit by bit, you will get there.

    I gained 73 lbs with my 3rd child, delivered him at age 43. Took one year to get the weight off but it came off. That was 7 yrs ago, and I am the size I like being.

  57. Hi Jane,

    Thanks for the follow on Twitter. It was timely since I just watched Flirting with Forty last week! (Loved it, BTW …)

    I wrote this article a couple years ago, but it includes some observations from my work as a Medical Intuitive regarding why the weight sometimes doesn’t come off and why people who normally “wouldn’t” have food/weight issues find that they do: http://tinyurl.com/lqjoyq

    I wish you and all those who commented peace and many blessings, Laura

  58. You can do it. I am 5′ and weighed over 300lbs. I was going to have surgery so lost 42 pounds. After the surgery I gained about 8 pounds back and am only now ready to begin again. My not so secret is trainer Mark Gendron, he was into nutrition and fitness before it was the thing to do (I struggle with weight all the time and worked out with him a decade ago for a time and again lost a chunk of weight, unfortunately finances have me flying or not so much flying solo). Best of luck, I love your books unfortunately for me when I start one I want to read it straight through, which can really make me a grouch at work the next day : ) Best to you.

  59. How funny that a woman of your age, who should be evolved, is so concerned about being a size 10-12 (Marilyn Monroe’s size by the way). Millions of women across America would be thrilled to be a size 10, how unfortunate that you feel this way. On top of that, you just had a baby for goodness sakes, you have other more important things to worry about.

  60. I KNOW exactly how you feel! I have been carrying extra weight around for far too long! It is SOO hard to lose those extra pounds when you get upwards of 40. That being said, It took you a long time to get that beautiful little boy – with infertility and a pregnancy. Give yourself at least 9 – 12 months to take it off. Beating yourself up will only frustrate you. You can and will do it. My sister had triplet boys 3 weeks before her 49th birthday! Today they are 5 years old and she is in fantastic shape. Take some of your advice from this book (which I loved!) – the beauty is inside you! Also a sense of humor helps… some times I think someone switched all the mirrors to those ‘funhouse’ mirrors:)

  61. Hi Jane,

    I had also gained 50 lbs with my baby 22 years ago! I started riding an exercise bike and reduced my intake and snacked on cereal and vegetables. In a few months I went from 160 to 103! And now I am middle age, and went to donate my son’s bicycle and instead hopped on and now love bike riding. For some reason the bike rides really tighten all of my troublesome areas. It really works! Hang in there….

  62. I haven’t lost my weight from having my son yet – don’t feel so bad (my son will be 39 this year. Enjoy the baby – love to you all.

  63. Jane, I just want you to know that I look in the mirror every day and hate myself because I feel like I have no self control. But deep down inside I know I am the same person I have slways been. At fify-seven my face still looks good, not too many wrinkles, thanks to genes past down from my beautiful 83 year old mother. But I am at least 50 poundd heavier than I should be. I try but it is hard. I too want to be trim and attractive again, not only for my husband but for me. This world looks down on fat and although it is a pity and not right it is just so true. I admire you for coming forth with your feelings. I too write but have yet to be published and that also has my self worth at the bottom of the feel good about myself ladder. Anyway we will get there someday soon. I love your books. We must all think positive and love ourselves because as Loreal women say “Were worth it.”

  64. Jane, you wrote about your weight gain issues about a month ago, how’s that going? I struggled to get the baby weight off after I had my son, and I found a way for him to “help” me work out. Someone had given us a baby bjorn as a present and every day when I was on maternity leave I’d strap him in the sling and go for long walks with him. We both got outside, it was great exercise for me, and as your baby grows and gets heavier, your endurance increases. So, next time maybe you both can go for a walk on the beach together with him right by your side. My son is three and my stomach muscles still haven’t recovered, but ah, they’re worth it. Good luck, hope you’re healthy and well. Your son’s beautiful.

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