{31 Lessons Learned the Hard Way} :: Lesson 2~It Goes Beyond Skinny

I've never been super skinny. It's never REALLY bothered me, though.

Not enough to do anything about it. In high school, I was average. I had a cute little teenagery body that I did little to maintain. I didn't pay much attention to how I ate and I wasn't involved in many sports. The physical activities I participated in were simply because I liked them...never really for the purpose of working out.

When I went to college, I paid a little more attention to what I ate in order to avoid the "freshman 15". It was not an obsession though...ok, not even really a focus.

When I got married, I still had the cute little teenagery body. Then I got pregnant.

I gained 45 lbs with my first pregnancy. I kept the habits I had always had...I ate what I wanted and I never worked out. It didn't even occur to me that I might KEEP the weight after I had my baby.

I didn't keep all of it, just about 20 lbs. And then I was pregnant again. I was so happy being a mom and I really enjoyed being pregnant. I knew that I was overweight but I just assumed it went with the job. I was too busy thinking about all of my responsibilities as a mom...I just "couldn't" find the time to work out regularly.

After we had our fifth baby (in 6 years), we felt our family was complete. I knew I needed to lose some weight but I still wasn't ready to focus on it.

About eight months later, I went in for a routine physical. It wasn't a good feeling when the doctor asked me to come to his office for a chat. He gently challenged me to lose some weight. A few days after that, our insurance physical came back. Brad received a "superior rating" which resulted in a discounted cost. I, however, did not get a superior rating due to high cholesterol.

These two events, occurring within the same week, were the wake up call I needed. I didn't want to live the rest of my life overweight. I wanted to have energy to keep up with my kids. Even more, I wanted to be AROUND for my kids and grandkids!

After some research and asking around, I found a program that worked for me. (If you are needing to find a program, here is my thought: I feel most programs work about the same...they are reliant on you to be consistent and patient! Find one and stick to it!) I lost most of my "baby weight". Am I super skinny now? No. Am I back to my prepregnancy weight? Not quite.

BUT I am healthier. I am no longer in the "overweight" category. My cholesterol is normal. I have more energy. Working out is actually enjoyable (you know, in the best way it can be). I love working hard and sweating and knowing that I am making my body cooperate with the life that I want to live.

Do I ever look at super skinny girls and wish I could look like them? Yes, I do. But is it the focus of my life? No! I want to be healthy, I want to be attractive for my husband and I want to have energy to play with my kids.

Maybe someday I'll have the time and focus to work out every day and lose the last bit of the baby weight (I don't really think I can call it that anymore...my baby's now four years old *wink*). But for now, I try to fuel my body well with foods that give me the nutrients I need. As far as working out, honestly, I go in phases depending on how busy we are. I am still a work in progress. It still doesn't get ALL of my focus, but it gets enough.

We've been given these bodies as a gift...a gift to steward and use in order to accomplish all that the Lord has for us. I want to do the best I can with EACH gift He gives...why should my body be any different?

This post is part of the series {31 Lessons Learned the Hard Way}. Did you miss a lesson? Catch up here.


  1. Andrea, this is a brave and fantastic post. The sentence that caught my attention was "......but I just assumed it went with the job." I never thought of it like that before, but that is so true. During and after pregnancy we focus on the babies out of duty. I know I assumed my heavy weight 'went with the job'.
    A year and a half ago I began to focus on my health, specifically my weight. I have made progress, and still have more to go, but feeling strong and healthy is my focus ..... not skinny.
    I am not brave enough to blog about it though, not yet.
    Congrats to you. You are very beautiful.


  2. Love it. You are beautiful. This is almost exactly how I feel too. Still need to get more motivation to get going and lose a bit more, packed my workout bag today. Hooray! If I get over there is another question though.... You have a great way of expressing yourself. Liked this one! Again, could be a chapter.

  3. Great Post Andrea. I love this sentence "I love working hard and sweating and knowing that I am making my body cooperate with the life that I want to live". It is so true, what is the goal? You have a great motivation, to be healthy for the life you want to live. By the way, you are truly beautiful, inside and out! Looking forward to reading more 'lessons'.


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