My Roadblock is Made of Cheese

So. My resolutions-goals-plans-whatever get a resounding “meh” right now.

My two big setbacks last week were discovering my BMI still puts me firmly in the “overweight” category and trying to order a dress online that required me to take my measurements, after which I promptly declared my tape measure defective and cried into a bag of candy.

I don’t know why the BMI thing made me so upset. BMI is stupid. I don’t even BELIEVE in BMI as a scale of health. I bet you $100 that when I get to the doctor on Thursday I am declared insanely healthy and my weight isn’t even mentioned. And yet when I saw a link on some website to calculate my BMI I clicked through and did it. Now I feel like all the weight I’ve lost up until this point doesn’t even count because I’m still OVERWEIGHT.

But then there’s the trouble with taking my measurements. I can’t say I don’t believe in inches. It’s one thing to know what size pants I wear and quite another to know how wide around I am in concrete numbers. I can scoff at arbitrary, meaningless clothing sizes easily – I’m swimming in my only pair of dress pants but an old sundress in the SAME SIZE won’t even zip halfway – but an inch is an inch is an inch. (Of course, then I compare the number showing on the tape measure to the ones on the size chart online and oh look, that website thinks I’m a fatty too. Congrats, Chubby, here are the ugly tunics and mom-jeans we’ve decided are the only things we approve for you. Go sit in a corner and feel shamed.)

The truth is no matter how unhappy these stupid numbers make me I have almost reached my deprivation-capacity. I am willing to snack on grapes instead of chips. I am not willing to eat lettuce without any dressing. I am willing to switch to low-fat cheese. I am not willing to give up all dairy. I am willing to watch my portions. I am not willing to feel hungry all the time. I am willing to work out more days a week if it means I can have a burger on the weekends. I am not willing to get up at 4 am to do The 30 Day Shred and STILL skip the burgers.

I consider it a quality of life issue. You know that saying “Nothing tastes as good as thing feels?” Whoever made that up had never eaten REALLY GOOD FOOD.

All those super clean eating raw unprocessed juicing diets might be amazing and everyone always loses a ton of weight but they won’t work for someone who LOATHS them with every fiber of her being. Up to this point I’ve been able to balance my choices and still end up on the winning (losing) side. Having the points from Weight Watches makes it math instead of guessing and I like the structure AND the flexibility. But once I wean Caroline (and the end is near) my body isn’t going to need an extra milk-making calories and I suspect I’ll have to drop dessert AND dairy to stay under my allotted points. Bless me grilled cheesus, I am just not sure I can do it.

The silliest part of all of this is I am still losing weight. My doubts are just SPECULATION about my FUTURE weight loss and depression over the total number of pounds I have to go before I am in the “normal for my height” range. I think I need a smaller goal – teeny tiny, like ONE POUND LOST – next week and a real reward for reaching it. It just probably shouldn’t be cheese.

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28 Responses to “My Roadblock is Made of Cheese”

  1. Robyn says:

    I HATE BMI too! Our insurance requires us to enroll in a weight loss program if our BMI is in the overweight range, which it was for both of us…even my husband who i really wouldn’t consider overweight so much as a little chubby. I did some math and the only way I will get to the not overweight BMI is if i get back to my pre-babies, running 5 miles a day, just lost a bunch of weight, weight, which will be really hard to do with two kids and not enough time to run 5 miles a day. it’s either that, or starve myself, which i’m not a fan of. and it’s only getting harder now that i’m over 30 and my metabolism is getting worse and worse! great, now i’m depressed and need to eat a bunch of dark chocolate salted caramels.

    • Erin says:

      I didn’t know that insurances could do that?!?!?! That’s pretty horrible!!! I think that is really over stepping.

      • Robyn says:

        Yeah it sucks. If you don’t enroll in the weight loss program and follow it, then they charge you higher co-pays and rates. They also require us to have a yearly physical with bloodwork (although i really don’t mind that since the hubs won’t go to the dr otherwise) and a test for nicotine. if you test positive, they make you join a smoking cessation program. although to be fair, the weight loss programs are either a walking program where they send you a pedometer and you have to walk at least 5000 steps per day, which i usually met with no problem, even though i have a desk job and don’t do much walking other than chasing the toddler. Or you can join weight watchers, which the insurance pays for. and, if your doctor writes on the form that you are a body builder, pregnant, or gives some other reason as to why your BMI is high, but you are at a healthy weight, then you can get out of the weight loss programs.

  2. Swistle says:

    I think whoever said that thing about thinness was high on whatever weight-loss-enhancing drugs her agent got for her.

  3. TMae says:

    I have nothing but words not fit to print in a family blog for the BMI. I checked out Weight Watchers online yesterday and there was a link to calculate it. I then spent the next 20 minutes ragey that WW uses it as a barometer.

  4. Mama Fisch says:

    I think BMI is stupid. I have thought it was stupid since I was a college athlete who was body fat was under 15% but still obese under BMI. So stupid… I like you used to obsess over numbers. (Honestly, I still do at times.) But, now I try to focus on how I look and how I feel. It probably does not make you feel better, but I refuse to give up super sharp cheddar cheese and goat cheese.

  5. Susan says:

    Perhaps I can offer a different perspective? You are a good mom. You are loving and kind. You offer the world a real look into your life and from your writing people can draw comfort, joy, and some days a belly laugh! You have so much to offer. Don’t let the size of the package negate all the wonderful things you are inside that package.

  6. Emily says:

    OMG, I HATE BMI (that was a lot of caps, but they’re worth it)! In fact, I hate all numbers when it comes to my body. I totally relate to the part about going to the doctor who says you’re super healthy but your computer says you’re overweight. It’s so annoying how much these numbers impact us! I’ve been on a kick lately to ignore numbers and just go by how I feel and look (the kick usually lasts about 4 days, then I go weigh myself… doh!)…

  7. I had a BMI meltdown last spring. I think I hit obese instead of overweight when I started. It sucks and it feels arbitrary, but did you check your BMI when you started? It has probably gone down with the weight you lost already. You need to focus on the overall downward march of all of your numbers: pounds, BMI, inches, sizes. Those are all going down. Why? Because you are awesome.

  8. Other Erin says:

    I cannot recommend this enough.

    Do you like bacon and 15 minute workouts? Just be careful, there are some die-hards on that site.

    • bebehblog says:

      I’ll have to look at it when the kids aren’t awake (aka screaming) but it’s kind of…sciencey for me. There’s a reason Slim-Fast worked in college – I do better with simple, even if it’s not the BEST possible solution. And I’m just not at all sure I can give up candy. Ever.

      • Other Erin says:

        Yeah the writer of that blog is WAY into it. But I can boil it down for you while I’m bored at work this week. It’s pretty similar to the concept Animom posted.

  9. Brigid Keely says:

    You’re fit and healthy, who cares what size pants you wear/how big around your thighs are/what an arbitrary scale of measurement says? You are in the grip of advertisers trying to sell you something– trying to sell you diets, trying to sell you make up, trying to sell you slimming garments, trying to sell you on the idea that you are somehow wrong and ugly and defective because you are a mammal with a physical body. You don’t have to play that game. You are a beautiful person. Stop listening to people and things that tell you that you aren’t. Focus on what DOES make you beautiful and happy and live a better life.

  10. Animom says:


    I recently began reading up on “real food” (full-fat stuff, no processed stuff) and it has been eye-opening how backwards our weight loss thinking is. There’s a lot of information out there though and it can be overwhelming in the beginning.
    You could start here:
    Her home page currently also has a post with a list of other real food blogs.

    If you don’t want to make these changes but are open to doing one, do this: cut out refined, white sugar. Use maple syrup, honey or sucanat for your baking. I’m on week two of trying to eliminate sugar. It’s tough..but doable, helps immensely that I don’t have a sweet tooth.
    You are already such a rockstar at cooking, I’m sure you’ll find creative recipes to cut out sugar.

    Sorry if I sounded crazy or preachy but I really admire you and hate that you are feeling disheartened.


    • Robyn says:

      i tend to agree with this thinking. as a society, we had much less obesity back when we all ate real, unprocessed food. although, we did also have to work a lot harder physically than we do now. But still, i think the real food thing makes sense. we just switched to non-homogenized milk because the homogenization process increases heart disease…and non-homogenized milk tastes amazing!!

  11. Cheri says:

    My BMI still has me on the overweight side….just say’n….You are doing great on this journey and moving in the right direction, which is all that matters.

  12. Nicole says:

    You’re willing to eat reduced fat cheese? That is some willpower, right there.

  13. Suzanne says:

    I agree with Animom about eating REAL food, though I have not checked out that website she posted. We buy full fat yogurt and normal cheese, 2% milk, and real butter in our house. We watch the portions. We cook with real food and it satisfies us more. Now, I am pregnant right now, and was nursing before that, and pregnant before THAT. So my weight and body issues have been yo-yoing for the past few years as well. But, before all that, we ate real food and exercised and I was able to keep my weight at the place I like it.

    That is my advice! But I think you look great as well. And stop calculating your BMI!

    • bebehblog says:

      Once I GET to the weight I want I know I can maintain, especially because I (mostly) like exercise. But my body hates hates hates losing. Hates. It takes a lot of cutting back to get it to give up pounds.

  14. Denae says:

    Pshaw! You look great. Getting to your goal body is a process. You have accomplished SO MUCH. Dont discount that. You will get to you goal with determination and time. Have you tried a food journal? See where your calories are going helps make small changes with big results. I just found out that the avg american drinks 450 calories a day (coke, juice, tea, etc.) When I was prego that is certainly where mine were coming from. I just started getting back into my exercise routine and am seeing the inches melt off, but I still look in the mirror upset at my love handles and muffin top. Why are we so hard on ourselves?

  15. Erin says:

    BMI is evil! You are doing so great!!!!!

  16. kassie says:

    I hate BMI! I have to be super skinny to not be “overweight”. I am really broad, I can’t help that. Seriously skinny me is still a size 10. I hate BMI, hate it.

  17. Jamie B says:

    BMI is awful, I agree. Just a thought: you mentioned that you’ll be weaning your child soon (and therefore needing to cut calories more). It’s possible to donate your breast milk! I’m not sure if an organization for it exists in your area, but it might be worth looking into! You’d be able to not cut those calories, and you’d be helping out a baby! :)

  18. Megan says:

    A) You look lovely and have made progress. I promise. B) I was somewhat terrified to stop nursing for the same reason. But it turned out to be a nonissue. I really was less hungry after I stopped nursing.

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