CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.

Lots of people tell me I look great.  That sounds strange to write; but it’s usually when I mention I still have 20 pounds of baby weight to lose, people will shrug this off with a wave of a hand and a loving eyeroll: “I think you look great!  She’s what?  Two months old?”

While I always appreciate the sentiment, she is nearly four months old.  And no, I don’t look morbidly obese, but NONE OF MY CLOTHES FIT.  I am not exaggerating when I say this.  Today, when I want to get fancy, I slap on some sexy Old Navy straight leg jeans several sizes above my normal pairs, and a voluminous top.  The irony is, I wore my regular jeans far into my pregnancy, albeit held together precariously by an elastic hair band.  However, all of my weight seems to have shifted into my thighs and arms and cheeks, and wishes to remain there, thankyouverymuch.  We fat cells are staying put, now pass us the Oreos.

The problem with kind acquaintances telling me I look OK is that it presents a loophole in which I often get trapped.  Sure, I don’t feel good about myself and have nothing to wear (and, it should be said, refuse to buy anything more substantial than Target and Old Navy pieces until I get back into my normal healthy range), but I don’t look that bad.  I can drink all the Summer Shandy and take the kids to frozen yogurt and dump this vat of crushed Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups on top.  I’m doing OK.

This week, J and I said: ENOUGH.

We went on vacation a few weeks ago, to a lovely resort outside of Austin.  I think vacation is absolutely vital to one’s soul for many reasons, but one of my favorite things about excursions these days is the luxury of stepping outside of the daily grind and taking inventory.  When I started this blog, I was in the same position as I am in today.  I’ve got a small baby, I don’t sleep well, and my health and fitness levels are seriously lacking.

And so J and I decided that we would buckle down for the next six weeks (and LIFE) and get serious about our fitness goals.  My cousin Tina is getting married in early September, and we are making the first trek as a family of five to the Northeast.

And we would like to look hot while doing it, OK?  We’re human and a bit vain.

And our plan is a simple one, invoking the sage words of Michael Pollan: Eat food.  Not too much.  Mostly plants.

We’re eschewing any processed foods with more than five ingredients (and the ingredients we do chose have to be somewhat natural).  We are not drinking for two weeks, and then limiting our alcohol intake after that (because we have three small children.  Are there parents who don’t drink wine?).  We are amping up our exercise.

We also agreed that I will take the kiddos to church on Sundays while J hikes or bikes solo, and then he’ll take over while I attend my favorite restorative yoga class.

And that’s it.

And so far, it’s working.  One of our great friends came to Texas this past weekend for a visit, and while I don’t think we went completely overboard, there was sushi and ice cream and oysters and a MARTINI.  (Holy shit, guys.  That martini.)  Our weights were up again on Monday morning, and after a week of clean eating (and minimal calorie restriction on my part), I’m down 4.8 pounds.

My goal is to lose 13 by the first week of September.  I nurse Violet exclusively, so I know I’ll need to keep a bit of extra weight on for the foreseeable future.  But a 13-pound weight loss puts me within 10 pounds of my actual goal weight.

It will also make the December Dallas half-marathon training a lot easier.

And also?  In this particular season of life, I don’t think I can understate the importance of feeling good and strong and healthy and attractive.  I chase children and meet needs all day long.  It would be nice to feel beautiful and have nice clothes for my baby to vomit on.

Here’s to reclaiming myself.  One Krispy Kreme doughnut refusal at a time.

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Our seventh anniversary celebration, which took place from 4:30  – 6:45 PM on Saturday so we could rush home to put the kids to bed (a task a sitter just cannot handle at this point). I love the martini and the man but am not totally into the arms and cheeks.

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