The Days Diet

(I hope y’all don’t mind if I share a personal story today.)

After my first baby was born, I was about 10 pounds heavier than before I’d gotten pregnant, leaving me weighing about 150 pounds. When my baby was 18 months old, I joined a gym and changed my eating habits and lost all my baby weight, plus a little extra, leaving me at a very happy weight of about 133. I maintained that until I had my second baby, and then I found myself back at 150 again.

I meant to rejoin the gym and reclaim my pre-pregnancy eating habits, but somehow between having a toddler and baby and working 4 days a week, it just all seemed too difficult. Nearly three years later, last April (2008), I still weighed the same 150. During a visit with my mom, we were lamenting how neither of us was exercising regularly. Listening to myself make my excuses out loud, I heard how weak they sounded (“but I’m so busy …”).

At the time, I was at a peak of frustration at Dena Higley’s Days, and was nearly ready to give it up. I resolved to give it a chance through May sweeps. It was hard going. It dawned on me one day, as I sat there watching, annoyed, frustrated, and bored, my finger itching over the fast-forward button, that I had found my time to exercise.

So that’s what I did. As I watched Nick get thrown under the bus in favor of Max-the-bartending-genius, Chelsea make google-eyes at Daniel, and EJami vs. Lumi go through another round on their merry-go-round, I did push-ups, sit-ups, lunges, squats, and jumping jacks, whatever I didn’t need any special equipment for. A month later, I joined the gym. In August 2008, I started the South Beach diet. Since then have gained a new appreciation for vegetables and fresh food, cooking from scratch, and using whole foods.

Well, two weeks ago I weighed in at 128. It took me a whole year, with lots of bumps and ups and downs along the way. I’ve changed my life a lot in the last year, really trying to make this a lifestyle change. But for getting me started on the path, I owe it all to Dena.


I wasn’t able to find a really good “before” shot, but here we go. As you can see from the size of the baby in the sling, it was taken not long after baby #2 was born:


And here I am in a new dress purchased to celebrate my new, smaller size. My older daughter took this picture this morning. (Ever notice that everyone always does the “hands on hips” pose for “after” pictures? I don’t know, but I did it too!)


Thanks, Dena!


13 thoughts on “The Days Diet

  1. Well, at least we now can say that Dena has one positive accomplishment in her favor. You look fabu! Congratulations! You are so smart to get those pounds off now. Believe me, it doesn’t get easier over the years. And you may think the toddler years are hard, but wait until adolescence hits.

  2. You look great! Isn’t amazing what you can do with an extra hour during the day!!! LOL!!! And with the new way to eat, you’ll feel great! Good job.

  3. Aw, thanks, all of you! RileyKay, I definitely noticed the last ten were the hardest. I lost the first ten in about three or four months and it took me eight months to lose the rest. But I definitely feel good about how I’m eating these days, so I plan to just keep going.

  4. Yay, Mary! I’m very impressed–it’s hard to lose 22 pounds when you only have 22 to lose. Weight comes off a lot faster when you have a lot to lose, so you should really be proud. And I totally agree about how much better food tastes when you prepare it yourself and use fresh fruits, vegetables and grains.

  5. Thanks, Paula! I think I already told you that it was hearing what you were doing with weight watchers that helped me get back on track after the holidays. So thanks for that. Are things still going well for you?

  6. Congratulations! It’s tough losing weight. I lost weight several years ago and now have gained it all back. I have since joined a gym but it’s been difficult to attend. I completely envy you in your success and determination.

    If only I could “work” off the weight by typing on my keyboard.

  7. I know, why doesn’t typing burn more calories??

    Thank you, Tripp. I’m not a huge exercise person, either. I really try to go three times a week, and I always feel good after I go, but I haven’t fallen in love with it like some people seem to.

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