Breaking: Crazy human somehow loses weight, shares secret

by Janelle Hanchett

You know I don’t give advice, but there’s this one area of life I have so mastered so fully (SARCASM MOTHERFUCKERS) I feel it would be a disservice to humanity to not share.

And that area is: LOSING WEIGHT.

Look, I don’t want to discuss feminism or women’s bodies or getting comfortable with my fatness or whatever the fuck else we all sit around discussing. I KNOW there are fat yogis balancing on their heads, powerful as hell. I KNOW there are women super okay with the rolls of their belly but I also know that those women are not me.

I am neither a fat yogi nor a woman comfortable with her belly.

I feel like shit. My back hurts. I look at myself naked and sorta want to puke. I KNOW I HAVE INTERNALIZED BODY SHAMING NARRATIVES OF SELF HATRED.

I’m not proud. I’m merely stating the facts: I am overfuckingweight and I don’t like it. I’m overweight because I eat too much and believe in the futility of eating one’s feelings yet do it anyway because THAT’S FUN.

Also, I don’t exercise enough.


I wasn’t always overweight. While they were trying to find what was wrong with me (during my active alcoholism), they gave me a bunch of psychiatric diagnoses and put me on 7 to 11 different psychotropic drugs at the same time. I gained 70 pounds in 3 months.


And I’ve never quite been able to regain control. But I can’t blame that completely. Sure, that’s how it started, but once it happened I began the spiral into Fuck It All I’m Already Fat and started eating with wild abandon.

I’m not particularly unhealthy. My blood pressure is low. My blood sugar normal.

But I feel like shit.

This is just me. This is not a statement on all fat women in the world, or America. Or even my town. Or even one single other person.

I’m sure if I were a better, more enlightened human, I would

A. get okay with my body as it is; or,

B. do something about it.

I’m working on B.


But I kinda suck at it.

Once, a few years ago, when I was about this weight, I got super pissed off and done with not changing and I lost 40 pounds over a year or so and felt amazing.

Then I got pregnant again and gained it all back that was nearly 2 years ago the end.

Nice story, right?

I hate that story. That story can lick donkey balls.

Sorry. I should be more feminine.

I should stop apologizing.



Okay here’s the deal: I’m trying to lose weight to feel stronger and more able-bodied and in less pain AND to feel more comfortable in my body and clothes.

Here’s how it’s going:

4am: Wake up but against my will. Nurse tiny creature next to me and beg him (in silence of course) to go back to fucking sleep

5am: Breathe a sigh of relief that tiny human fell back asleep, roll over to do the same

5:15am: Wonder why I’m not asleep yet

5:30am: Wonder why I’m not asleep yet

5:45am: Meditate with the vigor of a thousand warriors because JESUS FUCK I NEED SLEEP

6am: Fall asleep

6:30am: Hear alarm go off, want to die

6:36: Get out of bed after looking at phone for 6 minutes even though I know that’s a super bad way to start the day

6:40: Do 7-minute workout thing (dude it’s an app and it rocks and I’ve actually been doing it!)

7am: Eat a healthy breakfast because today is going to be a good clean eating day!

7-10am: Drink 47,000 gallons of coffee but without sugar

10:30am: Healthy snack

1pm: healthy lunch

3pm: Drive around 12 small nations to pick up kids

3:15pm: Realize I’m fucking starving

4pm: Realize I’m dizzy from healthy snack deficiency

4:30pm: Get home. Open fridge. Eat something healthy but wish there was something more filling and also healthy

5pm: Start making dinner



7pm: Realize I basically negated all my day’s efforts because it’s the night calories that REALLY matter and ohmygodJanelle you suck and you’ll always be fat and nobody likes you.

8pm: Get upset with myself for fat shaming body shaming self bashing and blatant lack of self love.

10pm: Resolve to do better tomorrow.

11pm: Go the fuck to sleep


Then, DUDE CHECK THIS SHIT OUT: I do slightly better tomorrow.

That is actually happening and it’s real. I’ve been making tiny changes and little nudges here and there and I’ve lost 10 pounds over the past 6 weeks. What?

Every day, I’m trying to be a little healthier than the last, and if I eat everything in a 5 mile radius during one meal, I try to get back on track for the next without mentally assaulting myself until I’m lying lifeless on a cold stone floor.

And I see now that a big part of this is realizing that I deserve health and attention and wellness and compassion (lord I sound like a fucking life coach), and tiny changes ultimately result in a new place entirely.

And that feels damn good.

So yeah, success. Or something. Fucking rock it.

Slightly more than yesterday.


Do you ever wish you could see yourself the way your kids do?

Do you ever wish you could see yourself the way your kids do?

  • Wendy

    you go for it! I am still laughing at the ‘lick donkey balls’ line. bahahaha

  • Zoe Collins

    I am laughing cause this is so real. I relate to you like you are some kind of kindred sister. I too have struggled to get rid of my “baby belly” after 9 fucking years. The change has been and still is slow. I also struggle with the guilt of being some kind of inspiration to my 9 year old daughter that I am good enough as I am. I struggle with the language I use around her. I hate saying I am on a diet around her. Like you said. I wish I could see myself in her eyes. I wish I could love my lumps and bumps (somedays I do). I too want to feel strong and run with my kids. We are getting there sister but Jesus Christ aint early mornings a bitch! Love your work and all that you are.

  • feruza

    You have no idea how grateful I am for your honesty and raw frankness. No idea. I can not always relate to everything you write about, but I ALWAYS thank you in my mind for your amazing courage to be who you are, to embrace the present and how you REALLY feel about it, and express it publicly, brilliantly. You often say things, I personally agree with, but am too politically fucking correct to say aloud. I am so tired of everyone’s sensationalist attitude towards every little thing. There are many faces of skinny:the ugly, the beautiful, the in-need-of treatment, the casual (the kind where one just IS skinny no matter what or how much she/he eats or exercises).The same applies to excessive weight. I also don’t give any unsolicited advise, usually, but for Pete’s sake, let’s try to speak for ourselves only, try to accept ourselves as we are and if we want to change-change, but stop creating this stupid, needless, totally artificial dispute about what “NORMAL” weight should look and feel like.

  • Antanika

    I totally know this. I am not fat or overweight, and i once was 10 kgs over weight, i spent 2 years pregnant and it killed my soul, so I ate and ate, then i hate and hate, Now i am skinny, but to be honest like, im not that much happier, well i am? But I still look in the mirror and think, man i wish that pouch flap that no one sees was smaller. Or Fuck off muffin tops, no one likes muffins because you ain’t got no icing. . .

  • Suzanne

    And the name of the app is….?

    • Debra

      Thinking the same thing. SO many apps out there called 7 minute workout.

    • renegademama

      Here it is!

      I think it’s great, but of course we’re all different. 🙂

      • Debra

        Thank you! I keep putting off getting fit and whatnot because who has the time for that shit? My husband keeps sending me info on local gym memberships. Yeah, I’ll squeeze that right into my copious amounts of time between work, making dinner, homework, and falling over into bed.

        But this? I think I might be able to do. Thank you!

      • Debra

        As long as I was only doing an occasional (maybe monthly) 20 minutes on the elliptical machine at work, I could pretend I was still in shape. That app workout kicked my ass. Thank you.

  • Zoe

    You’re amazing – and PS – are you stalking me because this is EXACTLY what my day is like!!! From the nursing of little human (and silent praying) to the freaking starving i’ve been good all day until I ate my weight in apple crisp (that I made swearing I would only have a “slice” of and also because my husband accidentally bought diet ice cream which meant I could eat 3 times as much… right? So love your column… seriously. Thank you 🙂

  • April Bennett

    I changed my body after sickness and pregnancy too. You are so right about all of the double edged swords, I get it. That app is awesome, and it completely shifted my metabolism and body in about 9 months. Your compassion for yourself by doing small things with determined regularity is just right. You are good.

  • Sal

    Gold, Janelle. Pure gold. Actually, that’s an extremely dumb thing to say as your posts are always of the precious metal variety…but anyways. I’ve come to the conclusion that you and the voices in my head are in kahoots. Either that, or you ARE the voices in my head. Love your work, honey. Donkey balls *snort*

  • Erica

    I know my opinion is essentially meaningless, because i feel fat as fuck too, despite everyone telling me I look great (I have 25lbs to lose). But…you are gorgeous and I {puffy heart} you. <3

  • KT

    Ditto ditto ditto

  • ruth johnson

    I am in peri menopause and want to punch the fucking sky because no matter what I do, I take up more space. None of my clothes fit me. I recently cleared out all the fucking shit in my house that didn’t spark joy – that included my fat clothes. Shit, motherfucking shit, do I wish I had not done that. Now my rolls seep out and over even my loose as shit pajama pants, and sicken me. Whatever. It’s true. I am fat shaming ME, and that is my right…right? I, like you, want to feel good again. And I, like you, have begun to shift in the slightest direction toward a healthier me. YAY you! YAY me! Slightly better than yesterday is all we need.

  • Mary

    Lick donkey balls. Trying to decide if I can say that in the classroom.

    • Tessa

      If you’re determined enough you’ll find a way!

    • Peggy Miller

      Extra credit if you say ‘lick flaming hot donkey balls.’

  • Maureen Wanket

    Yeah me too.

  • Jolie

    Totally relate and am trying to feel less shitty every moment of the day. I will advocate for vitamins…magnesium, vitamin D, primrose oil and Tumeric with black pepper have helped me a lot lately! The exercise part is slow going…but there should be no excuse for 7 minutes of me time!

  • Amanda

    yes, yes, yes!
    I too was at my goal weight after my second son, but had a third 17 months ago and am bigger than ever! I’ve been obsessing about food – eating, not eating, boring! – for 15 months.
    He wakes for a tide-me-over feed at 4am too, and I found be myself caught in this eat-for-energy cycle because you’ve got to eat or sleep, and sleep with three boys is not an option and oh my God that leaves rating and the attendant self-loathing and every mother#%^*er is an expert on losing weight and I want to both poke them with sticks and beg them to take over the incessant food related tasks I my life!
    As an ex-smoker, I also find, for me, that I have the same compulsions towards food that I used to have towards smoking, but you can’t stop eating, so there’s a constant battle and often I just can’t be bothered. Cue self-loathing…
    Bless you, Janelle, for making me feel like I’m not the lone one living this life. x

    • Amanda

      *where did that “be” come from*
      Damn autocorrecting “smart” phones

  • Maygen

    Oh dear God is that baby Arlo? When did he become a toddler?!

  • Victoria

    I hear ya, Sister. The weight thing….. Man, that’s freaking hard to crack. This was the year that I finally said fuck it! I’m going to figure out how to get down to a healthier weight if it kills me! Or should say BEFORE it kills me.

    You know what has always been my downfall? It was my “all or nothing” thinking. I was either “on a diet” or “off a diet”. And as soon as I had a meal that was not within the guidelines of whatever diet I was following at the moment then shit! I was off the diet and I ate until I felt sick. The same with working out. I either had a 3 times weekly gym workout or I was completely inactive and avoiding any movement of any sort.

    I’m going to share with you my new philosophy of life. Prepare yourself!!…. It’s groundbreaking!!!! My new philosophy (really my new mantra) has become “Fuck it, it’s better than nothing!” I apply that to my eating when I have had two great meals and one where I ate like a pig. “Fuck it, it’s better than nothing.” And the next meal I try again to eat better.

    If I only have enough time to walk for 10 minutes before picking up the kids from school. “Fuck it, it’s better than nothing!”

    I’ve learned that eliminating anything from my diet will immediately make me start craving it so intensely I can barely think of anything else. The same thing happens if I try to follow rules like “don’t eat after 7 PM” or “don’t eat more than 4 times a day” etc. That shit makes me start obsessing about food 24/7. Who wants that!?

    Another boring revelation…. portion control! I know… go ahead and tell me to fuck off. I decided I was going to eat anything I wanted but I was going to find out what a healthy portion would be and stick to that. I bought a food scale and I measured portions. I know that sounds like a pain in the ass and anal as hell but I had to relearn what a proper portion of a food was. Now I do it automatically by eyesight.

    I wish I could tell you I’ve lost 75 pounds in 3 months but no…. I’ve lost 25 pounds in 10 months. Repeat after me…. “Fuck it, it’s better than nothing.”

    And this lifestyle is easy to maintain. I don’t feel deprived. I don’t have to avoid dinner & drinks with friends or birthday parties. I’m not skinny but I get to have a life and I am healthier than I was in January so I’m sticking with this.

    You are a gorgeous, brilliant, warm and FUNNY Lady who happens to be carrying a few too many pounds. Take baby steps! Fuck it, it’s better than nothing! : ))

    • Trisa

      This is brilliant, Victoria. I’m going to start the, “Fuck it, it’s better than nothing!” lifestyle, too!. And you’re so right about portion control. I know that my evening meals suit a heavy labourer. I’m going to start this mental shift today. Fuck it, what have I got to lose?!

    • Elle

      That was an amazing reply. Love it. All of it. We are always so hard on ourselves, thanks for reminding us to see the good in our decisions, not dwell on the bad. Congrats on feeling good, being kind to yourself, and losing weight as a bonus. And yes, portion control- mindful eating and chewing enough to let our brain catch up with our dosage. Probably ly the hardest thing to relearn. You are inspiring!

      • Victoria

        Aww! Thanks, Elle. I’ve never thought of myself as inspiring. Just another fat chick trying to quit the insane yo-yo dieting bullshit. ((Hugs))

        Sorry, Janelle for verbally spewing all over your comments section. Guess this one really resonated with me and had to chime in… repeatedly. I’ll shut up now. : )

        • Katharine S

          Great reply Victoria.
          Yep, as soon as I try to remove something from my diet, I want it. As soon as I create a rule eg no food after 8pm, I break it and am down on myself.
          Portion control – I think that’s the way to go for me too, but I haven’t managed it yet! But hey, I managed to not have anything after dinner last night (except some milk to wash down a tablet), so Fuck it, it’s better than nothing…

  • Julie

    Love your posts! My youngest is 15, and I still can’t seem to lose the weight I gained pregnant. I never had a weight issue in my life until I had my first, gained 100 (!) pounds, and can’t ditch it. Can you share the name of the app? I’d love to go with tried and true. I looked and there are a gajillion (slight exaggeration) apps called 7 minute workout. Thanks!

  • Phillipa

    I hate the people out there that say “Oh, you should be happy with you as you are and not try to change so much….love yourself.” I do….and I would not love me less if I gained more, but I would certainly be happier if I lost some. Guess what? I am ALLOWED to not be happy with the great blob I see in the mirror with no clothes on. It’s MY body and I will judge myself to the fullest extent. I don’t compare to any image other than the one in my head that was me two babies in. It was the third and fourth that really buggered me up and it’s a lot harder now to recover.

  • Jen Bowers

    I have a tip that might help: eat fat with every meal. Yes, all types of fat, even “bad fat”. Whole milk, cheese, etc. I started doing this and I rarely get those blood sugar crashes anymore, which sneak upon you fast when you are doing 1,000 things for little creatures all day. Eating fat also really reduces those cravings for sugar and carbs. Don’t hate but I actually have been in a normal weight range my whole life, after 3 pregnancies, and am now in my 30’s. My weight hasn’t changed at all the last 3 years that I have purposefully started eating fats with every meal. I feel so much better too. (Low-fat diets are now being correlated with diabetes and other problems too.)

    • Tracey

      Jen, you’re on a winner there,although stick with the good fats. I’ve been eating low carb, high fat (LCHF) for a few months now, and it’s not easy to start with but much easier to maintain than other ways of eating. Milk is high in carbs (and I don’t like it anyway) but I eat heaps of butter, cream, cheese, low-carb no-sugar icecream, bacon, chicken, vegies and love it. Until days like to day when my hormones are raging and I’ve eaten 4 square of dark Lindt chocolate in bed! Not good but at least it’s 70% dark. Keep going Jen!

    • Anne

      Agree that no fat is a recipe for backsliding.

      I struggle. The only things that have helped me make progress are Whole 30 (I definitely have foods that don’t sit well with me, the more I know, the better I feel.), and Great information – cardio + tiny unfilling food = unsustainable, how to start building strength, eat satisfying meals. How to get fat into your meals (olive oil, avocado, etc).

      This is just me. But Nerd Fitness has really helped me with overall food/exercise lifestyle.

  • kathys

    I’m with Victoria–all or nothing is my life! The times I really lost weight were the times I just paid attention to what I was doing…so…I guess I’ll start doing that

    • Victoria

      LOVE IT, Trisa! Let’s start a “Fuck it, it’s better than nothing” movement! We’ll be a whole clan of under-achievers but at least we’ll be achieving SOMETHING and won’t be driving ourselves (and everyone else around us) mad in the process. LOL

      • Trisa

        Woo! Go us, and our snail-like achievements!

  • Annie

    Um, yeah. This is pretty much my entire life. So you’re not alone. Also, I frequently use the phrase “licks donkey balls” and have for as long as I can remember. Frankly I’m shocked people were delighted by this new phrase. Anyway, march on. I’m going to eat a bunch of weird shit and go lay in bed.

  • Adi

    It’s your blog and you’re entitled to write whatever you choose, but I have to say, it hurts reading someone I respect and admire referring to fat as disgusting. I feel like there was a way to write this that wasn’t just fat hatred peppered with statements about how you know this is fat hatred but dammit, you’re going to say it anyway. I’ve always been fat. I’ve been told my whole life I’m disgusting, I’m not worthwhile, I’m lazy, I’m diseased. It was really nice reading a blog where I didn’t hear that rhetoric.

    Like I said, it’s your blog. You’re entitled. But that doesn’t mean your words don’t affect others.

    • renegademama


      Please point to a place in this post where I refer to other fat people as disgusting.

      Oh that’s right. You won’t find it. In fact, I made very clear that I am referring to my perception of MYSELF. Not anybody else in the world. But I can see how that was unclear since I wrote “This is just me. This is not a statement on all fat women in the world, or America. Or even my town. Or even one single other person.”

      Check this out: You are shaming me and getting angry at me for truthfully admitting that I find MYSELF disgusting through years of the very same negative fat-shaming narratives that have HURT YOU.

      In other words, you’re mad that I was honest about struggling with the same thing YOU struggle with? Fascinating.

      You’re right. I should have lied. Lying is way better.

      “I’m fat and I feel BEAUTIFUL because society says FAT IS GORGEOUS!”

      Feel better now?

      Neither do I.


      P.S. I find it utterly insane to bemoan the way society views fat people as disgusting then get angry at a fat person for feeling disgusting. Have a nice day.

      • Adi

        You know, after reading this comment and rereading your post, I have to apologize. You’re right, this is about me and my internalized hatred making me feel attacked. I should’ve done a better job protecting myself from negative body talk (which I obviously can’t handle) than criticising you for it. This post hurting me wasn’t your fault and I’m sorry for trying to pin that on you.

        • Emily

          I just happened on your comment and I wanted to say, good for you for realizing this. If you’re anything like me, you’ve internalized so much of what was there and what *wasn’t* there that you have this incredibly strange relationship with other people’s opinions of you and opinions in general. For me it’s not about weight, but I’ve got my own shit. I think it’s true, no matter how many times people pin woodcarvings of it hanging on a grey chevron-ed background, that you really have to find your own place of acceptance about those things. Not that I can tell you how about my real demons. About my weight, though, I can say that I was able to be happy with it (read: happy with my body) when I rejected both the fat-shaming and the fat-embracing cultures we’re fed and realized that it was okay (for me!) to not like my body shape and still admit without shame that it wasn’t a high enough priority at the time to give two fucks. Especially for women, and especially for overweight people, the most insidious message we get is not about any particular flaw but the idea that recognizing a flaw and not being deep in the throes of addressing it is the worst “meta-flaw”. Like, “you’re fat.” “Yeah, I know.” “Don’t you feel awful?” “Well, not great, but not awful.” “But wouldn’t you like to feel better?” “Obviously.” “So what are you doing about it?” “What? Nothing. Ain’t nobody got time for that.” “You could do it after your kids are in bed.” “Assuming I could–and let’s ignore what a pain in the ass that would be–I’m still not going to.” “But your health is so important! What are you doing instead?” “Sitting naked on my couch. Maybe I’ll even watch one of the new Bob’s Burgers.” “Don’t you think you should prioritize getting into shape? You know, for your kids?” “I did. I prioritized a lot of things. Turns out weight’s low on the list.” “Well, when your kids are older, I bet you can really attack that!” “Maybe? There are a lot of things I could do then. I really don’t know where losing weight is going to measure up against that stuff.”

          Also, I never struggled with my weight until I gained a bunch as an adult, so I haven’t had the lifetime of bile that you’ve faced, but if you saw me on the street now (having lost it), you’d be wrong to think that I have any delusions that I make better life decisions than anybody who’s overweight. Not that you would think that of me specifically, but referring back to the beginning of my comment, I know that I tend to put thoughts into other people’s heads in order to fuel my own self-hatred. I eventually had a couple things line up that had the chance to make me lose some weight, and I kind of said, “Well, me, you’re not that great at hard work and gradual improvement, so let’s do this thing,” and I made a conscious decision to combine some healthy and some inadvisable dieting practices to lose the weight. It still took a hell of a long time and I know the stats aren’t great on keeping it off, so now I have to figure out what it’s going to look like going forward–somewhere between an eating disorder and steadily gaining it all back is really what I’m aiming for. But you know, I already have, like, 4 full-time jobs just living my life, and I’m not going to add “Professional Thin Person.”

  • erin

    So as a fellow fatty, I can only very highly recommend the whole 30 program. (im aware youre bot soliciting advice on what to do but i know the STRUGGLE is REAL and since i found something that works, i like to share.) now when you first read about it, youll say, “Fuck that” because its full of guidelines and rules and food prep and blah blah blah. But its a very healthy approach – mentally – because it focuses on how you feel as opposed to other markers. And I never felt better in my life. I have had years of pain dur to injuries and, not gonna lie, being a fatty and it all disappeared. And I slept like a fucking king every night. So, you know, if you feel like concentrating on something, Id maybe check it out.

    Disclaimer: I dont have kids yet so my time in the evening is my own. I realize this is a great advantage to taking on any sort of regular routine.

    • renegademama



      And you caught my attention re: the sleep thing. I have horrid insomnia.

      • erin

        i would wake up feeling actually refreshed, actually ready to get out of bed. what a concept. it was insane, i spent years not actually knowing what a real nights sleep felt like and what it could do for me. the book is called “It Starts with Food” and of course theres a summary of it all on their website if you dont have the time, energy or desire to read the book.

        i know i sound like i fucking work for them and am getting paid for this but im just so stoked that after 15+ years of rollercoasting on weight watchers, atkins, master cleanse, liquid diets and those pesky diet pills/speed (in my high school days, im classier now) and too many other fads to count, this shit works. and when i stopped paying too much attention and just went back to my normal, shitty eating patterns….i didnt gain the weight back. but im back to being in pain and sleeping like shit so Day 1 of the next whole 30 starts Monday for me. keep fingers crossed.

        your FF

        • erin

          oh and the phrase ive always been partial to is…sucks moose cock. but i assume its in the same realm of meaning.

          • Victoria

            … and then there’s my favorite, classic dismissive phrase of “Fuck you, you fucking fuck”. Isn’t that beautiful? LOL

            Erin, I’m really happy that the Whole30 plan works for you and reading the Program Rules it looks like it’s an extremely healthy plan to follow. Unfortunately, and speaking only for myself, I would last less than a day on this program. And by the end of the day I would be on the 6 O’clock news “Woman goes apeshit at McDonald’s, demands Big Mac, fries and chocolate sundae by gun point.”

            Just reading that the diet must be followed strictly for the whole 30 days and if you cheat only once you have to start all over again on Day 1 is enough to give me an anxiety attack. I seriously bow down to your self-discipline if you can stick to this diet.

            A requirement I have for any eating plan is this very important question: “Is this sustainable considering my lifestyle, crazy ass family, history of emotional eating/food issues and my propensity to rebel and shout fuck off! to anyone telling me what to do?”. If the answer is no, it is not sustainable, I now just move along.

            Again, more power to you if you can stick with this. You will certainly be a lot healthier than me. : )) LOL

            • erin

              yes, yes i know. im all those things too – fuck people telling me what to do, fuck not getting to have one god damn frappacino a week if i want, fuck this empty aching hole that i want to fill with french fries dipped in mayo. ive always abided by the “sustainable” theory too and upon researching all of it before doing it, i also thought “absolutely no way in hell.” but i came to a point where i was so utterly upset and, to send props to our blogger here – disgusted, with myself, i thought maybe what i need is something so serious the failure in it is obvious (the slip up/starting over) and i personally needed something where i wasnt allowed any excuses. the strict thirty days helps because its accountability (the science behind it is due to cleansing and all that jazz). i have also abided by the other rule “tomorrow is another day, forgive yourself for today” for far too long and for far too many pounds gained. all it got me was fatter.

              the thing is, you CAN do it. i wont go into all my personal demons but i am pretty damn sure if i can do it, anyone can. the key being: if you want to. and it worked so many wonders for me in those 30 days that at the end i wanted to keep eating that way (well reduced to a more paleo diet and the occasional indulgences) because i just couldnt imagine not feeling that good anymore. so in the end, the sustainability took care of itself. it wasnt only the pain and the sleep improvements or the weight loss but my sex drive improved, my periods regulated, my thyroid condition improved, my skin cleared completely up (ive had excema for years), my chronic headaches were gone, i had boundless energy. i could go on. so yeah, it sounds super fucking tough and not for the faint of heart but i find anyone who gladly uses such phrases as “fuck you you fucking fuck” probably has strength in droves. and like i mentioned before, i totally stopped caring what i ate around six months afterwards (and 50 pounds down – halfway to goal, so why not just stop?! ha!) and i didnt gain the weight back. (at that time – ill admit ive gained some back now due to a pregnancy loss).

              i also want to mention that food never tasted better. i ate eggs benedict on both weekend mornings, complete with bacon, potato hash and homemade holandaise for months. i wasnt missing out on anything! sorry, i know this isnt the right forum for this. but as that other old adage somewhat goes…if you think you can, you can and when you think you cant, you cant/wont. so my hope for you is, even if whole 30 isnt your answer, that you find something that makes you believe you can!

              • Victoria

                I appreciate it, Erin. Thank you for sharing it. In a different stage of my life this may have been something I would have tried. Right now I’m stretched so thin mentally, physically and emotionally that a commitment to a plan like this would push me right over the edge of sanity. My “fuck it, it’s better than nothing” program is doing the job slowly but surely and it’s an approach I can sustain no matter what is going on in my crazy world. Everyone needs to find their way. I’ve found mine. It’s great that you found yours too. Rock on!

                • Victoria

                  Forgot to say… I’m really sorry for your loss. Truly.

                  • erin

                    Thanks Victoria! I 100 percent agree…everyone has to do what works for them. I honestly dont think I would have been ready for something like this at other times in my life either. I also appreciate your condolences. Shit certainly throws you off course at times.

      • Leigh

        Hi! Long time lurker here and want you to know that I just love your blog! It’s none of my business of course but, wanted to ask, have you had your thyroid levels checked before? Might be something to check out. Thanks for always making me laugh when I read here!

    • Bec

      I did the Whole 30. A warning about it, if you have any kind of auto-immune tendencies, please make sure you do their Auto Immune Protocol program. If you have any sort of Irritable Bowel Syndrome/ Fructose Malabsorption, consider doing Low FODMAPs instead. I ended up worse off after my Whole 30 last year, with my psoriasis coming back (after years of not having it) and my IBS getting worse. I didn’t really research it enough and at the time, I didn’t have a medical diagnosis for my IBS or realise that I needed to reduce FODMAPs. So much of what I was suddenly eating on the Whole 30 (sweet potato, coconut milk, nuts, eggs) was the opposite of what I should have been eating!! The Whole 30 portion sizing template is great though. Eating bigger meals with enough fat & then no snacks in between meals worked well. I did enjoy their book. It was way too strict for me though & only made me want to eat more!

  • Axelle

    And yet… you are juste wonderfully beautiful.
    Even if I understand totally what you’re saying.

  • Helen

    My small daughter once summed up her love for me – “I love your mole,(bumpy mole near my breast she always played with while feeding), I love your spikes (shaved underarms she always played with while feeding), and I love your fat” 3 things I find horrible about myself were the things she loved best about me.

    • Victoria

      I know, Helen. Isn’t it great? My kids once saw me exercising at home and they asked me why. I told them I was working on getting healthier and fitter. Immediately my 9 year old son (who has already been exposed to the concept of fit=thin from friends, TV commecials and who knows where else, said “Don’t lose weight! I like you squishy!” Then he lifted up my shirt and hugged my squishy belly. To them there is nothing more comforting than my warm, fatty bits. God love ’em!

      • Tracey

        Kids are awesome! They see us as we really are, not who we hope to be, and love us all the more.

  • Lucy T

    Bang on the money as usual. Seriously, Are you in my head?!

  • Bec

    What I’m learning is a whole bunch of cliches that actually make sense:
    * it’s a freaking journey that will never be over, even if you reach a ‘goal weight’ that isn’t some magical thing that means you never have to work on it again – yes, to get to a goal weight you’ve got to be making changes & shit, but those new habits still need to be maintained and evolved
    * because it’s an ongoing thing, what you do on one day or one week isn’t going to make or break you, and so having a bad day (or week) isn’t a bloody good enough excuse to stop (fuck it, cause when it’s hard going, a nice excuse to quit would be really handy, right?!)
    * so the only way is to keep going and not just outright quit, and instead of beating yourself up if you fell off the horse, but to get back on that freaking fat horse and start riding again – and know that you’re going to fall off again at some point – and that’s OK, cause you know how to saddle up again now
    * whatever you are doing/ changing, has to be sustainable with your lifestyle & kids & stuff – if you spend like 3 months killing yourself and sacrificing heaps of shit to lose the weight, but you can’t keep that up indefinitely, it’s going to probably come back (not always, but those bitches who stay skinny, well, they suck, not really, just jealous)
    * telling yourself it will only work, that you’ll only be super skinny hawt bitch, if you do this program or change the habits or whatever the ‘cure’ for your fatness is, in a certain way perfectly and completely every single day, for every single week, is some stupid shit made up by the fitness & health industry – real life doesn’t bloody work like that – shit happens & that’s how we got fat in the first place
    * it’s hard
    * it ain’t easy

  • kate

    makes me want to cry in a wildly exultant way. little tiny nudges. RAH!!

  • Kari

    Love this! I have been counting calories for one year, nine months and 15 days. Slowly I am taking weight off. Not why I started just wanted to see where I was screwing up with bad eating habits. The weight loss is a bonus.

  • Kelly

    1. I love you!
    2. Two years ago, I was doing pretty much EXACTLY the same as you’re talking about! Where was this comradery when I needed it?! Really, though, the only difference between then and now is that I get more sleep and exercise (no sleep=complete eating and exercising failure for me), but I still can’t quite kick the whole eating for comfort/reward/punishment/self pity part. But one annoyingly true bit if advice that stuck with me from my weight Watchers days (after 1st baby, god help me), was “if you fall down one step or two, don’t throw yourself down the whole staircase.” Somehow that helps when I go on an eating bender and have to turn it back around. Different way of saying “A little bit better each day.”
    3. A quick story that may amuse you… I was dressed to go workout, and my 5yo looks at me and says, “mom, you look more like a wrestler.” I said, “more like a wrestler than what?” And he replies, “Than a lady. But don’t worry, mom, it’s just a figure of speech.” I guess I figure that even if I don’t have a body that makes me happy in the mirror, at least I’m strong and my kids see that too. Maybe?! 😉

  • Angela

    I love that you made it about you and how you feel in your body. Sure there are lots of muffin tops rolling over their heads who are happy. There are women in bikinis showing way more rolls than I can imagine who still look like they are confident and feel good. Heck, even some of my favorite Zumba instructors who are super fit do not have the body I would be comfortable in.
    With middle age settling in (if I love to be 100 that is) I decided it was not too late to change. I’m active but didn’t really know how to eat right. I bought 21 Day Fix from Beachbody (you’ve probably seen the commercials) and lost 12 pounds in four weeks.
    It’s a 30 minute exercise routine and a portion control diet. I learned to aim for four cups of vegetables, two cups of fruit, four 3/4 cup servings of protein, two 1/3 cup servings of carbs, a quarter cup of healthy fat and a serving(2tbsp) of vinaigrette dressing every day for my size and weight. Ihave up cream in my coffee and creamy salad dressing.
    I did the fix in February and I’ve kept the weight off because I learned how to eat. No I don’t eat that way all the time but it was the key for me. I go off track, but I don’t stay there.
    I know I should have been content with my size, that we are told to love and accept ourselves, but I wanted to love a different me, one that I’d never even met. Keep pushing for who you want to be and looking for the way to get there. It’s a journey worth taking.

  • Sarah Damlo

    Hi Janelle,
    Before I even read your post today I just knew you’d be writing about your postpartum body, I sensed it! And I’ve been thinking for so long how I want to tell you about my friend’s journey this past year to “Expose the soft underbelly of motherhood”
    Watch the making of a movement here:
    I really think you’ll like it and it will resonate so well with so many of your readers.

  • Dorothea

    Thanks for putting your true self out here so some of us humans can know it’s okay to be human. I’ve been struggling with how to take better care of myself after a full time job, an almost 3-year-old daughter, and a disabled husband are taken care of…

  • Jenn

    And THAT is how it’s done. Not fads, not crash-dieting, not rules, and not beating yourself up. Do a little better each day and if you mess up and have a terrible day where you eat all the food, you stop and re-group and do better tomorrow. And when you just keep doing that it works out. It’s taken me SO many years to realize this but I’m finally getting it too, and it feels awesome. So happy for you! Thanks for being so real about this.

  • Kim Kegel

    Crock-pot freezer meals (you will find more than you can handle if you Google it). Not necessarily weight loss advice but it sure does save time.

    I also got a Fitbit (lower end one) awhile back. Very enlightening on just what I am burning off vs. what I am eating. I have quit entering food intake for now because it was just too overwhelming. It also comes pre-programmed with a goal to take a minimum of 10,000 steps a day…I cut that amount in half. 10,000 step is like a 5K…every day…I don’t think so.

    My kids are in their 20’s. There is no way on the planet I could survive doing that again.

  • CommentingStranger

    I love all of your family photos – the love is palpable. Good job on losing ten pounds in six weeks; that’s actually a healthy pace for losing weight.

    I have a question not related to the topic of you blog post, but still within the blog post – why is it bad to look at your phone first thing after waking up?

  • Sam

    I found your blog when I searched for BabyCenter 6 weeks. That post was funny like this one (yep, only the baby matters, not so much the nursery or anything). What has changed my life and body is being a Nutritarian. I don’t portion control (would never want to have to count calories), just eat a lot of veggies and other plant foods that I LOVE. I never crave what I used to, like ice cream, and I have been livy this lifestyle for 5 straight years. The book is called Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman. He has a newer one I have not yet read called The End of Dieting.