My Pants Don’t Fit

October 28th


I’ve had a sinking feeling for the last few months that I was going to have to wave the white flag of defeat and by bigger jeans. I’ve always crammed into my jeans as soon as I could on the weekends. Paired with flip flops and a t-shirt, they are my comfort clothing. But, not surprisingly after having canceled my gym membership about a year ago, they aren’t fitting so comfortably today.

My friend Adam tells me regularly I’m good with accountability and discipline. My waistline these days says otherwise. I’m by no means fat, or even technically overweight. But I am not happy. I have an entire section of my closet that I’d really like to wear without sucking in, shimmying and having a stomach ache all day from the tightness.

Veggies for roasting

I haven’t become sedentary; in fact, I think the extra cush is in part because of being more social. I’ve spent much less time in the last six months cooking for myself, or just being at home. The after work happy hours, weekends with bowling and bar food and that taco festival? Well. You can do the math.

I weighed myself yesterday for the first time in a few months and I am about the same as I was 10 years ago when I left for the Peace Corps. Granted, prior to leaving, I spent the better part of  a couple months curled up in the fetal position on the floor of a Cold Stone Creamery, mainlining mint chocolate chip. I was worried I’d never see anything cold in Africa. I was not worried about my jiggle.


Today is another story. So, I have a plan! Rather than waiting until January with all the other lemmings, I’m taking this pants vs. my waist circumference challenge by the horns today. And because I tackle few projects without waxing poetic, I figured I’d share the details and progress. You know. Just in case anyone else may have a few extra pounds to lose?

  1. I’ve downloaded a calorie counting app on my phone. Every bit of research I’ve read lately says writing down what you eat makes you more accountable and keeps things in check. You see what you are really doing to yourself with those after work nachos and margaritas. (Oh, those calorie numbers hurt.)
  2. I joined a gym. As much as I hate the gym rat routine anymore, it is just too dark outside this time of year for the hours I have available to work out alone. A gorgeous trainer named Natalie is scheduled to start shaping up my flab tomorrow afternoon.
  3. I’m cooking. It is a lot harder for me to be disciplined about this than ever before because my work schedule is nuts. Yet the sodium content on a lot of the foods I’ve been eating — both brought back to life from the depths of the frozen food section and “healthy” eating out — is off the charts. My heart needs a break.
  4. Specifically, I am cooking with more vegetables. I’m also going to try to eat less meat. I know the hype with protein is “eat more! lose weight!” but in my mind, that more often than not translates to “have sausage on your morning bagel! the meat will be good for you!” Wrong.
  5. And, of course, I’m going to be a lot more selective about what I’m drinking. Far more water, far less wine. I’m unwilling to cut it out entirely. But for the time being, there will be fewer cocktail parties and more Netflix and knitting.

The goal is 30 pounds by April 1. Yes, it is a lot of weight. Yes it is completely possible. Yes, I can do this.

Each week, look for a new recipe, new weight loss tool and weight update. There is nothing as motivating as public shame.

Blog, keep me accountable.


Posted in
Get Fit, Goals, Good to Great
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25 Responses

  1. Thirty pounds! I hope there will be enough of you left! That aside, good for you for tackling it now. Just do it, as those Nike people say.

  2. I am with you on this – need a buddy? I just started an effort to lose the 20 lbs that have crept on over the past year. I just started with My Fitness Pal on the iPhone … entering food is really easy and it tracks all kinds of nutrients and your exercise. I really prefer MFP to any other mobile apps that I’ve tried, so check it out. I’m sick with a cold at the mo, but next week I’m back in the pool (as I have been this summer) and then I start a zumba class in Nov some time. We are also trying to eat less meat (D’s cholesterol)so we’ll see how it goes over the coming months, shall we?

  3. Definitely would love to hear all about your challenges and successes! I’m trying to take off some weight myself (hopefully more motivated than usual due to my wedding in June), and would love to hear what works and what doesn’t for you. I also downloaded one of those calorie-counting apps, but find it really difficult to use since I cook most of our food. It’s tough to enter all of the ingredients and amounts in, especially if I’ve made three separate components for a meal and each has lots of ingredients. So if you have a good recommendation where that’s easier, I would LOVE to know about it!

  4. Did you get the SparkPeople app? I tried it after you suggested it back in the day, when I got my cholesterol results and needed to keep an eye on it and I really like the app. I have it on Android, but they probably make an app for your phone, too.

    I also did a Resting Metabolic Rate test recently, which you can arrange through FitnessWave or other similar program, which tells you (after an awkward 15 minutes of breathing into a tube and drooling on yourself) your precise daily caloric needs to maintain or lose weight. Just a bit more accurate than the height/weight/age measurements you get from online weight loss tools.

    Found out I actually metabolize slower than the average gal my age and with the RMR calorie needs they gave me, I have the power to lose, gain or maintain weight depending on my needs.

    Anyway, all just thoughts on this. Good luck, doll, and you know I’ll be here all along the way for support and those times you want to suck down some gin.

  5. Whew, I don’t even want to think about how awful the gym is going to be once I start going back regularly. I was really good for awhile but the end of 2010 is ripping me apart and I barely have the energy to brush my teeth in the mornings, let alone get all sweaty wearing spandex at LA Fitness.

    Kudos. I still drink a beer every night. I can’t help it.

  6. I jumped back on this wagon a week ago….I weighed today and lost 4.8lbs!!! Writing everything down DOES WORK. Good luck!

  7. I’m with you too girl. (As I sit at my desk at 6pm munching Cheetos because they were the only thing available in the kitchen at work and I can see myself spending another 2 hours here!) My pants feel the same and some days I wonder – did these ever fit? (Oh they did…) My physical in August showed a gain (however small I can see it adding up year after year) and although my doc didn’t comment….I noticed. My gym buddy got herself knocked up with a high risk pregnancy right after we renewed our membership for a year so I stopped going to show her my support (solidarity and all).
    Pants hurt? Check. Too much eating out and fun with friends? Check. More wine than water? Possibly. I’m with you. Setting a goal and making better choices. Thanks for the push. 😉

  8. I’m excited to see what you post each week. My pants also don’t fit — they’re too big! I’ve been making an effort to make healthy choices since August and have lost 12 pounds. I’ve drastically cut back on carbs and have added lots of vegetables. I didn’t intentionally cut back on meat, but now that I think about it I do eat a lot less meat and it’s always lean. Next week I start going to the gym. I tried a Zumba class last week and loved it… planning on going to two classes a week. My goal is to begin 2011 20 pounds lighter than I began 2010. (And I plan to buy smaller pants.)

  9. Yay! “Project De-fluffification” as I like to call it, was supposed to begin on Monday, but I’ve been putting it off because I feel like I’m on the verge of a cold (sniff sniff). But, ahem, I think it has crossed over now from prudent caution to just plain sand-bagging. Thanks for the kick in the patooty. I’m with you on this one Sister! Team Iwannahotbum unite! Form of, a perfect size six!…after I eat this one..last…animal cracker…(giggle)

  10. We bought a wii fit last week. I’m having fun with it and my family are great motivation – I have to be better than my kids! Ha!
    I set my goal as 20 lbs. in 3 months. We’ll see how that goes with the holidays. I’m not going to beat myself up too much. My real goal is just to stay active and healthy. I’ve been basically the same weight since Eliot was born – that’s nearly 7 years, so those 20 pounds are not going to be easy. And I have 7 years of clothes that actually do fit.
    You know I’ll be following your progress and cheering you on!

  11. hi kelli,
    for the record, i simply do not think you need to lose weight. i think you look amazing! and i also know you’re very active and you have to eat well most of the time, as your blogs shows. but as someone who struggles all too much on this topic and also teaches a bit about it, may i suggest that you focus on one of your five points at first? i tell folks to make it small and specific and then repeat the positive. for instance, you could say, i am going to track/write down my dinner every night this week. then you can add other meals to track next week. and may be you can throw a little activity in on top, to get both sides of the equation. if you do it all at once, you may get sad that you can’t tackle it all or it may not be sustainable. and if you only have your eyes set on losing weight, if you don’t, you’ll feel horrible.
    build up to all of the little steps you have laid out, maintain them and then when you lose the weight on top of it, you’ll feel great! it takes humans somewhere between 3 weeks to 3 months to form a habit. i am here to help you shape yours, as long as you help me shape mine!:)

  12. Since my daughter is on a diet, I am too…… but I cheat sometimes…..does it mean I’m still on a diet? You’re stronger than me, I’m sure you will succed!

  13. Kelli, you look fabulous! All the best on your new plan to eat healthy and be fit. I look forward to hearing about the workouts with your trainer.

  14. Yikes…what is it with the pants not fitting these days. This old gal refuses to buy “up a size” in pants, but is struggling with the food and exercise thing. Hating exercise and loving food is not a good combo. I keep coming back to “mindfulness”. I know that is my problem. I do great all day long and then evening comes and I eat things without even thinking about what they are or if I even want them. I am with ya girl. This is the day.

  15. Kelli, You can do it! I do believe it’s about how you feel, and it sounds from the tone of your post that you’ll feel better with looser pants, so go for it! I just saw this post about eating healthier that might fit in well with your plans:

    What You Need

    Grain + Vegetables + Protein (tofu or tempeh) + Garnishes + Sauce

    Cutting board and knife
    For the grain: saucepan or rice cooker
    For the sauce: blender or food processor (optional)
    For the vegetables and protein: saucepan with lid and steamer basket or heat-resistant colander

    1. Cook the grain: This one-bowl meal is a great way to use leftover and reheated grains, in which case you can use any kind you like. If making it on the spot, choose a quick-cooking grain like quinoa (about 15 minutes), bulgur (about 20 minutes), or pearl barley (about 30 minutes).

    2. Make the sauce: The sauce is what really makes this bowl. Whip it up while the grain is cooking, or make it ahead of time and refrigerate until needed. Here are a few good recipes:

    * Avocado Dressing (The Kitchn)
    * Carrot-Ginger Dressing (Smitten Kitchen)
    * Curry-Coconut Sauce (Real Simple)
    * Gandhi’s Curry Sauce (Native Foods)
    * Green Tea Sesame Sauce (Native Foods)
    * Spicy Peanut Sauce (The Kitchn)
    * Tahini-Miso Dressing (The Kitchn)

    3. Steam the vegetables and protein: Use a single vegetable or a mix – whatever you like and have on hand – plus tofu (firm or extra-firm) or tempeh. Cut them into uniform sizes to ensure even cooking. Fill a saucepan with an inch or two of water and place the steamer basket or colander inside, and bring to a boil. Layer the vegetables and protein in the basket, placing heavier, dense items (root veg, tempeh) on the bottom and lighter items (leafy greens, tofu) on top. Cover the pan, reduce heat to medium, and steam until everything is just cooked. (See How To Steam Vegetables for detailed instructions.)

    4. Prepare the garnishes: Garnishes add a nice bit of color, texture, and flavor to the bowl. Try fresh herbs (cilantro, basil), nuts and seeds (peanuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds), dried fruit (raisins, currants, cranberries), or chopped scallions, onions, or sweet peppers.

    5. Assemble and serve: Place a scoop of the grain in the center of each bowl, arrange vegetables and protein on top, and garnish. Drizzle the sauce just before serving or let people add it themselves.

    Additional Notes:
    • We haven’t included specific quantities here, as it’s meant to serve as a general guide that you can adjust according to your preferences and needs. However, in general we suggest about 1/2 cup of cooked grain, 2 cups of cooked vegetables, 4 ounces of tofu or tempeh, a couple of tablespoons of garnish, and up to 1/4 cup of sauce per person.
    • Simply steaming the tofu or tempeh is quickest, but if you have more time, you can of course marinate, bake, grill, or prepare it any way you like. See Five Ways to Prepare Tempeh and Baked Tofu for some flavorful ideas.

  16. Kelli,
    You are a rockstar and can do anything you put your mind to. Anything. I’m proud of you for outing yourself on your blog. You look great now, but I love to see a sista set goals and meet them. May you find all the success you are looking for. May you feel good, and feel good about spreading the word of taking care of yourself.

    I can affirm all your ideas will work… I used and Cooking Light recipes to loose 16 pounds this summer. I have never felt better.


  17. rohanknitter October 29, 2010

    Well, this is perfect timing!! I just found out we’ll be going to Mexico for a few days in January, and it has put me into a weight-panic! I had 20 to loose before, and then I gained almost another 20 last winter with all my hip surgery/recovery/laying around a lot. Part of my problem is having 3 hungry boys in the house – the teenagers especially need plenty of food around. I try to keep in healthy but they do need lots of calories & they’re very slim so I don’t want THEM losing weight. I know most of it is just changing my habits (no more ice cream!) I know I can’t loose a ton by January but even 10 pounds would make me feel a little better. I joined a great fitness center last fall, when the only thing that didn’t hurt LOTS was to swim, but it’s a bit of a drive and now I just end up not going. The thing that worries me is the holidays and my bday coming up – that will make this harder. I’m gonna go check out that ap you mentioned!

  18. Wow, like others, I can’t believe you need to lose 30 pounds. You’re gorgeous! But…good luck to you, you always succeed.

  19. You can do it Kelli!!!!! Im in with you – 32 lbs is my goal!!! And running my first marathon in Austin Feb 20th. Lets do it!!!! Justsay no to bigger jeans 🙂

  20. Larissa Stretton October 31, 2010

    Awww honey, I can feel your pain……doncha hate it when your jeans are too tight???? You’ve got a good plan and can make your goal. You’ll be better for it…I may join you, could use to lose a few myself! Good luck!


  21. I tried to give up wine through Thanksgiving. I caved Thursday night. It’s just not gonna happen. Sorry. Dessert before merlot, an’ that’s all there is to it. Sorry.

  22. Holy moly girl! 30 pounds by April 1?!?! Wow. You will wither away to nothing!!! (Maybe you’ll inspire me to workout more. It’s so hard working long hours and getting home so late!)

  23. I feel your pain– still lugging around 20 extra pounds from a carb- and oil-heavy Peace Corps diet plus a few months of splurging on favorites post-PC. No more elastic waistbands! The gym is killer but I’ve started going to some fun classes (Zumba! Mind over Muscle!) that make it less horrible. Good luck!

  24. Good luck on your quest.


  25. I hadnt seen any recent posts on this topic but I hope you are well on your way to your goal. I was on track for awhile but fell off the wagon and I decided it was time to get back to it today. Best of luck!