*I was compensated by Med-IQ through an educational grant from Novo Nordisk to write about the realities of obesity as a chronic disease. All opinions are my own. This is a sponsored post.*
I’ve written about healthy living and my desire to lose weight in this space several times.
It is something that has always been a meaningful part of my life, so writing about it has always been something I’ve found to be an authentic expression of who I am as a person.
That said, I can do more than use this space to live my truth—it can also be a space where I get the opportunity to educate and encourage others eager to put their best foot forward.
I recently partnered with Med-IQ to help raise awareness about the need to change the dialogue around the topic of obesity to encourage more supportive, respectful conversations around the topic.
Feedback from people who accessed the Med-IQ education and survey, which included more than 1,000 people, helped to shed light on common real-life experiences and concerns that those with obesity face on a daily basis:
- Over half say that weight has been a health concern for longer than a decade
- The biggest weight-related concern is cardiovascular disease, such as high blood pressure, stroke, and heart attack
- roadblocks to their successful weight management, all of which increase the risk of cardiovascular disease
In an effort to get to the meat of this thing and better understand what moms like me deal with and how they overcome challenges, I also asked for feedback on my DudeMom Facebook page.
I find this space to be a supportive community, filled with honest moms who are both positive and kind—exactly the kind of safe space where real talks about obesity can actually happen.
I asked them to share some of their pitfalls and successes when it comes to trying to live healthy and lose weight. I hope it will help inform the conversation about challenges they face as real moms, as well as things they find helpful in leading to successful weight management.
Did you know that connecting with a supportive community and understanding relationships can improve long-term and successful weight management?
This Is Why You Can’t Lose Weight: 10 Things Real Moms Told Me About Their Struggles with Weight and Healthy Living
Finding time to exercise while doing all of the things is tough.
For me it’s finding time to exercise consistently. As a full time working mom, I’m constantly on the go. And then I make excuses, like this one for why I don’t stick with it. Because I’m just so dang TIRED when I finally get time in the evenings to exercise! –Jennifer G.
The biggest challenge for me is being active. I work from home, I attend online classes, and I have 3 joint replacements due to rheumatoid arthritis. I’m often stiff, in pain, or fatigued. Makes it hard to push myself – and knowing how much and when to push myself so that I don’t end up with another joint replacement. –D Anne J.
Bad weather (cold weather, if I’m honest. I don’t mind raining too much.) keeps me from running. Time keeps me from lifting. I make time when my husband is home, but if he’s not, I enjoy my time to paint. (Also I don’t enjoy it.) And migraines (prodrome) make me eat like crap. And nursing negates all those efforts, but it’s worth the trade for my little’s health. When he weans, I know all of those things will get easier to manage. It’s so much easier to lose my baby weight when I’m not nursing. –Brandi K.
And, controlling portions is pretty tough too.
Exercising is my stress relief! My issue is with controlling my portions. I refuse to use expensive products or fad diets. Portion control is always my go to. I will say that intermittent fasting sounds somewhat appealing and doable. –Tracey K.
Unhealthy, unsupportive relationships sabotage success.
I don’t mean this is a bad way but unhealthy people have been my hardest part. Meaning. I can crank out a workout like nobody’s business. I can stick with my nutrition regularly. As soon as someone who is unhealthy comes around its complete sabotage. I get thrown unhealthy food with comments like oh it’s just one bite, it’s just one this, it’s just one that. Why are you depriving yourself comments and things like why are you depriving your children of your time. You’re their mother you should be taking care of them. Now I know the exact reason. It’s because hurt people, hurt people. They see you as a threat to themselves and how they feel about themselves that they try their damndest to sabotage you so you fall back down to their level. –Comfort C.
But, having a supportive community makes it easier.
For me it came down to being willing to face the reasons I eat. Food is a symptom of emotional and spiritual disturbances that I needed (and still need) to address. And in order to do that, I had to find a community of people willing to share their struggles with me and walk with me as I face mine. –Amy M.
Challenge: hard to stop emotional eating, especially unhealthy foods. Most helpful: doing a group weight loss challenge at a local gym that included group fitness classes. –Josette C.
Making fitness fit into your life helps.
I am all about moderation. For my body, I do intervals. It works for me, but maybe not for everyone. I am a WAH mom, so I have to find what works for me. I live on 2 acres and I walk around the property, at my interval pace, sometimes during conference calls. –Shelby F.
Consistency. I found a way to sacrifice other things in order to get the kids (6 of them) childcare memberships ($10/mth per kid). We all go together. It is part of our routine, and the kids enjoy going. I’ve signed us all up for an Inflatable Race, looking for a good 5k, and have an obstacle course lined up for December.
I work overnights on the weekends (Thurs-Sat) and stay home with 2 youngest during the week. I clean the house, laundry, and errands during the day so we can have the afternoons for gym time while the crockpot finishes dinner or whatever. Being out of the house in the afternoons also gives my husband time to decompress, and he’ll usually finish cooking dinner. I have a full plate and have always suffered with depression and anxiety, so once I finally got to the gym, I have noticed a huge improvement in my mental health. When I miss days (like when my husband was in the hospital for pneumonia and everyone was sick), I feel myself struggling more than normal. Childcare takes kids up to 13, and after that, the kids can workout in the gym. I have always been overweight and struggled with that stigma, so I’m looking forward to having my children be more active, fit, and healthy than I was/am. They’re definitely one of the reasons I go 5-6 times a week because they already love going and hanging out with the other kids. –Sol D.
Making healthy food choices and avoiding cravings is a challenge.
My struggle is having 0 will power when it comes to eating. I’ll be hungry on my way home from work and drive through TJ’s for a burrito, or eat a bowl of ice cream after my kids go to bed while I watch the shows I record every night…. also I could practically live off spaghetti which doesn’t help much either. –Veronica K.
Food is my biggest weakness, because I love it so much! I have had the most success following the eating plan with 21 Day Fix, because it is very realistic, but I just don’t take the time to plan out the healthy meals I really need. –Heidi D.
Just like others have said in their comments…sugar is my weakness. I managed to complete whole30 challenge and it was great, EXPENSIVE but great and a bit difficult since everything seems to have sugar in it. Since then, I have tried to maintain a diet free of sugar but it hurts my pockets so I have put some weight. –Karla M.
But, preparing food at home and planning meals helps.
I hike 3 times a week. Thankfully we have lots of trails in my area. I grow my own garden and preserve food. I cook my meals from scratch and do meal planning. It takes time. We only eat out a few times a year. I hope I don’t offend anyone but I feel all the restaurants and prepared foods make it difficult to maintain a healthy weight. Years ago before prepared food and clusters of restaurants, it was easier to maintain healthy weight. One had to prepare a meal. Now, all kinds of foods are available. It takes will power to resist all the foods that are unhealthy. –Laura K.
My husband loves GrubHub and I love not cooking, however my fibromyalgia meds ballooned me up in three months so I stopped all meds and wish he would stop ordering take out. I enjoy cooking. –Alexis M.
I work looong 13 hour shifts. My biggest challenge is not getting fast food when I’m too tired to cook but starving. Forget working out ? that like never happens but my job keeps me VERY active. –Hayley F.
Keeping a food diary (Myfitnesspal) and meal planning has been the only successful tools for me. –Erika K.
Lack of sleep makes choosing healthy food even more difficult.
Lack of sleep. I’ve noticed that if I don’t get enough sleep, I end up eating twice as much to stay awake. –Sharon E.
Living an overall healthier lifestyle greatly impacts mental health.
The biggest struggle for me is knowing my own reasons for healthy living, and comparing myself to others. I can’t just do it for my physical appearance or obtaining a certain fitness level, because that’s not a genuine goal i have for myself. What i did realize is that when I exercise and eat healthier and I’m just kinder to myself, my mental illness greatly depreciates. I’ll always have it, but I’m actually able to function when I do these things. And that is huge for me. and I also cleaned out my social media to block out things that lower my self esteem or compel me to keep up with the Jones, so to speak. –Melanie D.
I gained over 60 lbs during my last pregnancy. And with a toddler and new born I didn’t have the time to exercise like I used to. It affected my mental health. When he, my youngest was old enough I got a bike trailer, and the kiddos would accompany me on bike rides. Exercising has made the biggest, positive impact on both my physical and mental health. I’ve lost a little over 30 lbs. –Arielle G.
The desire to prevent or eliminate other health issues promote healthier eating and living.
I can say, in my case, being diagnosed as pre-diabetic made me change my eating habits. My doctor put me in a low carb diet back in September (when I was diagnosed). I keep a journal of everything I put in my mouth, I stopped drinking Dr. Pepper and I’m supposed to exercise ?. I’m proud to say, since my diagnosis, I have lost 40 pounds, gone down 3 pants sizes and been taken off my meds. I’m nervous about maintaining. But so far so good. –Dawn B.
I wasn’t specifically trying to lose weight, I was struggling with a serious stomach issue that made me sick almost daily. The best way to control it was to reduce the high sugar and fatty foods in my diet. I changed my eating patterns dramatically and lost a ton of weight while also greatly reducing my stomach issues. I eventually needed my gallbladder removed, but I’ve maintained my healthy eating since then. –DudeMom
You can also read all of the responses from moms about weight management here: Why Moms Struggle with Weight and What to Do About It
You can also take the Med-IQ survey to contribute to the findings here: Take the Survey
Med-IQ is conducting an anonymous survey and would appreciate your input. The survey, which includes additional education on this topic, will take less than 15 minutes to complete. Survey responses are shared only in aggregate.
Your responses to these survey questions will provide Med-IQ with important information about your experiences with obesity and your care team, which will help us develop future educational initiatives.
Once you’ve completed the survey, you will be asked to provide your email address if you’d like to be entered into a drawing administered by SOMA Strategies to win 1 of 10 $50 VISA gift cards. If you choose to enter, your email address will not be sold, kept, or stored; email addresses are used only to randomly draw the winners and notify them of their prize.