T Nation

Any Formerly Obese Mothers Who've Gotten Into Shape?


Just wondering if there are any formerly obese mothers who’ve actually lost the weight and got in shape. I’m looking for some inspiration! I’m a mother of two and have yo-yoed for the past 6 years. I went from over 200 lbs with my first pregnancy down to 135 lbs and back up to 175 lbs. I’m 33 years old, 5’3" and currently working the 10,000 KB swing training to get back into working out like a beast.

Is there anybody else out there? Someone who isn’t genetically built looking like a tiny doll? I keep hearing and reading these stories of these women who were “always athletic” or “struggling to gain”… I’m getting a bit discouraged thinking that I’m the only one out there who, as an adult, finally decided to get her ass in shape. But is it too late?




I’m not a mother (duh) but I used to be pretty damn fat so I’ll give you the same advice I’d give anyone. Hopefully it’ll help. For the record, until I was about 25 I was overweight and pretty sedentary. I weighed around 220 lbs at 6’, with my bodyfat around 25-30%. I’m now 31 and around 220 at around 17%.

The bottom line is that until getting in shape (whatever they happens to mean for you) is important enough for you, you won’t do it. You might try, but you’ll keep sliding and never quite get there. Once it is important enough you’ll simply do what it takes and it’ll happen because you will do everything that you need to do to achieve it.

I’m not saying this to be a jerk. I’m also not in the slightest saying this to disparage the efforts you’ve already made. I’m saying it because it is true. For what it’s worth, I came across that idea in a piece written by Charles Poliquin and it just happened to reflect my own experience.

The good news is that it is 100% not too late. It also isn’t as hard or complicated as you might think. Keep your training simple and get strong. Unless pure physique is your goal, strength solves 90% of anything. Be consistent above all else. You’re better of knocking out three solid sessions a week month in, month out than five session a week for two months and then dropping off. You’ll have times when you think you need more work, but you’ll do better sticking to the plan.

Same with eating. Keep it simple, and keep it realistic. This one is going to piss people off, because ‘no thank you’ will become a very common response. Don’t bother explaining or justifying yourself. Just say no, and move on. Accept that sometimes you’ll eat stuff you’re not super happy about, but as long as it isn’t a regular occurrence it will have minimal impact. Other than that, it isn’t hard to have a pretty set diet but it helps if you accept that you’ll be generally bored with what you eat. It’s just easier that way, because you don’t have to think about what to prepare.

The last bit is probably a bit of an odd one, but you mentioned your body type: in shape for one body is going to look different to another. A body might want to be muscular rather than lean, or might naturally be lanky. Likewise some bodies have great endurance while others gas out early but are plenty strong. You’ll get your best results when you train the way your body works best.

That last one took me around three years to figure out. I plugged away at kettlebell sport wondering why I wasn’t getting leaner. Within three months of switching to powerlifting I’d started to lean out. It just clicked. The beauty of this is that once you figure out what your body is best at, it starts using food much better.

With that last bit in mind, I’d recommend training differently in 12 week blocks, each with a set program. That usually is enough time to figure out if something is working or not. Train for pure strength for 12 weeks, for aesthetics for 12 weeks, etc. If you’re lucky, you’ll hit on something that clicks right away. Even if it takes a few goes, you’ll never waste time or effort because you will learn a ton. I’m biased, but I’d say start with strength. Whatever else it does, it’ll help you do whatever (if anything) else you choose to do better.


Ooo!!! Me! I fit this description. I was 100lbs overweight with chronic back and neck pain after having 2kids…for years I was overweight. I was never athletic. when I was little I was chubby and have always gained easy and lost hard. I got into fitness to fix my back pain. It did. I lost the fat and kept MOST of it off. It’s still easy for me to gain and hard to loose but I feel amazing. I feel strong. This year I will be challenging myself to a figure competition. I’ve competed in powerlifting and really enjoy it but I get lazy on my diet and I’m right back up to about 26% bodyfat


Yep! Had 2 kids when I was young, then 17 years later…boom! Now I have a 10 year old…lol. Was 180 lbs…down to 120. Have kept it off for 2 years now. I am 47 yo. Never too late. They took my second child by emergency c section. Yes, I have a 6 inch vertical scar so, I will never be able to compete. I listened to people for 25+ years that I could never have a flat stomach or a six pack ever! Bullshit! I my not have a perfect six pack, but…i am working on one helluva 4 pack. If i can do it, anybody can.


Wow! That’s inspiring.


Thanks for the reply. 100!? Would you be willing to share before and after pics?


I have a friend that is a mother of 3. She was 5ft even and weighed over 200 lbs. She wont tell me what she weighs now or how much she has lost, but what ever it is, its really impressive. A real jaw dropping change.

Its really been inspiring to watch her over the past 2 years.