Fat Bloggers: My Own Weight Loss Journey

As I mentioned on the Twitters the other day, I am more than halfway through my weight loss journey. The goal is in sight, and I’m so excited to be healthy again! [tweetmeme source=”jolieodell” only_single=false]

I gained a TON of weight while working at ReadWriteWeb — around 30 pounds, all told. I was living a stressful, sedentary lifestyle. Although I was constantly traveling, I wasn’t making time for exercise, and I was eating absolute crap most of the time. And blogging 12+ hours a day didn’t help, either.

So around the beginning of May, I decided to do something about my weight. I started jogging and exercising, and I kept a close eye on what I ate. Yes, the ol’ diet-and-exercise trick — the most brutal and difficult fad diet of them all. 😉

Over the past couple months, I’ve been so sore I could barely limp up the stairs at my house. I’ve been so hungry I wanted to eat three Baconators in a row. But, through a few hours of playing in the park and a crap-ton of fresh fruits and veggies, I’ve managed to kick my own butt into reasonable shape for the first time in about a year.

Here’s a graph showing my weight loss so far:

(The software is FitDay. It ain’t pretty, but it’s thorough and helpful.)

I started out at well over 160 pounds… It’s incredibly embarrassing to even type that, but it’s the truth. My goal date coincides with a Las Vegas trip I bought Eston for his birthday. I figured being able to hang out with a hottie-body in a bikini would be a nice birthday present for him, too. As of today, I have lost almost 30 pounds and am more than halfway to reaching my goal.

Now for the gruesome part, wherein all mine enemies get to roll around in their copious schadenfreude: The fat pics!!!

Here’s me at SXSW 2010. I intentionally picked the photo that shows the worst weight gain. Ham hocks for arms, a rotund belly, even my face looks fat. And boobs like cantaloupes. The boobs weren’t bad, honestly — but you can’t justify 30 pounds of weight gain for big boobs.

And here’s me at Mashable’s recent Social Media Day party in San Francisco last Wednesday:

Jolie O’Dell, (cc) Kenneth Yeung – www.snapfoc.us

Not perfect, but much better.

Here’s the graphic point I’m trying to make: Bloggers live a fundamentally unhealthy lifestyle. We are bound to our office chairs, chained to our laptops, and whipped into a froth of stress at the drop of a hat. Our social events revolve around that most healthy of habits, drinking. And we idolize bacon, for some reason.

I have had to force myself to walk away from the newsroom at times to get exercise. Likewise, I’ve had to deny myself most of the foods I love and the things other tech geeks are eating at social events, up to and including booze and bacon.

But is it worth it? Yes, I lost the MagnaBoobs. But I look better, I feel better, I have more energy, and if I keep it up, I’ll be able to live longer.

Totally worth it.

Blogger friends, just a friendly reminder to keep an eye on your physical well-being. I love you guys more than you know, and beyond simply wanting you to be happy — which I do! — I want you to be around for a long time and to enjoy wonderful health.

Stay tuned for more pics when I’m bikini-ready! After four months of constantly working my butt off to get in shape, I definitely don’t plan to hide my light under a bushel.

27 thoughts on “Fat Bloggers: My Own Weight Loss Journey

  1. Lol, I think it is entertaining to see bloggers talking about their battle about losing weight and here I am trying to gain weight and eating three double cheeseburgers at McDonalds plus a Large Fry. At 122! Whoo! haha

    Good job, Jolie 😀

  2. Wow! You look great, Jolie! I am sure that your man appreciates it, too!

    I currently (sort of), have the same problem as Holden, in that it is impossible for me to gain weight. But unlike Holden, I don’t get thrown around by the wind. 🙂

  3. Jolie, that was a very well written article and very honest too. Us bloggers do love bacon and beer but we all need to keep our health the number one priority in our lives. Congrats on your weight loss and I hope your article inspires others to follow in your footsteps.

  4. FIRST,I think you look pretty in the first photo too. SECOND, I am struggling with a 20 lb weight gain myself right now so this was nice to read. THIRD, MY BOOBS ARE ANNOYING THE SHIT OUT OF ME.

    I miss my B cups. Sniff.

  5. Jolie,
    Congrats in healthy living!
    I actually haven’t had meat in over a year, mostly due to the bacon and it’s easy availability at the hotel!
    Happy 4th – see you soon!

  6. Well done Jolie! That’s no easy feat (and yes, was noticing you looked great in that dress)! I’m working on that myself. I’m approaching 15 pounds lost now! Keep up the good work.

  7. I’ve taken to exercising too! But it’s not the blogging that does it for me — it’s the 16+ hours a day in front of computers… for the last 15 years… 🙂

    It was OK when I was at university, obviously… but in the last five years… well…

    So I’ve started cycling a few miles every day, and generally moving around a bit more. Forcing myself to sit in the sun and read for 15-30 minutes a day.

    There’s something about that ‘crunched up’ feeling that accompanies sitting in a computer chair for 16 hours… it’s so vile.

    You look great — and I can’t wait to see the end result!

  8. Congrats, Jolie! And I know you will succeed. Because I’ve seen you at your goal weight and I know you can be there again. Such hard work though. But you are doing it! Sadly, I’ve gained since my lowest and ideal weight but it’s 15 pounds I think I can shed. The hardest part as you know is starting:(

  9. Doh – Had I known earlier you were doing this, I would have asked you to join me. In the last year i’ve gained a good 20 pounds. Which to most people they say I look fine, but I feel like crap!

    I joined the gym and got a personal trainer. But its still difficult to not call him and reschedule the time to go since work gets in the way.

    And being in the start up world its hard to pick and choose what to eat. Party after party. Lunch/Dinner meetings. Its not always the easiest to choose whats healthy off the menu. The dressings on salads sometimes are more calories than eating a pint of ice cream.

    With that being said, I am fully supportive of what your doing!


  10. Jolie,

    I not only love your work on Mashable but also this very personal article that shed some important insight on the health issues (literally) plaguing some of our most talented techies and social media gurus today. My left and right hand people (a developer and a social media maven, respectively) and I battle this problem too: sitting for 16 hours straight, staring intently at a screen, creating results for others. We end up depriving ourselves of our own health and wellness and it’s time we reclaim it, because let’s face it — if we’re not healthy we can’t continue doing our amazing work! I am definitely going to share this article with them. (I too idolize bacon but I don’t partake as I am a pescatarian…so strange…)

    Thanks for an inspirational article. I just finished my first three mile run in almost three months!

  11. Way to go! I picked up 10ish pounds over the past year while working for a social game developer so I can definitely sympathize and admire the effort it takes to shed the weight.

  12. Long time author here, former Mashable writer (and Blorge, Porfy, et al). It wasn’t blogging that made me gain 80 pounds 4 years ago ish, it was moving from Santa Barbara, CA to New England and putting the brakes on exercise because of weather. The blogging didn’t help though.

    Here I am, 42 pounds down after a year. 38 pounds to go. I have adopted a modified Paleo, got rid of my microwave (forcing me to make fresh food all the time and not cheat when I’m busy), park my car whenever possible and walk, etc. It seems to be working slowly but surely 🙂

    It’s hard, proud of you.

    🙂 Congrats.

  13. You go, girl… I’m finally down to the merely overweight point I was before having my first child (six years ago, blerg) and I’m determined to, once and for all, shed another good 40 pounds and get back to a decent, relatively healthy weight. I won’t be wearing a bikini (C-section, after all, lol), but I won’t be embarrassed to wear any sort of bathing suit by then. It is hard and I appreciate you talking so publicly about it – makes it easier for the rest of us. 🙂

  14. Great post, Jolie, and congrats on the weight loss. One reason for it, as you mention, is the pace of life as a blogger. Stress, more than anything, will put on pounds. One way to combat that is exercise, and of course eating a healthy diet. But there’s a larger issue that you point to here, and I would love to see it addressed at its root. Journalism, as a profession, has a nasty addiction to adrenalin. As I discovered, it will get you in one way or another–whether showing up as weight gain, weight loss, illness, emotional volatility, or in some other way. This is one reason that you see so many people dropping out of the game, especially once we reach a certain age. At some point, most of us find that we don’t want to live like that anymore. We want sanity. A sense of agency over our time and choices. At this point, most paid journalists–whether they’re officially called “bloggers” or not–are on a 24-hour, 7-day news cycle. This means that the already stressful profession of news has become even faster paced. I’d love to hear your take on how to reshape the profession to deal with this more global concern.

  15. Yay for you!!! I am very, very proud of you for doing it the healthy way. And you look fabulous. (Cutest.Dress.EVAR)

    Now help me. 😎


  16. I RT’d your entry. Very humble and inspirational. I hope that you feel great about your body nowadays and that you’re maintaining your healthy lifestyle.

    Way to go! Keep it up!!

  17. Good job! I love seeing pictures of weight loss bloggers because it keeps my motivated! I too am trying to shed the extra poundage that I have acquired over the last few years. Weight loss is one of the hardest things I have ever done. You look great.


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