What a Difference a Year Makes

alison gary weight loss
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My sister sent me her Snapfish album of pictures from Emerson's birthday party.I looked at the pictures of me when I didn't know/think about my picture being taken.  I was happy my sister fixed my bangs before present-opening, and also happy I wore a solid color.  Of course, like most women I was noticing my double chin, how my eye makeup may have been a bit too dark for that time of day, all the negative aspects of me.  But then I thought… you know what?  I look pretty darn good. 

So I decided to go back and look at pictures from Emerson's first birthday.  First of all, omigoodness look how much my baby has grown!  But moreso… look how much I have changed!

New moms, do know the body will keep changing.  Look at that stomach – that's no where near a “nine months in, nine months out” sort of body.  That stomach at Emerson's first birthday looks as though I just gave birth a month earlier.  And I can remember thinking I looked relatively good that day.  And I can think right now how I have such a crazy saggy/flabby belly.  But it's changing, constantly changing.  Things move, shift, tighten, adjust.  Don't be hard on yourself – you just did an amazing thing – you created a living human being! 

I'm not going to say I look awesome now, but I can see the progress.  And the progress isn't just on the scale.  As I get accustomed to this new body, I am learning all over how to dress myself to flatter my shape, I am learning how to feed this body to feel satisfied but not stuffed, I am learning how to move and stretch to make it feel its best.  It's a process, a learning experience.  Nine months in, nine months out may work for some women, but for me and most women I know – it's a myth.

It's hard to get adjusted to this new life – a whole other person living in your home, being your top responsibility.  Lack of sleep, lack of brain cells, learning and adjusting every day with a body that is constantly healing, changing, adapting.  It takes time to get the hang of things, but I feel I have finally gotten a grasp on this new life, which gives me the time and confidence to get a grasp on my weight and my personal health.  And seeing these pictures just give me all the more confidence and inspiration!


  1. Frances
    January 2, 2012 / 6:28 am


    I had to laugh at your comment in the first paragraph about things most women notice when they have their picture taken – that is so me and I thought I was the only one who stressed out about those types of things!  You look great “before” and “after” and that little Emerson is so darn cute!  I enjoy your blog so much, I check out your “outfit” of the day every morning before heading off to work (I’m on the West Coast) and being over 50+  I have learned so much about mixing colors and prints…and the Weight Watchers updates are so inspiring as well.  Thanks so much for the blog!!! Happy New Year to you and your lovely family!

  2. January 15, 2011 / 6:10 pm

    Aw, thank you so much! 🙂

  3. Anonymous
    January 15, 2011 / 5:51 pm

    You say in your mission statement that women are beautiful.
    and you are.
    Please know how lovely you are, how great you are, and the best gift for that precious baby is a mom who loves herself.

  4. Steph
    January 11, 2011 / 9:16 pm

    What strikes me most is how happy you look. It’s taken me a long time to really believe it, but I honestly believe a smile is one of the best accessories!

  5. keri
    January 11, 2011 / 8:16 pm

    ‘i’m not saying i look awesome now’-okay, i will say it for you. you look awesome allie…be kinder to yourself. you are beautiful and intelligent and kind. and you look awesome.
    good for you!!!!

  6. January 11, 2011 / 2:16 pm

    Aw Julie, you are too kind!

    I swear by Not Your Daughter’s Jeans – they really keep things controlled while being as comfortable as yoga pants and look like regular jeans. With dresses I wear Spanx Higher Power in the summer and their Tight End Tights when it’s cold out. With trousers, I wear high-cut briefs so my undies don’t cut the gut in half. 🙂

  7. January 11, 2011 / 2:12 pm

    You DO look great! I think comparing the pictures was such a great way to see how far you’ve come! Beautiful. Congrats on the little one’s birthday too!

  8. Adrienne
    January 11, 2011 / 10:31 am

    Amen, sister. And yes, you do look fabulous! Good for you, Allie! I, too, am doing WeightWatchers and have taken off 25 lbs this past year. (Still adjusting to the new plan but liking it so far). I admire your attitude and optimism. Those things can be hard to hold onto, especially since we “real” gals are always bombarded with celeb mom photos that shout, “one month post-baby and already back in her size 0 jeans!!” BLAH!!!!! I have loved your blog for years…great post!

  9. Julie Burks
    January 11, 2011 / 4:20 am


    Love the photos, you look fab!

    I have a question, though….you mention the dreaded “flabby belly” but in all of your photos, I really don’t see evidence of it. What undergarments do you wear?

  10. karen Twin mummy
    January 10, 2011 / 10:12 pm

    I totally agree with what you’ve written. I have 18month old twins and my body has changed beyond recognition, especially after breastfeeding them both for 8 months! I’m struggling to come to terms with my shape but I wouldn’t chnage a thing, my babies are my world. You look fab and are right to feel great x


  11. January 10, 2011 / 9:44 pm

    It sort of feels like it did when I was a pre-teen – each day you wake up and feel a bit different. I personally like my shape MORE now than I did pre-baby. Yeah, a lot of my old pants are now too short and I needed to get smaller bras, but it’s a more feminine shape and I feel more at home in it!

  12. January 10, 2011 / 9:30 pm

    You look great. I’ve followed your blog forever and never commented. I’m expecting my first baby – a girl – on Valentine’s Day, and I’ve been thinking a lot about getting back to my pre-baby body (I’ve gained more than 35 lbs already). Thanks for your realistic take on the changes your body goes through after baby. I’m hoping for a miracle but I’m sure it will be a lot of hard work and that my clothes may never fit the same again. You really do look great!

  13. January 10, 2011 / 9:29 pm

    Thanks! I really haven’t exercised more than taking stairs, parking far away, running up escalators and some stretches in the AM. It really is the food mindset that is making the impact right now.

    Just need to get more activity in so I can get to my goal of a size 10 by June!

  14. cosmeddicted
    January 10, 2011 / 9:22 pm

    I agree, you look fantastic in this year’s picture! It makes me really motivated to get back in shape…

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