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My #MakeBetter Challenge; Illusion or Reality?

November 15th, 2012 by Yvonne Condes

I have had body issues ever since I was squeezed into a ballerina outfit at 5-years-old. The teacher said the class was only for kindergartners and my mother had to explain that even though I had the body of a chubby teenage boy, I was in fact, a young girl.

My ballerina days didn’t last long, so instead of pretending to be a beautiful long-necked swan I went for a lazy-eyed duck, squatting on the floor watching tv.

Since then I’ve had an entire life; college, career, husband, kids. I’ve run half marathons, marathons and done sprint triathlons. But I still see myself as the chubby duck on the floor.

Now, I’m in my early 40s and in the best shape of my life. I’m doing the Make Better Challenge with the help of Celebrity Dietitian Ashley Koff and Fitness Expert Holly Perkins.

I’ve been doing great on the challenge; I’ve been eating healthier and exercising in a more diverse way (not just running), which has been better for my body.

Lately, though, I’ve been discouraged. The scale says I’ve lost pounds, but I feel chubbier. I don’t feel lean and I feel like my belly is bigger.

I mentioned this to Holly that it seems like all the chub in my legs and in my upper body has been squished into my belly. Not pretty.

“It’s an optical illusion,” she assured me. I’ve lost weight in my legs, arms and shoulders so it’s making my belly look bigger. Or, the other possibility is that it’s all of the bread and cheese from my European vacation has taken up residence on my waistline.

It’s been two months on the Make Better and I was sure that things weren’t going well. I want to be more fit and get rid of my belly fat, but how can I do it if it’s been going so poorly so far.

Then we had our measurements taken and I was in for a shock. I have lost a half-inch on my arms, a half-inch on my hips, and an inch and a half on my waist! My belly lost more than anything.

This led me to think that maybe my self perception is all out of whack and I need to get a grip. It also made me think that this might not be the end of the challenge. I have a particular goal in mind, but until now I thought it was impossible. But maybe it’s not. Maybe I can keep going and do better. Maybe I can make myself better in more ways than the size of my waist.

It’s time to start imagining myself as that swan.

Yvonne Condes is the Editor and co-Founder of, a community of Top Mom Bloggers in Los Angeles and Southern California. 

Yvonne Condes (368 Posts)

Yvonne Condes is the Editor and Co-Founder of She is a Los Angeles Mom of 2, former newspaper reporter, and occasional marathoner. Also find her at her personal Latina blog and @YvonneInLA and MomsLA.

One comment

  1. You’re beautiful. Inches, pounds…whatever. Goals are good. And you’re more than meeting them. This is fantastic. That eternal body image question. How to address that? Maybe the basic stats are a good starting place.

    Whatever you do–Don’t give up. And get out more so we can all admire you.


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