In a previous post I complained discussed why I was out of shape and overweight. Today I’m letting you in on the weight loss journey Big Daddy and I are on.

Be forewarned we are fast food junkies specializing in cravings we call “sweet to eat” and this journey might be painful for us but we are focused on what this new life will bring rather than all the things we have to let go of. I want to share our actual weight (gasp!) and invite you to join us or just cheer us on. We’ll need all the motivation you can spare.

This isn’t a diet. It isn’t about looking better. Although, thankfully that is a by product of this journey. This is about feeling better and living more in the time we have on this earth.

For most of my life I’d been naturally athletic and thin. I’d never had real issues with my weight, including that irritating rubbing of the inner thighs. But I was weak and I was tired. I look back at pictures of myself and I think, “Why did I ever think I wasn’t skinny enough?” (That answer will be in a later post.)

Before I joined the Army, I was wearing the same shorts I wore in junior high school. My body shape and size had not made any significant changes in 15 years. And I was cool with that. Sort of.

I was 140 pounds in September 2007 and by the time Big Daddy and I got married in December 2007 I was 135 pounds but with some serious muscle. I was in the best shape I’d ever been.

You might say the honeymoon was over with regard to my weight. After “retiring” from any form of excercise for the last year, I’m faced with a number I’ve never seen…176.

So, it’s time for me and Big Daddy to come out of retirement. We want our feel-good days back.

Here’s the journey we began just over a week ago.

Big Daddy wants to lose 100 pounds and I would like to lose 25 pounds. We’ve adjusted our calorie intake to reflect a weight loss of 2 lbs per week. This is an aggressive goal and one that should pursued with caution. You may want to begin with a goal of losing 1 lb per week.

We are both using an app called myfitnesspal to track our eating and exercising habits. Myfitnesspal can also be used via your computer but if you have a smartphone, I highly recommend downloading their free app. By the way, they have an app for iPhone, Android, Windows, and BlackBerry.

Here’s a screenshot of my daily diary.

As you can see, my caloric intake goal per day is 1200! When I realized that I was having burgers with over 2000 calories (thanks Chilis) I really started to understand why I was gaining serious fat. There are tons of options in this app that make it easy for you to monitor all sorts of info. Some cool resources are; what I’m lacking in vitamins, and the amount of sodium in each serving of a particular food. Big Daddy was shocked at his sodium intake (thanks Campbells soup, et al.). And thanks to this new found knowledge, here’s how I fared last week.

As you can see, I went over my daily caloric goal one day but otherwise I was doing great! Just so you know, Big Daddy and I are avid movie goers and we are avid soda and candy/popcorn consumers. However, this past weekend we went to the movie armed with grapes and water (yes, we sneak food in) and for the first time avoided popcorn, goobers, and soda. THIS. WAS. HUGE.

Anyways, you might be thinking, “How does your weight loss journey fit into a DIY blog?” OOOOHHH! I’m so glad you asked!

Here’s where it gets totally relevant.

I want to show you how you can make your own weights with only a few dollars! Although this is pretty cool for el cheapos out there, me included, there is another reason I made my own weights…

Just like when I was in high school, the Army, and even now at the gym, I feel completely intimidated by the section of the gym where the dress code is a tank top and the password to get in requires a grunting noise. The weight room is like a mens only club and if you’re a female, trying to build muscle mass, there are generally two responses (in my opinion). The first response in the mens only club is to immediately tell you what you’re doing wrong and then begin to show you how to do it right. The second, and my least favorite, response is to oogle you.

Yuk. We know ya’ll are looking at our butts.

So, there you have it. This DIY tutorial is cheap, easy, and you can rest assured that the oogling will be minimal. I can’t guarantee that your significant other won’t oogle. Just saying.


You’ll need:

2 plastic gallon milk containers

1 metal pole or bamboo stick


1 pair of socks (not required)


Just buy milk, drink it, rinse the jug out and fill it with water. Slide each gallon of water on either side of the pole. If you’re worried about the weight shifting, you can always tie a sock on either side of the “weights” handle to keep it in place (not pictured).

That’s it.

I bought a metal pole (electrical metallic tubing) from the plumbing department at Home Depot for $3.48. As you can see from the label I bought a slightly larger size at 3/4″ round x 5′ long pole. This should give you ample room for some of the exercises I recommend.

And because the pole has two raw ends I bought a bag of plastic caps to put on both ends. The bag of 4 caps cost me 86 cents. These were found right next to the poles in the corresponding size. Again, I bought 3/4″.

If you choose to fill your gallon milk containers all the way, you can expect to be lifting just over 8 lbs in each container or a total of 16 lbs while using both! I think that is pretty groovy.

Since I’m no expert weightlifter, you may want to reference professional photos and tutorials for each exercise on the barbell. You can go here or here.

Here are a few photos Big Daddy took of me testing out my barbell!



I worked out 5 times last week. I lost 3.2 lbs. I feel better.

Total awesomeness.

Big Daddy has lost 5 lbs and has made serious dietary and lifestyle changes. I couldn’t be more thrilled. We want to participate in a triathlon next summer. I know. Totally crazy. But so was eating a burger with more than 2,000 calories.

I think I’ll stick with this kind of crazy.

Question: Do you want to make dietary and/or life changes? Let us know if you join myfitnesspal and we can track each others progress!


I’m linking this project herehere and here.


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10 Responses

  1. Pam @ diy Design Fanatic

    Way to go! Love your diy barbells. Good thinking. I lost 25 lbs last year by lowering my carb intake and increasing my protein. I couldn’t exercise or I’d be in bed for 3 hours after, I’m over 50 and have a thyroid problem. If I could do it, you can do it, as well!

    • ccleahy

      Thanks Pam for your encouragement!! I’m proud of you for taking control of your weight! Keep doing what you’re doing!

  2. Printabelle

    This is a really good idea, cuz you can fill them gradually as you improve! Thanks for sharing and best wishes to you and hubby!

  3. BeColorful

    You were a beautiful bride and you are fabulous now. I so enjoyed and relating to this post that I featured it tonight on this week’s Motivated Monday

    • ccleahy

      Thank you for the compliment! *blush* Thanks for reading and commenting on my post! I’m thrilled to be chosen to be one of your features!!!

  4. cathy@My 1929 Charmer

    I so hear you, I’ve never seen the number on my scale before either, and really need to do something about it. I like how inspired you are, and the weights are great – one could make an excuse but you didn’t you got creative! Good luck! Thanks for sharing your inspiration with Sunday’s Best – you helped make the party a success!

  5. Guest

    Hi Christine,

    Just a quick tip store bought roasted chickens usually contain large amounts of sodium which can turn to water weight, another healthier option is to bake it at home and marinate without too much salt. Thank you for the great diy trick you have!


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