Love chub. For anyone with a challenging metabolism, “love chub” is real. Love chub is the weight you gain when you get into a new relationship and you get comfortable with another person.
Let me paint a picture for you. There you are. Single, eating whatever single-serve meal you can manage to piece together without too much effort. Your fridge likely consists of a carton of milk that has been half consumed, cheap hot dogs, condiments, beer and maybe some shriveling fruits and vegetables that are only in there because your mom says you need them. Cereal or Pop-Tarts for breakfast, lunch is whatever drive-thru line is the shortest and dinner is eaten with friends or heated up in the microwave after you tear the plastic off the carton.
Nice, right? Life seems simple but lonely. You search for a mate through dating apps, going on blind dates set up by friends or family and the ever-elusive meeting someone at work or while you’re out at the bar.
And then it happens. You find the person who you connect with and want to see again. And again. And again. Yes! Success!
Does that sound like you? Well, that was me. I met my future husband and all bets were off. I’ve written about our journey in previous columns, but for new readers, here’s a quick refresher. Nate worked at the local watering hole as a cook, we connected immediately because of shared experiences and background, he moved into my apartment three days later, we have a 3-year-old son and we’ve been married for 12 years. The most important piece of that story is that he was a cook. He’s a professionally trained chef and every meal he makes is amazing. I’m a lucky lady!
When we met, I was going through a civil divorce and had lost 40 pounds quickly after leaving my first husband. I was the hot chick I always knew I could be. It was amazing. I traveled, I ate what I wanted when I wanted, I watched whatever I wanted on TV and life was grand. I was in a really good spot when I met Nate. But then I settled into the comfort zone. The sweatpants and greasy hair zone. The no-makeup, bailing on all workouts zone. It crept up on me slowly. And it crept up on Nate slowly. Flash forward 15 years, and we’re both obese. I told myself that I was fat because I was still carrying baby weight, but after three years, that couldn’t be my excuse anymore. It was a horrible realization.
There’s nothing like a family reunion, high school reunion and family photo to shake things up and get make you look at yourself in the mirror. Like, really look at yourself in the mirror. I would tell myself things like, “I’m fine. I look fine. I dress nicely for my size.” “I’ll workout tomorrow.” “Arby’s is ‘healthy’ fast food, so it’s okay to eat.” The truth was, I wasn’t any of those things, and none of those things were true. My BMI (body mass index) was 37.8. Not great, Bob. That’s technically considered obese. Whoa. That hit me like a ton of bricks. How did I get here? I’ll tell you how I got there. Too much fast food, large portions, too much drinking and a complete lack of any physical activity outside of chasing my toddler around.
So, I decided to do what any rational person would do. I went to the extreme and threw out all the junk food. I eliminated all fast food. I meal planned. I didn’t quit drinking, but I slowed down. Side note: It’s not like I was getting wasted every night. It was what I was drinking that really propelled the weight. I was drinking Mike’s Harder Lemonade, followed by Mike’s Hard Lemonade. The Harder has higher alcohol content than the Hard and more calories and sugar. So, I switched to White Claw and Truly. OK, back to the point. I started working out with the YouTube community. Kicking and punching the air, doing a million squats and jumping jacks and taking walks.
The problem with most things that are extreme is that they’re not sustainable and you end up failing. That’s what happened. All I wanted was McDonald’s french fries and a Mike’s Harder. I gave up. My body ached from jumping into exercise that I wasn’t prepared for. I felt defeated. I decided I wouldn’t go to my high school reunion and told myself that my family loves me no matter what I look like.
That’s when I found Noom. I’m not a spokesperson for Noom, and they’re not paying me for this. I’m just telling you about my journey.
There are no gimmicks with Noom. It’s a psychology-based lifestyle change. And it’s sustainable so long as you’re committed. They have a pretty nice referral program and more support than you ever thought you needed. They have references, articles, daily tasks that pump you up, recipes, weight tracking and exercise suggestions. I signed up in June of 2020, Nate signed up the next day and we haven’t looked back. I’ve lost 40 pounds, my love chub and the baby weight. I eat what I want to eat and drink what I want to drink. I exercise daily because that’s the healthy thing to do. And, after a while, it actually started to feel good. It wasn’t easy, and it wasn’t quick. But it’s sustainable, and that’s the most important thing. It’s not right for everyone, but it’s right for me.
My journey is lifelong, and I hope to keep moving forward as an example to my son. Anything worth doing is worth doing right. I think that’s the saying, and I feel like I’m doing it right.
And speaking of doing the right thing, let’s talk about some football!
Jen’s Friday Night Insights
Tyler Higbee (TE, Los Angeles Rams)
Is anyone else in the room as disappointed with Tyler Higbee’s 2020 performance as I was? Let’s see a show of hands. That’s what I thought. Higbee gave us hope in 2019, and fantasy managers snatched him up quickly in 2020. There was excitement in the air after Higbee finished his 2019 season on a high with an average of 25.7 fantasy points over the final five games of that year. He managed only two touchdowns in those games, but the ball found his hands 43 times for 522 receiving yards. And that was with an average quarterback who fell from grace in the 2019 season – Jared Goff. Still, there was hope for Higbee in 2020.
Turn the page. Disappointment sets in. In their opening game last year, the Rams put up 20 points against the Dallas Cowboys and eeked out a win. Yay! Unless you had Tyler Higbee in your lineup. He added very little value and saw the ball only three times for 40 yards receiving, adding only 8.5 Points Per Reception (PPR) fantasy points. You brush it off and hope for better next week.
As I was watching the film of Higbee’s 2020 highlights, something very specific was blatantly clear. Highlight after highlight after highlight was the same game. He had one nice catch against Dallas in Week 1, and then a monster of a game in Week 2 against the Philadelphia Eagles. Every fantasy manager sighed a breath of relief as Higbee pulled in three touchdowns in only 54 yards and earned 30.9 fantasy points. Whew! He was back and everything will be just fine we thought. The TE we all drafted fairly early on will produce and provide for us.
Except it wasn’t. Likely, we all probably kept Higbee in our starting rotation week after week, hoping to catch a glimpse of a solid performance and some big numbers. And week after week, he disappointed us. He finished the 2020 season with 521 receiving yards and five touchdowns. That’s one fewer yard over the entire season than he had in the last five games of 2019. We all shook our heads and likely benched him near the end.
Here’s the question: Did the Rams have a Higbee problem, or was it a Jared Goff problem? Goff was the golden boy who took the Rams to the Super Bowl in 2018 but ended up losing to the New England Patriots in an embarrassing defeat with a final score of 3-13. Goff had an outstanding year and finished the season with 4,688 yards, 32 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Regardless, 2019 and 2020 landed him in a spot to be traded in 2021.
Enter QB Matthew Stafford.
In a quarterback swap, the Rams and the Detriot Lions traded Goff and Stafford, and the Rams now have a veteran QB who led the charge with a questionable team and head coaches since 2009. In his career with the Lions, Stafford went 74-90-1 with a completion percentage of 62.6, 45,109 yards, 282 TDs, 144 interceptions and took his team to the playoffs three times.
Overall, those aren’t numbers to shake a stick at. My opinion is that Stafford can be a great asset to the Rams, and with a head coach like Sean McVay, the sky could be the limit for the 32-year-old. He still has some gas in the tank, and with his gun-slinging arm, the love connection between Higbee and Stafford could be massive. I look forward to watching the team development in L.A. in 2021 and am happy that Stafford is finally with a team that will utilize all of his talents.
I always end my columns with a game day drink, and this one is no different.
I’m here to join the conversation, drink in hand and watch the upcoming 2021 NFL season unfold. Cheers!
Drink Recipe for the Month:
- 2 oz light rum
- 4 oz club soda
- 2-3 sliced strawberries
- 3 tbs simple syrup
- lime juice
- 4-6 mint leaves
- Muddle strawberries and mint leaves in a cocktail shaker, add simple syrup and lime juice
- Pour over ice in a glass, top with rum and club soda, stir and enjoy!
Thanks for reading, and follow me on Twitter for more motherly and fantasy sports advice @JenPolvogt.