The Fat Farmer

I was poking around in some old pictures trying to find a very particular one of some marigolds from a few years ago–and stumbled upon these pictures from the end of our first year on our land (August 2013). It was the first summer we hosted Five Farms Camp–man we love those girls and are so glad they have returned every summer since!

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It hit me like a ton of bricks, how different this farmer looked–less than three years ago. I think I weighed about 240-50 in those pictures. We’d been farming for three years at that point and I’d given every effort I knew of then to losing the sixty pounds I’d lost over the course of those three years. It was about a month before we read a ton about GMOs and changed our whole food world by going completely organic with our food and cutting back on wheat. We switched our seeds to Sow True and our animal grains went nonGMO. Which, of course, we coupled with farm work. Just thirteen months after this picture was taken, these two were in October of 2014…. of 150 pounds of shredded farm muscle. 😉 (Just kidding. well, sort of.)

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So, why am I talking about this now? Well, a new cool lady I know gave me a lot of room yesterday when she posted about the reality behind her daily run + it being a struggle sometimes to meet her goals and not beat herself up about it. How important it is that folks don’t compare their lives to what they read online. It struck something deep within me and figured–I should likely do the same.

After those pictures were taken above…. winter came and extra weight came with it. Last spring I was majorly beating myself up about that and feeling super insecure about it all the way to summer. All of 2015 it hung around and floated between being a couple of pounds over my favorite weight all the way up to fifteen over and everything in between – but big shocker, I find about eight over is average.

(what about 158 looks like on me, I’m cool with it! June 2015)

February 1st came this year and it was time to pony up and see the damage of winter foods and short days that are too cold for much work. So, I stepped on the scale. It’s time to work next year’s wood after all – exercise is majorly in this month. 176.8–yikes, 26.8 pounds… that’s a new one. Per my usual, I panicked for a second. But then, for the first time ever–a total calm washed over me as I realized something else for the first time ever… Since fall of 2014, I’ve kept off 123.2 pounds. That’s the most weight I’ve been able to keep away for a full year in my adult life. And all of a sudden, I actually just stopped worrying about it.

Mostly because I’ve realized since that I have designed an accountable life for myself on this farm–one where you can’t gain a bunch of weight back without majorly noticing and seeing repercussions on your farm life. A life of working off winter weight by splitting next year’s firewood in February, sowing great nonGMO seed in gardens in March and April without a chemical spray can in sight, tons of tasty raw food rolling in by May, then summer farm work and long days with no school and no screens.


(Me + my woodpile this morning, 2.14.2016–the forager sleeps, while I enjoy some 19 degree chopping.)


Next month’s exercise plan – popping up all over the place, thanks Sow True!!

I weighed in this morning at 170 even, having lost 6.8 pounds in the last two weeks of slowing down my slip-ups with gluten, working wood and prepping for my garden in the freezing cold. Am I still slipping up? Totally–in fact just yesterday I split a croissant with the forager and had a side of bread with my gluten free lasagna at a potluck. Oy…my first gluten in two weeks. I’m sure it will happen from time to time… I just have to be willing to pay for it, since I’m the one that knows I weighed 167.8 yesterday morning. Sigh. It may be one step forward and two back, but I will tell you this… I still seem to have the determination to try and will always give it my very best. And that feels pretty darn good right now.

-the Farmer


Here is another side note about this subject in general–the comparing yourself and your homestead or farm to some other one’s on facebook or instagram. I need folks to know this, I have no idea who reads this blog–I never have. I don’t track the stats of it in any way and have no clue who follows it…. short of what folks say to me about it in real life. Don’t worry, I did it on purpose–for a lot of reasons, but the biggest one being that I do it for me, because I enjoy it so much, not for stats on a screen. But if you are reading this and have ever looked at a homestead or farm’s page and thought theirs was so much better and well put together than your place–I promise you… they have just as much poop on their muck boots as the next guy behind the pretty pictures, and holy crow we do too!! Everyone does I suppose. I’m so grateful that I had a cool, new friend brave enough to own the less than fun parts so that it would encourage me to do the same. It feels like such a great time right now–to connect to ourselves better and each other too. To share our struggles. What better way is there than the reality of who we are?


10 thoughts on “The Fat Farmer

  1. We read your post a lot and enjoy them. We will being sowing a new garden this year with sow true and are trying to eat healthier. We switched our feed from regular everyday to vegetarian last year interested in going non gmo . what feeds do you use and how do you go about feeding non GMO and not break the bank

    Thanks Lacey Chappell( The Stixs)

    • Well hey there you two! Glad to hear from you and that you are doing so well! I feel like it has been a couple years since you took a workshop here, we’d love to see y’all again sometime. Sure thing on the feed tips, I can send you some notes to your email. What kind of animals are you raising these days?

  2. You never come through my Facebook feed—I didn’t even think you had a page anymore. But, randomly, there you were today! You look great! I’ve lost 70 pounds since July and have lots more to go. I understand the struggle.

    So nice to see your smiling face. Glad to know that life is treating you well. Miss ya!

    • Congrats friend! We do still have a page – just have to like, comment or share for us to show up. Glad to hear you are well old friend – come visit our mountain sometime!

      • I’d love to! Been wanting to make a trip down to Asheville for a while. I’d love to pop over. Let me work on making that a reality. If you’re ever in Richmond, let me know. I have a guest room. 🙂

  3. I can relate, I just need to loose 50 lbs, at 5’1 that’s a lot. I work so hard but never give myself time for me. Your story is helpful. I hope to be there soon…

    • Hey there Simone! I promise you it can be done! 🙂 If you are local and want to come out and get some exercise on the farm, let me know. Thanks for sharing and for your support – I know this, if I can lose the weight I did, so can you! 🙂

    • Thanks MK! If there is one thing I have loved using this blog for over the years–it is talking about the hard stuff! I think it is so important to share the good and the bad. Thanks for your support!

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