I broke my tailbone and got several bulged discs in my low back, which caused sciatica, in a snowboarding accident in 2006. This accident was the start of my weight gain! I began putting weight on, because I couldn’t do as much and because I was in so much pain, I was miserable. I would “get stuck” putting my pants on, I would get a pinch in the nerve and pain would radiate down my leg and I would not be able to move.
I finally went to a pain specialist in 2008 and he recommended steroid shots in my back to take the pain away. Desperate to feel better, I decided I was going to do the shots in hopes of getting rid of the pain. This doctor recommended three shots, each two weeks apart from each other. The first shot was painful, but my sciatica pain went away almost immediately. I was ecstatic, I felt “normal” again and it lasted for the two weeks. I was totally pumped for my next shot and this time it was horrible, immediate pain and I could barely move for the entire two weeks. I was not sure about the third shot but I hoped that there was a chance that it would have the same effects as the first. So I went ahead and got the third shot, and again the pain went away almost immediately, yay right, WRONG!
I was not prepared for what was to happen next! I was totally unaware of the AWFUL side effects that I would have from these steroid shots: I gained 50 pounds in two months, I started growing facial hair, I got horrible acne, I would bruise easily, I had irregular periods, I was depressed, and I had both of my legs become covered in stretch marks on an airplane flight from Alaska to California. Turns out I got Cushing Syndrome, which is directly related to the steroid shots.
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE? I didn’t participate in fun activities, I would not open myself up to trying things, I was afraid of putting myself out there, I was not happy with my figure.
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY? About six months after the birth of my second child which was in 2012, I decided it was time! I needed to be healthy for my family, I needed to be healthy for me, I wanted to get my “pre-baby” body back, my “pre-steroid injection” body back. I wanted to lose 100 pounds and be the weight I was when I met my husband. I was tired of being winded walking up the stairs in our house! I was tired of the fact that I struggled to carry my kids around!
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED? My goal was to exercise for 30 minutes and to keep my calorie consumption to 1200 calories when I started my journey. I started out running 1 minute, walking 2 minutes for a total of 20 minutes a day for the first week. Then the second week I would run 2 minutes walk 1 minute. Each week I would add more running time. I also did some of the Biggest Loser weight lifting programs.
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS? I started to see results right away, it seems that the weight just melted of at first.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART? For me nutrition is the hardest part, I love food! I still struggle with my food, it is a constant battle for me.
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING? I definitely had hard days, I still have hard days but the one thing that keeps me going is knowing how miserable I was before, how much there was that I couldn’t do. When I carry my kids around now, one weighs 50 pounds and the other weighs 36 pounds, and that is how much weight I have lost, it triggers something within me! When I pick them up, doesn’t matter if we are playing around, I am taking them to bed, or just giving them “shoulder back ride”, I wounder how I ever moved around with my weight before. They help me daily to remember that I feel so much better now and that I don’t ever want to go back!
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM? I have plateaued, several times throughout the last two years. I have had huge weight loss weeks, no weight loss weeks, weight gain weeks. I have overcome these plateaus with the help of my very strong support system! My family and friends have been so positive, helpful and mindful of my journey.
I am currently on a weight loss plateau, I have been “stuck” at this weight for almost a year. I can’t seem to get the scale to budge. However, I am trying to realize and tell myself that the number on the scale does not define me. I need to celebrate the non-scale victories, like the mediums I can fit into and the 33.5 inches I have lost!!!
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT? I lost my 85 pounds in a year, from September 2012 to September 2013. I have noticed in the last year that even though I have not lost weight, I have most definitely gained muscles! I have muscles! I have biceps, I have triceps, I have quads!
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES? I have had many “non-scale” victories. I’ve gone from a size 22 to a size 12, from wearing an XXL to wearing mediums (yes, mediums, not sure I have ever in my adult life worn mediums) and larges. In fact I am wearing the same size clothing, and some smaller than, I was wearing when I met my husband in April of 2004.
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? I follow a “Clean Eating” program and I count every calorie that goes into my mouth. I use myfitnesspal to track my calories eaten as well as to find my daily deficit. I find that when I don’t track my calories the number on the scale creeps up.
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? I workout a minimum of 5 days a week with a goal of 6 days, but some weeks that just doesn’t happen. My workouts range from 20 to 65 minutes long. They include running, walking, lifting, PiYO (Pilates / Yoga mixture of awesomeness), yoga, Les Mills Combat, circuit training, at home cross fit, Pilates, and monthly challenges that I find on social media. As you can see I am not specific to one exercise to lose the weight. Although, I do find that if I don’t run on at least 4 of the days I get a little “crazy” feeling, running is definitely my most favorite “me time.”
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- Weight loss is not a one size fits all program. Find out what works for you, experiment with different exercises, different eating plans, do what gets you the results you want.
- Make a plan! What are your exercise goals? Decide what you are focusing on, what your goal is and devise a plan of attack, then stick to it!!!
- Give yourself time! The weight didn’t come on overnight, and it most certainly isn’t going to go away overnight. Weight loss is a life long lifestyle change, there is no quick fix.
- Don’t compare your journey to anyone else’s journey. Do your thing, be true to yourself, find happiness within you, be proud of you.