Throughout life, I have always been the thicker girl. In high school I was bigger than my friends and thought I was fat, but looking back now, I was very healthy, very athletic and should have been happy with myself. I maintained throughout college and then the weight started to hit me in my early 20’s. I got married at 22 and experience infertility issues. The infertility really put me into a dark place that is hard for most everyone to understand unless you have experienced it. I knew I would be a good mom and really struggled with why me? I lacked in faith and that everything happens for a reason. With the help from a team of infertility doctors, I was able to conceive two beautiful children. The treatment, depression and anxiety caused me to stress eat. The medicines made me tired and grouchy. I just wanted to lay around and sleep. Life was a chore. From 2007-2011 I put on not only 50 lbs of weight, but so much more emotional baggage.
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE? I despised myself! I was not good enough for anyone, could not stand to look at myself in the mirror and basically had little self worth. I was unlovable because I could not love myself! Emotionally, it dug me into a deeper hole. Physically, I lacked ambition. I had once considered myself very active and found myself to be very lazy. My kids were very small at the time thank goodness so I didn’t need to run and play much 🙂
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY? August of 2011, I saw two pictures of myself within a two week time frame. In both pictures, I didn’t recognize myself! I could see the hurt and disappointment and struggle on my face! I could see that I was not who God had created me to be! I was not living life to its fullest!
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED? Around the same time of seeing the pictures of myself, my sister had decided she was going to do the C25K app. I am super competitive, so I decided to join her. I did the program and also tracked my calorie intake on the LoseIt app. I cut my Mt. Dew addiction to the curb cold turkey and started chiseling away at the pounds.
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS? When I first started, I began to notices changes immediately. My body was so shocked that it reacted quickly. I was so out of shape though, I remember begging for the timer to go off so that I could stop running. It sounds so pitiful and pathetic, but it is so true. It did not take me long to hit my first plateau though.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART? I feel like everything was a challenge. Depression has a way of telling you that everything in life is too hard! It’s too hard to workout, and if you do workout, you don’t stick with it because no one will do it with you. Same thing with eating, everyone else around is eating unhealthy things so that’s why I did. My life, at that time, was everyone else’s fault! My biggest challenge was overcoming my mind. I had to get the fat girl out of my head so this healthy girl could talk some sense into me!
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING? Did I WANT to give up?!? I did give up! A few times! I fell off the wagon in the past 4 years more times than I would like to admit! The thing that got me back on track each time was the little boost of self confidence I would regain with each pound that came off of me! That feeling of accomplishment that I had while losing, but that left me as soon as I fell off again, is addicting! I wanted more of it! I wanted to feel good about myself. It was honestly all very selfish motives. I can tell you I was doing it for my kids because I wanted to be healthy for them, but at that time, I didn’t realize how it was affecting me as a mother. I just wanted to feel better about myself.
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM? I have hit several plateaus. In the beginning, they would be a reason to give up. It wasn’t doing any good any more anyways right? lol Now when I hit a plateau, I switch things up. I will go for a run 3-4 times a week for a few weeks or I will take a week off from exercising all together. I just try and keep my body guessing.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT? The first 25 came off within the first 6 months while running and taking in fewer calories. The last 20 have been slow and steady. I have also been building more muscle with some of the programs I am doing so that causes me to gain some too, but I’m ok with that! That number does not tell you what my heart looks like 🙂
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES? Every day you should look for new non-scale victories! They keep me motivated. I’ll list a few of my recent ones:
1) I wore a dress to church last Sunday!!! It’s actually the one in my after picture! Unheard of for me!
2) In January, I struggled to do pushups. Now I can do them AND knock several boy style one out!
3)The transformation I have made mentally and spiritually is actually number 1! I am me again 🙂
4) I feel worthy of paying it forward, by sharing my story!
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? I try to follow an 80/20 rule. At least 80% of what I eat is clean and no more than 20% unclean. Before I ate everything I wanted whenever I wanted. Now I treat myself to the things my body (or mind) craves and move on from there. For me it is not a diet. I tried lots of “Diets” they didn’t work for me. I don’t beat myself up if I have a bad day, and I don’t allow one bad day to throw all my efforts out the window by giving up.
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? I enjoy working out, I enjoy being active, I enjoy living life. All three are different from the heavier, depressed me. If I wake up and it is cool outside, my body may crave a run….and I’ll do it!
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- YOU ARE WORTH IT!! This is the most important thing you should get out of this article! You are worth putting the effort into, you are worth the cost of the fitness program that gives you 30 minutes of physical activity to decompose your day. YOU ARE WORTH IT! If you don’t have someone in your life reminding you of your worth, friend me on facebook! I will remind you!
- Trust the process and have patience! Change doesn’t happen overnight. It took years to put the weight on, so it is going to take time to get it back off. If you are eating clean and working out, you will see results! Trust the process even when you cannot see the instant changes you want.
- Take before pictures and measurements. Retake pictures and measurements often. The scale does not define you! If it is not moving, it does not mean your body is not changing. We look at ourselves in the mirror everyday so sometimes we forget what we used to look like! When the scale decides to hold steady on me and if I find myself getting frustrated, I take pictures and measurements and then compare. Works every time!
- ACCOUNTABILITY!!! This was a game changer for me. For the longest time I didn’t have anyone to work out with me at home. (misery loves company right?!?) It was hard to stay motivated when I felt so alone. I joined an online accountability group, and have had success every since! Find an accountability partner or group. Share sweaty selfies and encourage each other!
- Do not try to get the quick fix! Get up and work for it. Clean up your eating, workout 30 minutes a day and let yourself have that satisfaction of knowing how hard to worked to lose the weight! Keep track of your journey. Never forget where you came from and if you find success, pay it forward. Maybe someone else out there needs your story to push forward.