I have struggled with my weight all my life. I was born with a genetic predisposition to obesity and was always the fat kid.
I was born with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, a type of autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks and destroys the thyroid gland. The sole function of the thyroid is to make the thyroid hormone which affects nearly all tissues of the body where it increases cellular activity. Therefore, regulating the body’s metabolism, this is the rate at which the body creates and uses energy. Every day since diagnosed at age 6, I have taken a synthetic form of the hormone in order to have a metabolism.
Medication ups & downs with poor eating and little to no exercise kept me overweight.
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE? I was made fun of because of my weight growing up. I also have birthmarks on both my arms so I was made fun of for that too. Growing up I never could wear the type of outfits the other kids were wearing, I never felt like I fit in. I never thought a boy would want to date me because of my weight. I felt like I was the funny and nice girl, not the pretty one.
My weight issue and thyroid disease went hand in hand and caused many health issues and struggles in my life. My husband and I have been married since 1997 and had our daughter in 2006. It was a high risk pregnancy with me being overweight and with my thyroid disorder. I had complications and constant blood checks of my TSH level to make sure it was ok so our baby would be born full term and healthy. When Piper was born I wanted to make sure that I instilled in her the values of good self-esteem, eating healthy and being active so she would live a healthy long life.
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY? When Piper was born I wanted to make sure that I instilled in her the values of good self-esteem, eating healthy and being active so she would live a healthy long life.
I always struggled with my weight and tried every diet that was out there. My friend wanted to go to a trainer to get ready for her wedding so I went with her for support. I did not think a trainer would help me at all, but gave it a try. My trainer was great. I was learning how to eat right, logging my food, exercising, wearing my EXERSPY to monitor my steps and calories burned. After some pounds came off I tried running and fell in LOVE with it.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED? I always struggled with my weight and tried every diet that was out there. My friend wanted to go to a trainer so I went with her for support. I did not think a trainer would help but gave it a try. My trainer was a godsend. I was learning how to eat right, logging my food, exercising, wearing my EXERSPY to monitor my steps and calories burned. After some pounds came off I tried running and fell in LOVE with it. I stay within a certain calorie range each day while eating normal foods (no diet food or shakes or pills), and make sure that I get in strength and cardio workouts to burn more calories then I consume
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS? The first few weeks were great as the weight just seemed to fall off. After a month with a medication change I had to change my calorie intake and bump up my calore burn. It was a slow and steady process but it is a lifestyle change not a quick fix. There were weeks the scale did not move, but certain outfits fit better because I was getting more tone.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART? The hardest part for me was when some friends were not a supportive as I needed them to be with my dedication to running and training for my first Marathon. I was still needing to lose weight and train and they did not get the need for me to be very detailed with what I ate and worked out, etc..
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING? There were times I wanted to give up as there were times I had a bad eating day and let my emotions take over, as I used to be a closet eater. But I got back on track with the support of my wonderful husband and family. I also have some awesome friends who keep me motivated as well. You just have to take on day at a time. It is a lifestyle change and it takes time to get to the healthy lifestyle.
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM? I am currently on my plateau. I seem to lose and regain the same 10 pounds on and off. I have had some Hashimoto’s disease issues the past year and that has caused some issues, but I am still doing the best that I can do to stay healthy.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT? It took be around 4-5 years to get where I am today with my weight. My Hashimoto’s disease requires me to work hard then others and it is taking me a little longer to get the weight off. However, IF I CAN DO IT, ANYONE CAN.
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES? SEVERAL. The weeks the scale did not move would be when I would try on those skinny pants or that shirt that did not button a week or two ago, and it would. I also would go to a store and try on smaller size of something. The first time I got clothes in the regular dept. and not the plus size really made me jump for joy. Also when people would look at me and comment how my face is thinner or I looked skinner. I have to say that the Non-Scale Victories meant more to me then the scale. It really helped with my self esteem. Hashimoto’s is not winning!
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? When I was heavier I would eat close to 3,500-4,000 calories a day and maybe only burn 1/2 of that. Now I eat around 1,400-1,600 on my super run days and 1,250 – 1,400 on my normal days. I eat a lot cleaner with more lean protein with vegtables and fruit. I also drink a TON of water where before I did not. The great thing is I eat the same foods that my family does.
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? I had no activity when I was overweight. Since my journey to a healthier lifestyle I have run 7-1/2 Marathons and 1-Marathon. I also teach a Begginers Run Club and a 5K Run Club. I also became a Certified Personal Trainier from the National Academy Of Sports Medicine this year so I am also training people who are on their own healthy lifestyle journey.
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- Log your food, every day. You will be more aware of what you are eating and if you are eating more then you should be.
- Burn more calories then you consume
- Get a DotFIT Exerspy so you can keep track of your enegy expenditure.
- Find activites that you enjoy doing. You will not want to exercise if you do not like the activity you are doing. And try to get people to do it with you. A group or good friend will help keep you accountable.
- If you need some help, find a certified Personal Trainer. I would not be were I am today with my weightloss or I would not have become a CPT if not for the my trainer giving me the tools to get me where I am today.