I was always a skinny kid, but once I hit puberty, I started developing curves and more curves! After I got married and moved across the country to begin my life (we got married young, I was 17), I started packing on the pounds and before I knew it I had gone from a slender 135lbs to a whopping 175lbs in a matter of a few months. It was all “uphill” from there.
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE? I was extremely self conscious. I remember stepping on the scale and dreading the number I’d see. I thought if I ever hit 200lbs, it would be the end of me. After having kids, I topped out at 260lbs. I was miserable, hated myself and had no self esteem at all. I hated taking pictures or having to dress up. I was afraid to do things I loved like swimming and go on roller coasters. Winter quickly became my favorite season because I could cover up.
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY? After many failed and half assed attempts, my turning point came in April of 2012. I had recently been in a car accident that left me with several broken fingers on my right hand. I am a righty, so being in a cast for 6 weeks was devastating. I hit bottom. I wasn’t able to keep up with my workouts and felt worthless because I needed so much help around the house and with our youngest daughter.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED? A friend, who is a personal trainer, came over to the house and gave us an outline for a meal plan. I told myself that if I couldn’t workout, I could at least eat the right things until I was healed. The first week of actually eating whole foods and watching my dairy and refined/processed food intake was amazing. I lost 10lbs and was hooked. The next week it was much lower, but still a loss. I knew that this was something I could stick with and when my cast came off, I added the exercise back into my routine and it was all she wrote after that!
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS? I started seeing a difference in the mirror after a few weeks. People started noticing after a month or two. Getting random comments from friends was something I never experienced before. People started asking ME for advice, instead of the other way around.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART? The hardest part, I always say, was the first step. While I do believe it is true that actually committing to getting healthier is the hardest step, STAYING in the routine of exercise and healthy eating is also a very hard thing in and of itself. I noticed that I would get lazy once I hit a goal. My food has ALWAYS been a struggle, and continues to be a source of temptation for me even today. I have realized that I need to constantly push myself. Always looking ahead to the next milestone. When I hit a plateau at the gym, I just suck it up and add more weight. When I hit a plateau on my fat loss, I try to be honest and look at what I’m doing to make it better. Am I eating enough? Am I eating the right things? Did I push it to my best ability on my cardio? So the hardest part for sure, is keeping the negativity out of my head so that I can continue on daily!
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING? I wanted to give up more times than I can count. At first, when I wanted to give up, I envisioned myself being able to wear a bikini and feel comfortable in it. That was my first goal. It wasn’t a small goal either! I had a long way to go, but knowing that I wanted to be able to wear that bikini and not a maternity two piece that had more fabric than my winter coat… that kept me going. Now what keeps me going, is a Figure Competition I am training for this summer. But every day, I think of the example I’m setting for my 4 young daughters and the way they see and view me and body image, is enough to keep me going for the rest of my life.
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM? I have yet to get under 170lbs. That is my current weight barrier. I’ve had a few of them, and anticipate a few more in the months and years to come. The easiest way to push past them is to think of why you’re at a plateau. Adjust your routine. Maybe your body has gotten used to your fitness regimens, maybe you need to tweak your diet a little. Sometimes it’s as simple as eating more protein or greens. I take every plateau as a learning experience, and when I break through it, keep the changes in mind for future tweaks =)
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT? I lost a majority of the weight in about 5-6 months.
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES? I am a size 10/12 again. I was this size in high school but 40lbs lighter… Just goes to show how much leaner muscle is on the body! One of my favorite NSV was the day I was able to cross my legs at the knee, “like a lady”, and not over the ankles… I almost cried that day!
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? I eat oatmeal for breakfast instead of pancakes and cereal. I snack on almonds and natural peanut butter on celery instead of chips and cookies. I skip dessert 95% of the time and I started eating more chicken and fish than I thought was humanly possible!
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? Even when I was well above 200lbs, I did programs like P90X and Insanity. I ran/walked 2 Half-Marathons when I was 235. My physical activity now, is definitely more intense, plus I added weight training to my daily workouts. I do cardio in the mornings and lift at the gym in the afternoon/evening. I am more confident in my abilities, which had lead me to push myself much harder and further than I ever thought I could go.
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- Believe in yourself! You can do it!!!! If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will. Know that change takes time and it will feel like a flash in the pan when you look back over your progress!
- Take your MEASUREMENTS! Do this once a month. Measure your chest (for the ladies, I always measure under boob), smallest part of your waist, your waist at the belly button, your hips, each thigh, knee (yeah I have/had fat knees LOL), calf and bicep separately. Keep track of all of these in a notebook or piece of paper and compare month to month. Sometimes the scale doesn’t show that 1/2″ loss in your legs, but the tape measure knows all!
- Enlist a trusted partner/spouse/friend and keep each other accountable. There is truth in the adage “The More the Merrier”. When you have someone to share you daily struggles, successes and worries with, it makes the journey easier to handle. ESPECIALLY THE BAD DAYS!!!
- When the bad days hit (and they will), make them a learning experience instead of an opportunity to belittle yourself. We are all human and not a single one of us is perfect. Shit happens… but it’s what we learn from those times that makes us stronger and more prepared to handle tougher situations in the future!
- Talk about it!!! Talk to everyone who will listen. You may be surprised and what others tell you when you are free and open. You are not alone like it feels at times. There are many others going through the same thing you are. Together we can help each other continue to make a better, healthier and happier future for ourselves and our families!