A History of My Weight Loss Struggles
Weight has been a personal battle for as long as I can remember. As a very young child, I was thin. I developed asthma, which worsened as I approached puberty and resulted in dose-after-dose of oral steroids. Initially, I got the classic “moon face.” It took some time for the rest of my body to catch up, but by the time I was in middle school, I was definitely plump. Regardless of what jump started me being over weight, the fact of the matter remains that I made and continued to make poor food and exercise choices for most of high school.
During the summer of 2001, I decided I did not want to begin college fat (a word I despise, but that is another post for another time). I was 18 and not educated on a healthy diet, so I began, what lasted for years, a cycle of depriving myself of calories and exercising like a mad woman, followed by a period of over eating until my clothes got too tight only to repeat the cycle. I lost over 30 pounds in the span of a few months. I was on my way to being thin, but in a very unhealthy way. This yo-yo dieting continued for years. Severely restricting my calories and pushing myself at the gym.
During law school, I underwent hormone treatment for endometriosis which essentially tricked my body into believing it was going through menopause. No bueno for the waist line. For the next few years, I really struggled to lose weight. I employed the methods that worked for me in college but to no avail. Over the course of these years, my weight had gone up and down within 10-15 pounds, never staying at one point for too long.
Making a Change
I can remember vividly when I decided to make a change to get healthy for the long term. My husband had just completed graduate school, and we were moving home. Because I was unemployed, we had to live with my parents. To be frank, I felt like a failure. Out of this despair, comes hope. I knew that I could not create a job out of thin air or grow money enabling us to live on our own, but I could control what went in my mouth. I started there. It became empowering and the pounds began to drop away. I am a big believer that you do not have to spend much money to lose weight, you just have to want it. Well, I wanted it. I started counting calories because accountability is key. I kept a daily log of the calories I consumed and did workout videos: P90X and Jillian Michael’s The Shred. I lost about 15 pounds in 6 months, and what felt better than the looser clothing (which felt pretty darn good) was how good I felt.
A few months later, I was pregnant with baby number one. Watch out ladies, they say with weight loss comes pregnancy, well that happened to me TWICE! I made mostly healthy choices and gained 33 pounds for this pregnancy which was close to the maximum of 35 pounds my doctor advised. After I had Mark, I was determined to lose the baby weight. It was slow going, but I got there within 9 months. By the time Mark was 11 months old, I was 7 pounds below pre-baby weight when BAM: pregnant with our surprise baby #2. I was able to get there with Weight Watchers online program (I truly cannot say enough great things about this program, if you do the work, you will have success), the Couch to 5K app, and breastfeeding (500 calories a day!!). I gained 32 pounds for my 2nd pregnancy, and Jack is now 10 months old. I am back to my pre-1st baby weight, but not where I want to be. Besides, everything has shifted. What is up with that?!
I am well aware that it is cliche to resolve to lose weight in the New Year. I’m doing it anyway. Except that it isn’t all about weight loss for me. I mean, if I am being honest, it is definitely about how I look in my skinny jeans. I am a woman after all. But it is more than that. I have these two beautiful boys who I want to spend eternity with. Since that is not possible, I have to settle for as long as God keeps me on this earth. I’m trying to increase my odds here. I want to be around for their lives AND I want to be healthy in the process. I also want to grow old with my husband. Lastly, but not least, I want to feel good for myself. I will admit that junk food tastes wonderful. I wish I was one of those people who loathed food that is bad for you. Alas, I am not. However, that icky-sluggish feeling it leaves you with is so not worth it. At least not often. Everything in moderation.
So here it goes, I resolve, not just for 2014, but for the foreseeable future, to lead a healthier lifestyle. To make good food choices and exercise regularly. I would like to lose 15-20 pounds to put me in a healthy weight range for my height and age. However, I am not going to fixate on the scale as that gets me into trouble. I know it will be difficult but I hope you will join me in living a healthier lifestyle.
In order to achieve this goal, I am keeping a daily log of my calories through the free app “Lose It” and running with the free “Couch to 5K” app. I really believe to get fit doesn’t have to cost a thing. Check back for updates on my weight loss journey. I am one week in and have lost 1 pound!