This is a guest post from my new pal Melissa. We knew “of each other” in college, but only recently connected through my blog and found we live literally blocks away from each other! I wanted to learn more about her journey, and I’m so excited she was willing to share it with you. My favorite thing about her choices this past year are that they include sustainable lifestyle changes. No fad diets, no crazy experiments, but real change to her whole focus and family. I hope her story inspires you as much as it does me!
This past year has been full of change. My body has changed, my eating habits have changed and my outlook on life has changed. In October 2012, I finally decided that enough was enough. I have always struggled with weight and even though I was an athlete the majority of my life, I was always “bigger” than the rest of the girls on any of my teams.
In 2009 I became pregnant with my 1st son. I was also planning a wedding. Between the stress of the wedding, working full time as a teacher and being too tired to plan healthy dinners after work, I gained more than my share of pregnancy weight. Roughly 60 pounds added on to a body that was overweight to begin with. I became a stay at home mom and pretty much didn’t think about myself. My #1 goal was my son. My health was thrown out the window.
Nine months later I became pregnant once again with my 2nd son. My weight sky rocketed the second time around as well and at the beginning of my pregnancy I went to my family doctor for routine lab work and my thyroid levels were way off the chart. He couldn’t imagine how I was even able to conceive a child. My lack of taking care of myself and taking my medicine played a huge role in weight gain. I began taking daily thyroid medication the remaining of the pregnancy, and still do to this day. After my youngest was born I was still a stay at home mom, which meant I was home taking care of 2 boys who were everywhere and if I was hungry then quick snacks were the way to go.
In the back of my mind I wanted to lose weight. I had a goal I wanted to reach, but I never attempted to really try to achieve it. I was very active in an online group of moms who all had babies born in January 2011, the same month as my youngest son. They were talking about a group they were all joining, based solely of women who were trying to lose weight. That October is when I decided enough was enough and I would pay $10 to enter this “Biggest Loser Competition” through an online Facebook group.
With weekly weigh-ins and monthly “body shots” I figured it would give me the motivation I needed to lose some weight. My goal was to lose 25 pounds in that competition, which lasted 3 months. And so it began. I started logging onto My Fitness Pal and recording my daily intake of calories. I began incorporating more fruits and vegetables into my diet and cutting out all fatty junk food. I bought a juicing machine and began juicing. For exercise, I did “The Biggest Loser” on the Kinect.
Three months later at the end of the competition, I lost 38.8 pounds, 14.34% of my body weight, and finished 4th. I realized I could achieve the goals I wanted to and decided to join the next 3 month competition.
Today I am finishing up my 4th Biggest Loser Competition and getting ready to begin my 5th and hopefully my last where I will meet my goal. This year I have not only lost 90 pounds and went from a size 18/20 to a size 10, I have fallen in love with exercise all over again.
I am no longer as strict as I was with calorie counting since I can now realize what my body needs and have tried so many new things throughout the way. Almond milk is now a staple in the house along with trips to the produce store. I make smoothies a few times a week along with juicing. I have tried so many different exercise programs such as the “Biggest Loser” for the Kinect, Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred, Insanity and the Couch25K program.
I have realized that I enjoy running and can’t wait to run in my first 5K. My boys have gone on many walk/runs with me in our double jogging stroller and love to see me working out. I realized that in order to be the best mother I can be, I need to put myself first and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
I have 10 more pounds until I reach my goal weight and one more size until I get into my ideal size (which I never would have imagined I would be in the size I am now!) and then life will about maintaining.
I did have my share of setbacks during this journey. We all went through the flu and a stomach virus which put a damper on exercise and dieting. In late August, I went to the doctor in hopes to get some orthotics since my heel and my arch were bothering me as I was in my 3rd week of the Insanity program, only to find out I had a fractured heel. I was not allowed to do any weight bearing exercise at all and was on crutches and in a boot up to my knee. I finally was able to walk without the boot just this past week and can begin walking briskly for 25-30 minutes.
In about another 3 weeks I can once again resume normal exercise. Through all the setbacks, I just had to remember how it has felt to lose the burden my weight has caused me for so many years. That motivation (and the clothes I may add as well!) has kept me going and made me realize I don’t want to go back to where I was just a year ago. I want my kids to learn how to adapt a healthy lifestyle and as a family, live a healthy and enjoyable life.
Again, I’m super excited to share her story with you and see her transformation. She’s really an inspiration to me that at any point in life, you can make a change and stick with it through sickness and injury. Thank you Melissa!
Also, if you’d like to share your own weight-loss journey, email me 🙂