This will probably be the hardest post, or series of posts (trying not to make it TOO long) that I will ever write. I'm not embarrassed by my story, in fact, I am quite proud of it. However, I am embarrassed by how far I had to go in my quest for healthy. My story is not unique, there are many other people that I have met in real life and through the internet that have lost just as much, if not MORE, than I have. But, it is my story and if I can help even one person start their own journey to a healthy lifestyle, then it's worth it.
Two years ago, I was 50 pounds heavier than I am now. When I lift my 4 year old who is 45 pounds, it really brings it home for me. I was carrying around a LOT of extra weight. In retrospect, I am very lucky. I didn't have health problems because of my weight. Mental health, yes, of course; I wasn't happy with myself. Starting on that journey was one of the hardest things I've done in my life; admitting that I needed to. At the beginning I wouldn't tell anyone what my weight was, nor would I tell them how much I needed to lose. One reason was that I was afraid I would fail. Over the years I had tried so many diets and would always end up back (or heavier) than where I started.
Looking back, I wish I would have taken pictures along the way to record my process. I do have my "before" picture that started my lifestyle change.
I have a few along the way, but not at any specific weight that I recorded.
After my 2nd child was born (August 2009), I started running knowing that it was the most efficient calorie burning exercise. Over the years, I had been an on and off runner (more off than on, of course). The longest running stint I had was in 2008. Zachary had just turned one and I bought a jogging stroller so I could start trying to get into shape. That fall, I ran my first 5K and loved it! November came, I got pregnant and stopped running. We had a difficult time getting pregnant and I was taking NO chances with my pregnancy (even though running has been proven to be perfectly safe with OB/GYN approval). I had even purchased a Garmin Forerunner 305 during my pregnancy to help motivate me to run more. I was determined to run the same 5K that I had run in October 2008, in October 2009. Seven weeks of training and I did it! After that I set my goal to be able to run 5 miles comfortably. Not quite sure why I chose 5 miles, but to me, I think 5 miles said that I was a runner. (At this point, I still didn't consider myself a runner, I was a "jogger"). Somehow, during this time, I decided to register for the CapCity Half Marathon the following May. To this day, I don't know what possessed me to register for it, but I sure am glad I did!
Back to the weight issue....I was running and slowly losing weight. The week before Thanksgiving 2009 I finally made it to 4 miles! I couldn't believe that I was running so far. At this point, I had the mindset that I was running, so I could eat whatever I wanted. (We all know that's not true!) I was feeling pretty good about myself which was huge for me as it had been many years since I felt good about myself. We made it through the holidays and I got my pictures printed (see above). Yep, when I almost didn't recognize myself, I knew it was time for a change. Luckily, my mom had found Lose It for her iPod Touch as she was planning to lose a few pounds. I had thought I would try weight watchers, but with 2 little kids, I wasn't sure how I'd get to the meetings. I downloaded Lose It and started the next day. It was really eye opening to see what I was eating on a daily basis and how unhealthy the food was! Since Jeff is a total gadget guy, he decided to try it with me. Without Jeff and my mom both using Lose It, I honestly don't know that I would have done as well. Seeing the number in black and white every day helped keep me on track. Also, having them as "friends", kept me on/under calorie budget for the day. My pride wouldn't let me go over my calories for the day because I knew that they would see it! With my family's support and the support of my close friends, I was able to keep it up.
We kept up the tracking, I kept up the running and the pounds kept coming off. I reached my goal weight (for the first time) in January 2011. Since then, I have basically been +/- 3-5 pounds depending on my level of training and how carefully I monitor my eating. I've come a long way both physically and emotionally. The scale and I are still good friends, it helps to keep me honest with myself, which is very important to me. I spent almost 10 years being dishonest with myself and I will NOT go back there again.