Category Archives: Weight Loss Journey

My Fat Story

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Encouraged by Tabitha over at Meet Penny, I wanted to share with you my fat story.

I have been overweight my entire adult life.

I didn’t start out that way.  As a teenager I wasn’t overweight, even though I thought I was soooo fat.  {At that time I was 5ft 7in and weighed 135 pounds.}  Add in a sedentary lifestyle, some really bad emotional eating habits, little to no exercise, absolutely no will power and about ten years and guess what you get?  An overweight, unhappy person who is very much in denial about what was happening to my own body.

The denial lasted a few years.  I had gone through a divorce and had no idea what to do with my life.  Did I mention I was an emotional eater?  Yeah, I didn’t even know what that was at the time.  Denial to the bitter end, I guess.

I eventually woke up and realized I needed to make some changes in my life.  I was in my mid twenties and weighed about 215 pounds.  So I joined a gym.  My job at the time was more active as well.  I began to eat more nutritious things and watched my food portions.  I got fit.  I got remarried.  I was so proud of myself.  I didn’t get anywhere close to the 135 pounds I was from the high school years, but I was happy with the direction I was heading.  I had shed about 45 pounds and countless inches.

And then I got pregnant.

And for some reason I used that as an excuse to eat whatever I wanted.  Blue Bell Dutch Chocolate ice cream was my favorite snack.  I stopped exercising as hard — what if it wasn’t good for the baby??  I’d had a miscarriage before.  I didn’t want another one.  And so I slowly stopped exercising altogether.  Unfortunately, I was still eating like I was exercising.  Oh and don’t forget, I could also use the excuse that I was eating for two!

By the time I delivered a healthy, happy 6lb little girl I had gained 60 pounds.  (If you’re doing the math, that’s 230 pounds.)  I was miserable.  I didn’t want to take any pictures of myself with my sweet little baby.  I hated that I had gotten to this point.  Oh, don’t worry, friends said.  The weight just melts off while you’re breastfeeding.

It didn’t.

I breastfed for a year didn’t lose a pound besides the weight I lost immediately postpartum.  So at this point I’m 220 pounds and in denial again.  I hated the way I looked but I didn’t do anything to change it.  I don’t know why.  I think I had a bit of PPD (I am prone to bouts of depression).  I was a full time homemaker by now.  My dream job.  What I’d always wanted to do for my whole life.

And I wasn’t happy.

I was happy on the outside.  And I did — and still do — enjoy my job very much.  I wouldn’t trade my time at home for anything.  But on the inside I was a mess.  I was so caught up in denial about what I was doing to my body.

I blamed everyone but myself for the way I was.  My parents didn’t teach me about nutritious eating and exercise.  It’s my body’s fault; I have a slow metabolism.  My husband loves me just the way I am.  I’ve tried to lose weight and I just can’t.  Why can she eat whatever she wants and not gain an ounce?  It’s just not fair.

I did exercise some.  And I did eat healthy.  Sometimes.  I did just enough so when the scale wouldn’t budge — or moved the wrong direction — I would get angry, frustrated and just give up.  Any excuse to not have to really try.

Eighteen months after giving birth the first time I was pregnant again.  This time I was sick with “morning” sickness for about five months but I still gained 25 pounds.  By the time I delivered my son I weighed 252 pounds.  The most I have ever weighed in my life.

Surely breastfeeding would work this time around! I thought.  But it didn’t, even though I breastfed even longer this time.  I’d had to have a Cesarean with my boy and used that as an excuse not to “exert” myself.  When I finally stopped breastfeeding (less than a year ago) I didn’t have any more excuses.

scale

I’m in my mid-thirties.  I can’t blame anyone but myself for the way I am.  I know how to eat.  I know that I need to exercise.  I know how to take care of myself.  I just make excuses why I can’t.  Yes, I’m busy.  So is everyone else on the planet.  Yes, I have a slow metabolism.  So what?  Get over it and keep moving forward.  Yes, it’s more expensive to eat healthy.  So are the medical bills if I don’t eat healthy.

I started exercising a little more.  Eating a little better.  And very, VERY slowly the weight has started coming off.

It’s now a little more than two years since I gave birth to my son and almost a year since I stopped breastfeeding.  My weight now is 212 pounds.

I set a goal this year to lose between two and three pounds a month.  No, it’s not up to Biggest Loser standards.  But it is realistic and it is doable.  And I feel good about it.

So if you’re reading this and you’re on your own weight loss journey — or if you’ve completed your journey — please let me know about it.  We all need some motivation from time to time.  I plan on sharing my progress along the way.  I hope my transparency will encourage others who may be in my shoes.

If you have been thinking about it but haven’t yet done anything about it yet, may I encourage you to just do it?  Start small.  Join a support group.  Ask a friend to go walking with you.  Give up desserts for a week.  Drink enough water for your body.  Just do something to improve your health.

losingweightishard

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12 Months to a Healthier You Challenge: Week 5 Update

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12-Months-to-a-Healthier-You-5-500x800Earlier this month Crystal over at Money Saving Mom issued a challenge:  complete twelve healthy habits, spaced over the course of the year, which would help bring about a new, improved and healthier you.

And since I’m not doing my own habits this year I thought this would be an awesome challenge to take part of.  A few of my 2014 goals center around becoming more healthy.  Plus this challenge has built in accountability!  What’s not to love?

January’s Challenge:  developing the habit of exercising more

My Exercise Goals for January:  

  • 1,500 (or more) fitness minutes
  • at least 15 minutes exercise daily

This Week’s Progress:

I knew it would happen.  That point when you lose your momentum and can’t quite seem to get back into the grove?  Yeah, it’s been one of those weeks.

My husband has been working long, long hours this week.  My in laws are coming in a few weeks to stay with us (for two months).  My normally (relatively) well behaved children seem to have been replaced with non-napping, screaming, argumentative heathens.

And this mama lost it.

Oh, I didn’t take it out on the kids (yet).  But I’ve taken it out on me.  I stopped exercising enough.  I stopped trying to get enough sleep.  I stopped drinking enough water and replaced it with coffee.  I’ve worn myself out and really have nothing to show for it but a frazzled, tired woman in desperate need of a long bubble bath and a good night’s sleep.

So I wouldn’t say that I made much progress this week.

I did, however, reach my 1,500 fitness minutes goal.  For the week I did 214 fitness minutes which brings my total (as of yesterday) to 1,547 minutes.  I also still lost 1.2 pounds, which I’m quite pleased about.  I’m also pleased about a few small victories I had — like when I resisted the urge to buy my favorite ice cream when it went on sale this week.

Baby steps!

12 Months to a Healthier You Challenge: Week 4 Update

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12-Months-to-a-Healthier-You-5-500x800Earlier this month Crystal over at Money Saving Mom issued a challenge:  complete twelve healthy habits, spaced over the course of the year, which would help bring about a new, improved and healthier you.

And since I’m not doing my own habits this year I thought this would be an awesome challenge to take part of.  A few of my 2014 goals center around becoming more healthy.  Plus this challenge has built in accountability!  What’s not to love?

January’s Challenge:  developing the habit of exercising more

My Exercise Goals for January:  

  • 1,500 (or more) fitness minutes
  • at least 15 minutes exercise daily

This Week’s Progress:

I kicked it hard this week!  As you know, I’ve been working on my fitness minutes (which is, of course, the whole point of this month’s challenge).  This week I really started watching what I was eating as well and I’m happy to say I’ve seen a 2.2 pound loss this week!  I’ll be measuring myself at the end of the month to see if I see any changes there but so far I’m super pumped about those two pounds.

This week I exercised a total of 470 fitness minutes (yipee!!) which brings me to a total of 1,333 minutes for January.  Since I still have a week left in the month I’m sure I’ll be able to surpass my 1,500 fitness minutes goal.  {Cue happy dance!}  I averaged about 67 minutes of activity each day.  I think my lowest day was last Friday when I only had 42 minutes.

I have used walking as my primary form of fitness activity.  I also make sure and do some strength training a couple times a week.  This week I’ve been loving a couple of my many Leslie Sansone Walk Away The Pounds videos — this one and this one (affiliate links) if you’re interested.

In fact, yesterday I had just finished a two mile brisk walk when my daughter woke up from her nap.  She was not happy that I had started without her so I had to do another mile with her!  I started cooking supper a bit late because of it but I got to spend some quality time with my daughter and show her that exercise is fun.  And since the U.S. has gotten so sedentary (not to mention our rising obesity epidemic) I think that is a valuable lesson to teach her.

12 Months to a Healthier You Challenge: Week 3 Update

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12-Months-to-a-Healthier-You-5-500x800Earlier this month Crystal over at Money Saving Mom issued a challenge:  complete twelve healthy habits, spaced over the course of the year, which would help bring about a new, improved and healthier you.

And since I’m not doing my own habits this year I thought this would be an awesome challenge to take part of.  A few of my 2014 goals center around becoming more healthy.  Plus this challenge has built in accountability!  What’s not to love?

January’s Challenge:  developing the habit of exercising more

My Exercise Goals for January:  

  • 1,500 (or more) fitness minutes
  • at least 15 minutes exercise daily

This Week’s Progress:

So far this month I’ve exercised 863 minutes!  That’s 282 minutes for the week (about 40 minutes a day).  I think I’m down a little bit from last week but I’m still going strong and on track to reach my goal of 1,500 fitness minutes this month.

One day I just barely made the 15 minutes goal but the other days I did very well on it.  I guess everyone is entitled to an off day, right?  As long as I don’t make a habit of it!

Oh, and I’ve recently downloaded a C25K program on my tablet.  I’ve always loved the idea of running but never got into it.  I make so many excuses (too fat, not enough time, can’t breathe, etc.) but in the back of my mind I think I’d really like to give it a shot.

But I’m still working myself up to it.

Maybe that’ll be a goal for another day. 🙂

12 Months to a Healthier You Challenge: Week 2 Update

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12-Months-to-a-Healthier-You-5-500x800Earlier this month Crystal over at Money Saving Mom issued a challenge:  complete twelve healthy habits, spaced over the course of the year, which would help bring about a new, improved and healthier you.

And since I’m not doing my own habits this year I thought this would be an awesome challenge to take part of.  A few of my 2014 goals center around becoming more healthy.  Plus this challenge has built in accountability!  What’s not to love?

January’s Challenge:  developing the habit of exercising more

My Exercise Goals for January:  

  • 1,500 (or more) fitness minutes
  • at least 15 minutes exercise daily

This Week’s Progress:

Some days this is definitely a challenge.  You know those days that I’m talking about — when your get-up-and-go has got up and went.  There was one night in particular when I looked at my pedometer thingie (affiliate link) and noticed I was way, way behind on my step goal of the day.  I was so exhausted and really all that I wanted to do was go to bed.  Instead, I sucked it up and walked/jogged around my living room until I got tired and then realized that I’d gone over my goal by about 1,000 steps!   (Cue the happy dance!)

Mini victories like that help motivate me to push a little harder.  And while I haven’t seen the scale move yet (stupid scale) my husband says that I look like I’m losing more weight.  And really, I don’t care what the scale says as long as I am healthy and can fit into (and look good in!) smaller clothes.

So far this month I’ve exercised a total of 581 minutes.  Since today is the 10th I’m right on schedule of achieving my 1,500 fitness minutes this month!  I have done at least 15 minutes every day, even when I didn’t want to.  Especially when I didn’t want to.  Because those are the days that make you or break you.

12 Months to a Healthier You Challenge: Week 1 Update

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12-Months-to-a-Healthier-You-5-500x800Earlier this week Crystal over at Money Saving Mom issued a challenge:  complete twelve healthy habits, spaced over the course of the year, which would help bring about a new, improved and healthier you.

And since I’m not doing my own habits this year I thought this would be an awesome challenge to take part of.  A few of my 2014 goals center around becoming more healthy.  Plus this challenge has built in accountability!  What’s not to love?

January’s Challenge:  developing the habit of exercising more

My Exercise Goals for January:  

  • 1,500 (or more) fitness minutes
  • at least 15 minutes exercise daily

This Week’s Progress:

Since January 1st I’ve done about 250 fitness minutes.  I’ve definitely done at least a little something each day.  In fact, the least amount of minutes so far has been on the 1st when I only did 29 minutes.  (Apparently I couldn’t make it that one extra minute!)

I do need to amp it up a bit though.  The trickiest days will be Sundays since I’m at church (primarily sitting), at my parent’s house (primarily sitting and eating) or driving (while sitting, funnily enough) for the majority of the day.  I will just have to make an effort to get moving before I have to leave or after I get home.  Preferably both!

 

November Fitness Challenge

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source: freedigitalphotos.net

source: freedigitalphotos.net

These were my goals for October:

~ 1,250 fitness minutes
~ Strength training:  30 mins, 4x week
~ 200 squats through the month
~ Zumba or another exercise DVD at least once per week

And this is how I did on them:

~  1,356 fitness minutes.  Woohoo!  Surpassed my goal!
~  I did not hit my ST goal.  I’d say I did about 30 mins, 2x per week.  I’ll have to refocus on that this month.
~  Cue the confetti!!  I finally hit a squats goal!!  I’m so proud of myself!
~  I have been lazy.  My cat knocked the Wii sensor on the floor behind the TV and I haven’t pulled everything out to get to it.  Yeah, I know.  Lame excuse.  So I didn’t reach this goal.  But I did hit my fitness minutes anyway, so I’m still pleased with my progress.

I surpassed two of the four goals.  Could have been better… could have been worse.  It was a really tough month for me (as I knew it would be) so I’m happy I was able to do the things I did.  I am very pleased to mention that I lost seven pounds and 1.5 inches in October.  Woohoo!  I’m doing a happy dance right now!

Goals for November

~ 1,500 fitness minutes
~ Strength training:  30 mins, 3x week
~ 250 squats through the month
~ Walk/jog at least 100 miles (of overall activity — not just fitness minutes)

And here we go!

October Fitness Challenge

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source: freedigitalphotos.net

source: freedigitalphotos.net

These were my goals for September:

~ 1,000 fitness minutes
~ Strength training:  30 mins, 4x week
~ 300 squats through the month (maybe I should work my way up :))
~ Zumba once per week

And this is how I did on them:

~  1,315 fitness minutes.  Woohoo!
~  Without looking back through my fitness program tracker (because I’m being lazy today) I would say that I made (or surpassed) my goal each week.
~ I tried to do this, I really did.  But I think I tried too many in one day.  I was hobbling around for three days after that!  Needless to say, I have decided to scale back again and try again.
~ I only did my Zumba routine twice during the month.  I did get a new exercise DVD (a Leslie Sansone one) and did that one several times.

I’m super pumped that I exceeded my fitness minutes goal.  I have been doing a pretty good job with ST — but I do need to find some heavier weights for some of the exercises.  This month is incredibly busy — son’s first birthday, 31 days of blog posting challenge, family visiting, new eight week fitness challenge is starting that I’m leading on Sparkpeople, and you know — all of the other things that have to be done too.  My family would probably get cranky if I don’t feed them regularly. 🙂

But anyway, that doesn’t mean that I need to stop focusing on my fitness goals either.  So here’s what I have planned:

Goals for October

~ 1,250 fitness minutes
~ Strength training:  30 mins, 4x week
~ 200 squats through the month
~ Zumba or another exercise DVD at least once per week

Y’all wish me luck!  I’m going to need it!

September Fitness Challenge

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source: freedigitalphotos.net

source: freedigitalphotos.net

These were my goals for August:

~ 1,500 fitness minutes.
~ Vary the routine a bit:  elliptical, Zumba (on my Wii), exercise DVDs (like Walk Away the Pounds or Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred).
~ Aim for 5 – 7 servings of fruits/veggies each day.  I stink at this some days.
~ 500 squats during the month.  That’s a bit more than 30 squats per day, 4 days per week.

And this is how I did on them:

~  1,460 fitness minutes.  So close.
~ I did vary the routine a bit, but I did a lot of plain ol’ walking too… although I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that either!
~ I did not get 5 – 7 servings every day but I certainly made more of an effort and did better than I have been doing recently.  And it was fun to figure out how to add more to my day!
~ To be honest I completely forgot about this goal until the last week of the month.  I had done a few as part of my strength training routine through the month, but not nearly enough to add up to 500.

Not too bad overall (except the squats).  I do feel like I’m getting a bit burned out on so much exercise every day.  I think I’m going to scale it back a bit this month just to give myself more breathing room and a chance to focus more on other things.

Goals for September

~ 1,000 fitness minutes
~ Strength training:  30 mins, 4x week
~ 300 squats through the month (maybe I should work my way up :))
~ Zumba once per week

August Fitness Challenge

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source: freedigitalphotos.net

source: freedigitalphotos.net

July has already come and gone??  It’ll be Christmas before we know it!  And to be honest, I’m already ready for the cooler weather.  Outdoor activities have become more of a chore than a pleasure lately.  But y’all came to hear about how I did on my goals for July, not to hear me whine about the weather.  So here goes:

These were my goals for July:

~ 1,500 fitness minutes.
~ Strength training three days a week – arms, legs and core.
~ More time on the elliptical.
~ Lose 4 pounds.

And this is how I did on them:

~ 1,510 fitness minutes.  Woohoo!
~ Strength trained at least three days a week – and I did work on arms, legs and core each week.
~ I did spend more time on the elliptical.  I even completed a 5K on it one day!  Woohoo!
~ I didn’t lose any weight, but I didn’t gain any either.

The fitness challenge I was participating in finished during June and I was a lot more lax about my nutritional goals in July than I had been in June.  Thankfully my fitness level kept the weight off but I have no weight loss to show for it.

And when I make it a goal to lose weight I never do lose any weight.  Hmm… I’m sure there are underlying psychological issues there somewhere. :-p

I just joined a new fitness challenge (to lose 5% of my body weight in eight weeks) so I’m sure that will help get me back on track with my eating habits.

August Goals:

~ 1,500 fitness minutes.
~ Vary the routine a bit:  elliptical, Zumba (on my Wii), exercise DVDs (like Walk Away the Pounds or Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred).
~ Aim for 5 – 7 servings of fruits/veggies each day.  I stink at this some days.
~ 500 squats during the month.  That’s a bit more than 30 squats per day, 4 days per week.