Saturday, January 30, 2016

My extended fitness journey

Let me start by saying my weight has almost always been an issue. Now, I also know that weight isn't everything and who you are as a person truly matters, but I want my body to be the best version it can to be there for my son and husband. I want it to function at an optimal level, so that I don't feel restricted in my life.

I cannot remember a time when I wasn't at least somewhat overweight. When I was younger, this didn't really matter to me but now it has become something I have to care about. 
I was fairly active in high school with dance and musical theatre. I didn't care too much about what I ate, but tried to make good choices. I drank lots of water due to choir and my other activities. I usually ate whatever my mom prepared and she always kept healthy food in the house. I wasn't obsessed with my weight, because my teenage body did okay. 

I became more aware the year I graduated high school. I look back at my graduation pictures and cringe because of how chubby my face looks. I decided I wanted a change. I wasn't that overweight and was actually fairly in shape at that point, but I wanted to do more. I started a plan with a local office in Huntersville that helps educate about health and fitness. I was taught to choose more nutrient dense foods, move my body, record what I ate and so on. I had lost about 10 pounds when I left for college in Idaho.

I really flourished in college as far as my personal health and fitness. My roommate and I would go to the gym regularly. I walked everywhere, mostly uphill, in the cold. I drank lots of water, I ate lean protein and tons of veggies, I took care of myself. I didn't have a scale at school, but I knew that I had lost weight based on my clothing and looking at pictures. I was happy and healthy.

After a year at college, I came back home to North Carolina and started work. I still did pretty well with what I ate, but my schedule was consumed by work. I also met David very shortly after I moved home. While David and I dated I tried to continue making good choices, but oftentimes that was overshadowed by wanting to have fun and go out to eat. I was still pretty healthy when we got married in June. I was in love and didn't really care about anything else.

Our first year of marriage I started a new job as an office manager. I was sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day and spending 2+ hours in the car commuting. I also had to work at night when I got home, so I didn't really have the time to work out. We ate whatever I had time to throw together and a lot of times just ate pizza or Cook Out, which was right across the street. That Christmas David got the recumbent bike for me as I told him I wanted to be more active and lose weight. I wasn't very committed and would try to find little moments to exercise. We bought a scale at some point and I was shocked by the number.

We moved right before our 1st anniversary and life continued to be crazy busy. David was in school full-time and working as well. We continued to eat pizza. At this point I weighed about 190 pounds. I decided around September or so that I wanted to try losing weight again as we were talking about starting a family. I assumed it would take a few months to get pregnant and that I could lose weight in the meantime. I had stopped birth control and then 4 weeks later held a positive pregnancy test in my hands. I was disappointed that I wouldn't be in the best condition to carry my baby, but decided to make the most of my situation. I ate fairly well during my pregnancy and did my best to be active, but I was still at the same job sitting on my rear all day and being pregnant is exhausting. I didn't have any motivation to workout.

I gained 50 pounds during my pregnancy and couldn't wait to start trying to lose the weight again. I had a c-section which meant I was pumped full of IV fluids and had some swelling. Everett was 8lbs, 9oz at birth, so I figured I would have lost at least 10 pounds by the time I got home from the hospital. Out of curiosity, I stepped on the scale when we got home to find I weighed the EXACT same as I did before he was born.

Then, the swelling when down and I dropped 30 pounds overnight. I was excited, but knew I had a long road ahead of me. I went back to work at 4 weeks postpartum and tried to fit some fitness into my busy schedule. This time I was on my feet for 8+ hours a day and could tell that I was out of shape.

I breastfed for 4 months, which I know contributed greatly to my weight loss. I was more conscious about what I was eating and started using MyFitnessPal again. I stopped nursing when I started working full-time and kept losing weight. I used the 21 Day Fix from Beachbody and got control of my portions and fitness routine. I was feeling strong.

I had gotten to my pre-pregnancy weight by the time my baby was 3 months old. 
Life was still crazy, but somehow we made in through while I worked full-time, David went to school and took CPA classes AND watched Everett during the day. I kept on this course for the rest of the summer until I quit my job to stay at home full-time when David started his job. 
Being at home full-time was a welcome change and I enjoyed the time I got to spend with my baby. I wanted to relax and not worry about working out. At this point, my weight had plateaued at 172 pounds and I was okay with that at the time.

Life continued to carry on and we moved into a house. I was focused on getting our home set up and spending time with Everett. Then the holidays arrived and I just wanted to spend time with my family and not worry about what I could and couldn't eat and take time away from being present with them. I had a doctors appointment on Christmas Eve and found out I was now above my pre-pregnancy weight. I couldn't believe I had failed my body so much again.

I decided enough was enough and I was going to do everything in my power to change. I wasn't going to flake out again. I wanted to be 1000% committed to being as strong as possible and be my absolute best self. I made some very serious promises to myself and have my wonderful husband to motivate and help me in my journey.

I'm hoping that by sharing my story I will be able to inspire others to start their journey, to motivate themselves to be better. 
If you were able to hang in this long, I'm impressed! 
I will be posting my January progress very soon so keep an eye out for that. 


  1. Thank you for sharing your story. I hope you know that you are beautiful. I too have struggled with my weight, in particular since having my oldest. I recently have started a journey of more mindfulness and not just hoping it will go away on its own. Thank you for your example.

  2. Thank you Janett! It is definitely much harder when you become a mama, but the trade off is totally worth it. I've had to get in the mindset that the choices I'm making are FOR Everett. It is the best motivation.