This is a post I couldn’t be more excited and really shocked to be writing about. Since I have been a kid weight has always been something that I have been super conscious about, I was never a girl who could just eat whatever they wanted and fit into my clothes. Although I constantly thought about what size I was wearing or what workouts I was going to do that week, it never was really a problem for me. I didn’t let it control my life if I wanted to eat something I would and I would just make sure to work it off. I played sports in High school and some of College, but I was always a member of a gym no matter where I lived. I enjoyed working out and never really thought of it as a chore or annoyance, it’s a great stress reliever for me. I have been so lucky that my friends from high school, college, and now always love to workout with me so it has been fun.
When we moved to Washington State it was a real transition from going from 21 credits in school and working to living in a new place with no friends, no job, and no second car. I was confined by the walls of our first apartment with my husband working long hours. Thankfully we had a small gym and I occasionally used it, but not like I worked out at home. Running was a no-go due to the lack of sidewalks and crazy dogs that were constantly loose around our neighborhood. Gradually I gained about 15lbs until I started working at Nordstrom about 6 months after moving to WA. I really enjoyed working there, I met a lot of great girls and stayed at a constant weight and tried to fit workouts in with my odd retail hours.
About a year later we unexpectedly found out that we were pregnant with our baby girl! We were definitely shocked but couldn’t be more excited to grow our small family! I worked until I was about 8 months pregnant and had gained about another 20lbs. After I stopped working we found out that Eric would be deploying to Afghanistan right around when the baby was due. I knew that a deployment was coming its part of the Army life, but I couldn’t believe he might miss the birth of our baby girl! So as you can imagine the stress set in and I literally ate whatever I wanted. You name it I was eating it, peanut M&M’s were my fave along with pizza, Mexican, and Bryer’s vanilla and chocolate ice cream!
As the months progressed we found out the details of the deployment, decided I would move back to PA with my family and then Eric would leave. We started to pack up our house before the baby was born. On top of all that I was 10 days late and a giant whale and could not be more ready to have this baby! All in all I weighed 244lbs at my last doctors appointment before I had the baby, thankfully I had a very healthy pregnancy and no complications with the birth. She came out a perfectly healthy little nugget weighing a little over 7lbs. Eric and I could not have been any happier. We got extremely lucky and his deployment was pushed back a month and he was home for the delivery. We had everything packed and shipped and were living in a hotel until Eric had to leave which was a feat in itself with a new-born baby. Thankfully my mom had come to stay with us, helped us pack, helped with the baby and was with me to drop Eric off to deploy. Nothing was more difficult than that morning saying goodbye to my best friend and our baby only being a little over 4 weeks old.
So my mom and I made the 3,000 mile cross country flight from WA to PA and lived at home for 9 months while Eric was deployed. I cant express how crazy and weird it was to be a brand new mom with your husband in Afghanistan and living in your childhood room. I could not be more grateful for my family and friends it makes me want to cry just thinking about it! They have been there and dropped everything to help Eric and I, we are just so lucky! For the first couple of months I really just walked and did light activity and focused on the baby and breast feeding which was supposed to melt the pounds away. Not the case for this girl! At about 3 months post baby I had still only lost 18lbs and about half of that was the actual baby! I was getting frustrated, but I wasn’t watching what I was eating and thought that breast feeding and walking would get the weight off.
It wasn’t until after a wedding I was in that August that I finally decided that I knew I could do better and this wasn’t the mom I wanted to be for my daughter. Diabetes and high blood pressure run in my family and I was a ticking time bomb. All of this extra weight was doing nothing positvie for me and I felt like I was trapped in a fat suit. So I joined LA Fitness and worked out after the baby was asleep thanks to my mom and sisters for always watching her! I hiked with my friends and sisters, and one of my best friends Alex worked out almost every single day with me! I started logging everything I ate with MyFitness Pal and could start to see the scale dropping!
Around November of 2012 Alex (above left) was a life saver and helped me fly back to WA find a condo and helped me move our entire storage unit into the new place unpacked everything by ourselves and indulged in Sushi the whole time we were there! I was still no where near my goal weight but had dropped about a total of 45lbs so I was back in actual jeans and not pajama pant jeans. I was squeezing into a size 12 and wearing spanx everyday. (best invention on the planet!)
Eric finally came home and we were living in WA for literally two months and then we moved to North Carolina! As you can see our lives are literally like a circus we never know what we are doing or where we will be living! This meant more travel, more hotels, and literally eating out 3x a day because we weren’t going to have a kitchen in the hotel.
After we moved into our new house in North Carolina and got settled and thankfully didn’t have to eat out for every meal is when I really started to take advantage of the amazing weather here. I ran more and more, but when I started even though I had lost weight I couldn’t run up the hill in our development without the stroller. Little by little I kept pushing myself. I would run then walk and run and walk for at least 30 mins. Finally after about a month of being consistent with my workouts I could run for 30 mins without stopping. Then I was running with the stroller and really starting to enjoy running again and the weight was dropping off.
I was consistently tracking everything that I ate, good or bad with My Fitness Pal and logging the calories I was burning with my heart rate monitor. I use a Polar heart rate monitor so there is no guessing how many calories I was burning. This is so important because when you use a machine at the gym or even a running app it just shows you what the average person should burn and doesn’t take into account your age, weight, and personal heart rate. I was definitely over estimating my calorie burn before I got this watch and it really opened up my eyes. I started to loose about 2lbs per week for the duration of the summer. I comfortably fit into my 12’s and was feeling a lot better. I then decided I was going to go back to being a Pescitarian where you only eat fish and dairy but no meat or poultry.
After I stopped eating meat and continued to run and use MyFitness Pal I was consistently hitting my goal weights that I was setting for myself. Once I was under 170, then I set it for 160 and so on. This way it didn’t seem like the number was too big to accomplish. Then over the summer my friends from Highschool signed up for the Philly marathon and I was so proud and inspired that I got my sister to sign up with me for the Half. Then I started my training plan with exactly 12 weeks to train. It was perfect it took me right through Thanksgiving and I didn’t gain my typical holiday 15lbs!
Now that its getting colder here in NC I have been loving hot yoga, and workout videos that I find on YouTube. I haven’t been to a gym in months because I workout with the baby or while she naps and I am in better shape than when I went to the gym everyday.
As of today I am at a solid 95lbs lost and could not be more excited and proud of myself. I feel like a new person my old clothes are actually getting big on me and I feel fit which has been my goal all along. As of the new year I set a goal to try to be Vegan for 21 days I am on day 3 and feeling great. Personally I just feel so much better when I don’t eat meat so this was a gradual transition for me. I am still logging everything that I eat to make sure that I stay on track. I am still not at my goal weight but I am getting closer everyday!
I am still in shock after going through a years worth of pictures how first of all I let myself get that overweight, but it didn’t happen over night and it took me over a year to get the majority of it off. Secondly how amazing the human body is and the changes that it is capable of, if I can do this anyone can. I didn’t take any weird supplements or go on any crazy fad diet, just healthy eating, body weight exercises, and tracking calories.
The smallest changes will help everyday towards the bigger picture. At my biggest I literally thought that I would never run again and now I run all the time and completed my first half marathon! Your body is capable of greatness its just getting your head to believe it was my biggest problem.
Anything is possible you just have to put the work in, an hour a day and a healthy diet and you can do anything!