Sunday, March 22, 2015

My story

If you have been following me for awhile, then you have probably read my story.  Sharing my story is what I do to remind myself of the huge leap of faith I took when I decided to focus on myself and my health.  It reminds me of all that I have overcome, as well as all the potential for success that I have inside me. 
 Everyone has a story. A story of that individual's struggle to overcome tough obstacles. My biggest obstacle as an adult has been my weight. It wasn't necessarily the numbers on the scale, but instead, it was how I felt about my appearance, and how I let that affect my confidence and personality. These photos are both of me. The one on the left is me at my heaviest weight of over 235 pounds. Yes, I am pregnant with my 4th child in the photo, but I not only started my pregnancy at 195 pounds, I was still over the 200 pound mark OVER a year following my pregnancy. The photo on the right was taken in July of 2014, when I was at my most fit. I was a tight size 18 before I started my journey. Now I am a size 10, and my goal is to go down at least one more size. I still struggle EVERY DAY. If you follow my journey, you will know the obstacles that I have encountered and the struggles I endure, You will also discover that I continue to be persistent and consistent with my journey, because I DESERVE to be in the best health of my life. For my children. For my family. For ME.

Here's my story:
In high school, I was extremely athletic. I was a gymnast, a dancer, on the swim team, I even ran cross country for a short time. I was 125 pounds, lots of muscle, and I NEVER worried about my weight...I am sure one of only a few high school girls at the time that didn't obsess about it. I graduated high school in 1995. My first year of college, I gained the ever dreaded freshman 10! I was still pretty active, but my eating habits were HORRIBLE!!! Over the next few years, I gained a little bit here and there because I ate a lot of fast food and junk food. By the time I graduated from College, I was up to 155 pounds. A year later, I got married (at the same weight). For the next 3 years, I gained about 5 pounds a year. I really struggled to get my eating down, and a regular exercise routine going. In 2001, I got pregnant with my first child. My weight hit 208 by the end of my pregnancy, and I lost about half of that pretty quickly. I managed to drop my weight down to 169 before I finally got pregnant with my second child in 2003. He was born in May of 2004 (a week before my 27th birthday) and I topped the pregnancy chart at 216 pounds. I lost much of the baby weight pretty quickly, and managed to get myself back down to 169 again (This seemed to be a plateau I couldn't break through). In 2006, I found myself pregnant with baby number 3. I hit 216 with that pregnancy also. My 3rd baby was the smallest of ALL of my kids at birth. I turned 30, 3 months later. Guess what? Your metabolism really does slow down at 30! This time around, I struggled to lose the baby weight, and hovered around the 190 mark until I got pregnant again in 2009 with baby #4. My weight skyrocketed with that pregnancy and I reached 235 pounds by the end of my 7th month. I finally told the nurse at my doctor's office that I didn't want to know my weight anymore when I came in. Honestly, I don't know what my weight topped out at for that pregnancy. After baby #4 was born, my weight dropped to 207, where it hovered for the better part of a year and a half. Finally, I got fed up and angry enough to do something about it. 2 weeks before my 34th birthday, I buckled down and started to lose. I was down about 10 pounds within a month, when I ended up with a bad case of strep throat and couldn't eat anything for about a week. In the weeks following, I never really got my appetite back. I was walking daily, so between the lack of food and the increase in exercise, I dropped back down to my ever dreaded plateau - 169 pounds. I sat at that plateau for 5 months, until I finally broke through my plateau and lost 8 pounds with the 24 Day Challenge. I was disappointed that I lost only a few pounds when others were losing like crazy with this same plan. BUT, I didn't let that stop me! Instead I started getting even more serious about working out and eating right AND staying focused! I hit another plateau at 160 pounds, which I finally manage to break through, after about 6 months. In May of 2013, I finally discovered the art of slimming and toning through my Beachbody workouts and drinking Shakeology. I have VERY slowly started to see the scale go down. I finally reaches a milestone weight of 148 (less that I was when I got married). Even though my weight loss has often been EXTREMELY slowly, I am thrilled at the fact that I can consistently maintain my numbers!! Recently, I have run into a few health issues that are hindering my ability to maintain, but I am staying consistent. I am researching and trying new things. I am NOT giving up. I KNOW I am gaining muscle, and I continue to lose inches, so I am not complaining. Even though my numbers aren't where I want them yet, I am not upset. I think the way my body is transforming my shape with slimming and toning, makes me feel way more confident about myself anyway...and make my clothes fit better! I am healthier, happier and more confident that I have been pretty much my entire life. You know what else? My kids are happier and healthier and have a great example to follow with my actions. THAT is what makes it all worth while!
I am a normal person, just like you. I struggle daily, just like you. I make mistakes and fall off the wagon, just like you. I am do the best I can everyday, and I have learned that it isn't the mistakes you have made that define you, it is what you learn from them and how you proceed in the future that does.

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