MY WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY
Okay guys. This is a BIG and very personal post for me. Weight loss is one of the topics I get asked about the most, so I really wanted to tackle it early on because it has been and still is a huge part of my life. Let me start off by saying that I feel like such a hypocrite right now because no joke I am writing this and snacking on tortilla chips and Mexican fiesta dip - because as the old saying goes, life is all about balance, right? This is a tale as old as time. I was always athletic, an active member of a number of sports teams through school but honestly, I was never ‘thin’. I haven’t always been as accepting of that as I am now either. My body simply was not built that way. I was born blessed with hips that have made shopping for jeans throughout the years feel like a war I might not ever win. (Side note - I did win. And I am SO happy to see how far the fashion industry has come in that regard). This journey of mine reached a tipping point after I had my son, Jase, in April 2015. I looked down at the scale and thought, what the hell!? I couldn’t believe the number I was seeing. I was the biggest I’d ever been, but more importantly, I was unhealthy and unhappy. I didn’t know how I got there (that’s a lie- zero exercise and the golden arches) and I knew I needed a change.
Fast forward to May, 2016. I was 50 lbs down. 50!!! I BEAMED with pride every time I got to tell someone that. I had really set my mind to it and the weight seemed like it was melting off (mind you, there was quite a bit to lose so the pounds weren’t stubborn). I completely changed my diet, and controlled my portions. I didn’t cut ANYTHING out (that includes carbs) because I strongly believed in still eating real food and cooking homemade meals. There were a lot of nights I was making two meals - one for my family, and one for me. The boys never minded healthy meals but of course, when you’re not trying to lose weight, nothing quite beats a homemade lasagna (mmmm.. the melted cheese) and I didn’t want them to be deprived of things they liked either. I tried hard to find recipes that we could all enjoy to cut back on a little bit of the work, and let’s be honest, the dishes. Ultimately, there were no tricks, no fad diets, no magic pills - just a lot of hard ass work and DEFINITELY some tears. I still wanted to enjoy myself, so I splurged when I needed to, and then depended on good old fashioned will power to get me back on track. I worked out at home 6 days a week with Jase playing close by. It never felt easy. But as time passed, it sure felt worth it.
By the time the fall rolled around, I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. During my pregnancy with her, albeit a MUCH healthier pregnancy, I packed at least 45 pounds back on. After I gave birth, I was still eating healthy (I was nursing so I tried to keep that a priority), and waited the recommended six weeks before I started exercising again. Then it was back to working out six days a week, still at home, now with two little ones by my side and paperwork piling up on my desk. Balancing it all is still a struggle. Weight loss can feel like a full-time job in itself sometimes, with exercising and meal prepping and trying to talk yourself out of giving up because it'd just be easier to eat the damn lasagna. Everyday is different, so it’s hard to ever truly feel like I’ve mastered a routine. I often feel behind - and it's taken me awhile to adjust to telling myself that it's okay. This is my health- it's a priority. This is also where I have to take a minute to give Kev a shout-out. Oh my God. I would have failed three million times if it wasn’t for him, listening, pushing, encouraging. Telling me the paperwork could wait and to just go get a workout in so I'd feel better. When I said I didn’t want to weigh myself anymore and that I cared more about my size and the way I felt in my clothes, you know what he did? He took the scale and hid it. HID IT. “Out of sight, out of mind” he said. From the get-go he buckled up and boarded the roller coaster with me, and I can’t thank him enough.
Currently, I am 100 pounds lighter than I was after I had Jase. Like, what?!?! (Disclaimer: Some of that was baby weight that fell off naturally between just recovering from childbirth and nursing... but IT COUNTS) To say I’m proud of what I just typed though is an understatement. Guys ... I feel GOOOOOOOD. I mean, don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of days that suck. Losing weight and being healthy is just as much a mental game as physical. The last three years of my life have revolved around either being pregnant, nursing, or dieting. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to fully describe all of the ups and downs that this weight loss trek has brought me. But when I look back at pictures and see how far I've come... I forget about the shitty days. It truly has been one of the hardest and most rewarding journeys I’ve ever been on. The most important part though is that I feel awesome. I feel healthier, stronger, and determined to make sure this remains my lifestyle.
I don’t consider myself someone who gives particularly riveting advice, but if you want it anyways, it’s pretty simple. Be realistic about your goals. It wasn't realistic for me to aim to be a size 4. I have never been a 4 and won't ever be a 4. Don't set yourself up to fail with unrealistic expectations. No matter what size you are, just aim to be healthy. Healthy looks different on everybody, so don't just assume that in order to be healthy you have to be small. Finally, and most importantly: don’t fucking stop. You had a chocolate bar? Good for you. Your sugar craving will be satisfied for awhile. You went on a weekend-long bender full of pizza, beer and regret come Sunday night? MOVE ON. You made great memories with your friends. If you can wake up Monday morning and put it behind you, the persistence will pay off. It has for me.