I have always been a "thick" girl, although I didn't really think too much about it...or realize the extent of how that held me back. Sure, like a lot of women, I packed on some pounds, when I met my husband...we were having so much fun partying it up, pigging out, lounging around. I mean, he was kinda big, and I matched that! It was great to let go of the reins on self-control, because it's not like I was THAT big. I mean, I was a 10-12, which was still smaller than the average woman, in this country, right?.. I told myself that it was inevitable, as I come from a family of food-loving, chunky people. I was working out some and thought I was eating pretty well. I'd tried Weight Watchers and Atkins, not that they were that much fun or that anyone supported me. What was the big deal, anway?...that is, until I saw my wedding pictures...what had happened? How did the photographer seem to capture all the lies I'd been telling myself about my weight?
Determined, I began educating myself about calories in food. I was floored by how many calories were in what I was eating, how little calories I really needed for my body to function, and how little an impact my meager exercise efforts were making on my food intake. So, I tried making better and healthier decisions and saw my weight come down a little. About this time, my hubby suggested we watch The Biggest Loser...this was my wake-up call! From the show, I got a MUCH clearer picture of just how little I knew about nutrition, diet, and exercise!!
I chose this moment to grab the bull by the horns, not only to avoid gaining excess pregnancy weight (we had begun planning) but to really avoid being one of the fat moms that can't keep up with her kids...one of the moms that may not fit in with the mommy cliques...one of the moms whose kid might be embarrassed by her. I began to educate myself and understand the concept of portion control and healthy snacking. I began to rethink our family's tradition of gourging yourself, at every meal. I recommitted to my cardio exercises and added weight training to my regime. I got more interested in food prep and began efficiently creating snack packs and planning out menus packed with healthy eats. I got pregnant, watched my hubby lose 60 pounds on our new program, ate my fill of fruits and veggies, and tried real hard not give into my pregnancy-fueled inhibitions about eating anything and everything.
Two years after the birth of my son, I weigh nearly 30 pounds less than my wedding day. I lost all my baby weight and then some. Having a lifestyle of eating and exercise to fall into, after the baby was born, helped me get there. I worked HARD for myself, for once! Sometimes, I didn't want to...sometimes, I didn't...most of the time, I made the right decision. Being super self-critical, I am finally in awe of my body...it looks good and feels good!!!...not being as embarrassed with it, I am more adventuresome about clothes and pull off different styles. I learned some new hair and make-up routines, to celebrate my new look. More importantly, my BMI is no longer teetering on the edge of unhealthy...my weight is nowhere near the overweight category...I much lower risks for high cholesterol or heart issues or diabetes...I have no doubts about having another healthy pregnancy and recovering from it...I actually have more energy, getting up well before dawn, than when I dragged my feet to get out of bed...my son would rather eat veggies or fruits than burgers, fries, or chicken fingers, and so would my husband! And, I have now found the courage and energy to be a well-oiled machine in other facets of my life!
I am SO energized, for once! I am driven and focused and more secure. I make mistakes...eat some bad food more often than I should...drink my fair share of red wine...occassionally slack or skip my workout, but I'm still doing it, because I know what to do. I always have a base to come back to. See, it's not about a quick drop of 2 dress sizes...it's about a life-long journey of healthy habits, and I finally CHOSE to give this gift of health (and all the wonderful things it entails and enables) to myself...to my family! Boy, did it feel good...boy, does it still feel good. Better than eating all that garbage...better than pounding my food as fast as I could, so that I could get more before anyone else did...better than being lethargic and lazy...better than being ashamed of myself. Now that I've finally begun to love myself, so many more doors have opened, and I'm FINALLY brave enough to go through!
Looking back, I don't know why it was so hard to make the decision to MAKE THE EFFORT, but I am sure am glad I learned it, before I got any further down the road. I am glad I figured this out and can share it with my child and others. Because, it was almost just that easy, once I figured out what to do and took the time. And, now, with a blog launched, races registered for, work to do, a baby to raise, family to entertain, movies to watch, friends to catch up with, a hubby to love, and a bikini contest to win, I continue on...