My Weight Loss Journey: January 2014- Present
---------------------------------------------------------------My weight loss journey began with a New years resolution. Like many years before, I've always made a promise to myself to lose weight, eat right and get healthy. But after a week or so of working out and eating right I always fell back into my old habits. But not this year. Not this time. I felt this time I really needed to do this for myself. To commit myself to this. And that's exactly what I did. But before I get into how I went about my weight loss, I feel I need to give a little back story on myself and how I ended up at the point where I realized I needed to change.
Going back to September 2013 when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter, Kayleigh. My husband and I were both in the Army living in Virginia, but were getting ready to move for the first time as a married couple. Since my husband was being stationed in Southern California as a recruiter, we would both be stationed in California together, just an hour or so apart. Not exactly how I imagined starting my family, so I opted to separate from the Army and follow my husbands Army career to California. My father was in the Air Force as I was growing up, so I am no stranger to moving every 3-4 years. Strangely, I actually prefer to move every 3-4 years. But, I've never had to experience moving as a married woman. So this was a totally new experience for the both of us.
With everything packed up and our Pug, Frank in the back seat, we were ready to drive across country from Virginia to California. We ate HORRIBLY the whole 5 day road trip. Cheeseburgers, french fries, pizza, donuts, whatever was quick and delicious…Thats what we ate! what was clean eating? I wasn't about that. Even though, at 20 weeks pregnant, I should have been. But we ate out every single day and nutrition wasn't something we took very seriously. Which is only the beginning of my horrible diet.
By the end of my pregnancy I had gained close to 70 pounds!! (YIKES!!!) I couldn't believe it! My belly was HUGE and I was pretty convinced I was giving birth to twins. I always hated going to the doctor and having them weight me. I dreaded it every time. I never imagined I would be seeing the numbers on the scale. I was so embarrassed that I wouldn't let my husband be in the room with me when I had to step on the scale. It was just traumatizing to me. Pregnant or not, I couldn't believe how much weight I had gained. The doctor even mentioned to me a few times towards the end of my pregnancy that I was gaining too much weight to quickly. As much as I wanted to control it. I felt like I couldn't. Eating was all I really had to comfort me during the long, lonely days. So, thats what I did. Towards the end of my pregnancy all I wanted was sweets. I remember one night I ate a whole package of oreos by myself. Not one of my finest moments. But, when I craved something I gave it full force.
My daughter was born at 39 weeks exactly at 6 pounds, 11 ounces. I was so confused. How did that TINY baby come from my HUGE belly. But, my weight was the least of my concerns after Kayleigh was born. I was just so in love with her and nothing else mattered but her! I was so convinced that the weight would "fall off eventually" that I didn't think twice about it. Well, a few weeks postpartum and I was down barley 30 pounds. The weight definitely wasn't falling off like I imagined it would. But she was healthy and happy, and at that was enough for me. I was also exclusively breastfeeding her and it made me SO hungry, all the time. I figured, hey i'm burning calories breastfeeding.. I'm going to eat MORE! (Again-- I know. What was I thinking?). But that's what I did. Ate more, and more until I was literally so full it hurt to move. Worst feeling ever. And all that weight I naturally lost after I had my daughter came right back.
Around the time I was 5 months postpartum we decided to take family pictures. It wasn't until then that I really noticed how out of shape I had become. I was in a size 20 jeans and a XXL shirt. I knew I needed to lose weight, but wasn't sure where to even begin. I just knew I needed to do something… ANYTHING! A day after our family pictures we went to Target and I bought myself Jillian Michaels 30 day shred DVD for $8. The next day, I got up before Kayleigh woke up and put in the DVD. It was at that point that I really saw how out of shape I was. I lasted 5 minutes (seriously) before I quit on myself and turned the DVD off. I felt so.. defeated. I kept saying, "I can't do this". And I believed that I couldn't. So my poor Jillian Michael's DVD sat on my dresser and just collected dust. That was that. I attempted to workout ONCE and struggled for 5 minutes.. so I quit. That was where I was with myself mentally. It was so easy for me to quit and not feel bad about it.
Fast forward to Christmas time 2013. I was 8 month postpartum and at my all time heaviest at 234 pounds. At this point, I was really depressed, unhealthy and very unhappy with how bad I let myself go. I was even still using the excuse, "I just had a baby" to make myself feel a little better. But who was I kidding? I was just trying to justify my weight gain. Even though it wasn't a viable excuse anymore. We traveled to San Antonio, Texas to be with family for Christmas, and that's when it REALLY hit me. My mom and I went shopping a few days before Christmas so we could find outfits for family pictures the day after Christmas. I remember we went to every store possible to find me a pair of pants to wear. It wasn't until we went to Maurice's that I found a pair that fit me. A size 22. My heart was completely broken and I couldn't believe I just put on a size 22 pant. I tried not to show the fact that I was completely broken down and went on with my day. But that stuck in the back of my head for the rest of our trip. That was my, "ah ha" moment. It finally clicked in my head and I knew that I needed to change my ways or I would only spiraling out of control even further.
January 1st 2014 was my new start, my fresh beginning. I was so determined to make 2014 MY year. I started the day off with a nice long walk with my husband and daughter and tried to watch what I ate during the day. No fast food, junk food or sweets of any kind. The first few weeks were the hardest for me. I wanted to binge eat on the weekends, and sit around all day with my baby girl and do absolutely nothing. But I didn't. I didn't want to fall back into my old habits. I took my daughter to the park in her stroller, popped in my headphones and walked around the park for an hour or so. And, I don't mean leisure walked. I speed walked, until I hit 10,000+ steps on my fitbit. I did this about 3-4 times a week. For me, going to the gym wasn't really an option. With having a young baby I couldn't just go to the gym whenever I wanted, but I made it work. Without the gym.
My first month I lost 10 pounds. Just losing those 10 pounds I felt so motivated, determined and accomplished. And by the second month I was ready to really kick it up a notch. I set myself a goal to loose another 10 pounds that month. I seemed like a pretty obtainable goal. I really just focused on making sure I got one workout in a day and I also watched my portion control and what I ate. It seemed like the perfect recipe for me and my weight loss. So I stuck with it.
By month five of my weight loss journey I was down 50 pounds. 10 pounds a month. I was still working out by walking at the park and just doing little workouts I could think of at home in my living room. It wasn't until I discovered Beachbody that my life would really change. I was approached about becoming a coach, helping others loose weight and also continuing my own weight loss journey. I figured this would be the best opportunity for me to work from home, build a business, help others who are where I once was and to also stay accountable in my own weight loss journey. It seemed like a win-win situation to me. So that's what I did. I signed up to be a coach and started focusing on building my business from home by helping others who wanted to lose weight and feel confident in their own skin again. It really is the most rewarding feeling to help others who are at where you once were.
I started with the 21 day fix. It's a Beachbody workout program you can do right at home in your very own living room. They send you two DVDs with 7 different 30 minute workout, and you do one 30 minute workout daily. They even send you a calendar so you know what workout you are suppose to do that day. The workouts range from upper body, lower body, cardio, total body cardio and they even have a day of yoga and pilates. Another great thing about this program, that I have yet to see with any other program I have done is the portion control containers they send you along with the DVDs. The containers are different sizes and colors to help you determine your portion sizes. The colors of the containers represent your proteins, fruits, vegetables, carbs, seeds & oils, and healthy fats and cheeses. You figure out your caloric deficit in the kitchen guide they provide you and it breaks down how many of each container you can have daily. This system has made eating so easy for me and I love that they make it so fool proof. Its great for me, because I'm guilty of having a killer workout and then overeating and ruining the whole workout. So, this makes sure I don't have that problem. It's not some fad diet either, it's an easy way to change your eating habits and make a lifestyle out of it. Even now, 4 rounds of the 21 day fix later I still use the portion control container for my meals. And even if I don't have the containers, I can eye ball how much I should be having.
So far, I've done 4 rounds of the 21 day fix and have lost almost 30 pounds with it! It's really been my go-to workout program and its great that its only 21 days. I think after 21 days of working out and eating right, it really does become a habit and its something you want to continue to do. I've also done T25, PiYo and most recently bought Les Mills: Pump. I really love that I can do all these workouts in my home gym, AKA my living room. And whats great is you really don't need that much space. The space I workout in is 5 ft by 7 ft and it's plenty of space for all my workouts. It's the perfect solution if you are too busy to go to the gym or you have young kids like myself and can't go to the gym during the day. The 21 day fix and T25 are my go-to nap time workouts! Usually, I have enough time to do the workout while Kayleigh is asleep and even shower! Win-win!
Eleven months into my weight loss journey now and I have lost 75 pounds total and I feel like a whole new person. I have my self confidence back, I am healthy, and not to mention I'm in the best shape I've been in in a long time. I feel like gaining all the weight I gained during and after my pregnancy was sorta a blessing in disguise. I feel like me going through this journey has shown me how strong mentally and physically I am. Now I know what I am capable of and I know that I am in control on my body and my life. I'm not stopping here though. I still want to tone up and I have no plans on ditching this lifestyle I've created for myself. I'm so glad that I made that New years resolution for myself almost a year ago, and stuck with it. Motivation, commitment and hard work goes a long way.