January 2012

Starting Weight/Size: 132 lbs on a 5’2″ frame. Wearing a size 4 or 6 depending on the jeans. My waist is about 29 inches.

I was one of those kids who could eat whatever I wanted. I was always on the go and my metabolism was through the roof. I was never a very healthy eater and we didn’t do a lot of fresh fruits and veggies in my house so I grew up with a taste for canned foods and fried foods, white bread and sugar, sugar, sugar. Did I mention sugar? Oh, because I love the stuff. Love it. Though, I’ve gotten much better since I became aware of my sugar addiction and have taken steps to decrease my sugar consumption.

It’s tough being healthy. I think our society plays a key role in making it difficult, too. It’s expensive to buy fresh foods and then you have to use them up pretty quickly or they don’t last and no one wants to throw away $20+ worth of food they just bought. Coupons don’t help because the items that are most often discounts are highly processed foods.

I have always been on the smaller side, though I clearly recall my hips expanding at the age of 14 and I have the proof in my stretch marks. I didn’t gain the freshmen 15 in college either. I actually lost weight and worked out more with my friends.

My reality check came at the age of 23 when I had my cholesterol checked and it came back very high. Unfortunately, high cholesterol runs in my family and my doctor recommended I stop eating white flour, drink more water, eat less sugar and more fruits and veggies. What?!? I don’t even like vegetables. Except peas. Oh, and green beans. But canned only, please.

9mo belly

9 months pregnant

Hence the beginning of my struggle with weight. I was never a big cook. Instead, I opted for frozen pizzas and fast foods. Occasionally, I would make some fried chicken (my grandmother taught me and they are delicious, if I do say so myself!) It wasn’t until I met my birth father in 2008 that I got a glimpse of my future. Heart disease and type 2 diabetes run in his family and almost all of his siblings had numerous heart surgeries. I knew that was my fate if I didn’t change something now! In 2010, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer and I’ve learned that there are a number of ingredients in our food that contribute to cancer growth, so there are concerns on both sides that I need to be aware of. That said, I think we are more than our genetics. I don’t consider myself doomed to a fate I cannot change. I can make those healthy choices now, for myself … for my son.

The tools are there. All over the internet, in books, articles, on TV. You name it. I have sifted through tons of websites, diet programs, diet books, nutrition advice, exercise routines, etc. I’m finally at a point where I know exactly what I need to do for my body and I’m “working” on it. It is always a work in progress and it will be for the rest of my life. That’s how it goes when you’re trying to lead a healthy, fit life.

Don’t get me wrong. I am lazy. I REALLY love to curl up on the couch with a comfy blanket, one of my 3 kitties, a good show and watch a little TV. If I can bring groceries in the house in one trip, I’m all about it! Trust me, it’s difficult to motivate myself. Excuses come easy, but when I start to see progress I know I’m on the right track!

I gained 28 lbs during my pregnancy. I ate lots of good stuff, but I also ate plenty of chocolate frosted doughnuts, onion bagels with cream cheese (during those nausea days) and candy. I told you about my sugar addiction, right?

MS Wedding

9 months after the birth of my son

Post-baby: I have terrible back aches in my lower back and shoulders/neck area. I blame childbirth, constantly bending over and holding a 26 lb squirming object throughout the day. I also have knee pain when I run so I haven’t been on my treadmill in a while, but I do walk around my neighborhood which is very hilly. I measure my progress by how winded I get on the hills.

It took me a full 8 months to lose all the baby weight, though it didn’t hurt that I had a wedding to get in shape for! So for you first-time mommies out there: be patient and kind to yourselves! The weight will come off. Oh, and your arms will get more toned from holding your baby so enjoy! Personally, I feel that there is too much pressure on women to lose all of their baby weight immediately after giving birth. I think it is unnatural and unhealthy, especially if you are a breastfeeding Mommy. It took 9 months to gain all that weight and it should take about the same amount of time to completely lose it all in a healthy, natural manner. Some will lose it faster than others, but we are so hard on ourselves and set unrealistic expectations, leaving ourselves disappointed.

I’ve got more weight to lose and I want to lead a healthy life — to be a good example for my son. I never thought my son would be the inspiration that I needed to finally get my butt in gear.

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