Like many women, I used to be much thinner than I am now. In high school, I was a size 8 and hovered around 115 lbs. Those days are long gone, but not forgotten. I finally went through my box of “skinny clothes” this month and gave them away. I haven’t given up, though! Actually, many of those clothes were out of date, I need the space, and when I do actually achieve my goal weight, I’m going to buy myself some new clothes to celebrate!
My weight loss struggles began around the time I got married 15 years ago. Like many brides, I lost some weight for my wedding, and was really excited when I even lost weight on my honeymoon from all the walking we did that week. (Yes, the walking. 😉 ) I was around 125 lb. From then on, the weight started creeping on (sound familiar?).
When I got pregnant with our first son 4 years later, I had just dropped 10 lbs (down to 150 from 160) while doing “The Zone” diet. Pregnancy did my body no favors and I packed on the weight, ending my pregnancy around 225 lbs. I think I was gaining 5lbs a week during the last month or so of my pregnancy. No joke! I dropped 30 lbs the first month after our boy was born and then the weight loss slowed way down.
I soon discovered the South Beach Diet that was all the rage at the time and started dropping some weight. I remember not being able to go to “Phase 2”, which allowed bread back in, though, because as soon as I added bread back in, my weight loss would halt. Little did I know that I had a gluten sensitivity and wouldn’t learn about that until many years later.
I went on and off the South Beach Diet for several months, gaining and losing weight, and then I found the Six Week Body Makeover. It was awesome! I was all in and lost 20 lbs in 6 weeks. I was down to 140 and was starting to feel “skinny” again.
Little did I know the damage I was doing to my body, though. Both the South Beach Diet and the Six Week Body Makeover were both low/no-fat diets. Turns out that healthy fats are crucially important for making hormones and hormones are crucially important for our bodies to function properly.
Those little hormone machines in our bodies control everything from metabolism to brain function, both of which began to have a noticeable decline in my body. I struggled to lose weight, my hair became crazy thin, and although I ate healthier than anyone else in my household, I was fat and they weren’t. It didn’t feel very fair.
I also began to develop “mommy brain”. If you’re a mom, you likely know exactly what I’m talking about – you have difficulty remembering things that used to be easy, you stop mid-sentence because you’ve completely lost your train of thought, and…and…what was I saying? 🙂 It turns out that this isn’t actually normal, even though widespread, and is a sign that something isn’t quite functioning properly in our mommy bodies.
So, through my first three pregnancies I gained 60-70 lbs each time. Thinking of the last couple of months of pregnancy still makes me feel like it’s hard to breath. Ugh.
I would always drop that initial 20-30 lbs after the baby was born, but after that I had to really work hard to try to get the scale to budge. It shouldn’t have to be that hard, right?! After baby number 2 I got down to around 160 before getting pregnant again, and then down to about 170 before baby number 4 came along. I’m only 5’4″, so I was still pleasingly plump at those weights.
Thankfully, by the time I got pregnant with our fourth little guy, I had learned about gluten sensitivity, figured out that I had it, and kept my weight gain to around 45 lbs by eliminating gluten from my diet. I was pretty happy with that.
I’m now coming up on my baby’s 2nd birthday in a few months and and the scale has moved here and there over the last year, bringing me down 20 lbs to 184. I’ve been stalled out there for a while so now it’s time to give myself a kick in the pants and get focused again. It’s time to start putting things I’ve learned into action to heal my body and bring it into balance.
I’ve got an eating plan and an exercise plan in place, and after a recent visit to the doctor, I’ve learned that my hormones are even more completely out of whack than I thought, so I’m going to be working on getting those little guys functioning properly, too.
In the upcoming weeks, as I blog about each of these areas, I’ll be sharing lots of tips I’ve learned through all of this about eating right, how to get motivated and stay on track, a couple of really awesome exercise programs I’ve discovered, and more. I’ll be getting real, sharing about my own struggles and victories as I go, with the hope of encouraging and motivating you in your own journey. I pray that you will be strengthened and encouraged as we make this journey together!