So today I have to be a little selfish and brag on myself because I am so proud of the accomplishment I have made. It may not seem like much to some but to me it has been an uphill battle all of my life...weight gain. I have always been the chunky kid or the slightly over weight girl in school. Well I came very close to falling into the obese category shortly after giving birth to my son. I was somewhat overweight before I got pregnant but nothing that would cause any serious health risks. But I was still very unhappy with the way I looked. I've always struggled with food and exercise because I love food and I hated to exercise. I don't enjoy being outdoors often because I don't like the heat or bugs so a large majority of my time is spent inside. Also since college, every job I've had had been primarily in an office sitting behind a desk. Pretty stagnant. So need less to say, as I have gotten older I put on a few extra pounds that later because such good friends with my body that no matter what I did, they just wouldn't say goodbye. Then I got pregnant. Hello 3:00 A.M. cravings for ice cream and waffles and the fact that everything I put in my mouth tasted like manna from heaven. I was very fortunate to have an awesome pregnancy. I rarely had morning sickness and gained just the right amount of weight at just the right rate. I only gained 20 pounds the whole 9 months. Fabulous right? Right. Except after the baby came, the weight didn't leave too. Again, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't lose the weight. I became very discouraged which only caused me to gain more weight because I am an emotional eater. So I gave up and resigned myself that I would always be overweight and I went and bought big girl clothes. If you can't lose it, hide it right?
Well by the time my 29th birthday rolled around I had some major life events happen that caused some health issues that resulted in my losing about 15 pounds or so over the course of a few months. Once the health issues were resolved, I decided that I needed to start eating healthier and exercising to improve my overall health. Losing the first 15 pounds kind of jump started my subsequent weight loss and helped keep me motivated because I was already feeling so much better physically without that extra weight and was finally starting to like the way I looked again.
Over the past several months, I have continued to exercise and eat as healthy as I can and to restrict my calorie intake to around 1500 calories a day. Some days its more, some days its less. I have tried more to focus on what and how much I am eating and less on the calorie or fat count. If I want something I eat it. It may just mean I spend 10 extra minutes on the treadmill that day. But through hard work and dedication, I have seen the pounds drop off over the last few months. It didn't happen overnight. I made a promise to myself that I would not be disappointed by what the scale said and let it derail me. Some days it reads more than I would like it too and other days I'm very happy with what it says. All I know is those days that I'm not happy with it just means I need to try a little harder today than I did the day before, not get discouraged and give up and eat a whole box of Hostess Twinkies. This like everything else has been a process. And it is still on going.
But today I reached my first goal and I wanted to shout it to the rooftops!! For the first time in three years, I finally weight less than I did when I got pregnant with my son. Not only have I lost the 20 pounds I gained while pregnant, I have lost almost 10 more. I have gone down 3 pants sizes and I feel great!! I have discovered the stress relieving effects of exercise and that some days I can push myself harder than others but it's ok if I don't always give 100%. 10% effort is better than no effort. I don't lecture myself or get discouraged if I am not able to exercise on a particular day. I just tell myself that tomorrow is another opportunity. Even when I don't feel like exercising, I have found that if I tell myself I'll just go for 10 minutes, I usually end up staying much longer and feel better as a result. I want to use this as an opportunity to encourage others who are suffering with extra weight that you can do it! You have to just make the decision and then not judge yourself too harshly. It will take time but anything worth doing or having does. Don't come up with some ridiculously strict diet or exercise program. You'll only be setting yourself up to fail. Take day at a time. Start off just planning to spend 30 or 40 minutes a week exercising and limit the amount of junk food you eat. Then add another 30 minutes a week and try also limiting the cutting back on fried foods and replacing them with healthier grilled foods instead. The most important part is to know your limits and weaknesses and to not set yourself up to fail but to succeed. Find a partner to help keep you accountable who will encourage you on the days that your struggling. Set several small goals that are obtainable to be able to see your progress instead of one large goal that seems so far away. Also don't set a goal that isn't obtainable for you. Remember we all have different bodies and what is healthy for one person might not be for you. Don't judge your self by how someone else looks or thinks you should look. Just strive to be the best and healthiest body that you can be and you will find you are much happy.