Posted by: mommyinmotion | July 16, 2009

The Weight-Loss Battle

I thought it might be good to have a post telling about the up-and-downs in weight loss that I have had over the past few years. This is going to be very long, though, so brace yourself!

May 2005- 178lbs

May 2005- 178lbs

I was never happy with my weight- which I’ve mentioned in my “About the Mommy” page, so I won’t rehash that. Suffice it to say- I didn’t like myself, and didn’t have a strong desire to actually do the work to change it. John was deployed when I was pregnant with Fiona, which is when I got to my highest weight. 6 weeks post-birth I was 178lbs, and I honestly don’t know how much I weighed at the end of the pregnancy. I know I was around 150 when I got pregnant, and gained around 50lbs, so somewhere at the 200lb mark.

When John came home from his deployment- I hated how I looked. I used “I just had a baby” as an excuse though. And while I would talk about wanting to lose weight, and attempt to exercise or eat better on occasion, I usually just fell back into old habits- telling myself I was just too busy with two kids at home to make the time. I couldn’t set aside time to exercise- there was too much else to do. I couldn’t learn to cook healthier- it was too expensive.

18 months came and went, and John was gearing up for another deployment. We went to get family pictures

September 2006- 160lbs

September 2006- 160lbs

taken, and I hated how I looked. I stepped on the scale then and realized that I had only lost 18lbs since Fiona’s birth. One lb a month. Not exactly stunning results! That was September, 2006- and that was when I finally decided that I had enough of telling myself that I wanted to change- and made the commitment to myself to really change.

I found an online support group called Moms Losing Weight, which was located at Babycenter at the time (our group has since moved to another forum) The board participated in weight-loss challenges, which really appealed to my competitive nature, so I jumped right in. In MLW, I found a lot of great information- ideas and tips from other moms who had been where I was, and a place to vent my frustrations when I was struggling.  I started to really exercise to that I could compete in the challenges, and took up pilates DVD’s at home, and cardio (and a little strength training) at the base gym before or after work. I also learned about calorie counting. I remember one of the mom’s “scolding” me I (and I say this with great affection) because my calories were too low, and she was worried about my health. I really loved that the focus of the board was not to lose weight fast- no matter what, but to do it in an active, healthy way. No tricks, no gimmicks, just hard work, and a lot of support.

January 2007- 130lbs

January 2007- 130lbs

With the help of MLW, I dropped 30lbs during the four months that John was gone- and I was feeling great. I was only 5lbs from my original long-term goal, and confident that I could continue my efforts and be at my goal in just a few more weeks. Unfortunately, I discovered that it was hard to keep my same routines when I was no longer alone. I began to feel guilty about spending time at the gym instead of at home with John, and I lost my single-minded approach to healthy eating, and began giving in to John’s suggestions of eating out- or using him as an excuse to being snacks back into the house. I spent less and less time online with MLW, and finally stopped participating altogether.

Instead of losing the last 5lbs, I gained 25 over the next 8 months, and was back up to 155lbs by August. I was appalled when I realized how

August 2007- 155lbs

August 2007- 155lbs

much of the weight I had let creep back on, and determined that I was going to turn things around again. I went back to MLW, and started eating better and exercising again. But, by that time, there was so much going on that I had a difficult time really focusing. We moved away from England in November of 2007, and spent the holidays with family here in MS before going to NV in January of 2008. In that time, I would lose, gain, lose, and gain the same weight over and over again, and by the time we were settled in our new home, I was at 150lbs.

Living in Vegas really kick started my renewed desire to get healthy though. It helped that I didn’t have a car, so I had to walk anywhere I wanted to go. And since I went stir crazy in the house- I walked. A lot. There was also a great fresh food store just a little over half-a-mile from our home, and the kids and I would walk there several times a week for fresh fruits and veggies. The store didn’t have a lot of convenience foods, so it made it easier to make healthy choices for meals. We also had cable again- and I discovered Fit TV (in particular, Namaste Yoga) so I had plenty of variety with my home workouts.

August 2008- 125lbs

August 2008- 125lbs

Losing weight this time took much longer. I eventually lost 25 lbs, but it took until August to do it. However, I was learning to be healthy in a more practical sense. Sure, it was easy to exercise several hours a day when The Husband was deployed, and I had nothing to do once The Boy and The Girl went to bed. But that wasn’t something I could maintain. In Vegas, I began learning to fit exercise into my every day routine, and to stick with it even when I had the occasional “off” day. I was determined not to give up- even when I hit a 13 week plateau where the scale decided it was just going to stay at 130, thank-you-very-much. In August I was finally at my initial goal weight of 125lbs, and both pleased and disappointed. I was happy to have made my goal- but not pleased with how I looked.  I guess I just expected that everything would automatically tighten up and look more toned, and I was surprised that instead I was still kind of squishy all over!

I maintained my loss for about two months, and then we moved again. Between October and December I gained 20 lbs back (I told you I was a yo-yo-er!) and was very frustrated with myself. I began working at a gym at the end of November, though, and just expected that the weight would just fall off. And about 5lbs did. I stayed at 140 lbs from January-June

June 2009- 140ish

June 2009- 140ish

though, and it seemed that no matter what I did, I just wasn’t going to lose weight.

I’ve done a lot of thinking about the numbers on the scale since then, though, and I really don’t know if I am unhappy with my weight anymore. I realize that I am healthier now than I ever have been before. I eat better on a more consistent basis, and my exercise now includes a wide variety of cardio and weight training. I know a lot more about my body and what it can do, and I know that, while my weight doesn’t change much anymore, my body fat % is lower, so I am more healthy.

The funny thing is, once I decided to give up on a goal weight- the weight started coming off again. I haven’t lost a lot of weight in the past month, but it’s somehow liberating to not really care what the scale says. Sure, I would like to get back to the 120’s- but I am thrilled to realize that my body is healthy and strong in the 140’s or 130’s, and I am finally ok with that. I am learning to love my body for what it can do- and I think that’s the most important thing.

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Responses

  1. I’m kind of in a weight loss battle like you were right now. But, I am beginning to realize that as long as I eat right and exercise, maybe the number on the scale isn’t a huge deal. I’m not quite ready to forget about the goal weight, but I’m working on it. I’m glad you are in a good place now though.

    PS – You look good!

  2. Oh it’s so important to listen to your body and let it rest when it needs it. Very brave of you to post all this for everyone to read so huge hugs to you!! I’m not sure I could do the same! 😀


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