This is me in July 2013. I'm 2 months post-partum and weighing around 210 pounds. I was miserable! I remember walking a 1/4 mile trail to the beach and felt like I was dying. At this point, I knew I needed to change my lifestyle.
This is me in August of 2013. A month later, and I had already gained more weight. I was about 215ish. There was no lifestyle changing going on. I was still in my maternity clothes and quickly out growing them. My self esteem and body image had plummeted. I no longer wanted pictures taken of me. Then, it hit me. Like a light bulb turning on, for my daughter's sake, I needed to lose weight. I was constantly sick. Having issues with vomiting, GI issues, feeling faint, extreme fatigue, and passing out. I was afraid I was going to be diagnosed with high blood pressure and diabetes. So, September 1, 2013, I began eliminating foods out of my diets. No more soft drinks, candies, chips, boxed meals, fast foods, and limited sweet tea. I began drinking water and walking the neighborhood. I found getting out of the house 2-3 times a day uplifted my mood. Plus, before our daughter was born, my in laws bought us a BOB stroller to help encourage us to live a healthier lifestyle. I didn't want to disappoint them by not using it.
December 2013 rolls around. I've kept up the diet and exercise! I've lost 15 pounds and sitting at 200 pounds. I wanted to join a local gym to include a variety of workouts. The Hubby was unsure. One, we did not have the money. Two, in the past, I would quit in a month or two. I told him it was all I wanted for Christmas. He didn't seem convinced at all. Thankfully, the gym had an amazing Christmas special going on and he bought me a membership. Honestly, I was terrified of going. I saw all the other women taking the classes, fitter than me. After one of the classes, where I thought I was having a serious heart attack, the trainer who showed me around during sign up approached me. (LA is not only the best fitness trainer ever, but the kindest too.) She encouraged me, praised me, and gave me the gift of courage. I found myself eager to come back each day to try another class. A group of ladies befriended me and encouraged me. We even had gym socials at their houses. Next thing I know, I'm taking a secret boot camp class, cycle class, muscle class, and yoga.
This is at one of the April 2014 socials. I had lost another 15 pounds! I found myself eliminating more things from my diet, like desserts. I began combating my emotional eating habits. I was gaining confidence back. I finally threw away the maternity clothes. There were days where I would go to the gym in the morning and go on walks/jogs in the evening. My healthier habits even rubbed off on my husband. He began eating healthier and running around the neighborhood while I was at the gym. Of course, he dropped weight like it was nothing. I was still having GI issues and low energy levels though. We were also in a transitional point in our lives. We were moving to Savannah, Ga.
In June, we moved to Savannah, This picture was taken in July 2014. I missed my gym and friends back home. I couldn't find anything similar. Plus, I needed a gym with childcare. There was nothing for me. We lived in an apartment complex with a tiny fitness area. During the morning, I was go for walks all over the complex and make round after round. Then, I branched out to a near by neighborhood. I began doing more running. In the evenings, after Hubby came home, I would use the tiny fitness area. I found that I had hit a plateau. I wasn't losing or gaining. At this point, my weekend eating habits were killing my weekday healthy eating and exercising. I was stuck at 160 pounds. I was so discouraged at this point. I tried working out at the local Y that had childcare, but after a few unsatisfactory experiences of creepers staring during the classes and childcare being severely lacking, I quit. Then, I tried out a month long trial at another fitness gym. They were a mix of Crossfit and Sports fitness. Within 3 weeks I injuries my left knee (Yep, the one that still gives me trouble!) and couldn't finish. By this time I had lost some more weight and was at 150. We moved from the apartment and into a house in a Hugh neighborhood. That's when I began really running. My first run was to the park at 2.5 miles away. I didn't think I was going to make it back. I now regularly run that 4 mile loop for a "quick" run. My daughter was showing signs that she was ready for socialization in a classroom setting. That opened 4 hours up for me in the mornings. I wanted to get back into horses. I found a trainer (who just had her 3rd baby a few days ago!), a horse, and began English riding lessons. She encouraged me to think about learning how to jump and joining the local show circuit. It was a dream I always wanted to accomplish. At that point I discussed it with Hubby and he agreed. I also joined a new gym to get into the proper physical condition. I didn't want to have points knocked off for losing my form because I wasn't able to keep up physically. The only thing was, the gym intimidated me. I didn't know the first thing about about using the machines or weights. I hired a trainer, went through two of them, and then found my gym swolemate, L. She educated me on all sorts of techniques, diet, and gave me the confidence I needed. I also dropped weight. Not just pounds on the scale, but I was losing fat and gaining muscle. My horse trainer was shocked to see me each week. I cleaned my diet up and began measuring my foods to control my portions, kicked sweets to the curb, and tracked my macros. Each week when I would do a weigh in, my weight decreased.
This is at my 10 year high school reunion in September 2015. I weighed 135. I hadn't been that weight since high school/freshman in college. I continued to workout and make each day better. I knew I only had a few months left until I had to register for the jumper circuit.
December 2015, I hit my goal of 130 and had about 18% body fat. At this point in training, I was focused on cutting that fat percentage down. By January, I noticed my fat percent wasn't decreasing at all, even with harder workouts and dieting. I realized I missed a menstrual cycle for December and (so far) January. Sure enough, I was pregnant. My dreams shattered. I knew I wanted to stay in shape during the pregnancy. That's exactly what I did. I ate healthy and still worked out. I quit the gym and riding horses.
This is me 3 months post-partum in December 2016. I was struggling with anxiety and depression here. I'm talking seriously struggling. I began taking Zoloft the week of this photo. I weighed 150.
This is a few weeks later during Christmas. I weighed 160, in a matter of weeks. I continued the Zoloft into January, weighing at 175. I couldn't take the weight gain any longer. I quit the Zoloft. (I am still eating healthy and gradually increasing the intensity of my workouts as my post-partum body would let me.)
This is March of 2017. My weight had peaked at 180, before finally making a slow decline. My metabolism was incredibly slow. In this picture, I was back to 160. I continued to workout in my garage and run the neighborhood. I stuck to my diet and began eliminating foods that had crept their way back into my life. I had began to emotionally eat again. Something I had fought to hard to stop.
This is my most current picture in July 2017 on vacation. In 4 months, I was able to reach 145 pounds. Each week since my weight has slowly decreased by a half pound or so. This isn't where I want to be physically. I want to lose more body fat and gain more muscle. I don't think I will be able to train with the intensity as before. My new normal with my kids won't allow that. However, I am making strides in the right direction with continuing my fitness and dieting. I am healthier than the 215 pound me.
So, why am I sharing this with you? To encourage and motivate you. Maybe you are struggling in your fitness journey at the moment. That's ok, just don't give up on yourself. Set a smaller goal and crush it. You can do this!