I am just another 34 year old single mom, really, who is still surprised when people make a fuss over my 100 lb weight loss. I’m proud, of course, to have lost the weight while juggling the demands of motherhood and career, but maintaining that loss over five years while life was happening around me has been challenging. The good, bad, ugly, and beautiful. Cause the roller coaster of life doesn’t stop so we can accomplish goals, believe me, you gotta ebb and flow through it.
I was born and bred to be an emotional overeater; raised in a southern fried family with strong women who could cook, clean, and outwork the best of them. The only thing on my side was height, lots of activity, and a super sized metabolism. It never occurred to me during those years of overeating that one day it would catch up to me. I was skinny, tall, active, I mean, what could possibly go wrong?
Boy did it ever catch up.
During my first pregnancy in 2002 I ate myself into a 65 lb weight gain, ignoring my doctor’s warnings and swollen ankles. I loved every last bite. (I ate so many corndogs that I was positive my daughter would come out smothered in mustard.) Instead of losing the baby weight after she was born like most people, I just kept eating. Settled, happy, and no longer playing sports, I was doomed. My weight settled at 245 lbs and stayed there for three years until the second pregnancy in 2005 when I walked into labor and delivery at 265 lbs as opposed to the 140 lbs I had been most of my life.
(Maybe it was the blonde in me, but both times I somehow thought that 8 lb baby coming out would take the other 50+ lbs with her.)
By this time my blood pressure was at dangerous levels, my joints ached, and I could not keep up with my very active little girls. I wasn’t taking care of myself inside or out and I just didn’t like myself. It wasn’t because of what I saw in the mirror, but because I KNEW I could do better and I wasn’t. I was failing myself and everyone around me and my inner voice would not stop reminding me.
I dug out my favorite book, “Body for Life” by Bill Phillips, and got back to the basics. Cleaned out the kitchen, joined the gym, made a decision to change and never looked back. I went through a divorce and became a single mom with lots of frustration and stress to work through. I took it out on the gym with no intention of losing a certain amount of weight. Eating healthy and exercising made me feel better, it was free therapy, and the weight loss just sorta happened.
Don’t get things twisted. I messed up. I made mistakes. I had binges. I STILL make mistakes. But if I learned one thing through my weight loss journey it is that mistakes aren’t failure, giving up on YOURSELF is failure.
Over the last five years, I have read and researched every area of fitness and nutrition. Read all the books, tried most of the workouts, watched people lift weights in the gym while I was dying on the treadmill. I used my creative gene to devise ways to make healthy food taste delicious. It’s my favorite hobby and I never plan to stop learning the delicate balance between embracing the beauty of food and using it as a drug. This page exists only because if it helps ONE person find a way to live a happier, healthier life then it’s worth it.
There really is only one person standing between who you are and who you want to be. It’s you. And until you let yourself through, that nagging voice will continue to hold you down.