Hello to all of “My New Ending’s” readers! I am included in that “reader” category, but feel even more blessed to have known Leah for many, many years! Some of you may remember me from last year when I did a guest post for Leah on how much Leah and her healthiness journey means to me. Today, however, she asked that I talk about a few things regarding my own weight loss fight. I hope that in some way it can encourage, inspire and uplift those of you who are continuing your own weight-loss/maintenance adventure. So without further ado-I will answer away!
When did you become interested/concerned about getting healthy?
To be quite honest, I wasn’t necessarily concerned with the “healthy” part of weight loss when I first started in April of 2009. I had just had my daughter and decided that after my 8-week checkup, I was going to do what needed to be done to lose the 40 or so pounds that I had gained with her and my son. It wasn’t until about a year later that I started learning about what healthy really means. Don’t kill me here, but I started watching The Biggest Loser on-line and Bob and Jillian’s approach intrigued me. Interestingly, as a side note – I was listening to one of her podcasts and the thing she said bugged her the most about BL is that there was a lot of hype and drama, but no real information. I just laughed! That was exactly what I felt about the show and so started digging on my own for my own information, and THAT’S when I started the concern for my health – not just a skinnier body.
Did you have any health issues that lead you to change your lifestyle?
I have been incredibly blessed with a very healthy body – one that has not been sick very often and will do just about anything I ask it to do. That being said, it has been interesting to remember how I felt having the extra weight tagging along with me. I was just getting to the point where my knees were starting to hurt a little and I was VERY uncomfortable in my own skin. I was somewhat embarrassed by my body and did not dress very well. I did not get heavy enough that it hindered my daily activities, but I definitely felt the extra weight.
Have you ever struggled with your weight?
Boy howdy – Leah and I have talked this question over a million times huh buddy?? I have not and never will be the skinny little nothing standing next to you with the size 0 skinny legs and arms! In saying that, I have always viewed myself as heavier than other girls/women. (some of that view is because of how I am shaped – I carry all of my extra weight in my upper legs and always felt they made me look fat.) I have struggled to lose weight and yes I have struggled keeping the extra weight off. Some of that is perceived overweight-ness (is that a word), and some of that is real excess fat. One thing I always loved about my mom growing up is she never said anything about me being overweight (cuz lets be real – I wasn’t THAT overweight as a kid), she always just reminded me that I needed to keep moving and watch what I eat. Never diets or anything like that – just kept me involved in ballet and PE and called it good.
If you needed to lose weight, what steps did you take to begin?
Wow – that is a heavy duty question! Looking back now, I may have done some things differently, however, this is all about lifelong learning and I have learned many valuable things since I started my weight loss 2 years ago. I think the first and most important step was deciding that I was going to do it and then putting some small things in motion. For example, I knew that after I had my daughter, I was going to lose the weight come Heck or Highwater. So to do that I decided I was going to count WW points (I didn’t join at that point) and was going to start exercising. I didn’t say how often I was going to exercise, but knew I needed to get at least 3 days in to make somewhat of a difference. Those were the only things I “decided” on and I did them.
What are your must-have foods that you keep on hand at all times to keep you “on plan”?
My must haves include:
- Fage, non-fat, plain, Greek yogurt (I do my own mix-ins and currently hate the ones with added fruit or whatever – sorry)
- Plain walnuts and almonds
- Craisins (cuz I like those better than raisins)
- Frozen blue or mixed berries
- Kashi Go Lean Cereal
- Flat-out wraps
- Sliced turkey or roast beef
- Chicken breasts
- Green leaf lettuce, tomatoes and carrots
If I have all of these in my house I can eat for a week or more! (course it may be the same thing, but I could do it!)
What part does exercise play in your life?
Exercise now has played a huge role in me being able to lose the weight and inches I’ve carried with me since I was in high school. ( Shhhhhh – don’t tell but I’m in a smaller size now than I was in high school!)
What kind(s) of exercise do you do and how often?
I do a Jillian circuit workout 3 to 4 days a week (mostly 4) and then run on my 5th day. I try to keep my workouts between 45 and 60 minutes each.
Was it hard to begin exercise, or have you always been an active person?
I have to say I’m not a huge fan of exercise, but knowing that it is an integral part of weight loss/maintenance I have come to terms with it. I have to say that I am not an outdoors type of person – never have been. I would rather be inside reading a book. But I love what I’m doing right now and it’s working. I’ve always done some sort of activity, whether it be ballet and swimming when I was younger, being a football stat’s girl (and running my butt off while carrying equipment around), aerobics while I was in college, or running as I’ve gotten older, I have tried to keep myself as active as I can so that I can be in shape.
Do you have a family? A job?
I am so blessed to have a wonderful, supportive husband (who also just lost the last of about 70 pounds and looks hotter than when we got married – no joke) and 2 beautiful kids who keep me on my toes. My current job is running the family household and that is enough for me at this point in my life!!!!
How has your healthiness journey impacted your family life?
It has been a huge blessing for me to have a husband who has always counted physical fitness as a must. He used to be a personal trainer and is more in-to the weight lifting and body building aspect of activity. It has always been fairly easy for him to lose/gain weight. So in turn, it was easy for me on my journey to healthiness, because he just jumped right along. Of course there were times where I thought I was gonna strangle him if he asked me if I wanted ice cream for the hundredth time!!! But we have both come to a place where we are ready to do some research and figure this stuff all out so we can help some other people who may be struggling too! And my kids are young, so it has been fairly easy to just incorporate healthier foods and activity as a part of our lives.
Do you find it hard to stay “on plan” or fit in exercise with all the duties of being wife and mother?
When I first started, I did have a hard time fitting in all that is required for weight loss. I had to go through the whole mental struggle of “I need to do this so I can be strong and healthy to take care of my family.” Once I found that I needed to do this to make a difference for my family, I have made it a priority to buy the nutritious food that is needed and making the time every day to get my exercise in.
What have been your hardest struggles, physically or mentally, while living a healthy life?
I think one of the hardest things to overcome for me is getting the mental image of the “fat girl” out of my head and realizing that I am worth taking care of both physically and mentally. It is ok for me to need some time to do this for myself. I struggle a little with “boredom” eating and am working on how to move that out of my life. And the final thing I struggled with was learning that the ways I perceived food and “how much” you should eat or “how little” or what to eat when, was very skewed and it has taken me some time to get those back into right perspective to make sure I maintain all that I have worked for.
If you could narrow it down to a few helpful hints to being healthy, what would you say?
I would say:
– Make the time to do this for yourself and your family
– Drink LOTS AND LOTS of water (I drink over 100 oz a day and I’m 5’0 feet tall)
– Eat every 4 hours so your body does not go into starvation mode.
– Keep your trigger foods OUT OF THE HOUSE!
– Keep some healthy snacks in your house for you and your kids.
– Make yours and your families lunches for work and school if possible.