The day after I had given birth to my second daughter, I waddled my way over to the scale in the hallway of Kaiser Hospital. I stepped on and took a deep breath. 229 pounds. This was after I had given birth to an 8 pound baby. For months, my knees had hurt from all that weight being put on them. My heart sank throughout the pregnancy because I consistently made healthy choices with my diet. When I wasn’t throwing up or on bed rest, I did my best to exercise and stay active. And yet despite all of that, I somehow managed to pack on about 2.5 pounds a week for 38 weeks straight. Some weeks it was 5 pounds. Some weeks it was 2. But nevertheless, it was hard. I gained about 99 pounds from my starting weight all said and done. My first pregnancy I gained 70, and then lost all 70 in the following year. But this, this time….it seemed much harder. Much more of a daunting task.
We took our precious second daughter home. I gave myself 2 weeks to recover, and then I put some running shoes on. I walked out my front door, and slowly jogged the length of two houses. Then stopped. That’s all I could do. My knees hurt, my thighs rubbed together, and my heart physically couldn’t jog another step. I turned around and walked home. The next day, I jogged the length of those 2 houses plus an additional mailbox. Wow. Slow slow progress. I turned around and walked home. The next day, I jogged 3 houses. The next day, I actually made it past the 3rd house and across the street to the next block. I was absolutely determined not to stay 200+ pounds. I didn’t care what it took. But I knew I would do whatever it took. By 2 weeks, I was jogging 2 blocks and then walking back. By 4 weeks I was jogging 2 blocks and jogging back. And granted, our blocks were not that long haha. They were short. But little by little I built up my strength and endurance. After about a month of jogging the neighborhood I had lost about 20 pounds, and I went back to my local gym. I was still very large though. I had one pair of XL sweatpants that I bought during the pregnancy that I wore for months straight. I drove to the gym, sans makeup and vanity, about 4-5 times a week. And I only got on the scale about once a week. And slowly saw a drop in pounds, little by little.
All while exercising, I continued to make healthy food choices, in addition to my twice a day PureTrim protein shakes from Awareness Life, which I had for breakfast and dinner for a year straight. Well, no, more specifically I would have 2 shakes a day for about 20 days out of the month. Then I would re-order them, and take about a week off, and then start up again with them when they arrived the next month. For more on these incredible shakes, click here:
Here was my mantra the entire time: every little decision I make will add up to the big result that I want. Every time I said no to that brownie that I wanted, or lazy day in bed that I craved, added up to the results that I have now. So I thought in terms of both long and short-term. My long term was decided by my short term decisions. Every moment, every self-disciplined, self-controlled choice added up.
It was hard. No doubt about it. It was hard to say no to myself, and say yes to things I didn’t always want to do. During the winter, the last thing I wanted to do on a rainy, cold day was drag my butt to the gym and work out. Some nights, the last thing I wanted to do was make yet another shake, after I had just finished preparing a wonderful delicious meal for the rest of my family. Sometimes I even had to make my shake first before I started cooking for my family-that way I was already full and not as easily tempted to join in on the bread and cheese and wine, etc. And don’t get me wrong, there were some days I did. Absolutely. And if any of my friends know me, they know I love bread. Anything with bread: bagels, muffins, pb&j’s, Macaroni Grill’s oh so heavenly rosemary salt bread with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Oh. I love bread. And there were times when I indulged, and it actually helped my body recover from the workouts (side note: ironically, my body actually does pretty well consuming bread..almost like it needs it). Throughout the years I’ve noticed that my pounds add up when I’m indulging in the fats and sugars. But not everybody is that way. Every one’s body is different and responds differently to different food groups.
Nevertheless, there are things we have to deny ourselves for the goal.
Ya know, one thing that surprised me though was everyone’s reaction to how amazing and focused and determined I was. I never understood that. I always looked at it as this: I wanted to do this, and so I did. That’s it. Simple. If you want to lose weight and be healthy, you will find a way to do it. If it’s not something that is really important to you, you will keep making excuses. As with anything in life; fill in the blank (ex. I really want to know the word of God so I’m actually going to spend the time studying it, reading it, and memorizing it). It all comes down to priorities. I knew I didn’t want to be at an unhealthy weight the rest of my life. And then just practically speaking, I had a whole wardrobe of clothes just sitting in my closet that I couldn’t wear. So I literally wore out one pair of XL sweatpants, day in and day out, until I could finally utilize my wardrobe again-because I was not about to go out and buy a bunch of brand new XL clothes.
Bottom line: you can anything, if you really want to.