Fitness is A Lifestyle

I was never an athlete.  Growing up I wasn’t allowed to play any types of sports and be involved in group activities.  So like all young kids I was pretty active on my own and would ride my bike and play outside with my neighbor.  Sometime around 6th grade or so, probably when my “womanhood” showed up & my neighbor friend moved away, I started being more sedentary.

Chubby

Looking as if my fate is as an obese church kid with bad clothing.

Sometime in 1999, between getting dumped in high school and watching a lot of Oprah, I decided to start exercising.  I would run in place behind a chair while I watched T.V. and do leg exercises.  At 15, this was the best shape I had ever been in, which isn’t saying much.

Me_2000

Me at 16 with my boyfriend.

I stayed what would be described as “skinny fat” (which is skinny with no real muscle) for several years.  Then in 2002 I got married.  My new husband and I would buy 5 gallon buckets of chocolate ice cream and eat steak.  Not to mention that I was fresh out of high school and didn’t work at first, so I was sitting most of the day.  Six months after we got married I had gained at least 15 pounds.

A few years later, in 2005 I had my first child.  Towards the end of my pregnancy I started to get really fat swollen feet.  I was retaining tons of fluid.  At my final doctor’s appointment I weighed in at over 200 pounds!  It was shocking to weigh so much, and even more shocking the first time I tried to wear normal clothes a week later.  I was so let down to be so big and hoped that I wouldn’t stay that way.

A year and a half later, in 2006 I had another baby.  I didn’t weigh as much at the end but when it was all over my weight only dropped down to 155 pounds and then wouldn’t budge.  After baby #2 I had an IUD put in.  After almost a year and a half of being unable to loose weight, feeling extremely lethargic, and having what felt like panic attacks while out shopping with kids I started to do some research.  I found that the particular IUD that I had, had message boards filled with women with the same symptoms.  I promptly made an appointment and had it removed.  After that I decided to go without any type of birth control to get my body back to normal.  My weight finally went below 155 pounds.  A few months after having the IUD removed I found out I was pregnant, surprise!

In 2009, I had my final baby.  I remember weighing 175-180 pounds before he was born.  The lowest my weight would ever drop was down to 155-160 pounds, which would fluctuate.  At times I would get it down to the lower 150’s.

I tried everything to loose weight.  We had a treadmill and even a gym membership.  In October 2010 I ran a 10K and finished in 1 hour and 18 minutes.  Running was not something that even remotely interested me.

I can remember times going outside with my kids and being so tired I didn’t want to move.  Also, every time I had to get dressed was nothing but depressing.  Clothes never fit well and I was stuck wearing baggy shirts and wide leg jeans to try and hide my problem areas.  In 2011 I decided that I was tired of having spent my entire 20’s so far being overweight and started using the Insanity workout program.  With Insanity I started to loose inches first and then weight.  I had the most results I had seen in years!  I didn’t actually finish the Insanity program.  With a few weeks left our house sold and we moved in with family.  I had packed Insanity away while packing and it was locked in a storage shed. 😦

A few months later some unwanted stress allowed me to loose 15-20 pounds in a short amount of time.  I was finally rid of the baby weight!  At this point the lowest my weight went was 124 pounds.  Looking back though (pictures help) I was still skinny fat.  Just a small blob of skin with no muscle tone whatsoever.  I kept my weight loss off until summer 2012 when it slowly started creeping back on.  My diet was horrible and even though I was fairly active I wasn’t exercising.

Knowing I never wanted to go back up and see 160 pounds on the scale EVER AGAIN I started going to the gym.  It helped that there is a 24/7 gym across the street from where I live and so when the two big kids were in school, Oliver and I would head over.  Unfortunately between September and January I just couldn’t stay consistent.  I was seeing really good results such as my arm toning up and feeling stronger, but my motivation kept disappearing.  During this time I would obsessively use the arc trainer, but was also getting highly interested in weight lifting.

October 2012

October 2012

We decided to cancel our gym membership and workout at home.  We got all the necessary equipment and I started to get more and more interested in weight lifting.  I just had no clue about any of it.  I had always heard that muscle burns fat, but there was just so much conflicting weight loss information out there, with a million diet books that it’s hard to know what to do.

One day I was looking up creatine on Google and came across an article by Michele Berger.  She looked amazing and she had 4 kids, with one set of twins!  I promptly went to her website and found that she had written a book for women called ‘Hormonal Timing’.   I had to have it!  I suddenly felt more motivated than ever to get into shape.

Since February 3 of this year I have been consistently weight lifting and eating healthy.  Michele’s book helped me to stay motivated during that horrible time of the month when every time before I wanted to give up.  I’ve been getting increasingly stronger and can see where I am toning up!  I started doing squats at the gym.  At first just the smith machine bar with 10 pounds on each side was hard.  Now I can squat 90 pounds with free weights and no smith machine.  When I started doing straight leg deadlifts I started out with 50 pounds and my max is now 105 pounds!  My upper body seems to be taking longer for me to keep adding weight but I see tone and know I am making progress.

Photo Feb 28, 11 44 20 PM

(Pictured Left) Me and Oliver on his 1st birthday. I probably weighed 155-160 pounds. (Pictured Right) Me February 28, 2013. I’ve lost 25 pounds and I’m toning up!

March_2010_Before_Front_JArm

My flabby arm 6 months after having baby #3.

Photo Feb 15, 12 12 06 AM

My more toned arm, last week 🙂

I remember when I used to just want to sit because I was so fat, and tired all the time.  My energy level is so high now and I want to get up and move around!  Fitness is a lifestyle and I had to make the decision to make it mine.  All the small things add up! 😉

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