One morning - a week or two ago - I was watching the Today Show while I was getting breakfast ready for the kids as I do every weekday morning. On that particular day Hoda Kotb was being interviewed and was disusing her battle with breast cancer. As I listened to her describe what she has been through, something hit a chord with me, and the things she said are things that I could apply to my own life.
First of all, let me say that I am not trying to compare weight loss to cancer. However, I feel we each have a story to tell and share. One that could bring understanding from some and encouragement to others. That is what I understood with Hoda.
She began to discuss that she had been very reluctant to share her battle with breast cancer in the public eye. Although she is on television everyday, she prefers to keep her private life private. But a chance encounter with a stranger on airplane convinced her to go public and share her story. The stranger on the airplane told her...“Don’t hog your journey.”
Hoda recalls, “When he said that, my eyes just opened wide. I knew right then and there, I told myself that when it’s time, I’m going to do it.”And for me and my weight loss journey, I feel like it's time.
It's certainly not that I haven't shared with you before about my struggles and occasional successes. Who could forget my somewhat pathetic post where I declared my failure during a weight loss competition? That was actually something very hard to admit.
Let's start at the beginning. When I was the most fit and most toned. And I'm supposed to mention...I am 5'9".
It was the summer of 1999. I had just finished my freshman year at SBU and just completed my first season of college softball. I was running, swimming, lifting weights, and even doing step aerobics. It was the "perfect" me:
That was me at 165 pounds. That is the weight I'd like to be.
A few years passed. I got married, graduated from college, got a job, and started being a grown up. I gained 20 pounds from about 2001 to 2003. At 185, I looked like this:
Then I had three babies between 2004 and 2008. Brace yourself...I'm still sharing real numbers. At the end of each of my pregnancies, I weighed in the 240's. This is me three days before I had Gabriel (my third). I think I might have been 237 at the last appointment before this picture:
Imagine my dismay when I only had babies that were between 8 and 9 pounds. I left the hospital only losing the weight of the baby, maybe a pound more.
There I was. A woman weighing around 230 pounds. In my mind (and probably in the mind of most people) a woman isn't supposed to weigh that. Ever. How could I have let it get that high? What was I supposed to do?
Nursing certainly helped. Within a month or two after having Sarah (my second) I lost 10 pounds or so - which is pretty good considering I wasn't even trying. But I really wanted to work at it, so in the spring of 2007, I cut my calories, drank tons of water, and lost 25 pounds to get down to 195. At that point, I looked like this:
And even though I had about 30 more to go, I became content with how I looked, and stopped working at it. Then came the day when I quit nursing Sarah. Did you know you can't eat as much when you quit nursing? Otherwise, you will gain weight? Yeah, I think I would have nursed her longer! Within two months, I gained 10 pounds! How frustrating.
Then another pregnancy put me back where I was before.
Last year on my 30th birthday, I weighed 215 pounds. As if turning 30 wasn't traumatic enough, I was at a weight I didn't want to be.
(By the way...it isn't really fun seeing pictures of myself next to skinny relatives.)
I told myself another year would NOT go by being that weight. In fact, that's when my friend Kim and I decided to start training for a 5K! We told each other we would begin in January, and we did!
But running didn't help me lose weight. I still had horrible eating habits, and I stayed at 215 through all of our training. I was 215 on my birthday, and I remained at 215 through June of the next year when we ran that 5K together.
And guess what...I quit running. Did you know that running must train your body to think it needs to run? After June, I gained 8 pounds from not running!
As for my current numbers...
Something clicked for me on September 1st. I'm not sure what it was. I stepped on the scale and saw 223. Really. 223. A friend of mine had just shared that she lost 40 pounds, and I was genuinely happy for her. I told her I was going to take her will power from her, and I think I must have meant it.
I've lost 18 pounds since September 1st, and I am now at 205.
I wanted to be 199 for my 31st birthday, but I think I'm going to fall a bit short of that goal. If I keep at my pace, however, I will be at 203, and that will be 20 pounds lost by my birthday. I think that's a great accomplishment.
The hard thing about being tall is that this kind of weight loss is just not noticeable. My mom is 5'4", and when she lost 20 pounds, it was VERY noticeable. Everyone knew. She ended up losing 30 all together, and it's just like a new woman!
For me, it's not going to be that way. When I lose 20, I still have almost 40 to go. And it's ok. I do notice that my jeans are falling off. That's enough proof for me.
So...big sigh...there's my journey. I doubt I will write much more about it until I get closer to my goal. I've been losing 2 pounds a week, and I think I figured I might be there by the end of February.