Friday, October 28, 2011

my weight loss journey

so... this is going to be long winded. but i've actually wanted to put this on my blog for a while, and just haven't. as you can see, this blog (and my two others) have been completely neglected over the past few months. my sister has done way more posts than me. i'm vowing to change that.

some people don't know (unless you knew me in middle school) that i struggled with my weight all growing up. i wasn't way overweight necessarily. but i was more than chubby, not skinny, and was made fun of A LOT when i was little.

in high school, i started with tae bo. when i was about 14, my older sister (the other author of this blog) and i started doing tae bo after school sometimes. i don't remember when, but i started running a little bit on my parents treadmill not too long after that. i don't know where my motivation came from. but it was there and i sometimes used the treadmill. when i was around 16, i did the body for life program, and for the first time in my life, had some muscle tone. i lost some weight and looked better than i ever had. (still far from great shape). i also started eating healthier. i was raised on the standard american diet of meat, potatoes, cheese, chips, cookies, juice, creamy casseroles, etc. there wasn't a huge concern for health back then and eating well.

when i got to college, i pretty much had cut out all refined sugars and flours. i started running more and made it a daily habit. i would usually just run for 30 minutes or so every day. i was thin, but not toned or in great shape. i loved exercise and eating healthy and decided to get my bachelor's degree in health science, with an emphasis in health promotion and lifetime wellness. my goal was to become a personal trainer eventually. but getting married and having a family took priority and i never did it... until now.

when i got married at the ripe age of 19, i weighed about 115-120 lbs. (i'm 5' 1 1/2"). i got pregnant with our first baby 3 months after we got married (yes, i know. crazy :) ). i immediately (like, the day i found out i was pregnant), stopped running, too paranoid that i would hurt the baby. i started just walking. i walked every day for 30 minutes during my pregnancy. good, right? well, my eating went out the window. i had been so good to have no sugars, refined flours for the past few years. i used pregnancy as an excuse to eat ice cream when i wanted, snacked CONSTANTLY (afraid that i needed to eat more because i was pregnant... which i did, but i had no idea how much 300 calories actually was), and didn't stick to my healthy eating. 30-35 lbs later, (i am pretty sure my ending weight was 148 lbs), i had my first baby. i was swollen, chubby, broad shouldered, etc.

i went on a quest to lose that baby weight. i had vowed i was NEVER going to be "one of those moms" that never lost her baby weight in between babies and ended up 40 lbs heavier after 4 kids. no way. not me. boy, did i EAT MY WORDS. i spent 1 1/2-2 hours per day in the gym, 6 days per week. treadmill, elliptical. i even started using the weight machines in the gym. i did drop a few pounds (maybe 5). i tried doing the "sometimes" rule with treats. but i swear, there was always some occasion, church party, holiday, birthday party, something. ALWAYS! so i was stuck around 130 for a long time. i tried cutting out sugars (and failed miserably). i tried eating salads twice per day. i became highly frustrated and when my baby was 18 months, i got pregnant with baby #2, 10-15 lbs heavier than i was when i got pregnant with baby #1.

i decided during this pregnancy, i was NOT going to use it as an excuse to eat what i wanted. i was going to listen to my body, eat when i was hungry, stop when i was satisfied, and try to eat really healthy. i accomplished that goal, gaining only 16 lbs during my pregnancy (also ran until i was about 17 weeks pregnant) and even did some weight training (some bicep curls, squats, lunges, etc). my doctor was fine with the small weight gain since i already was overweight at the beginning of my pregnancy. i did cut out treats, sugars, and white flours for the most part during this pregnancy.

i had baby #2 and was on my same quest to lose this baby weight. this is when i met lindsay brin with moms into fitness. i won't bore you with the story, but i got a hold of lindsay's post natal bootcamp dvd. popped that baby in 3 days per week (dying, trying to do her 12 week program), and also ran 5 days per week for about 30 minutes with some friends. yes, i was exercising twice per day and EXHAUSTED! i did this all while breastfeeding. in fact, i breastfed my son until he was 13 months old. it took me 7 months, and i surpassed my wedding day weight, and got down to 106 lbs. i was beyond thrilled! i had muscles i had never had before. when i finished the 12 week program, i started mixing and matching the workouts on her dvd, still doing 3 intervals of cardio/toning and 2-3 core workouts on the dvd. i used heavier weights when i didn't feel as challenged. (i started with 5's and 8's, moved up to 5's and 10's, moved up again to 8's and 12's). when my son was just about a year old, i got pregnant with baby #3.

during my third pregnancy, i was determined to stay as fit as possible. lindsay was kind enough to send me her pregnancy dvd's. i did them throughout my 3rd pregnancy, ran until i was about 24 weeks along, and tried to eat really healthy. (although whole wheat bread with cinnamon sugar was about the only thing i could tolerate for the first 16 weeks). i did the best i could to listen to my body, eat when i was hungry and stop when i was satisfied, and eat the best food for the amount of calories. i gained about 25-27 lbs.

baby #3 was born and i was determined to do the same thing i did with baby #2, but FASTER this time! haha. did not happen. in fact, it was a month or two slower. why? i think i was too paranoid about losing weight, not eating enough to keep up my milk supply (which started drying up when my daughter was about 5 months old), and just plain being over-paranoid about losing weight while breastfeeding. my body hung onto it until i stopped breastfeeding because i wasn't eating enough for it to let go of the excess fat. it needed it to survive and help my body keep my milk supply up. so after baby #3, i ate very healthy (lots of fruits, vegetables, green smoothies (which are made from fruits and vegetables), whole grains, sprouted grains, very little meat (and when i did do meat, it was chicken or turkey), and very little dairy. it took about 7 or 8 months and i was back to 106 lbs. i did lindsay's bootcamps again, and her new dvd's that had come out. shed 5 fast, core metabolic jumpstart, her cfs method (which helped tremendously to heal my diastasis recti that i had for the 3rd time), both bootcamps, etc. she even wrote an outside workout for me when i plateau'd.

even though i had hit my pre-pregnancy weight, i still felt like i had a small layer of fat that i wanted to get rid of. i wasn't toned like i wanted to be. i consulted with lindsay about it and she suggested that i just might be too used to her dvd's and workouts. i had increased my weights up to 12's and 15's and still had stopped losing and seeing results after a few weeks. she suggested i change it up (which is when she wrote the outside workout for me). i saw some results for the first few weeks and quickly plateau'd again.

i had seen some p90x infomercials. it looked interesting and HARD! i decided to get it for my husband for a graduation present (he was just graduating from physical therapy school). i got it for him, but REALLY was planning on doing it also. :) i emailed lindsay and asked her what she thought of it. she said she had seen the infomercials and thought it looked GREAT and that she thought i would love it, since i like to push myself.

i did the 90 days of p90x. i didn't follow their diet guide, as i don't really do a lot of animal products and after one day of doing it, felt so sick and yucky. again, i emailed lindsay about it and she suggested i not do the diet guide. i even tried drinking some protein shake, but noticed i was gaining weight. lindsay suggested not doing that either. i just decided to eat how i normally do (pretty clean to begin with), and just do the workouts. i was AMAZED with my results. the layer of fat was gone, i was at 102 lbs, my abs looked like lindsay's, i felt amazing, had muscles showing that i didn't even know i had, etc. i was in shock because most of the program is weight training. it didn't get my heart rate up nearly as much as lindsay's videos or other cardio exercises, like running. not at all. but i was more than sore every day and in phenomenal shape when i finished the 90 days. i was stunned. i had always been a cardio girl. cardio, cardio, cardio was my middle name. and i had gotten into the best shape of my life, and the lowest weight i could ever remember being, by simply doing push ups, pulls ups, and weight training. (there is a little bit of cardio involved, but nothing like i was used to doing).

i started a second round of p90x just in time to find out i was pregnant with #4! holy smokes! i tried continuing the program but felt it wasn't a good idea while i was pregnant. it was working me way too hard and i was exhausted, trying to finish the workouts. so i went back to lindsay's bootcamps, other dvd's and running. when i felt like those became too strenuous, i decreased my weights. when that became too strenuous, i started doing her pregnancy dvd's (probably about 20-25 weeks). i ran until i was 30 weeks, and my varicose veins were just bugging me way too much. so i stopped and went just to her pregnancy dvd's. i also kept my eating as clean as possible. i gained about 27 lbs with pregnancy #4 also.

baby #4 arrived and again, i was determined to lose the weight faster. again, it did not happen. :) it took longer. some because i was too paranoid about eating while breastfeeding, when i should have just focused on eating healthy, but not focused on how much i was eating. i was basically eating perfectly and dieting... when i shouldn't have been dieting at all. my milk dried up again when my baby was 5 months. :( i had been doing lindsay's bootcamps again, her other dvd's, and her downloads had come out soon after i had the baby. so i started doing those also. i also started using the Insanity program from beach body for cardio. i basically did her dvd's and downloads and when my baby was around 6 months, started doing p90x again. it took me 9 months to get down to my pre-pregnancy weight of around 106 lbs but not to my "best weight" of 102. my baby just turned 11 months and i am sitting at around 103-104 lbs. i am on my second round of p90x. it has taken longer this time around because my "no treats" rule sort of went out the window. even though i still don't eat refined sugars, i still use natural sugars and was eating treats with natural sugars. my body just doesn't do sugar. when i'm eating it, i don't lose weight and can't be in my best shape. so recently, i've made the pledge again to cut it out for a few months.

so that's how i have done it. i've been sharing about lindsay's dvd's for years. when i finally found something that truly WORKED for me, i was elated to help other mom's around me that i knew were struggling with the very same thing!! i hated being overweight and not feeling good about myself. shopping was a nightmare and completely depressing. i avoided it. i avoided the camera (which is also why i don't have many "before" pics). i avoided being in a bathing suit. ever! getting my body into the best shape i've been in has been amazing and a huge accomplishment for me. i am all about sharing with others what works for me.

i have been helping friends and family members (most recently my mother, who has lost more than 20 lbs with my help) for YEARS with advice, tips, help about losing weight. i finally decided to order my personal training books (i've been wanting to do this since college) a few months ago and am currently studying to take my certification test. i have also been approached by friends and family members who have mentioned to me i should do some consulting of sorts on the side to make some extra money. so i am looking into doing something like that. it is something i am passionate about... helping others to achieve their goals, that took me years to achieve. i also recently signed up to be a beach body coach. so if you need or want any of their programs or want to know more about them, or order anything from beach body, i would love to help. as your coach, i can help give you advice, tips, and keep you motivated to reach your goals. i have always been doing these things with friends and family. now i'm ready to try to make a business out of it. email me at or you can message me on facebook as well. when i get my beach body website up and running, i'll also let you know.

this takes guts for me. but i'm posting my before and after pictures. :) the first picture is when my oldest was about 8 months old. the after pictures are from my first round of p90x, after baby #3 (2 1/2 years ago), and also just a few days ago, 11 months after baby #4. :)

so embarrassing. very few people have seen these. lindsay, my sister, and my husband
this is after my first round of p90x, about 18 months ago (after baby #3)
i actually weighed about 105 right here. this was a few weeks after i finished the program and hadn't been working quite as hard. 

a few photos taken just a few days ago, after a morning workout
weighing in at 103 lbs at 5' 1 1'2"
starting weight was about 130 (where i was stuck after baby #1 for 18 months)

so there you have it.
my plans for the future?
eating well.
finishing this round of p90x
p90x plus
p90x 2 (coming in december)
and lindsay's downloads in between