This is a post that's very personal and honestly, I would normally be WAY too embarrassed to post this but I feel like there are probably a lot of people that "get this" and I also think maybe this will give me the accountability I need. (I'm going to be REAL embarrassed if I write about this and then never do anything about it).
I'm 41 and I have struggled with my weight more than half of my life.
It all started in college. I lived in the dorm and can sum it up in three words: "ice cream machine". Or two other words: "Taco Bell". I put the Freshman 15 on and then lost and found it several times over those four years.
In my early 20's, I was in the best shape I've ever been in but I also had no family and no life. I worked every day and then went to the gym where I would work out for 2-3 hours. I took classes, lifted weights and ran 5K's. (Which aren't all that impressive but for me - it's big). I would have probably told you at the time that I was fat but now I look back and would give anything to have those muscular arms and thin legs back.
My lowest weight besides high school was on my wedding day almost 13 years ago. I weighed 45 pounds less than I do now. In the early years of our marriage, Scott and I liked to work out together so we would go the gym at 5 every morning before work and then just get ready there and go on to our day.
My 30's came and I went on fertility meds for a few years which can cause weight gain (and did). Then, I gained 35 pounds with my pregnancy with Harper. And I lost most of it. But not all.
I only gained 20 pounds with Hollis but really didn't lose it. It was hard to find time to exercise or even eat right with two toddlers. And I found myself gaining weight. It didn't help that I was pushing 40 and my metabolism basically had bit the dust.
Last year, I started going regularly to a gym and I was working out hard. (for me). But I wasn't losing like I had hoped. I knew I had to change my diet. So I did. I went on a strict diet and started to see results. I lost about 13 pounds.
And then I found out I was pregnant.
I gained 35 pounds this pregnancy. But this was different. It spread out all over me. I was so grateful to be pregnant and thrilled for the baby but I hated the way I looked. I reached a number on the scale I NEVER thought I would hit. I could barely fit in even big maternity clothes. My friends were all running half marathons and I could barely walk across a room.
I haven't felt like "myself" in years. I know I'm older and I'm not going to look like a 20 year old again. And I'm okay with that. I don't have any desire to be in a bikini again. I have wrinkles and crows feet and gravity has set in in many areas. I just want to feel good about myself and not hate trying on clothes because nothing fits or looks good. I barely recognize myself when I look in a mirror. I want to feel healthy and strong. I'm going to be nearly 60 when Will Holden graduates from high school and I don't want him to feel like he has an OLD mother. I want to be in better shape - for myself. I'm embarrassed by how I look. I hate going to stores because I feel like people are judging me. Weight is such a difficult and personal thing.
I just hit the 6 week mark after having Will Holden so I'm starting slowly to exercise. My gym membership expired during my pregnancy (which I was either too sick or exhausted or in pain to exercise) (excuses excuses) and then the gym went bankrupt so I need to join a new one. And I'm working on making diet changes.
It will probably take time because I just want to do this the old fashioned way - diet and exercise - but I thought I would blog about my journey now and then. (I'm not selling anything. ha! Just humbling myself to make me stay on course). Hopefully at some point I will get where I feel better and can wear my old jeans without having a muffin top and can feel healthy.
I'm middle aged but I don't just have to roll over and give up! It's hard to find time to exercise when you have small children and it's eating healthy takes more thought and pre-planning but it's doable!
I just want to encourage any other women out there in my shoes that we can do this! :-)
I'm going to take pictures to document my journey. So here are my before and afters so far. Now I realize this is completely unfair since my before is a picture of me nine months pregnant but since this was the biggest I have ever been and I wanted to go down from there - that's where I'm starting. And I'm completely mortified by these pictures but hopefully in several months I will have pictures that make the journey worth it. And I'm sharing my weight even though 20 year old Kelly wants to die right now but I just want to be honest. (And no comments that say "You look great". Because that's not what this is about - it's about wanting to feel good in my own skin. )
My goal is to get back to my wedding day weight and then to just maintain and be active and healthy.
Anyone else fighting the same struggle?