Monday, June 08, 2015

Taking a Load off

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.

But then......

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?

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