Mason turned 1 back in March. I usually stop breastfeeding after a year and as much as it pained me to quit that, I knew it was time to "get back to me". The saying is true "If momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." I found myself completely passed out on the couch every day napping after picking kids up from school. I had zero energy - not to mention kids waking me up in the middle of the night.
Mati Claire asked if I was having another baby, because I looked it. I didn't want to be "that mom". Yes I've had 4 kids, but I didn't want to look like I was pregnant all the time, right? I wasn't happy with the fact that I had to SEARCH my closet every day for something to fit (and be comfortable). Nothing fit and I was pushing my biggest size in my entire life (size 12 fit, but I was heading for a 14 on occasion). Everyone always told me, "yeah, but you're really tall so you can carry that..." What does height have to do with being happy and having confidence in what you look like?
I don't put alot of pressure on myself to look a certain way believe it or not. I will be the first person to NOT wear makeup (I usually wear it to church or if there is something I need to look "presentable" for but on a daily basis I do not wear it at all). I'm not one of those people who can't leave the house without makeup on (ahem, my sister ;))
BUT I do want to look my best. For me. For my hubby. For my kids. I wanted to have energy to keep up with 4 active kids. I wanted to be able to slide those perfect pair of jeans on and not have to suck it in to zip them up. I'm about to turn 40 soon, and I just didn't want to look and feel 40. My psoriatic arthritis already makes me feel old. Then I know SO many people who have cancer or awful diseases... and I just wanted to be able to tell my kids that I have done everything I could to be the healthiest I can be. Not that I couldn't die in a car wreck tomorrow...but health-wise, I'm giving it my best shot (and will continue to do so).
I'm not a Weight Watchers kind of person. Lean Cuisine meals LITERALLY make me vomit. I can't run much because of my arthritic knees. I'm not really into Crossfit or aerobic classes. I do love Pilates but wanted to do more than that (and Pilates is still a class thing that I can't commit to a certain day and time ALL the time). I knew I could lose weight on my own, but I really needed some strict guidance. My friend, Kristen Stanley, told me about TeamFit. You can click on the link, but they give you the menu (day-to-day down to every last macro), they give you the workouts, they give you the modifications or substitutions if needed, they give you the moral support, they give you the answers to ALL of your questions, and they motivate you. I use Advocare supplements, but you can use anything from Walmart or GNC that is comparable. TeamFit teaches you how to get fit! Not just skinny. But muscles (muscles are in by the way). And if you saw Kristen's abs, you'd probably jump on whatever bandwagon she was on too ;)
The first month, I actually GAINED weight!!!! I was so discouraged. I wanted to quit because that couldn't be right, right? All the other ladies that were doing the EXACT same thing as me were dropping like 10 lbs in the first 2 weeks----and here I was gaining it yet doing everything I was supposed to be doing. Frustrated doesn't even begin to describe how I felt. I quickly learned that everyone is different! Everyone responds differently. I learned to ignore the scales. I FELT better even though I had gained weight. After the first 4-6 weeks, I noticed I lost a pound. Granted I had to lose the 7 lbs I had gained in that first month, so I was still not happy. T.I.M.E. Kristen is the best coach ever, because she put up with my incessant texts about "WHY is this not working for me?" and her answer was always "give it more time." I wanted the magic pill that makes it disappear in a week. My husband told me one morning "When was the last time you worked out? 18 months ago. When was the last time you ate right? 18 months ago. And you want it to disappear in 2 weeks???" So I decided right then that I had to accept the time frame challenge.
Over time, I lost about a pound a week. Very stead that one. So over 5 months and about 25-30 lb weight loss, I averaged 5-6 lbs a month. Doesn't seem like alot...until you look at the big picture. 30 lbs is ALOT! took me longer than I liked, but I did it. Some weeks were WAY better than others. I took a week "off" for vacation at the beach in between rounds (I did 2 rounds of 10-12 week plans). And I only cheated big on 2 weekends (4th of July BBQ weekend and my daughter's birthday weekend full of lots of cakes!)
The food? Wow. Its insane. Its intense. No, i can't honestly say its fun. I can say its interesting because you'll eat things you never really thought you would. You get bored. Heck yes, I wanted my Mexican, my Chic-Fil-A, my Shipleys donuts, my cupcakes! But my motto was always "Eat to Live not Live to Eat." Food is meant to fuel your body. You will absolutely NOT go hungry or starve on this plan. If anything, you'll get tired of eating 6 meals a day and struggle to get it all in most days. It took ALOT of planning, preparing in advance, eating cold things in the car, and learning how to be on-the-go mom (how do you eat out at restaurants, etc). Eating asparagus at the ball fields and getting plenty of stares from people wasn't my idea of a good time... but I had goals. I had to get over those stares and ignore them. I had to find every ounce of will power I had most days (ESPECIALLY when Aunt Flo comes to visit once a month). I also learned to not feel insanely guilty -- yes, you are allowed to enjoy life as well. I thoroughly enjoyed a slice of pizza on the weekend. Or a piece of my daughter's birthday cakes. Or my chocolate-covered strawberry and cake yesterday after the photo shoot. Its ok, as long as its not an ALL day thing. I learned moderation.
I learned balance. At one point there was a pushup challenge they posted for members. I was up to 80 pushups a day, and my arms were getting HUGE. I didn't like where they were headed. I don't want to look like a body-builder. I wanted leaner muscles. Yet still defined. And realized I was focusing on my strength training and not my cardio. I needed to balance that more. So I actually have had to back off the strength some and use what little time I have to incorporate more cardio. Fine line when you're a busy mom and only have 1 1/2 hours to try to get both in. But still working on balancing the workouts to where I'm happy with the results.
My goals? Met them. Crushed them. Passed them.
- Fit into my size 10 jeans/clothes
- Surprised to fit into my size 8's
- Even fit into a few size 6 dresses now
- Everything in my closet fits now
- Energy to keep up with my 4 kids
- 30 lb. weight loss
- Increased self confidence
- Increased overall well-being; feel better and healthier
- Ability to workout with severe joint pain
- Be a good role model for my kids
5 months to the day! 3/27/16 - 8/27/16. So here are my before and after pics. I had my ending photo shoot yesterday that was alot of fun! When was the last time I had someone do my hair and makeup for me? Um....12 years ago for my wedding and even then I did my own makeup! So that was a first for me! I can't wait to see the final pictures. I can't thank Kristen Stanley enough for coaching and helping me along the way. She is so busy with her life, yet she still finds time to help others. She made a difficult task FUN and interesting! She took a few pics with her phone yesterday - so this is just a sneak peak.
Even though I've reached my goal weight and I am extremely happy with where I am now, its up to me to maintain it. Keep it where it is. Fine tune it. Work on the muscle gain still. I still have a few trouble zones that I'm working on (obviously). But I'm also my own worst critic.
Am I done? Never. :)