Turning 32 and Losing 35 Pounds

I've been meaning to write this post for quite some time, but it always got pushed to the back burner. I just celebrated my 32nd birthday a couple of weeks ago and decided as a birthday present to myself it's time to share my story.

There comes a time in a many people's lives when they look around and realize that they are not happy. To find fulfillment they might change jobs, move, buy a new wardrobe, or anything else that brings about some kind of excitement or change. My moment happened in June of 2011. I really looked at myself and my life, and I concluded that I was a very unhappy person. I wasn't happy with my attitude, my relationship with Brenn, my relationship with my friends, or my relationship with myself.

 
 July, 2010 (around 211 lbs.)

I have struggled with weight all my life. I wasn't one of those girls who was stick thin in high school and then put on the pounds as I got older. I fluctuated ALL THE TIME. As a result, my self esteem has always been a big fat ZERO. The closest I ever got to being at a healthy weight as an adult was right before I found out I was pregnant. Even after Brenn was born, I was able to keep the weight off for a little while, but it didn't take long for the pounds to start creeping up again. There were so many different issues going on with Brenn's dad leaving the picture and my decision to immediately get involved in another relationship. I was unhappy with myself and the way my life was turning out. I never once thought Brenn was a mistake, but I also never thought I would end up being a single mom.

Slowly, my weight began creeping up. I went from working in a factory to working at an office job, which is really when I gained most of my weight. It's funny, I didn't even seem to notice my weight gain until one day when I saw a recent picture of myself. My heart sank when I looked at that picture. It was like a mirror showing me how downhill my relationship had become with myself. I was around 211 pounds at that time. I was carrying a lot of weight on my 5' 2" frame. I tried the Atkins diet and some other diets, but I'm a person who doesn't consistently stick with anything.

However, the story takes a turn on that day in June when I finally came face to face with the unhappy person I had become...

I decided to start taking spin classes at the local recreation center. I was already paying a monthly membership anyway because of the last failed attempt at starting an exercise program. My first spin class was brutal. At the end, my legs felt like jello and I was absolutely exhausted. Two days after the class, I could barely walk. I called a friend (who is a nurse and an exercise instructor) and asked her if I should even go back for the next class. She advised me to go so I could work out the soreness in my legs. So, I went back a second time. The second class was a tad better. By the third class I had absolutely fallen in love with spin. It's still my favorite class. I stuck with just spin classes for about a year. I really didn't stick to a healthy eating plan during that year, so weight loss was very slow. I think I lost around 10 pounds.

April, 2011 (Around 200 lbs)

Also, at the beginning of 2011, my friend (the one I mentioned earlier) started a competition much like The Biggest Loser. I only halfheartedly participated in the group (I LOVE my fattening food) but the competition really lit a fire under some of my other friends. Even after the competition was over, they were still exercising and trying to eat healthy. They encouraged me to start taking other classes in addition to my spin classes. I took kickboxing,  Zumba, bootcamp, and a strength training/weight lifting class. They were using My Fitness Pal, so I joined and began using it also. I started paying more attention to my calories and really pumped up the exercising. The inches started melting off. I had the encouragement and motivation I needed.

 December 2011 (Around 196 lbs.)

That motivation has wavered off and on since I began this journey. There are days when I just want to eat like a pig. There are some days when I get on the scale and I just want to cry. Then, there are days when I stop and thank God for giving me the strength I need to continue on this journey. As of today, I'm down 35 pounds. I could have lost this weight quicker if I would have been more strict. However, I know who I am and what I'm capable of. I'm all gung-ho in the beginning and then lose steam. I'm taking a slow and steady pace and I know if I keep going at this pace I will reach the prize.

July 2012 (Around 176 lbs.)

I have 46 more pounds to lose in order to reach the goal I've set more myself. That seems like so much, but in the scheme of things it's really not. I have learned so much about myself and how much I can push my body to the limits. I'm more outgoing and willing to put myself out there. I've gone on more dates this past year than I have in a long time. I am becoming the person I so longed to be; the person I have never given myself the opportunity to become because I've struggled with this for so long.

I understand the struggle that so many of you deal with. My heart aches for those who can't seem to break the cycle. This journey is not just about losing weight, not for me anyway. This journey is about becoming healthier for myself and for my son. This journey is about loving myself enough to take the time to care for my body emotional, mentally, and physically.

I hope you will begin to love yourself enough to stop hurting your body. Stop trying the "get thin quick" diets. Getting healthy means eating better and exercising. There is no magic pill.