My Weightloss Story

My Weightloss Story

I sit here wondering how I can possibly go about sharing this story. What has been much more of a life story. I wish I had journaled every piece of thoughts I had along the way, instead I am in a place of reflection, combined with determination, goals, and lessons learned.

So here goes...

To say I struggled my entire life with weight would be rather untrue. I struggled with unhealthy habits, and most likely, a food addiction. As a kid I wasn't thin, nor was I overweight. Just kind of comfortably in the middle. Just enough to rock my self esteem, not quite enough to be seen as a problem.

I sprouted fast. By grade 6 I was nearly my full adult height, and a C cup bra size. I still remember my sister cursing me for that one. I was never comfortable in my skin. But truthfully, is anyone during their early teen years? It's all rather uncomfortable.

In highschool I was a size 14. I went with the tomboy look and resigned to jeans and baggy sweaters and tshirts for the most part. I had my girly moments, but wet hair in a bun and some hemp necklaces was the extent of my style, and the occasional DIY box hair dye, just to mix things up a little.

I remember a couple diets as a teenager. One where I actually managed to get myself down to a size 12 and forever kept the pair of jeans from that summer as what my adult life would know as my skinny jeans (this being before actual skinny jeans were a thing). That diet didn't last, and neither did my days in the beloved size 12s. Soon enough, I was back to 14s...and up.

My food addiction was taking over. Not in big bold ways, but just enough that breads and butters were my go to, and those were good times. I don't remember ever looking at food labels or considering them at all important. Food was food. It's not like I was eating 6 Big Macs a day. Just maybe one, and a milkshake ;)

I remember being very tired. All. The. Time.

I was married at 19, around 190lbs, size 14/16 and I was good with that. I had faced the facts that "hey! you're not a thin girl, you're not a fat girl either, you're just kind of an inbetween". Onto another box of Kraft Dinner, white cheddar, sprinkled with pepper. 




By the end of my first year of marriage I was up to 209lbs. Along with an office coworker I joined weight watchers. Not financially fun when you're really tight on cash, but it worked. I was excited at losing weight, and lost around 25lbs! wooooo! Got myself down to 185lbs and felt...amazing. 
There was a small problem though. Weight watchers taught me to count points. I was reading labels, but I wasn't actually learning anything more than their point value. I was eating zero calorie cool whip and sugar free jello on the regular. I had traded one poison for another. But it was working, so I didn't bat an eye.

Then I got pregnant with my first child. 


Enter: THROW ALL FOOD RULES OUT THE WINDOW, I'M PREGNANT! 

The ultimate excuse!


To be fair, I didn't really have cravings, more just aversions and I didn't gain overall. Until I began breastfeeding. I was so hungry I could barely contain myself from eating everything I had 30 seconds to make. It was survival mode, and food addiction all at once. I actually left my newborn with my sister to babysit for the first time to get Taco Bell drive thru. Talk about priorities.

I got up to 205lbs.

Then I got pregnant with my second child.

After delivery and a year of breastfeeding, I was now up to 215lbs.

Then I got pregnant with my 3rd.



After delivery and a year of breastfeeding I was up to 225lbs.
See the pattern yet?

I weighed my highest. 225lbs. I was now in yoga pants, and when I did squeeze into jeans, they were a size 18. I mean, no BIG deal really, I was 190 when I got married, had three babies and only up 35lbs? Ive heard of much worse, so obviously I was ok...I thought). We were living away from family at the time, and often it was survivalist motherhood mode, with massive bowls of cereal, leftover pasta, and cans of pringles as regular food choices.



When we moved back to my hometown, my weight? it bothered me more than usual. I had lost my anonymity of living in a far away city and knowing no one, now I could run into highschool friends, and more...I was feeling uncomfortable. I didn't like it. This was a fresh start. I didn't want to be struggling. This feeling sat with me for those first few weeks. 
This was my first lightbulb moment.

One afternoon I had the kids out in the new house's pool and watched them swim away in the scorching heat and wanted to join them. Then I looked around and realized neighbors would be able to see me in my swimsuit if I did this. In this moment I had my second lightbulb go off. I was missing out on memories with my children. This was no longer a normal self esteem issue. I was now becoming inactive in their lives, because of my weight.

Then the day. The big day that changed it all. 
The third lightbulb. 
A photo was posted of me on Facebook. 
It was the biggest wakeup call of my life. 
....and I quickly untagged myself from this photo....



I had had enough.

I didn't want to run into friends, I was missing out on my kids childhood, and now I couldn't even handle the reality of my own image.

Now, before we go any further. I realize that theres an underlying message about self love here. One that could be told about loving your body and your shapes and curves. A message I am all about. But the deeper issue here was an unhealthy realtionship with food and exercise that was crushing my spirit and causing me to disengage from LIFE.

I was tired. I was worn down. I was ashamed. I was not nourishing the one body I had to live in, for ALL OF TIME. 


So what happened next? 
I just started.

Actually, that simply. 
I
JUST
STARTED

I started counting calories and tracking my intake. I slowly began educating myself on nutrition and clean eating (basically cutting out processed foods and doing my best to feed my body foods not filled with preservatives and "fake" things - ie: butter over margerine). 

I began to run. 
I decided that 5 nights a week I would run for 1 mile. 

That first mile near killed me. It took me about 20 mins and I was sweating from head to toe. I thought I might puke.

WHAT HAVE I GOTTEN MYSELF INTO?
Was basically my thought.

BUT, it felt...good? I no longer could be upset and angry with my body as it was, because I was actively doing something to change it.

I kept going, I kept educating myself. Long behold, the weight started coming off. Rather rapidly, but at a steady pace of 1-3lbs a week. 
Not only that, but my run time was increasing incredibly. By the end of the second week, I was down to 12 mins for a mile. 

To be honest, this was truly the first time I had combined diet AND exercise as a means to lose weight. It's like my entire life I had been hoping to cheat the system and just do one or the other. Exercise and eat whatever I want, or not be active at all and starve myself of calories.

This brought me balance. Diet AND exercise. WHO KNEW, RIGHT? 

The exercise portion (although extremely uneducated in it) seemed straightforward enough by simply running 5x a week. I really didn't even own workout clothes and often ran in leggings and a regular bra and tshirt.

I found motivational people online, which helped me find my dear friend Briana (www.bikinibodymommy.com) and her story inspired me, too. She had amazing home workouts and I even involved my kids. They now love being a part of my exercise, and I'm so proud that they're seeing it as a priority for me to workout daily, I want to be that example.



The food side of things was difficult. I kept overeating and then being left hungry at the end of the day. I started having to struggle through hunger pangs, and eating pickles to fill me. This wasn't starvation, this was learning a lesson in proper intake.  It wasn't until I stopped trying to fit my old diet into my new portions that I saw this turn around. 
It was daunting at first, but truly got exciting to learn about foods and proteins and see how food could be in good relationship with my body and FUEL it as opposed to just fill it. 

Hopefully throughout this blog I can continue to share where workouts adjusted, where food changes became a way of life.

But this was my story. The beginning at least. 
Nothing extrodinary, except that I found success in something quite unextrodinatry. 
I found my body. The one I was meant to have. The one I now cherish. The one I now fuel, maintain and love. 

This isn't a story of just weightloss.
This is a story of transformation of the mind, body and soul. 
One cannot be without the other.





30 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing this! I hope that I too can get to the body I know I have inside. Your story is very inspiring. In looking forward to hearing more. I struggle with food addiction too. I'm happy to see someone who is like Me and who has made a change and it has worked. I am tired of struggling. I want this to be the year that I can start feeling good about myself again.

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  2. Wow! I am so thankful to have stumbled across your Instagram and blog today! What a wonderful testimony to inspire my New Year! I do not have much weight to shed based on number of pounds, but I am petite and any extra weight makes me feel so puffy and tired. I have a mild struggle with PCOS and the hormonal roller coaster is tiring. Thank you for sharing your struggle AND your joy! This South GA girl appreciates it more than you know!

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  3. You are such an inspiration! Thank you so much for starting this blog. I cannot wait to read what you have to share :) I find myself struggling with the same things you did before you started your journey and I'm hoping to get back on track to be a better mom, wife, and just a better ME. Thank you!

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  4. How long did it take you to get to your ideal weight? I had been doing a lot of good changes but I need to cut my calories(it seems like it now). I am also planning on adding the running part in addition of doing my crossfit wods and hot yoga. My goal is to continue living a healthy life but this time, I need to cut my calories to lose weight a bit faster. What is your advice? what website did you follow for food ideas. I also eat clean but had cheated in December.

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  5. I love this...your story is very similar to mine as well. You are my inspiration!

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  6. Thank you for telling your story! Truly inspirational!!

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  7. I found you several months ago through BBM and I loved your story and have followed you on IG ever since. It's crazy to me because yours is almost exactly my story! Even down to the numbers. It's almost scary how similar we are. I think I saw your height once and we are the same height (5'8"?). I was 180-185 in high school, 175-180 at marriage, gained weight my first summer of marriage to be at 190, 200 after my first baby and 210 after the second. I accepted that I was just the big boned girl who would never be thin but you! You are me! You inspire me and I have a new found hope that I could be thin. I used to have a goal to get to my thinnest at 175 because I could probably never be smaller than that, but I now believe I can reach beyond that. The last few months have been exploring my food addiction, my attitude, and figuring out what needs to be done. I know I need to work on nutrition, that is my biggest issue. I like working out and have several programs I love (like BBM!). So, could you address nutrition on your blog? I need help. The diets out on the Internet and in bookstores are endless and it's confusing to me. I just want a diet I can live with and be happy on that's not complicated and that my family can participate in. But I have to end and say thank you! Your story is so inspirational. Congratulations on what you have done so far. I look forward to continuing to follow your story. I'm so excited to have a blog now! (You have previously been one of my favorite people on IG--beating out many of my friends I actually know personally ha ha. Another scary similarity: me and my family have a similar Star Wars obsession. I really feel like you are my long lost twin!) Anyways. You're awesome. Excuse my fangirling. I just wish we could be friend IRL. Thank you for your story!

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  8. Sarah you're such an inspiration!!! Your story is amazing, I would like to say so many things but my english is basic. I can't wait to read more about you and your journey! I hope to follow your steps. You need to know you now have a new fan from Venezuela God bless you and your family!

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  9. Sarah you're such an inspiration!!! Your story is amazing, I would like to say so many things but my english is basic. I can't wait to read more about you and your journey! I hope to follow your steps. You need to know you now have a new fan from Venezuela God bless you and your family!

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  10. Love this story Sarah! I too, started following you on IG because of BBM ab series. My daughter soooo wanted an IG account, but I resisted the technoloy until I wanted to follow you...well and Briana of BBM! You are inspirational, and such a sweet genuine deal! Blessings to you, thank you for your honesty!

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  11. Thank you so much for sharing. I cannot believe how many things you've spoken about in your blog that I can completely relate to. I have been very overweight most of my adult life. I do not believe in fad diets but I have attempted many different ways to drop the weight and I've never been successful until now. It wasn't until I finally made the connection that I need to fuel my body, really change my bad habits and that I need to stop hating my body, that things are finally falling into place for me. It's amazing how I can finally feel in control with food instead of feeling like its controlling me. Reading your blog had touched me and I feel like for the first time, I can really relate to someone else who has struggled in a similar way that I have. THANK YOU! Happy New Year and here's to an amazing 2016!

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  12. I completely relate to your story! So awesome!

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  13. I completely relate to your story! So awesome!

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  15. Your story is so beautiful! I relate in many ways although I don't have kids. Looking forward to reading your future blog posts!! :)

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  16. What a great journey searching for the ideal body ... but let me ask you what's the secret behind a skiny leg and flat stomach ?! How long it took from you ?! Causr I had a diet before with some workout but wasn't able to get fit as I want !

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  17. i love this! It was very inspiring. I am also struggling with weight which I have a huge love for food and absolutely no love for exercise. Like you at first when I exercise I feel like I'm going to puke and that causes me to not want to anymore at least for a while! After my first pregnancy where I gained almost 100lbs I did a protein/veggie diet where I lost 30lbs. After my second pregnancy I gave up on things and now weigh 150. I have tried a lot of things and it seems to not work. I even did intensity workouts for 90 days and lost maybe 5lbs while watching what I ate. It seems to have gotten harder and harder so I tend to give up and say fuck it and give up. We moved across country About a month ago and hoping that I can eventually find someone that can be a workout buddy that can keep me in line! Thank you for sharing your story I hope that I can be as successful as you.

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  18. This is one of my light bulbs. I'm missing out with my kids as well. Why is this so hard for me? Ugh! I love your story and it's great that you got healthy! You're gorgeous! Oh! And I'm located in Simcoe ON! ;)

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  19. Good running tights are just that... tight, yet they breathe to allow moisture to escape and keep your dry and cool. Now these mesh leggings do the trick, they keep tight for an entire workout and then some, from the workout to the car to the grocery.

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  20. I can relate to many parts of your story, or at least the beginning. I was heavy in my early 20s, then lost it. After that I started having babies- 3 in 4 years, I went from being right where I wanted to be to being my heaviest. I hate seeing people who knew me skinny, and I hate having my picture taken. I hope to be like you in the after pictures one day as well!

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  21. You are simply fantastic... so motivating... hats off... I am on it... I also felt that I was OK. I will now Fuel... maintain and love the one body I am supposed to have... thank you thank you thank you

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  23. I have a really similar story to you. Thank you for sharing. I'm up 35lbs too 3 pregnancies and 3 breastfed babies later. It's a hard place to be lately and I'm feeling a little stuck between starting and staying. I'm very inspired by your journey.

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  24. I have a really similar story to you. Thank you for sharing. I'm up 35lbs too 3 pregnancies and 3 breastfed babies later. It's a hard place to be lately and I'm feeling a little stuck between starting and staying. I'm very inspired by your journey.

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  25. "I didn't want to run into friends, I was missing out on my kids childhood, and now I couldn't even handle the reality of my own image." This quote, stopped me in my tracks. I feel exactly this everyday. I am so glad I ran into your blog because you've inspired me to start my own journey. Thank you.

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