I am a mother and as all mothers know, carrying that baby weight and then trying to get rid of said baby weight, is a very hard thing to do, especially if you gained a ton of that weight during pregnancy. My child is now 10 and I'm finally comfortable with my body. Yes, it took me about 6 or 7 years to lose the extra pounds, but I did it and I want to share my journey with anyone who has struggled to get to that happy place. It's hard. Believe me, I know. I loved my sweets, I smoked occasionally, and I was a sucker for diet soda. We also ate out a lot as a family and late night eating was a regular habit of mine. Unhealthy indeed.
So, you ask me, what changed my mind into becoming more healthy? To be honest, I don't know if there was one significant source that got me motivated except for the fact that I simply wasn't comfortable in my own skin. I hated the way I looked in clothes and pictures do not lie, my friends. I was a chubster and I had to do something about it, clearly. I am not one to take the fast approach to weight loss, although I did want to see results as soon as possible, but pills are not my thing. Never have been. Well, I shouldn't say never. There was a time my husband and I tried an off brand of some diet drug that just made us incredibly moody and tired. Those were not fun times. Then, we tried the Atkins diet. What a joke. Same effect as the pills. It was the worst! We realized that diet and exercise were the only way to go and that's exactly how it started.
I hate to sweat. Always have always will, so I took up pilates. Denise Austin Pilates to be exact. It was nice to get moving and there was very little sweating going on so I thought I found what my body needed. I anticipated a long and lean body, just like the video stated on the back. As we all know, you can't get lean without some cardio. Ugh, dreaded sweaty movements that were beyond keeping me motivated. We bought a treadmill. I thought,"Yay, I can watch tv and walk to my heart's content." It was a start. I'd walk on certain days and then do pilates on other days. I was measuring my body and I did begin to notice inches being lost. I was a lazy exerciser. I wanted the easiest possible solution to moving my body and walking and pilates were just that. I did graduate to a few other dvds that consisted of dancing or strength training but I became bored and started doing my own workouts I'd put together from what I had already learned. Hey, it was something, right? I will say that during this time I don't believe my eating ever got any healthier. We were still eating out a lot and I was still drinking soda and eating sweets. If I had known then what I know now, my journey wouldn't have taken so long to get where I needed to be.
I work in a bookstore and I just so happened to stumble upon a book called 'You're Not Sick You're Thirsty' by F. Batmanghelidj. Basically it states how most of our ailments are a direct result of being dehydrated and by drinking enough water you could cure most of what is making us ill. I told my husband about it and we decided to invest in a Culligan water dispenser so we could get our recommended daily water intake. That was probably the best move we could've made to jump start our healthy lifestyles. I noticed so many things that I was dealing with cleared up and never came back. We got sick less often and when we were sick it didn't last as long as it did beforehand. Now our bodies tell us when we need water instead of just waiting until we're thirsty to wet our whistles. We started with drinking half our body weight in ounces of water daily and now I'm drinking at least my entire body weight in ounces every day. I don't get tired during the day and I just feel good from morning to night.
I think also around that time I did finally give up drinking soda. I do love my coffee and I was drinking maybe 2 cups a day plus whatever tea I'd consume. I still had a lot of caffeine going on in my body. Once the water intake got my body used to what it should have daily, that's when I realized I didn't need the extra drinks during the day. Now I drink 1 cup of coffee in the morning, mostly because I love the taste and it's my morning ritual to drink a cup before getting ready for the day, but I also switched to decaf tea and have a green tea every night a few hours before bed. I'll drink more once the weather is colder or if I'm starting to feel a cold coming on. Other than that I have 4 oz of oj every other day and everything else I consume is pure water.
Ok, got off track a little there. Water is important. We now know this to be true. I also gave up red meat and most pork, but we were still pretty much eating the same of everything else. Fast forward a bit because, let's be honest, I was making baby steps and really getting nowhere. Facebook came into my life shortly after I got my first blackberry. Oh technology how I love you. I reconnected with a lot of my old friends. One being a very close friend from middle school who was also on the path to becoming healthy and losing weight. She introduced me to Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred and we started food logging publicly on Facebook so we could hold each other accountable for our motivation or lack there of. This is what really got me going. I started losing weight and noticing the things I had to change with my diet just by logging what I was consuming every day. The buddy system worked and I still use it to this day. I don't know how long it took for me to lose the weight I wanted to lose, but it seemed much faster than before. I was being motivated by the fact that someone else was exercising and I felt like I had to keep up. Plain and simple. I exercised about 4 or 5 days a week and started eating better. I cut out all white breads and pasta, no red meat or pork, I was down to my 1 cup of coffee and no more caffeine for the day, I was counting calories and I finally kicked that nasty smoking habit. I ate more fruits and veggies and started making healthier choices when we did eat out of the home. Then I learned about the dangers of high fructose corn syrup, again from Facebook and I cut that out of my diet completely. We started eating out only 1 day a week and it was to places I knew I could choose better foods for myself. I was healthier, happier, and I looked amazing in clothes again. I owe all of that to my dear friend for kicking me in the butt to get up and do something.
Today, I am still eating well, if not better than I was before. I am food logging with a friend who needs to stay motivated and exercise logging with another on Facebook. Right now I am pretty much off of sugar, or at least sweets. I watched a documentary that brainwashed me a little and messed up my eating habits and during that time I just stopped eating sugar and it's stuck with me. I've lost a few more pounds and I feel fantastic. I'm still working out at least 4 times a week, drinking my water, and eating better. Basically, diet and exercise is the only ticket to true weight loss success. Hopefully I've inspired some of you and if not, at least you know I'm human and I too have struggled down this long and winding road to becoming healthy.