Ok, so I told you that I was going to share the details about my recent weight loss. There's a lot of pictures so bare with me, but I truly feel the pictures really tell the true story.
I'll start with by saying that I have always been just an average size girl, never been real thin and until babies never been overweight. Here is me shortly after graduating high school, about 19 years old:
I was probably about a size 8 here. This about the time that I met my husband, we dated for just a few short months before we got engaged in Dec. 2005. We were married on Sept. 30, 2006. Here are some pictures from our honeymoon:
So crazy that I was just 21! Seems like I was still a baby now that I'm older. But God sure did have a plan for me to marry that man. I can definitely see God's hand in our lives, I can't wait to see what he has in store next!
Anyway, back to my weight. I have always enjoyed eating good food and exercising. I maintained this weight for a while.
I got pregnant with our first son in Nov. 2007. I had an average preganancy, gaining 40 lbs, and that's what my doctor recommended me gaining. I admit though, I went crazy with the food: sugary cereal (with whole milk), brownies, lasagna, really anything with lots of carbs and lots of sugar. I would occasionally walk our neighborhood or on the treadmill but that was about it.
Here's me towards the end of my pregnancy at my showers:
After giving birth to a 9 lb. 13 oz. healthy baby boy (and HUGE!!) I slowly started trying to lose weight. I had lost about 20 lbs after giving birth but the other 20 lbs were just being really stubborn! I starting going back to the gym a few times a week. I still didn't have my eating right though. Which makes a huge difference when you are trying to actually LOSE weight.
Here I am on Mother's Day '09. My baby boy was about 9 months at the time. Still have those 20 lbs!!
Right after this weekend I found out that I once again pregnant!!
I was kind of freaking out. We had just got our baby boy #1 to where he was sleeping through the night and he wasn't so colic-y all the time. I was really enjoying this stage of his first year. I couldn't imagine having to go through that all over again but I was just going to trust in the Lord to give me the strength. I may of not have known what I was doing as a parent but God sure did know what he was doing!
Here is me pregnant with baby boy # 2:
This was only a month before he was born but goodness, I had gained a lot of weight. On top of what was already there it just really added up. A month later we arrived for our scheduled c-section and the nurse asked my weight while I was standing in front of my husband. I told her 220 lbs. You should've seen my husbands eyes!! Which was more than what he weighed at the time.
So, little baby boy was born. This was 2010. It took a while to get adjusted to having two babies and a 8 year old stepdaughter all at the same time but I got through it. Our second baby boy was such a good sleeper and hardly ever cried. I even got to breastfeed him till he was 9 months old. He was a complete JOY. I ended losing a little bit of weight shortly after he was born, I was back in the gym when he was 8 weeks old. Probably too soon after a c-section but I was so tired of being in the house!
I lost about 40 lbs combined with giving birth and getting back into the gym. That still left me with a lot to lose still.
I stayed right at about 180 lbs for a LONG time. I was never truly happy but I was learning to live with it. It just seemed like whenever I would start a diet/workout plan life would get in the way. Also, starting a bakery company did not help AT ALL. Don't get me wrong, I still love to bake, but goodness, I needed to learn that I didn't have to sample everything!!
At this point I just felt really bad about the way I looked. Clothes shopping was no longer fun and I felt like I looked 10 years older than I actually was. My husband deserved better than that too, after all he had married a young, cute girl:
And I was just not anywhere near this anymore. :(
I think it was about summer of 2012, we took a trip to stone mountain for the day. When we got to the top when we had someone take a family picture of us. When I looked at it I could NOT believe that I had gotten so big. To describe it best I looked like a jumbo marshmallow with a head on top. It was bad, so naturally I deleted the picture. I regret that now. I did manage to get some pics of myself at my daughters 10th birthday party though. I think they best show how big I had gotten.
These are really bad quality pictures, sorry. But I think it gets the point across. I had gotten BIG. Shortly after that, I was getting our son out of his car seat and ended up pulling something in my back. It was instant pain, I immediately started crying. I had never had my back hurt that bad before. I knew then that my weight was not only effecting my self esteem it was now effecting my health. My poor body just could not take carrying around 40-50 extra pounds.That was a pretty low point for me, I just felt so defenseless. Drowning in all of the reasons (excuses) that I couldn't be healthier and lose weight.
In August of 2012, as soon as I got my oldest son back in school I decided that this time was going to be the last time I told myself I was going to lose weight. I was so tired of waking up feeling FAT. So, I put my little one in a jogging stroller and I started walking our neighborhood each morning. And what started out with walking turned into jogging and then turned into running 4 miles every day. Along with the exercise, I was eating SUPER clean. No cheating. Well, let me re phrase that, when I felt I was at a breaking point I would eat Fiber One's chocolate brownies. They are only 90 calories, I felt like I was cheating but I wasn't. That got me through the sugar cravings. Other than that I eat lots of salmon salad, egg whites, greek yogurt, grapes, apples, veggies, sweet potatoes, and tuna fish. (Yes, I do eat fruit, some people prefer not too when losing weight but I had given up everything else, I had to keep my fruit!) My rule was if God put it here into the ground or put it in the sea then it was okay for me to eat. As long as it wasn't fried or processed I would eat it, 5 times a day.
It took me about 3 straight weeks of living like this to drop about 20 lbs!!! All the weight that I had been stressing about for years was all gone in 3 weeks!! It made me regret not doing this a long time ago.
I was in the low 160's by the end of the 3 weeks, and if I'm remembering right I weighed 160 when I got pregnant the first time. I was so excited. I kept on going though, I knew that was not where I wanted to stay.
Here is me with my two baby boys in October 2012. I was feeling so much better at this point. I wasn't SO painful to look at pictures of myself anymore.
Here's one from earlier this month, don't pay attention to the heart, it was a project I was doing for my husband:
But now I am down 40 something pounds, (didn't really how much I exactly started with) and feeling great! I now look forward to clothes shopping and dressing up. There are so many things I have gained because I have lost the weight! There is nothing I could eat that is sweeter than that!
Thanks for taking a few minutes to read this, I hope I encourage anyone who felt like me to lose the weight.