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I have been overweight for my entire adult life.
There. I said it. In public, on my blog. Now, this isn’t a shocker for anyone who knows and loves me. It’s not news. It’s a fact. But you know what? I’m done. Right now. Today is the first day of what I am sure will be many, many hard days to come. I’m taking my body back. Today is the official start of my weight loss journey. In the words of Ruth Soukup, someone whom I admire immensely, I am “Doing It Scared “. I’m putting my weight loss journey out there for you. Regardless of the fact that I’m shaking in my boots. Seriously, shaking.
I am updating this story which was originally published a year ago. I lost my way. I’m now starting again. Today.
I didn’t have an issue with weight as a child. I was active, I played sports, and I ate well. Our parents filled our house with homemade food, we had a huge garden, we ate organic meats (even though it wasn’t trendy at the time), and there was always an abundance of fruits and vegetables. We played outside. Every. Single. Day.
There is nothing about my upbringing that led me to a point where I gained the weight. I own that.
When I went to college I did more than gain the freshman fifteen. It was more like the freshman thirty. I went from being active to being sedentary. I went from whole foods and a mom who made sure we had well rounded meals to having fries and gravy at 11:00 pm after sorority meetings ended. The most exercise I got was dancing with my friends at a bar on a Thursday night. Why was it always Thursday night? Does anyone know?
These habits continued and over time I kept gaining.
I always had a good social life. I was surrounded by wonderful friends, and amazing people. People who never judged me for how I looked, but completely embraced me for who I was. I really did seem like I had it all together. It seemed like I was confident. I knew what I wanted out of life, I was a leader.
Inside my head, however; was a different story. My confidence, which had never been an issue for me, had plummeted. I woke up each day thinking about what people thought of me, how I must look to other people, and with thoughts that my weight was the reason I hadn’t found love. Inside, I was a bit of a mess.
My family moved out of state, and even though that was a difficult transition for me, I made it through. Surrounded by friends, employed, and doing well. In fact, career-wise I was successful. Shortly after college I had made it to Director status in the nonprofit sector pretty quickly after college. I developed and ran programs for teens that were nationally recognized by the organization I worked for, and I was making a difference.
I was still gaining weight.
Happy on the outside doesn’t mean happy on the inside. Something needed to be done about my weight. I joined programs and attended meetings, and even joined a gym. I talked to my friends about my efforts, I was trying. Except when I wasn’t. At one point I lost almost 60 pounds. How? No carbs whatsoever, and diligent exercise. The day I had a glass of orange juice it was over. I was on my way back up – and over. Not long after that I tried something else new – planning my meals ahead of time and lots and lots of prep work. I stopped gaining, but I didn’t lose.
I fell in love.
My weight steady (although still much higher than it should have been), I reconnected with a college friend, who turned into the love of my life. My husband is honestly the kindest man I’ve ever known. We fell fast, and hard. It’s the kind of story you hear about where someone says: “We went on our first date and have been together ever since”. That sums it up for us. I often thank God for the paths that led to us being together. Had I taken a different route I never would have known this kind of love. It’s worth every moment before it. I’m beyond blessed. From the start he has loved me for me. Exactly as I am. All of me.
I got pregnant.
Soon after we were married, I became pregnant. I was ecstatic and overwhelmed with worry at the same time. How much MORE weight would I gain? I only gained 24 pounds during pregnancy, and 22 of them were gone by the time I left the hospital. I felt beautiful during pregnancy. I’m one of those women who loved being pregnant. I can’t blame my weight gain on my pregnancy.
The official start of my weight loss journey.
The official start of my journey began 23 pounds ago. It began on a day that I was volunteering at my son’s school. It was always hot there. I was always out of breath. I dreaded going in. That day, a woman, who has become a dear friend was also volunteering. She wasn’t even supposed to be in that day, she just came in to help. Coincidence? I think not. We started talking, and I found out that she had her Masters Degree in nutrition, and she offered, ever so tactfully, and with so much kindness to help me. We started to meet weekly, and she has helped me to learn about proper nutrition, and the importance of supplements. Eating healthier has helped me have some success, and I even went down a couple of sizes. I have come up with nutritious recipes, and I am enjoying cooking again. I no longer sweat and I’m not out of breath. Compliments starting coming in, and I have felt great. I have been able to enjoy my insanely active little boy more.
The weight, however; has stopped coming off. Why? Because I haven’t been moving. I’ve been eating well, and I’ve been motivated, but I haven’t been moving.
The next step of my weight loss journey.
For over a week I have been struggling with what to do for exercise. I have a bad knee, and I’ve just finished physical therapy for a car accident we were in last June. There are days I just ache. So, for over the past week I have looked into different programs that might motivate me to move without hurting too much. My friend and I even toured a local gym. Bottom line? I’m back to being a beginner. I’m older, there are aches, and injuries, and I’m still not 100% back from the accident. I just couldn’t figure out what I was going to do to help me on my weight loss journey.
UPDATE: I will be using the Body Groove program. I’m going to dance my butt off. Literally.
Today, I just kept walking.
After I walked my son into school, instead of going back to the car and driving away – I kept walking. I walked and I walked. Around a parking lot. By no means was it a taxing workout, and I’m quite sure I didn’t burn as many calories as I maybe could have – but I did it. It felt great. I felt better than I have in so long. My weight loss journey had begun with the simple choice to just keep walking.
Today I committed fully to taking my body back. I need to lose 100 pounds. That’s my goal. I would LOVE to have you join my journey. It can be because you too want to take your body back. Perhaps it’s because you just want to cheer me on or offer advice. Doing it alone doesn’t work. I will check in here and using my Instagram account several times a week. I’ll share my progress and the obstacles I face along the way on my weight loss journey. I’ll also share recipes that I develop through my journey.
It’s time. And I’m committed. Will you please join me? I’d love your company along the way!
UPDATE: It has been a year since I first published this article. In that year I moved across the country and lost my way. I’m starting again today with republishing this article. Today is the day I start over. Today is the day I re-commit and pray that I stay committed. Please join me. Obviously, I could use the support!
xoxo – JJ