Reflections on my weight loss journey- Part 1: From the Beginning…

Recently I’ve started sharing tidbits from my weight loss success story, and there has been quite a bit of interest in how I lost 60# in a little over 12m, so I think it’s time for an in-depth look at how I got where I was to begin with, and how I got where I am today. Your questions and comments as I share help shape what I share, so keep asking and sharing what is on your mind. Many of you reading this have been following my life journey for the past 10 years as a blogger. Our kids were babies at the same time, now our oldest are approaching their tween years. Many of you, like me, are now in your 40’s (I just turned 43), or older, and we’re facing a new, unique set of challenges as we start having time to focus on ourselves again. My kids are now 9 & 11, and I finally feel like I’m coming out of the haze of years of pregnancy, breast-feeding, bed-sharing, and finally am re-finding ME. And it’s a glorious feeling. I know just about everyone struggles with weight at some point in their lives. It’s my hope in sharing my story that I can help you realize that YOU have the power to drop as many pounds as you want. I’ve never held a gym membership. The only special equipment I have is a $100 Craigslist treadmill and a few dumbbells and weights. I have nothing to sell, I truly just want to share my story. I haven’t felt compelled to blog on any certain topic in quite some time, so it feels good to want to type again. Here we go….

My story begins in August of 2021. My family is blessed that we’re able to take extended vacations. I’m a huge fan of slow travel. We did the natural progression from tent camping, to pop-up camper, to pull behind travel trailer. During the summer of 2020, and the height of pandemic life, we camped for 6w straight (you can read about it here if you want). 1 year later, in 2021 we went for just shy of 8 weeks, a good chunk of summer! I could write & write about the joys and positive, life-long benefits of such amazing trips. One of the only drawbacks I can think of is the mindset we fall into which is: we’re on vacation! Being on a weeklong vacation and indulging in food & drink is 1 thing. But for 8 weeks is another. In hindsight I can definitely look back and see I absolutely lacked self-control. Especially in the drinking department. When you’re sitting around a campfire every, single night, it’s easy to fall into a rut of having a few beers, or glasses of wine, or rum drinks. And I firmly believe that all those empty calories from drinking were a huge part of the equation that ended with me at 235# by the end of that camping trip. Most people don’t realize how many calories they’re drinking throughout the day/night! When we returned home in August and I saw myself naked in a full-length mirror I remember feeling disgusted. WOAH, who is this?! I was 230# when I gave birth to my 10# daughter. That really hit me. And I knew it was time for a change.

Back up a little bit: my Husband found himself where I was, 1 year earlier. After our 6w of camping in the summer of 2020, he found himself at his heaviest- 250#. Here’s a pic of him from that camping trip in 2020, I can REALLY see it in his face:

It’s weird looking back now, 2 years later, I don’t ever remember looking at him and thinking he was THAT overweight. But now, at 175# instead of 250#, wow, the difference. This is from this summer (June of 2022):

For those that don’t know, we live in Wisconsin. Drinking massive amounts of beer, eating deep fried cheese curds, brats, dairy in every form possible, is the norm. While we of course have many healthy, slim, beautiful people (and NO I’m definitely NOT saying you have to be slim to be beautiful!), we have normalized being overweight. So, what did he do? Pretty much stopped drinking. Not 100%, but cut way, way back. He also cut way back on carbs and sugar and focused on good fats and protein. And he started slowly building up his exercise routine by doing simple things around the house to build up his core 1st: planks, push-ups, off-road hikes up steep hills. Neither of us has ever set foot in a gym. I want to stress that there is so much you can do around your house, with no gear or simply items from around your house. And slowly but surely, the pounds started dropping and he started getting buff.

After seeing my Husband’s success doing basic, simple things around home and focusing on the tried & true solutions to weight loss (diet & exercise), I knew what I had to do. I was so happy for him to constantly be hearing: wow, you look great. And I yearned to make that my reality. I want to stress that I was never unhappy, even at my heaviest. Life was great. My family was having the time of our lives enjoying all the fruits of summertime fun. And I was not necessarily unhealthy either, at least according to lab numbers. While my weight put me in the obese category, my blood sugar, blood pressure, liver & kidney functions, all within normal range. So it wasn’t a health scare that shook me up and made me feel the need to lose. It was truly looking at myself in the mirror and going NOPE. This is not the me I want to be. And while my lab numbers were fine, I definitely got tired quickly, couldn’t walk a moderate incline without huffing & puffing, and that is not healthy. And of course a huge part of my motivation to be my best self is to act as a positive role model for my kids, and to be healthy so I can be around for them and hopefully their kids some day.

I’ve always been a dress lover, even when I was tiny in my teens and 20’s. So just kept buying bigger size dresses. And I thought I still looked good in them. I was buying clothes in 2x, and some of them were not fitting well either. That was not a good feeling. I’d go try on stuff in a fitting room and hate how they fit. I’m happy to report I recently sold all my XL clothes, and am wearing medium, even small in some recent shirts I picked up! I had a bin of size 14 jeans from years ago that I never thought I’d fit into again (I was in a size 18 at my heaviest), well recently I donated those all because they were too big! I’m currently in size 12, and even started wearing some leggings which I never thought I would ever, ever be caught dead in- holy COMFY!!

So that’s the lead-up to the rest of my story. How did I go from 235# to 170# in a little over 12m? Diet and exercise. It’s true. I have never stepped foot in a gym. What I do have on my side is time. Being I work from home, I know that is something those who work outside the home may not have. If you sit at a desk all day, your reality is much different from mine. My Hubby said quite a while ago: if we’re home all day, we have no excuses not to exercise. And that has always stuck with me. No excuses. Although even now that he’s working a 9-5 he still fits in at least 3 miles on the treadmill before bed! We learned about Intermittent Fasting, which I’ll write a whole post about later as well as what we eat, etc. We follow the One Meal A Day (OMAD) plan, it works for us. Reading this book was very eye opening and truly helped put me on the right path. 99% of diets fail because they’re too restrictive and just not sustainable. I love the idea of NOT denying whatever it is you want to eat, just being mindful of how much you eat, and when. I never feel like I’m starving, and when I’m craving a certain food, I work it in to my OMAD. This way of eating, along with hitting the treadmill and otherwise staying active, is how I’ve got where I am now, and how I’ll lose the remainder of the 20# to hit my goal, then keep it off.

Below, August 2021, me at 235#:

Below, Summer 2022, me at ~180-190#. As I type this, currently at 170#.

 So, there’s the intro. I have many more sub-topics to write about, including:

–Intermittent fasting & OMAD

–What I eat & when

–Learning to say no

–Losing vs maintenance mode

–Exercise

–Among other topics. This is an ever-evolving conversation. So, stay tuned…Let me know what questions you have please!

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Anonymous
    Nov 12, 2022 @ 06:33:56

    Awesome!!! Congrats. Can’t wait for part two.

    Like

    Reply

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