Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Transformation Tuesday: April

Kelli and I want to start sharing transformation stories with you. So, here's our first one =)

So my sweet friends Lynette and Kelli asked me to put some thoughts together about weight loss, health and such things!

I was always a thin person (probably too thin!) and I've always been tall as well. My height is deceptive because I can gain a little weight and it doesn't show as much as a shorter person. Growing up, I did not enjoy PE (I *think* I tried to get a doctor’s excuse note to get out of PE) or sports of any kind and I was pretty lazy.

However, I've had 4 boys and with each one of the pregnancies I struggled to lose the baby-weight. But I was also kind to myself…it took 10 months to grow a person, I did not expect to lose it all within a few weeks. I gave myself some grace and gave myself a full year after having my babies to begin to lose weight. I nursed all my kids, some of them an extended amount of time…maintaining a sufficient milk supply became much more important than getting back to my pre-pregnancy weight. Once I hit a year, I would try to lose some weight…a few times I followed a certain diet or plan. However, with my first 3 pregnancies, I didn't even try to included exercise into my weight loss plan….I just dieted.

In addition to my weight loss efforts, my sweet husband has high cholesterol, diabetes and is overweight. He was a baseball player in high school and college…but just like me, over the years he’s come less and less active. Having a long life with my darling husband became #1.

Our family moved a couple of times in the most recent years and I turned 40!!! It felt like time was ticking away for me to take care of myself (after year and years of caring for other people). So this year, I made a plan to really get things in order and get *our* health under control. (I’m healthy but have developed allergy induced asthma…did you know Chattanooga is the ‘worst’ place in the US for allergies??? Nope, neither did I and not being able to breathe is super scary!)

We joined a local Y during their no-sign-up-fee event and applied for a scholarship. During the school year, the hubs (who was working from home) would go to the gym in the morning. I would go after my little part time job, but before I had to get the kids from school. We met with trainers and got work-out ideas. We’ve both lost a few pounds (weight loss was only part of our goal). We had already taken more processed foods and artificial ingredients out of our diets, but this year we started eating many more vegetarian meals (like, most of our dinners are vegetarian). No more sodas and junk food.
The hubs had his most recent blood tests done…his A1C was within low/normal range, his good cholesterol was better, his overall cholesterol was lower AND his triglycerides went from over 300 to low 200's……we have never seen results like this!!! His doctor was quite pleased and encouraged him to continue doing what he’s doing and they would discuss adjusting some of his meds at the next appointment!!! That is AMAZING!!!

For me, I've noticed that I can see muscles I've never seen before…like triceps!! And my bat-wings (you know, the flabby part of your under arm!!) aren't as big anymore. I can see three different muscles in my upper arms ya’ll!!! That is AMAZING!!! I had zero definition before this year…I can also lift much more weight that when I started and can do more machines as well. And generally speaking, I feel stronger!! I can carry my 30 pound 3 year old across the parking lot without having to put him down or stop to catch my breath. I have more energy and feel like I can keep up with my kids!! Before, we would stay home and watch TV. Now we go for hikes and walks and play outside.

We've had some challenges getting to the gym during summer since all the kids are home, but our kids keep us busy and moving!

So when it comes to weight loss and health, here are my thoughts…

  • Give yourself some grace…
  • Make sure your goals are realistic!! I will NEVER be as thin as I was in college (and that’s really OK). You may not ever get back to your pre-pregnancy weight and that is OK.
  • If you happen to be a nursing mom (high five to you!!), try to keep baby nutrition your priority! You need calories in order to make milk…if you’re starving yourself to lose weight, your milk supply will certainly be affected!!
  • Fad diets or plans are just that…fads and they will not last.
  • Vegetarian meals are really tasty and are easy to make (I use www.budgetbytes.com A LOT, A LOT!!!)
  • For fitness, find what works for YOU…could be a scary gym, could be a local Y, could be a running group, could be working out at home lifting canned goods…find something that works for you and your family…it IS a team effort!
  • Surround yourself with people that can encourage you (like Lynette and Kelli)…
  • Forgive yourself if you make a bad decision today and start again new tomorrow.

If you would like to share your transformation story, please let us know! We would love to highlight your success!

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