I’ve been toying with this idea for some time now. Posting my transformation story seemed 1) Scary & possibly embarrassing, and 2) like it pales in comparison to stories like this one (which I highly suggest you watch!) But then I thought, you know V, you’ve been thru a lot too. And it was tough. And maybe it could inspire 1 person to change their lives. If it did, it would be worth sharing.
So I’m sharing it. This is my journey over the last 3 years:
I don’t focus on weight so much anymore, but rather how my pants fit and my measurements, but since numbers are a simple means of comparison, I added my weight to the bottom of each pic. And I actually don’t recall what I was in May ’11, so that ones my best guess.
When I got pregnant with Gabriel in the early summer of 2010, I was in the best shape of my life. The day that pic above was taken, in July 2010, I ran in the Pretzel Fest 8K (5 miles) in Speyer, Germany. I woke up that morning and ran 8 miles, making my total for the day 13. I was 13 weeks pregnant, and ignorant of that fact. I was so focused on my training, because 6 months prior, I had been a couch potato all winter long, and one day in January, I said, Enough with it. NO more excuses and NO MORE feeling sorry for myself for being out of shape. I did something about it. And then I found out I was pregnant, and afraid that I did too much running, I basically stopped running. That was not such a good idea. I still exercised, swimming 2-3 times a week with my friend Becky at the local pool, and doing some prego yoga as the months wore on and I got bigger and bigger. In the end, I was nearly 200 pounds, about 50 lbs more than when I started. My doctor (bless his heart) never made me feel bad about my larger than normal weight gain. And in my optimism, I assumed the 50 pounds would come right off, just like so many friends told me.
I was in for a shock. Gabe was born, weighing 8 lbs, 1 oz. What a blessing! Exhausted and in pain, I went home & eventually weighed myself. I had only lost 10 lbs. Yikes! I knew at that moment it would be a long road back… and it was. I breastfed Gabe, which certainly helped, but I struggled. First, just to heal from a very difficult delivery, and then just to have the energy to walk, let alone run. When I finally had a follow-up appointment at the OB/GYN, 3 months postpartum, she told me “You are still healing.” But I got the go-ahead to start exercising, so I got going again.
By April, I had begun running again. I was slow, and I was inconsistent. A 12 minute mile felt like some of my 10 milers from the prior year. Some days, I felt OK and I would work out. Most days, I didn’t do anything. The year progressed this way. I was a new mom, overwhelmed, lonely (we had moved from Germany to GA), and a stressed out MBA student on top of it all! For the entire year of 2011, I felt awful about myself. I gave away all my smaller clothes to Goodwill, thinking I’d never fit into them again, especially since my boobs were a full size bigger than before (thank God I didn’t get rid of the bras!) I would go to the gym for a few days, only to take a few days off when Gabe’s nap schedule didn’t go quite right. On top of it all, I was worn out from getting up multiple times a night to feed Gabe, and my brain hurt from the workload of my MBA program. I deemed myself the world’s worse house wife, hardly ever having dinner on the table or the floor swept. I was in a sorry state, and what’s worse, I felt sorry for myself. I had forgotten my mantra of “no excuses.” I had plenty.
Thankfully, the good Lord swooped in and blessed me with a wonderful job opportunity. Before I left, I had gone to dinner and a movie (to see The Help) and met my now-coach Lindsey. She would come back into my life a few months later and completely change it.
We moved from GA to NC in January 2012, right after Gabe turned 1. I was still not feeling great about myself physically, but mentally I was doing better–had a new job and had finished my MBA program. Something was still missing: I vowed to get back to running. I immediately found an amazing spot to run (Salem Lake), and got to it. I met my friend Aubrey at Disney World and ran the Disney Pricess Half marathon in February. I was officially back on the running horse!
The last step just hadn’t fallen into place though. I ran consistently from Feb to May, lifted weights, and even swam and did other cross-training, but I still hovered at 5 lbs from my pre-baby weight. My clothes were still a little tight, and it bothered me. I kept getting sick, and that was super frustrating too. This is when Lindsey stepped in and invited me to my first 12 day challenge. I tried Shakeology and I loved the results: I lost 3 pounds! In the following weeks, I continued on Shakeology, and I dropped the rest!! I finally had my energy back, I cleaned up my diet, and I was back at the running consistently. I went on to win my age group in my first Tri, and run my first marathon. I was armed with energy and health from Shakeology, and support from my coach, friends, and family. It felt absolutely amazing to reach those two goals! I felt unstoppable and still do!
My last step in this process was Insanity. I wanted to challenge myself with something non-running related, and see how good the results could be. Answer: Insanity was certainly insane, but oh so effective. When paired with Shakeology (and a drive to work hard!), it helped me drop EIGHT inches. Now, I was kinda thinking I had plateaued, and I wasn’t going to be able to improve–oh ye of little faith, V. I not only improved, I felt completely strong & toned, where I hadn’t before. This summer, for the first time in a LONG time, perhaps even EVER, I went to the beach and didn’t once feel self-conscience. We all have our own body issues, but I finally feel like I was able to put them behind me. The physical results of my transformation feel amazing, but it’s the internal results–the confidence knowing that I brought a child into the world and can still do everything I did before baby, and THEN SOME–that really matter to me. I feel so strongly about these programs that I became a coach. But that’s for another night 😉 Thanks for reading my story!