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I was always a big kid. My mom had to bring my birth certificate along to cheerleading competitions because people thought I was a 12 when in reality I was only 8 or 9. I was taller than my teacher by the time I was in fourth grade. My eighth grade math teacher referred to me as the “Jolly Green Giant” because I was taller than he was, and wore a green sweater to his class once. The boys in our neighborhood only saw me as one of the guys, and when I asked them why, one of them actually told me it was because I was bigger than he was. All of this made me who I am today, but it also made me the very insecure young woman pictured here.
That photo was taken the night of my homecoming dance during my senior year of high school (1995). I remember feeling way too tall, and way too fat as I stood next to my boyfriend having photos taken by our moms. You can tell I’m slouched down a little in the photo to try to hide. I wanted to hide. I didn’t want anyone to see me because I thought I was unattractive, fat, and awkward.
When we picked up these photos, I remember groaning about them to my mom. Telling her how I felt. She attempted to put my mind at ease and build me up, but I was 17 and my own thoughts were my worst enemy. It was then that the struggle with my weight became a reality.
Weighing in at 282 lbs
I graduated high school at 145 lbs and a size 6/7, and felt fantastic. While I had worked my ass off to get there, it just wasn’t sustainable. I slowly began to put weight on – 2 pounds here, 3 pounds there.
Then in early 2007, weighing in at 246 lbs (100 pounds gained since high school graduation), I got pregnant. My husband and I were over the moon when we welcomed our son. The day he was born, I weighed in at 282 lbs. At that moment, I swore my weight would never get that high again.
I started the daily struggle to lose weight, and each ounce was a victory. That scale didn’t want to budge. I never did get back down to my pre-pregnancy weight, because my husband and I found out we were pregnant again! My children are just 3 days shy of being 18 months apart. After my daughter was born, I continued the day to day struggle. In a year’s time, I only lost 6 pounds. I needed to change things up drastically if I was going to lose weight.
A Taste of Success
After having 2 c-sections, the last thing I wanted to hear from anyone was that I needed surgery. Unfortunately, at my physical in October 2011, that’s exactly what I was told. My BMI was high enough that I could have weight loss surgery, and have it completely covered by my insurance. The doctor was actually pushing me in that direction, but I refused surgery. For some people, gastric bypass surgery is the tool they need to be successful. I wanted to see what other tools were out there.
So, after several more doctor’s appointments and a round of blood work, I made the most important New Year’s resolution. The one that millions of people make each January 1st. I resolved to lose weight and get healthy.
Over the next 9 months, I would lose over 50 pounds* through a combination of diet, regular exercise, and taking alli® weight loss aid. Just as I thought I may actually hit my goal this time, and get my weight under 200 lbs, I found out I was pregnant with baby #3.
So Here I Am
My youngest son recently turned 3 years old, and it’s time for the baby weight to go!
Over the last week, I’ve been getting in our Back-to-School routines with sleep, meals, and our day-to-day activities. I thrive on routine, so once again being in our routine will be a huge help towards achieving my weight loss goals. This morning, I weighed in at 261 pounds. This is the very last time I will ever see my weight that high. I’m ready to start this weight loss journey, and get myself down under 200 pounds, but more importantly, it’s time to get healthy so I can keep up with my children and be here for them for many many years to come.
“If you really want to do something, you will find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.”
— Jim Rohn
This is particularly true of weight loss and healthy living goals. So many of us make excuses for why we can’t achieve our goals. Now is the time to make a plan, stick with it, and tell the excuses to take a hike.
Before making the official plan, I made an appointment with my doctor for a full physical and blood work to make sure I am healthy enough to start a weight loss and exercise program. I discussed all of the options with my doctor, and he gave me the green light to take control of my health and do what is necessary to avoid weight loss surgery in the future. Before you start a weight loss plan, have a chat with your doctor to make sure that what you want to do is in your body’s best interest.
This is about making lifestyle changes that will lead to permanent weight loss, not a quick fix diet. After a lot of thought, I have figured out my plan to make this time a success.
Check in with my doctor regularly
Since I have a large amount of weight to lose, the doctor wants to monitor my blood work and weight loss. I’m keeping a Food & Fitness Journal so that I have a record of what I’m doing to share with my doctor, and to hold myself accountable.
Bye Bye Soda
I am going to give up soda, which is a challenge on its own. Currently, I am consuming close to 600 calories a day just in this one sugary sweet beverage. I know how bad it is for me, yet I continue to drink 4 cans a day. I’m looking forward to how much better I will feel after just making that one change.
Now that soda is out of my life, I will be drinking a lot more water. It has always been recommended to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day. I have a water pitcher that I plan to fill with 64 ounces of water each morning, and drink from it throughout the day to make sure I get enough.
Be more active
Between homeschooling, scouts, and all of the day to day, my best option is to just move more and be more active. Find those pockets of time, even if it’s only 5 minutes, and do some sort of exercise or activity. The children need to record a minimum of 90 minutes of activity per week for school, so I plan on doing the same. Since there are certain activities that my children enjoy, such as canoeing and kayaking, we can do that as a fun afternoon out. Bonus: I get in a workout!
As I’ve mentioned on our recent meal plans, I am so sick and tired of having take-out food. I plan to cook more of our meals at home, and to experiment with more plant based meals and snacks. Although I want to continue to have my favorites, I do want to make better choices. A health conscious friend told me to eat clean at least 80% of the time, and when you decide to indulge during the remaining 20% you still have balance in your life. My goal is to have healthy, low-fat meals at least 80% of the time.
Take alli® weight loss aid
When you find something that works for you, you stick with it. For me, that means taking alli® weight loss aid. alli® weight loss aid is the only FDA approved over-the-counter weight loss aid on the market. It works by blocking 25% of the fat you eat from being absorbed by your body. For every 5-10 pounds you lose on your own through healthy eating and exercise, alli® weight loss aid can help you lose 2-3 more*.
alli® weight loss aid is very easy to incorporate into your routine. Just take one capsule per meal that contains no more than 15g of fat, up to 3 times per day. Then, at bedtime, take a multivitamin.
I just picked up a bottle of alli® weight loss aid at Target (and saved $10 with this coupon), so I’m now good to go for the next 40 days.
Ready – Set – Go
And now it’s time to begin. No more excuses. No more “I’ll start tomorrow”. The time to do this is right now.
I’m giving myself these first 40-days to get into a routine, and begin losing weight. Never again will my scale say 261 pounds. The goal is for that number to start going lower and lower. I can’t wait to share my progress with you, and I want to hear how you are doing too. Comment below with what you are going to do to lead a healthier life this fall.
* alli® (orlistat 60 mg capsules) is for weight loss in overweight adults, 18 years and older, when used along with a reduced-calorie and low-fat diet. Follow label directions. In studies, most people lost 5-10 pounds over 6 months.