Monday, March 26, 2012

On the Road Again...

This morning as I stepped on the scale, I came to a new realization...

I sabotage my weight on purpose.   Not 'on purpose' like Kirstie Alley, on purpose, but I get in these moods where I just don't care how I look...until I do.  You know what I'm saying?

I get down to the weight I want (or at least I'm close) and I think SUCCESS!!!   I feel invincible, ready to tackle the world, nothing can get me down except all the crap I shove into my body.  Then I start thinking I still have my 15 year old body that can go to the gas station at lunch and grab a sleeve of Oreos and a Slurpee and keep weighing 114!

It's not until I can't button my dress pants again that it dawns on me...oh yeah!...I don't have a metabolism anymore.  DER-DER-DER.  My 31-year-old-two-babies-later body is A LOT different than my high-school-I-have-not-had-babies-or-discovered-the-true-power-of-hormones body.

I wish I could go back and tell my high school self to get out of the habit of fast food.  My first real struggle came my senior year, dating the big football linebacker and matching his diet, bite for bite.  I went from 114 pounds to 152 pounds in the course of a year!

After a nasty break-up (mostly on my end), I focused all my attention on weight-lifting and running, even taking the morning weight training class with the entire GVSU football team, headed by Coach Kelly.  He would joke about me coming to practice to show the guys how to perfect good form in a Clean.  In 5 months I dropped back down to 118.

Then I met a guy, got married and a 2 years later, baby #1 was on the way.  At this point, I would also like to go back and talk to my 23 year old self and say 'having a baby is not permission to eat everything you see and crave.'

I managed to gain a whopping 48 pounds with that baby.  I had about 4 chins.  Surprisingly, I didn't get gestational diabetes.  Looking back, I have NO IDEA how I avoided that when my diet consisted of (again) Oreos, ice cream (every night), potato chips and Taco Bell.  Not surprisingly, baby #1 is my junk food child.     He wants chips for every meal and (if I let him) would eat his entire stash of holiday candy in one sitting. Because of that, I'm stingy at Christmas and Easter.  They get just a couple candy items, and the rest is toys, books, games, etc.

After baby #1 was born, I only lost about 20 pounds and then got stuck.  When baby #2 came along (SURPRISE!), I resolved to eat healthy and BANNED ice cream from the pregnancy diet. I had a horrible pregnancy with her and had morning sickness almost the entire 9 months.  I only gained 15 pounds with her.  She happens to be my fruit and veggie lover and hates chocolate.  (Did you hear me?  She HATES chocolate...Sometimes I wonder if she's really my kid!)

I really resolved to lose weight after her.  Again, I lost 20 pounds after pregnancy, but that left 23 pounds to lose to get back to pre-baby weight.  I joined Curves (what a joke!) and thought that would help.  With postpartum, outside factors affecting my marriage, and really low self-esteem and self-image issues, I started gaining weight.  I ended up putting on another 8 pounds.  My 5'3" frame was now hovering just under 150, a place in college I promised myself I would never return.

My marriage failed, I moved back in with my parents, with two kids in tow.  Grief does amazingly wonderful things to your body.  You forget to eat; you almost forget how to breathe.  I got down to 124 within about 3 months.  It was a struggle to remember how to brush my hair, my teeth, dress my kids, change a diaper.  I mastered the art of crying myself to sleep and did so often.

When I finally surfaced from the divorce process and got back on my feet, I took a good look in the mirror.  I realized, that although I looked good, I was very unhealthy.  My new body shape looked sickly.  So a new goal was put in place.  I needed to be an athletic build 127.

I found relief in running.  I could pray, have time alone and get the exercise I needed while hitting the pavement everyday.  Whatever was stressing me, could be handled in each mile and at the end of my runs I had a new outlook on life.

Then hubs entered the scene 2 1/2 years ago... with a whirlwind romance and marriage I forgot to workout. Motorcycle rides to the shore were more fun.  My weight slowly crept up and I again, weighed 145 by the wedding date.

I hated myself for letting it happen.  I hated that I didn't pay attention to what was going in.  I hated that I lost myself again.  I don't blame the hubs.  This time it was all on me.  I know better.  I know my body and what works and what doesn't.

I began working on myself again last March. Slowly, (my body doesn't bounce back as fast anymore) I started dropping the weight.  It wasn't so much the weight I was concerned about since I was lifting heavy weights as well, it was the inches I wanted to lose.  I have a size 4 pants that I want to get back into.

Then life got in the way again.  I managed to drop down to 135 only to gain 10 pounds back since February.  I was on the right track and starting to look shapely again.  I managed to get my waist back to 28 inches!  I was almost there.  Then we decided to put the house on the market.

It took all my attention.  Cleaning, sorting, purging, then showing after showing.  Our monthly fees at the Y might as well be donations for the lack of time I've spent there.  In 2 months, not only did I put on 10 pounds, I gained 6 inches in my stomach.  SIX FREAKING INCHES!!!  I cried because my Spanx no longer fit, and if they didn't fit then my dress pants FOR SURE didn't fit.  I had to throw the Spanx away and switch over to dresses.

Two weeks ago, I started again.  Started first with the eating process and yoga, to get my flexibility going again.  Then 3 days later, started my 3 miles runs.   In two weeks, I've lost 4 inches on my waist and 2 pounds.

And I'm going to keep going, because not only do I need the exercise, I need my time alone to talk with and listen to God.

I'm happy to report that I am wearing dress pants today (with a belt!)  A big help in my weight loss is seeing what I put in my mouth every day. I'm tracking everything on My Fitness Pal .  If you want to join me (its free!) my screen name is Sarahjean222.  I leave my food and exercise diaries open so that my friends can see what I'm eating and doing and call me out when I'm starting to slip.  Plus I can look back and see what meals worked and were low calorie.  The most important part of tracking food is being brutally honest about portion sizes and calories.

Hopefully now that I have realized that I am a self-sabotager (new word), I can now be aware of lifestyle changes that may cause me to slack off.  Its a new day and its time to get on the road again.

I'll leave you with a video that we saw in church yesterday.  It had so many touch points for me for my relationship with Jesus (run the good race) and physically - finish strong, no matter how many times you fail!


  1. Wow, what a powerful video, thanks for sharing. I hear ya on the self-sabotaging, it is something that is so easy to do. Thanks for sharing your story, and good luck.

  2. Thanks for posting this! I struggle with this too. A lot. Not the food so much, but working out...and making it a priority. I've NEVER been athletic and trying, at 32, to make it the "norm" and convince my body that it will survive not so easy or fun :)

  3. I went 4 days without my normal hard workouts and lost 4 pounds! (Which proves that muscle weighs more that fat). My legs are already flabby looking…. Can’t wait to put the weight back on!!!


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