When I finally decided to lose the weight, I was bombarded with feelings of doubt.
Face it, you’re not 20 anymore.
You’re a mother of 4… A homeschooler… You just don’t have the time.
Look in the mirror. You’re too far gone. Just accept it and move on with life.
All of my doubts were silenced when I read the testimony of a mom and a homeschooler just like us, who went from couch potato to running 5K’s to training for a half marathon, and lost 75 pounds in the process. Today, I’m blessed to have Kris share her story here:
Hello. My name is Kris and I weighed 220 pounds.
It sounds like the introduction at an AA meeting, but it’s true. I’ve struggled with my weight nearly all of my adult life. Enough so that I once asked my husband, during our engagement, if he’d still love me if I was fat. He’d never seen me fat, but I was sure it was a distinct possibility that would change sometime during our marriage. (By the way, he did still love me when I was fat.)
I got up to a high of 153 pounds in the early years of our marriage, but I started working out and eating better and within six months was down to a reasonable weight again.
Then, I got pregnant with my first child.
I steadily gained weight, with the exception of a handful of temporarily successful weight-loss attempts, from the time I got pregnant until November of 2009. The weekend before Thanksgiving, I finally got frustrated enough to realize that I had to do something about my weight. I didn’t really want to do something about it and I didn’t really think I would be successful, but I knew I had to try.
I decided that I would blog my journey as a means of accountability. I spent much more time that weekend setting up my new blog, Eclipsed, than thinking about how, exactly I was going to go about losing weight.
The Monday prior to Thanksgiving, my first blog post published and I got on the treadmill. To say I did so reluctantly is a huge understatement. I was mad! I didn’t want to be on the treadmill. I didn’t want to be wasting my time on a fruitless effort. I wanted to prove that I couldn’t lose weight so that I could quit feeling guilty about not losing weight.
I lost 4.5 pounds! The week of Thanksgiving!
I got excited. By the end of the following week, I had myself a body bugg (the calorie counting device used on The Biggest Loser) and I was ready to rock this whole weight loss thing.
I started getting up early every day before the kids woke up and walking for 45 minutes on the treadmill, then, I made sure I stayed active during the day. I’d walk around the table checking the kids spelling words, rather than sitting in my chair having them hold their papers up so that I could see them like I’d done before.
I’d go get things for myself up or down the stairs, rather than asking the kids to do it. I’d make sure I was doing a little housework every day (still great for burning calories). I’d take a few extra trips up and down the stairs just to get in some movement. I walked in the gym during my younger daughter’s music class, rather than sitting and reading a book.
In short, I made sure I was rarely sitting still. If I was on my laptop, I’d be bouncing or swinging my legs. You’d be surprised how many calories that burns. The kids would look at me and ask, “Burning calories, Mom?”
By early-February, I’d dropped 25 pounds and I joined a 13-week wellness program that was being sponsored by my all-time favorite restaurant, Chick-Fil-A. The program allowed me to use the YMCA for free – including child care – during the 13 weeks. By the end of the program, I’d dropped another 27 pounds and was feeling better, healthier, and more energetic than I’d felt in a long, long time.
We joined the Y at the end of the program, but it became increasingly difficult to make time to get there during the day, so we quit after just a few months and I continued my workouts at home on the treadmill and with dumbbells.
One day, sometime around January or so of 2011, I was walking on the treadmill and realized that it didn’t seem that far-fetched an idea to run for a little bit, so I did. I thought I was going to DIE before that minute or so was over. With the encouragement of a friend, though, I kept at it.
Pretty soon I could run for 90 seconds without feeling like I was going to die. Then, it became three minutes, then, four. Pretty soon, I started running a quarter of a mile at a time, then a half mile. In March of this year, I ran my first 5K race. Me, the girl who started off morbidly obese and barely able to walk 3 miles-per-hour.
I’ve since run four 5K races and have my first 10K coming up in mid-June. And, I’m training for a half-marathon!
I’ve lost nearly 75 pounds since I started losing weight in November 2009 and am within reach of my goal weight of 125 pounds.
I think a few things have contributed to my success:
Making time to exercise.
One of the biggest reasons I hear people give for not exercise is not being able to find the time. The truth is, you probably aren’t going to find the time; you have to make the time. You make time for the things that are important to you.
While it may seem like you’re taking time away from your family to exercise, you’re actually giving them time by giving them a mom who is healthier, happier, more energetic, and less prone to weight-related health problems.
Finding a weight-loss program that worked for me.
I think my body bugg has played a huge role in helping me lose weight because I always know how many calories I’ve burned versus how many I’ve consumed. Does that mean you need a body bugg to lose weight? Not necessarily. You need to find what works for you, whether it’s counting calories, joining a program, joining a gym, or just putting together an accountability group.
Developing the right mind-set.
Once I got a little taste of success, I quickly went from trying to lose weight to losing weight. A little quote from Yoda (Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back) became, and still is, my mantra: Do or do not. There is no try.
Once you decide that you can lose weight and you will lose weight because you’re not going to quit, the weight-loss thing becomes a whole different ballgame. A huge part of being successful is believing in yourself.
Developing a system of accountability.
It’s easy to talk yourself out of working out, going to the gym or making good food choices if you don’t have a system of accountability in place. Your accountability system can be your weight-loss program group – if you go that route – family, or friends – the “real-life” or the online variety.
I have found a tremendous amount of support in my husband and kids. I’ve been surprised at how incredibly supportive my kids have been and how great it makes me feel that they are proud of my success. However, I’ve also found a great deal of support in the online community. I think that blogging the journey has played a very important role in my success.
I read a lot of books about weight-loss. I learned about food, calories, and exercise. I learned quite a bit about nutrition and making healthier food choices. I learned how many calories I have to burn to equal a pound lost, how many calories I typically burn in a day, and what kind of calorie deficit I need to maintain to lose the amount of weight I want to lose. Do I always execute all that knowledge flawlessly? No, but it sure does make it easier to make good choices and I found that many of the book I read were as inspiring as they were educational.
Losing weight isn’t easy, but few things in life worth doing are…and being healthier, happier, and more energetic are definitely worth the effort that losing weight takes. Considering the fact that most of us have a more flexible schedule in the summer, this is a great time to make time for your weight-loss success and improving your health.
Kris has chronicled her journey from couch potato to 5K runner on her blog, Eclipsed. Beyond the fitness changes, she’s still the same old sweet-tea drinking, classically eclectic, slightly Charlotte Mason, mostly socialized mom to her three Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.