Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Here it is...weightloss

I am writing this post first for encouragement to those who struggle with their weight and secondly because I have been getting so many questions from family and friends about how I am losing weight. I am the smallest I've ever been in my adult life - only by 2 pounds :) - but hey, it counts. When I began this I was not actually trying to lose weight, I just made some changes in order to have a healthier lifestyle and in turn I have lost some extra weight. This is a long post - sorry. The first paragraph tells my story - my history of weight issues and struggling to find balance. The second paragraph tells the changes I made. I hope you enjoy.

Okay, I've decided to be brave and show those of you who have never seen before what I used to look like - a picture. I've always struggled with my weight and when I graduated high school I had reached my all time high of ____ - I'll let you fill in the number, no need to tell the world : )
After graduation I decided change was necessary. I wasn't happy with myself and I wanted to lose weight. I had tried things in the past, but nothing seemed to work. My mom joined Weight Watchers on my behalf (I was too embarrassed) and we started walking every morning. I dropped 20 pounds that summer and felt great about myself. I had made lifestyle changes that have stuck with me forever. Off to college I went with a new found confidence. I met my lovely husband and we fell in love and for the first time in my life, I felt pretty and confident - thanks, Chris! I maintained my weightloss my freshman year and over the summer. My sophomore year of college a group of my friends and I decided to do Weight Watchers again. This time I dropped another 20 pounds, but I became very obsessed. I won't go into details about how obsessive I became, but I'll just say that I didn't eat pizza for probably almost two years and oatmeal was my basic food - I was not going about this the right way. Still to this day, if you ask me how many points something is on Weight Watchers, I can pretty much tell you! Finally, my mom had to step in and tell me it was time to be finished with Weight Watchers - I hate to admit this, but I was so close to becoming anorexic that I am so thankful for my mom having the courage to intervene. My weight wasn't unhealthy, but my brain was making a switch to rejecting food of any kind. After I began to eat again, I obviously put a few pounds back on - this scared me to death, but I knew I couldn't starve myself!! Chris and I got engaged and I decided that I wasn't going to look back at wedding pictures and think ugly thoughts about myself, so I started working out at Curves. At this point in my life I felt the best I ever had. I was excercising and eating healthy. This was the beginning of a turning point for me. We got married and I got a little fluffier - doesn't every bride gain a few pounds after her wedding?? We finished up our last year of college and then moved to our current home and I began to teach. With teaching came extra weight. I was happy and not struggling, but I put on pounds sitting behind a desk and not excercising. It took Chris and I 14 months to get pregnant with Kate and I'm sure stress was not helping my weight. Finally, pregnant - at that point I decided I was going to continue to eat healthy and not gain too much weight, and I didn't.
I know most of you could care less about my history, but without telling that I feel like where I am today and what I am doing to lose and maintain my weight is meaningless. I've tried to diet since my sophomore year of college and I cannot. There is a switch in my brain that flips and I go into crazy Sara mode - not healthy for me or my family. Pretty scary actually. In saying all of that one day in April of 2008 I decided enough was enough. I was allowing Satan victory in my life over one small area - food and dieting. I wrote down a list of things that I still have and will always keep of how I was going to change. I will share a few of those with you now.

Eat on a small plate
Eat only when I am hungry
Ask myself - why am I eating this
Don't be so hard on myself
Allow God to help me in this area of my life

I do try to eat less sweets and carbs and focus on protein and dairy. I eat lots of fresh fruit and try to eat as many veggies as I can! In saying that, I still enjoy cake (on occassion), pasta and whole wheat bread. I also love cappachino chuncky chocolate frozen yogurt from Braums - I have a small cup at least once a day.
Now for the numbers, when I got pregnant with Kate I weighed 166 pounds, today I weigh 145. For some of you this seems impossible and for others I still probably seem heavy according to numbers. I write this post as an encouragement to those of you who struggle with your weight. I started at 187 pounds and today I am a very proud 145. It is not easy and probably never will be, but I am here to tell you that Satan no longer has a hold on me in this area of my life! God has finally changed my life - it has been a process. The battle is never over, but with God by my side directing I am free from the love of food.
Okay, I know the big bird dress doesn't help. My sister did her best, without hurting my feelings, to encourage a different prom dress for my senior year. I thought it was beautiful - it is I guess. This is a picture that gives me hope and helps me realize what I never want to be again.
The second picture is of me and my sister about 4-6 weeks ago. I don't have lots of pictures of myself now - funny how that changes when you have a child. I also felt kind of weird taking a photo just for this post, so there you have it. Me then and me now!


Hots said...

Hey Sara,
I'm a friend of Christy Hedgecock. She just called and told me to read your blog. I did and found it to be inspiring and encouraging. I, too, am on a weightloss/lifestyle change journey. I have a blog going to keep track of my journey. If you'd like to check it out sometime, I'd welcome your feedback.
Thanks for sharing your story! I know it takes guts!!

The Alexanders said...

I am so proud of you and inspired by you sharing what you did. And especially for being brave enough to share actual numbers! Wow! It really shows your success, too! I have always been so embarrassed by my numbers that even Craig doesn't know how much I weigh and never has. Of course with pregnancy I don't even look at numbers right now, but afterwards, I will probably go back and read your post and get back to pre-baby weight a lot quicker this time! Congratulations on your success!

Melisa said...

Wow, girl, you look awesome! I started at 225 in March. I got down to 185 and started working out 6 weeks ago and have hardly lost hardly anything since. I am frustrated and annoyed, but I also feel better working out. So, I'd rather be heavy and work out than skinny and not work out. I'm at peace with it. Ideally, I'd like to get out of the overweight category and be 160 or 150. It must feel so great to be at your maintenance weight!

Dion said...

Sara! You look terrific. Your blog was brave & heartfelt. I need to jump on the better eating bandwagon. Living in a place where most people are physically fit, it's hard to be fluffy. Thanks for the encouragement.

Mandy said...

Hey Sara,
Thank you for sharing your story. I do think you are a great person and such an encouragement. I have greatly enjoyed our walks and talks.

Keisa said...

Hey Sara,
Thanks for sharing your story with us all. I know we can all benefit from others and what they have been through. I too hope to lose my weight quickly after this pregnancy. I gained about 30 pounds on medications trying to get pregnant but have really tried to eat healthy during pregnancy. Only 5 weeks left and I have only gained about 16 pounds. I will keep your eating habbits in mind when I start the weight loss journey. I really like the "don't eat if you are not hungry" since I am a stress eater.