Before and After
I don't think anyone wants to post before pictures. This is me 5 months after giving birth to my first child. I was 22 and we were living in California, really on our own for the first time. I had been told that my baby was dead at one point in my pregnancy. I was taking 18 credits at BYU and my husband worked for the Olympics in SLC. I turned to food for comfort and to fill my loneliness. We were both tired and not eating well. The doctors told me not to exercise, but they never said anything about my weight. We moved to California after college. New place, no friends or family. By the time I delivered, I weighed more than my dad (I gained almost 80 lbs.,). I was miserable because of my appearance and weight gain. I felt ugly and not like myself. The first baby is hard. I worried about only doing things for her and not taking care of myself. I thought that is what a good mom did.
I started doing pilates and walking on my treadmill. I tried to run a little, but I had to retrain my muscles. I finally bought a scale. When I started running, I didn't know what I was doing, I just wanted to lose weight. I didn't know that I would feel better emotionally as well. I dropped about 20 lbs and was a lot happier. My weight was still high, but I was moving and learning to do things for myself.
In 2005, we moved back home. I could feel the stress on my shoulders lighten as we reached Washington. I knew I had people that loved me and would support me if I needed it. I had been watching "The Biggest Loser" and was amazed that they could lose 10 lbs. in a week. I just wanted to lose 10 lbs. in a month! Why didn't it work? I exercised a few days a week, doing videos at home. After we moved into an apartment, I used the gym in the clubhouse. That was my first gym experience.
I decided that in order to lose the rest of the weight, I would have to change my diet as well as exercise. I got the book "The Fat Smash Diet" and exercised. I lost 12 lbs. in 9 days. I continued exercising, doing "Turbo Jam" in the morning and an hour on an elliptical in the evening. I lost 22 lbs. in less than 2 months.
I started my 2nd pregnancy (2007) at 162 lbs. I wasn't at my goal weight, but I was at a healthy weight. I tried to exercise throughout my pregnancy. I ended up at 196 lbs. the day I delivered. I felt energetic almost my entire pregnancy. It was such a different experience from my first pregnancy.
I joined the gym when my second baby was 5 months old. That was one of the best decisions. It took about 8 months, from delivery, to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I ran a half marathon at that point. It was an experience in pain, for sure. I could only use the stationary bike for 2 months because my feet hurt so badly. I ran a couple 5Ks and a 10K. I improved my speed and strength.
I started my 3rd pregnancy (2010) at 155 lbs. At delivery, I weighed 196 lbs. again. I didn't really show until I was about 28 weeks. I ran up to that point. My baby had a lung defect (CCAM) and they told me to stop exercising. I did walk some, but nothing that made me sweaty. When they gave me the go-ahead to exercise, I was so happy. I worked out 3 days before he was born.
pre-pregnancy May 2010
After this baby, I worked out at home and at the gym in the evenings. When he was 4 months old, we started back at the gym in the mornings. My mile time was about 10 minutes, but quickly lowered to 9 minutes. I started running at least 3 miles everyday and lifting weights 3x week. After that became easy, I added 25 minutes on the AMT machine. I usually did an hour of cardio and 20 minutes lifting and maybe 10 minutes abs.
Running and getting faster and stronger has taken the place of wanting to lose weight. My body feels best at about 150. My weight currently hovers around 152. I know that it takes both good food choices and exercise to maintain. I signed up for training sessions so I could lift weights correctly and get stronger. I feel like I kind of lost my mid-20's because of how unhealthy and unhappy I felt. Hopefully my stories will help others maintain their health or inspire them to fight their way back to wellness.