I've watched this youtube video of my "120 pound journey" over and over. It never fails to motivate me or to bring tears to my eyes. As I get ready to run my first marathon this Sunday 1/8, I thought I would look back at my own recent weight loss journey.
I was a skinny kid. I stayed skinny through my 20's although heaven knows I had crappy nutrition and hardly ever exercised. In my 30's, I started putting on some pounds and my weight fluctuated between 140-160. I made an effort when Karen and I decided to have a baby and Jazzercised my way to 140 before conceiving. While pregnant, I kept Jazzercising but still put on lots of weight. I stopped looking at the scale in those last weeks before Kylie was born but I know I was past 185. I dropped some weight after Kylie was born but the pounds came flooding back on. I became immersed in being Kylie's mommy and lost some sense of myself outside of that role.
When Kylie was 2 1/2 years old, we went to TN to visit our family. I was shocked when we got home and looked at our photos. I had started diets and stopped them over those past 2 years but there was something about seeing these pictures that started me once again.
Sizes-XL shirt & size 18 in jeans
I called my Nanny (pictured here) and told her that I was going to lose some weight. She told me that was good because she was worried that I'd become diabetic. My Nanny was diagnosed with mild diabetes late in her life. From the moment she heard this, she never ate anything with sugar again. Never. She had amazing will power.
This was my last visit and last photo with Nanny. We exchanged letters and phone calls. By the time she passed away in February, I had lost over twenty pounds and she was proud of me. I was even more determined to reach my goal of getting to 140 (my pre-baby weight) before Kylie's April 17th birthday.
First goal reached:
Weight lost: 45 pounds in 5 months
How I lost it:
In the beginning, I exercised with my Wii gaming system. I was (and still am!) a huge Biggest Loser fan. I did the Biggest Loser, EA Sports and Jillian Michaels workouts on the Wii. I woke up at 5am, crawled down to the basement and did my workout as silently as possible as to not wake up Kylie. On some days, I would work out again at night. But I made it a point to get five workouts in per week.
I recorded everything I ate in the LoseIt app on my iPhone. I was determined to eat "normal" foods instead of frozen diet foods. I added more fruit, vegetables and grains to our weekly menus. I went through all of our favorite dinner recipes and calculated the calories and nutrition of each. That way, I knew the calories in our favorite chicken enchilada casserole dish or my usual pot of chili. I could calculate the appropriate portion based on the calories and plan for those calories in what I ate for breakfast and lunch.
Later, I added in some running. Even running in the rain and snow in that horrible winter in DC. And then I joined Gold's Gym and started running on their treadmill in the evenings after Kylie was asleep and on the weekends. The first time I ran 6.2 miles (10K) was on the treadmill at Gold's. It was a 12:45 pace.
In May 2010, we moved from DC to Florida. I still recorded everything I ate but stopped working out on the Wii. I found a gym and kept up with my running on treadmills. But in July, I started to feel stagnant. I had maintained my weight at 140 for four months but I felt like I could so very easily slip back into old eating patterns and gain back the weight.
Plus, Kylie was now in preschool and I had 4 precious and wonderful hours that I could use to workout each day. Having some time to myself made a huge difference in me. My eyes were opened to new hobbies, new possibilities, new energy! So I decided to take on the challenge of running 13.1 miles. Between July and November, I trained for my first half-marathon and my weight dropped to 132.
Second goal reached:
One year from my weight loss start date
November 2010 (my 40th birthday)
Weight lost-53 pounds in one year
First half marathon time: 2:11
Running the half-marathon gave me a huge confidence boost. Running became something I loved to do instead of something that burned the most calories in the least amount of time. I enjoyed pushing myself and I enjoyed training. I was no longer embarrassed when I walked into my gym. I started thinking "What's next?"
In December 2010, I started training with a personal strength trainer at my gym in Florida. I still ran mostly on the treadmill but I added a fun Body Combat class and a spin class into my weekly workouts. I discovered that my trainer had completed an Ironman triathlon. I joked with her saying what a huge stretch it would be for me to complete a triathlon (since I could hardly swim or bike at all). But in January 2011, I took on the huge goal of training for a triathlon for 2012. I started swimming and biking and running mostly on the road. My body loved all this variation and without really trying, my weight dropped to 115 in May. In June, I signed up for a life-long goal of running my first marathon. As part of my marathon training, and as a wonderful reminder of my 1st half marathon, I ran my 2nd half marathon in November.
Third goal reached:
Take time off my half-marathon time. Ran 13.1 miles in 1:56 (last year was 2:11)
Two years from my weight loss start date
Weight loss- 67 pounds
Sizes- Small in shirts, 4 in jeans.
So in just a few days, I'll be at the starting line of my first marathon. I know as I run, I'll be thinking about that youtube video and my own weight loss journey. As I run, I've been known to pray like crazy (and not just "Please God let me keep running!). I pray for my family and friends. I pray for people I've known and for our nation. I always add a prayer for those just beginning their weight loss journey and for those faltering in their weight loss journey. So if you fall into any of these categories, just know that on Sunday morning, I'll be sending energy and prayers to you.
My dear readers, thank you all. Thank you for your encouragement and support.
And stay tuned for my running playlist!