Like anyone in their 40s, my weight loss and fitness journey has been just that.
A journey. So let’s start at the beginning, shall we?
The Early Years – AKA: What’s this “working out” you speak of?
In high school I was an average gal. Not overweight. Not underweight. Of course, I THOUGHT I was fat. Does every teenage girl think she’s fat? Perhaps. I wasn’t athletic. I was in flag corps and I’m convinced all that marching and twirling kept me in shape.
In college, I gained the traditional “freshman 15”. Shoot, it might have been “freshman 20”, but even then, I was still slim… and thought I was overweight.
Wedded Bliss – AKA: What do you MEAN I can’t eat like a man? Watch me!
I met my husband my freshman year and we promptly married right after we graduated. Now THAT’S when I started to gain weight. My 5’8” frame was probably sitting around 120 pounds when we got married…. And then… we started cooking. Not realizing that I couldn’t eat the same amount of food that my weight lifting, bike riding husband could, I would load our dinner plates up with the same amount of food… and I would eat the same amount of food. Needless to say, I started the majority of my weight gain here.
My scale slowly crept up to 180 pounds. I decided I wanted to start trying to get pregnant. I also decided that in order to get pregnant, I wanted to lose this mystery weight that had decided to take up residence in my body. Enter Weight Watchers. I joined. I learned what portion sizes were. I learned just how many calories are in a Big Mac, a Reuben sandwich, a chocolate shake. Holy cow!! Now wonder I had gained weight!!
That was 2000-2001. In that year, I lost 45 pounds. I felt great! I was skinny again. I could see my hip bones again. I was eating right. I wasn’t exercising AT ALL… But I was eating right!
And Baby Makes 3… then 4 – AKA: You mean I have to diet…. AGAIN?!?!?
After struggling with fertility and eventually multiple miscarriages, we got pregnant and STAYED PREGNANT!!! And then I turned into that pregnant girl who would grab TWO ice cream bars. Come on! I’m eating for two now!! I would give in to every single pregnant craving I had. Potato Cheddar Soup. Philly Cheesesteaks. HUGE plates of Fettucine Alfredo. Om nom nom.
The day I had my first son, I was 245 pounds! I had gained more than 100 pounds in less than 9 months! Once I was back at work and on a schedule, I started trying to lose the weight and got down to 180 pounds before I slowed down and eventually stopped working on my health. Why? My husband and I wanted another baby. See what I did there? I decided I didn’t need to lose more weight before I had another baby. Even though I had decided the opposite before our first child. I think part of that issue was the fact that I was still struggling with multiple miscarriages and that took a major toll on my attitude toward my body. My body that kept betraying me by not staying pregnant.
I sat at that 180 for 4 years, suffered more miscarriages, and finally got pregnant and stayed pregnant… and then… I rocketed right back up to 245 pounds during my second pregnancy as well. During my second pregnancy I faced a new challenge – gestational diabetes. My dad is diabetic. His mom is diabetic. Oh no…
So there I was again. New baby. 200+ pounds. I lost some of it on maternity leave, but the weight wasn’t moving as quickly as it was after the first pregnancy. So I went back to work. Which meant I had to shop for work clothes. At Lane Bryant. That killed me. I had never shopped at a “plus size” store before and that just sealed my disappointment with myself. But I was a new mom, back at work and surviving on that sleep deprivation schedule parents of infants get used to. I told myself it was ok if I was a little big, I’d get back to my old self soon enough.
Operation Hot Mama – AKA: Plus size pants motivation
Then, one day, someone asked me where I bought my pants, and I begrudgingly mumbled to her, “Lane Bryant”. UGH. Then she replied, “Oh honey! Us big girls got to stick together!” I shot back, “oh no. THIS – gesturing to my body – is temporary. I just had a baby!!” When I got home that night, I new I had to do something. I didn’t want to hang on to this weight any longer. I’ve always said I’m a “big girl”. I’m tall. I’ve never been teeny tiny. But I drew the line at someone else calling me big. That was a huge blow to my ego. And apparently just the motivation I needed.
So I started tracking my calories with an app (Lose It!) on my phone… I bought Jillian Michael’s 30 day shred, and I did it. Religiously. I logged my food, I did my workouts in the morning, and I got myself back down to a respectable 143 pounds. I was proud of myself. I had good reason to be! I’d come within less than 10 pounds of my pre-first-baby weight.
A New Approach to Health – AKA: This is the LAST time I’m gaining weight
I got a new job not long after that. A job that didn’t require me to sit at a desk all day, but rather, had me up and moving a lot more than I was used to. I got lazy. I reasoned that I was walking at ton, so I didn’t really need to work out daily…. and so I didn’t.
I felt guilty about it, of course. So I took up running and started the Couch to 5k program. That lasted about 6 weeks, until my knees started hurting. Then I stopped.
Two years passed and I slowly packed on more weight. In the summer of 2012, I had reached 158 pounds. Oh no. Oh no no no no no. I could NOT let myself get any bigger. My clothes had started to feel snug and my confidence had started to fall. I had to do something.
A New Approach – AKA: Insanity? That’s just… INSANITY
Thankfully, I have a very athletic husband who is also very supportive. He was feeling like he wanted something more structured for his fitness routine. So we talked about workouts we could do together.
We considered P90x, but the whole weights/pull-ups thing intimidated me. We looked at Insanity. Holy moly. That looked TOUGH. I couldn’t do that! We dropped the subject for a few days.
Then, one day at work, a friend told me she and her husband were starting Insanity. I was so impressed! I told her I didn’t think I could do that. It looked too hard. You know what she said? She said, “Missy, if you only make it 20 minutes, that’s still 20 minutes more than you would have done without it.”
I thought – she’s right! So I jumped on to teambeachbody.com and looked up Insanity. Oh boy. That’s a lot of money. I walked away from the computer. I talked to my husband about it. His advice was it was less than a gym membership! Good point. Then I thought – the cost will be a motivator to me. This isn’t some $20 video I could hide amongst the Disney movies. If I paid for this, I was going to make darn sure I used it.
So we did it. We started Insanity mid-June 2012. We worked out every night after work, after dinner, after we cleaned the kitchen. Without fail. I felt a little silly. My husband was so much stronger than me. I couldn’t keep up with him on pushups, or power jumps. But I did what I could. And I took breaks when I needed it. Usually, my husband kept going and that just fueled my fire to jump back in.
I won’t lie. While we were working out, I was watching that countdown clock. How many more minutes are left? How many more of these squat jack things can I do?? Oh my goodness, kill me now. But I will not stop. I’m getting through this workout.
Two weeks went by and I broke out the tape measure. Oh. My. Goodness. This thing is really working. I had lost 7.5 inches in just 2 weeks! Ok. Let’s keep going. Let’s see how much I can do with this.
We committed to eating healthier as a family. Tracking our calories and activity on MyFitnessPal on our phones. Choosing healthier meals. Cutting back on the fast food. It felt good to set a better example for our kids. And they noticed!
At the end of the 60 day program, I had lost about 10 pounds and 17.5 inches. The day after we finished Insanity, we ran a 5k. I hadn’t run a 5k before. I mean, I had signed up for a 5k. I half walked/half jogged a 5k. But I had never RUN a 5k. So I looked at this as an opportunity to see if I could do it.
My husband and I laced up our shoes and we ran. And we talked. And it was FUN. WHO WAS I?? I was enjoying myself…. RUNNING??? Finally I thought to myself, I wonder how far we’ve gone – so I looked at my Nike app. 2.86 miles? Really?? We’re almost finished? And I’m not out of breath? I’m not tired? WHAT. THE. HECK. I finished a 5k in about 28 minutes. And I loved that feeling. I ran! I didn’t even “train” for it! I mean, I knew my “training” was all of that Insanity we were doing, but I never thought I’d be able to RUN. This is awesome!!
So guess what we did? We decided to do Insanity. Again. August to October. 60 more days. After round 2, I had lost around 20 pounds and 23 inches, total. Then we looked at each other and said, “what next?”
What Next? – AKA: Who is this workout junky?
What next? You name it.
My husband and I were so inspired by what we were able to accomplish with Insanity, and found ourselves inspiring others – so we became Team Beachbody coaches. And we’ve been doing Beachbody workouts and drinking shakeology ever since:
- Les Mills Pump
- Les Mills Combat
- Focus T25
- 21 Day Fix
- Body Beast
- Insanity Max :30
Soon we’ll add 21 Day Fix Extreme to that list.
I also became a certified PiYo instructor and found I LOVE teaching fitness classes.
Fast forward to today. I’m down 25 pounds.
I’ve lost 24 inches from my body.
I CAN SEE MY ABS.
And people are noticing.
And they’re asking me what I’m doing.
And wow… that feels amazing.
I want to tell everyone that it’s not HARD to do!
It just takes some dedication and motivation.
What’s my motivation?
My kids – I want to be around for them.
My dad had a massive stroke at the age of 50 – after that, he developed diabetes.
Heart disease runs in my mom’s family.
My grandmother has had two bouts with cancer.
My genes could betray me at any time.
But I don’t want to make it easy on them.
I know that diet and exercise is a factor in keeping diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer at bay. I’m going to do everything in my power to be a fit and healthy wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, coworker, and more. Because the people I love and care for deserve that. Because I deserve that.
And that’s a big reason why I became a Team Beachbody coach. I don’t think I’m the only one who should know how awesome Team Beachbody workouts & nutrition are – and how having a coach’s accountability and motivation was the missing link for me to keep setting and reaching new goals.
Now I help others set and reach their goals. We do it together. And I love it.
So there’s my story.
It’s nowhere near finished.
And I can’t wait to see what I can accomplish next.