The Worst of Times: 160 lbs.
The Best of Times: 120 lbs.
Total Loss: 40 lbs.
It USED to be effortless
I was a little overweight when I was in high school, but after I graduated I realized I needed to lose a few pounds. Being young and busy I was able to lose quite a bit of weight effortlessly. I was never into playing sports, but I did exercise occasionally at a gym.
The Weight Creeps In
When I met my husband, at age 27, I weighed 118 lbs. By the time I got pregnant with my 1st child 4 years later, I weighed 140 lbs. After the birth of my 1st two children (2 years apart), I returned to my pre pregnancy weight of 140 lbs. After the birth of my 3rd child, I never lost much weight and stayed at 150 lbs. I wasn’t happy with the way I looked or felt, but I always used the excuse that I didn’t have time to exercise with 3 small children and working outside the home. I also told myself I was too old at age 37 to be able to lose weight like I was able to do when I was young. Bottom line – I wasn’t motivated enough to do anything different. After the birth of my 4th child in May 2008 (10 days before my 40th birthday), the baby weight wasn’t coming off at all. I was very disappointed in the way I looked and felt. My husband had always tried to encourage me to exercise in the past, but I wasn’t interested until now.
I had decided I would be a stay-at-home mom now and was worried that I may have a hard time adjusting to this (mentally). A good friend of mine, another stay at home mom, had told me she would exercise (walk, bike ride, swim etc.) to help with not getting out much. I decided I would need to do something for my mental health and weight loss, if I was going to be home more.
When my 4th child was 5 weeks old, I weighed 160 lbs. I was miserable with myself. My husband, and biggest supporter, took me to purchase a good pair of walking/running shoes and a pedometer. The shoes, by the way, I wore out in 6 months. We were going to visit my parents for a few weeks and that is when I started walking. I was disappointed after my 1st walk, because it took me so long. But my husband just kept encouraging me to continue. He would always say “1/4 mile is better than no miles, and ½ mile is better than ¼ mile” and so on. I think I was walking a 20 minute mile at this point. But as I continued to walk more and more, and always pushing a double stroller (later I purchased a double jogging stroller), I continued to make better time and was very motivated to go further and faster.
I wasn’t losing much weight at this point since I didn’t realize how bad my eating habits were. My biggest weakness was M&M’s. I never figured out how many calories I ever consumed in a day when I was eating them, but I was buying the XL bags at Sam’s club a few times a week.
For the rest of that summer I walked at least 6 days a week. I was addicted to walking and loved it. I mostly walked with my neighbor or my husband, still pushing that double jogging stroller. I keep mentioning this because it was and still is hard work, but well worth it.
You’d Think I Paid Her to Say This
This is where my dear friend Suzette comes in. After I finally realized what her degree was in, nutrition/physical fitness, I didn’t stop at asking her to put together a nutritional plan for me. September 2008 was a changing time in my life. I weighed 155lbs. when I started my nutrition program and changed my eating life style.
It was difficult and overwhelming when I first started on the nutrition plan she prescribed for me. I had to learn about serving sizes according to the American Dietetic Association, and not the serving sizes on the food products. I had to figure out daily servings for the different food groups and how many I needed of each. So I started using a diet scale, rolled up my sleeves, and got down to work. I learned so much about food and nutrition. Suzette gave me all the details I needed to start on the road to weight loss and good nutrition. Eventually after I knew what to eat and how much I switched to recording what I ate and the calories, instead of recording food categories. I recorded and measured everything. If ate 4 tootsie rolls, I figured out the calories and wrote it down.I Call Her "The Walking Calorie Counter”
I was eating 1200 calories per day. My original goal was to lose 15 lbs. 7 weeks later I had reached that goal, so I kept going! By this time, the walking and eating healthy were a part of my daily life. I didn’t give myself the weekend off or a free day; because I figured I was working so hard I didn’t want to blow it in 1 or 2 days. I didn’t totally deny myself though. See, I love chocolate and I love ice cream. After trying many low calorie ice creams options, I fell in love with chocolate Dairy Queen ice cream. My husband and I buy it by the quart, he likes vanilla, and I like chocolate. Anyway, so every day after my kids went to bed I had my ice cream with warm hot fudge topping. Of course this was figured into my daily calorie count.
So in January 2009, 16 weeks later, I had lost a total of 35lbs!
Amy’s Maintenance Mode
Today, I still weigh 120 lbs. – give or take one or two pounds here and there. I still walk at least 3-4 times a week, between 4-5 miles, and I’m still pushing the double jogging stroller, but now I only need a single jogger. I now walk a 14-minute mile! I still have weeks where I need to write down everything I eat in a day, especially when I notice that I’m eating a lot of chocolate, or baking a lot. I still try to eat 1200-1500 calories per day. I feel great now and I’m so much more active with my family. I’m proud of my accomplishment since I never thought I could do it because “I was too old”. I’m really thankful for Suzette who helped me with all the nutrition and physical fitness info. I’m also thankful to my wonderful husband for his overwhelming support and constant encouragement. He was, and still is, my biggest cheerleader and fan, without the two of them I would’ve never been able to accomplish what I have.
"I like to tell people,” If I could do it, so can you”. I really believe this."
And now for the Amy today...looking better than most women half her age! Being supportive sure paid off for her husband Bill! :)
*Walking and have a good walking partner
*Writing down everything I would eat, and figure out the calorie content.
*Moderation and portion control. Weighing and measuring everything.