Thanks for all your sweet words! I'd be happy to share my story with you guys.
Up until I got married, I was thin. I had never struggled with weight and never really cared about what or how I ate. I was pretty active and very social, so I guess I naturally burned a lot of calories.
However, once I was married and had my first child, the weight started packing on. 20lbs here, 30lbs there and even though I breastfed my babies, the weight didn't come off. I realized that I was gaining weight, but since I wanted a bunch of kids, I figured that I would worry about the weight loss once I was done having children. Little did I know that disaster was just around the corner...
In 2006, my world fell apart. I can't get into details about it, but my family was ripped apart by a horrible secret that my father carried. It was all over the news channels and news papers and completely horrified me. My family shattered. My brother moved far away to get away from the media hype, my mom divorced my dad and my father went to prison. I was 9 months pregnant and was left to deal with the major fallout. Thankfully, I had my wonderful husband by my side, my beautiful children to help me smile and my best friend in the whole world to support me. However, not long after, my world was rocked again when I got a phone call that my best friend was in the hospital. She had suffered a brain aneurism. The doctors tried to save her, but in the end, it was too much. She passed away at the age of 29, leaving behind her 5 little girls.
To say I fell into a horrible depression would be an understatement. I barely left the couch most days and had anxiety attacks about leaving my house. My doctor sent me to see a therapist where I was diagnosed with PTSD. I spent the next four years battling the PTSD/depression. It was a very long four years. My wonderful husband patiently dealt with me and did what he could to get me out of the house. Some days, it was just a drive through the countryside for a change of scenery.
One day, we took the kids the the park and I allowed him to take my picture. I knew I had gained weight, so usually I stayed behind the camera. But, I wanted some pictures of me with the kids, so I relented. The pictures that you see above are the pictures he took that day. I was SHOCKED when I saw myself. The large person in that picture was not me. It couldn't be me. I didn't recognize her at all! I cried and cried. I looked in the mirror and still didn't recognize myself. It was like I had finally woken up from a 4 year coma. Soon after, we went to a wedding and I hid behind my dh the entire time. I knew I was easily the biggest person there and I didn't want anyone taking a picture of me. That's when it dawned on me. I could do something about this. I'm not a victim! I may not have been in control of the circumstances that rocked my world, but I am in charge of what I put in my mouth and do with my body.
So, Sept 1st of last year, I determined to take it one day at a time. I told myself to just exercise one day. Just one and be thankful that I was healthy enough to still do it. I used Leslie Sansone's Walk Fit DVDs, because it's what my late best friend use to love working out to. I kept going like that day after day. I told myself "Just today...don't worry about tomorrow, just focus on today...". I would pray for the strength to get through the workout and also thank God that I had a chance to make things right. The weight started dropping off! Soon, I took it a step further and set myself a calorie budget. I would give myself 2,000 calories to spend in one day. If I wanted to spend it all on chips and cake...the so be it. But, once the calories were spent, then that was it for the day! I learned to stretch my calories by eating healthier food. I found what foods helped me to feel full. Whole grains, nuts, veggies, ect. I stopped drinking my calories (soda, juices, ect). I never did the low carb, high protein, or anything. I wanted to do something that was sustainable. After while, I became a Pescetarian simply because I believed in it...not for diet purposes.
Today, I eat between 1300-1500 calories. I exercise when I can and still do Leslie's DVDs. I also found I like to jog, so I do that on my treadmill at home.
I have come such a long way from that scared woman too afraid to step outside of her door. I've gone back to college and am training for a 5k. I know that if I can do this, I can do anything! And, if I can do it...so can you.
Thanks for reading!