It was December 9, 2017 and the family was all decked out in their best. The boys in boots & ties, our daughter in her lace evening dress and the hubby in his leather vest and cowboy hat. We were down to the last five minutes of “we need to get on the road now!” The family was patiently waiting in the truck while I was still inside. My hair was done, makeup set but I was still in my slip.
There on our king size bed lie two dresses, a lovely olive green floor length gown – a favorite of mine, worn on many special occasions & a gorgeous black & gold kimono dress worn mainly to five star dining locations in the city. Sadly, these were the only two items left in that walk-in closet that I was able to squeeze into.
I went back and forth changing multiple times and staring into that full body mirror with great disappointment.
There I was, all 160 pounds of this 36 year old mother & wife. The largest weight I had ever been (not pregnant). How did I get here, how did I let go so bad that the very sight of myself in that mirror brought me to tears? Even after struggling to slip into a girdle, the “extra” curves on my body were visible with each dress. I sat there on the edge of our bed and cried. My husband walked in and immediately tried to comfort me. “You look beautiful, I love the black dress” as he wrapped his arm around me.
Even after our third child and the many difficulties during each pregnancy, I was able to bounce back. Not many months ago I was in the best shape of my life! I was biking daily with the kids, hiking at any state park we could escape too! Running was a daily necessity for me. I would run even when we vacationed, signed up for local 5k’s and sported my yoga pants with pride.
When did I give up? Why did I give up so easily? I let the stress of corporate America eat away at me, always competing with co-workers for a pat on the back. The stress of trying to please everyone at work built up and weighed heavily on my mind. The added chaos of trying to manage three children and their schedules of volleyball, baseball, football and everything else that came along was not helping. I was a “do it all myself” kinda woman.
Eventually, I put myself on the backburner. I focused so much on being the perfect mom, employee and wife that taking care of myself was no longer a concern. Then I started eating, I ate when I was stressed, I ate when I was happy, mad and sad. Eating became my pacifier. I didn’t make healthy choices either. I ate EVERYTHING! Fried foods, pastries, lots and lots of tacos!
As I gained more and more weight, I became more and more inactive. I was too tired to get on the treadmill, I was too out of breath to walk further than the yard on the ranch. I started putting my nice clothes away in drawers and purchasing elastic waist jeans and oversized shirts.
It’s surprising how quickly & easily we can let our selves go and fall apart. It took less than a year for me to get to this point. At first, I thought, I’ll just be a plus sized woman from here on out. I’ll embrace it and make the best of it. That extra weight though, was starting to affect me negatively. Here I was 5’2 at 160 when my heaviest is usually only 130. I was snoring every night now and not sleeping well when I did sleep. I noticed my immune system wasn’t doing well either. I was catching colds easier now. I was experiencing inflammation almost daily. My legs, hands and face were swollen weekly and it wasn’t a pleasant experience. I knew I had to make a change.
So December 9th came and went and here we are today, a new year. I’m not going to go on any insane diet fad or pop caffeine pills sold at GNC. I’m going to do this right. I don’t need to achieve some beach body by summer. I need to be healthy!
I started out with reevaluating my current diet. For starters, I drink about a pot of coffee a day and I switch right over to sodas until dinner time. I don’t drink any water in between unless it’s in the form of sweet tea. I don’t eat regular meals, breakfast, lunch or dinner. I grab and go. It’s the easiest way for a busy woman like me. I grab fast food, bread smothered in cheese or cream cheese, junk food, candy and I go on with my daily routine. I need to sit down & eat healthy meals.
Yesterday, I woke up, cooked everyone breakfast, drank lemon & water, a smoothie, grabbed my teen & camera and we walked. We picked a destination on the ranch and went for it. It took about an hour to get back to the house, we were tired and sweaty. I then set up the treadmill in the living room, had 1 cup of coffee, more lemon water and I hopped on that treadmill for a 6 speed run for 15 minutes straight. I thought I was going to die! I haven’t ran in so long that my body was hurting! I did my cool off walk and drank more water. I don’t think I have ever drank so much water in a day, EVER!
I ate a healthy avocado salad for dinner, more water and slept. This morning I started off with more water, an oatmeal for breakfast, packed a smoothie for lunch and I have only had 1 cup of coffee.
I may not do this everyday. I may fail a few times and hit a low point. However, I have made an effort to start. An effort to make a change. I want this. I want to continue chasing my kids around the ranch. I want to say yes, when everyone wants me to join in for some outdoor activity. I want to feel good about myself and most importantly I want to be healthy. It’s about time.
If you feel at all similar to how I felt on December 9th ask yourself “are you ready for a change?”
Let’s do this!