I have never considered myself a ‘great’ writer. When it comes to describing why I do something, I’m even worse. But this is a story I feel that needs to be told. I’ve never been into fitness and the thought of eating healthy just didn’t appeal to me. There are so many other things I would rather do that work out. I loved food entirely too much to give up all of the tasty things out there.
But when you are 30 years old and can barely walk up a flight of stairs without being in excruciating pain then you know it’s time to make a change. Not being able to play tag or hide and seek with the kids because I couldn’t run- the look of disappointment in your child’s eyes as you sit on the side was enough to make me finally make the change.
I never really struggled with my weight in the early years. In fact it wasn’t until I had children that I begin to notice the weight wasn’t falling off like it used to.
That didn’t stop me from living life care free and happy. I loved my body. Yes I had a few extra pounds, but it never got in the way of me living so I continued on.
2010/engagement photos (182lbs). (Photo: Leslie Williams Photography)
2011 shortly after the birth of my daughter. The moment I hit 200.
Trial & Error
Don’t get me wrong I love cooking!!! I would cook dinner four nights a week while we spent Friday-Sunday eating out. What I didn’t know (and would soon come to find out) was that I was not cooking the right things.
Over the years I tried diet after diet. I never actually got into working out (eh) but I called myself doing all the fad stuff. The Lemonade Diet (or Cayenne Pepper diet), Vegan for 14 days-you name it. I did it. While the diets did what they supposed to, I always hit the wall soon after. It wasn’t uncommon to hear me say “I lost all the weight, I’m good.” I soon fall right back into the trap and before I knew it, the weight and then some had come back.
I lost 20lbs in two weeks with the Lemonade diet in Jan/Feb 2013. At this point I was 145, down from 165.
The Breaking Point
In January 2014 I traveled to North Carolina to shoot a wedding. It was on a mountain and involved a lot of walking. The walking never really bothered me at weddings. I always wore comfortable shoes and just expected to have a little pain at the end of the night.
This particular night began just like any other. I did my photographer duties: posing, directing, fixing dresses, styling accessories…you know the usual. As the night began to wear on, I began experiencing pain in my leg and my side.
My husband accompanied me that evening and at the end of the night I took a picture. It was the first time I had seen myself. I did not like it!
January 2014. At my heaviest of 205lbs.
It wasn’t until I looked at this photo that I realized I needed to make a huge change. Not only just my eating habits-but my lifestyle as a whole.
It wasn’t just the photo that did it. When I looked at myself, I never saw a ‘big’ woman. I saw me. I was happy, no major health concerns.
So why now?
The answer was quite simple: My children.
I noticed my then 5 and 2 year old were beginning to pick up my same horrible eating habits. After moving around so much, by Christmas 2013 I feel into the fast food trap. We were eating out on such a regular basis that it become second nature for them to expect McDonald’s for dinner (or breakfast or lunch).
At the time it didn’t bother me any. After all what could be more convenient than a drive thru?
My once wonderful eaters, quickly became the pickiest of picky eaters. No longer eating vegetables, trading them in for chicken nuggets and french fries.
Slowly the reality of the situation began to set in. What was I doing to my family? I let convenience get in the way of common sense and it needed to stop.
Making such a drastic lifestyle change took time. I began working out February 1, 2014. I continued on a strict schedule-four days a week/four hours a day; I did this until May 24th. When I hit my wall. I lost a total of 30 lbs in that short amount of time. I cut out all sodas, drank only water and quite processed foods.
I was happy with my progress. So I stopped. Which is what I always do. But I genuinely loved what I saw!! For the first time in a long time I was able to run outside with my children. We played football, tag, hide and seek, you name it we did it. I felt accomplished. I felt free. I felt wonderful.
Photo courtesy Click Chick Photography
During the summer of 2014 life kicked in-work, kids and other responsibilities so I 100% stopped working out. But what I did not do was go back to dark sodas. I continued to limit the amount of times we ate out (once every 2 weeks) and I started looking more closely at the my food choices. I was down from 205lbs to now 165lbs–making much better choices. And toying with the thought of working out again.
Fast forward to the end of 2014- I was now 150lbs. I had completely stopped working out. But made the commitment to continue eating healthy, drinking plenty of water and getting rest.
Health wise, I no longer had the shakes (which had gotten really bad due to my need to drink a two liter of soda everyday for almost a year), I was sleeping comfortably and I was happy!!
This photo was taken December 31, 2014. I told myself starting January 1st there was going to be a new me.