I am not going to lie, I have pretty much been on the thinner side of the scale my whole life (with obnoxious amounts of dieting as previously mentioned), but it’s true. I rarely needed to buy a size larger than a 4.
All of this changed, however, when my husband and I decided to start a family. Two heartbreaking miscarriages and two fertility medications later, we were successfully pregnant. And, about 25 pounds heavier than my usual weight….at the start of my pregnancy. Well, add 22 pounds of pregnancy weight onto that over the next 9 months, and by the time I gave birth I had an overall weight gain of close to 50 pounds. Now I know this may not sound like a lot to some people, but for the record, I am 5’ 1”.
Unfortunately some people were brutal to me about this weight gain. I can absolutely sympathize with Kim Kardashian and Jessica Simpson. I actually had one person poke me in my thigh and make the comment about how big my thighs had gotten. Women would just look at me and make cruel comments about how you can never lose all the weight.
I dropped the 22 pregnancy pounds pretty easily, but at 4 months postpartum I was still with almost 30 extra pounds and I was depressed. I was officially overweight, unhealthy, and unhappy. No, not post-partum I can’t get out of bed depressed. It was a “I can’t stand the way I look or feel” depressed. It really hit me when I looked back and realized that I had only ONE picture taken of my child and I together because of my insecurity. That is when I knew I had to make a change.
My career continuously teaches me that life is too short, and that message never rang more true than at this point in my life. Although I do believe that life is too short not to eat a piece of cake every once in awhile, life is also too short to not be happy with yourself…especially to the point that you won’t have your picture taken, even with your newborn child.
So, I talked to my wonderfully supportive husband who seriously is the best man on the planet. I started to think about my life and wanted to set a goal… something that I never thought I could do in a million years. I signed up for a 5K. Again, this may not seem like much to some people, but even when I was young and thin and a cheerleader, I was Never a runner. I hated it. Running around the track in high school was my own personal 7th level of hell. But I needed something, anything to help pull me out of the dark place I was in, and I was hoping those 3.1 miles would be it.
Let me tell you, getting back in shape and in the gym was tough. I felt awkward, big, and quite frankly, ugly. I didn’t have cute gym clothes and couldn’t find any that were flattering. So I worked out in maternity t-shirts and baggy shorts. And I started out slowly, working out 3 days a week and slowly increasing to now 6 days a week when my schedule allows. I did the couch to 5K program and literally started by running in 1 minute increments. I also slowly and steadily changed my diet. I downloaded My Fitness Pal and began recording my food.
Six months after my first road race ever, and before my child’s first birthday, I ran a half-marathon. I felt such a sense of accomplishment I can’t even begin to explain the depth of it.
I was now 20 pounds lighter, but not yet still at my goal. That is when I found Pure Barre. I had a girls’ weekend and saw my best friend since 3rd grade for the first time in over a year, and she looked great. I mean, high school thin and fit great. So I asked her what she had been doing and she replied, “Oh, this is all from Pure Barre.” I had no idea what Pure Barre was, but took a class with her over that weekend. And just like the prior post, it was brutal! I actually flipped her the finger during my first class, told her she was crazy, and that I didn’t realize that extremity seizures were supposed to be a good thing! Well, needless to say, that first class unveiled my next self-imposed fitness challenge. I signed up for the New Client Special, and told myself I had to go to at least 10 classes that month for the price. I haven’t looked back since, and that was 5 months ago. In the first 2 months I lost 2 inches off my waist, and those aren’t the only changes I have enjoyed. Besides the better posture and the beginnings of sculpted arms and abdominal definition, I have regained even more confidence. Confidence not only in how I look, but also in appreciation for what my body can accomplish! I am working my way towards the 100 club, and loving every minute of it.
I celebrated my “Run-niversary” last weekend. I ran the same race, but instead of the 5K, I ran a 15K at a pace three minutes less per mile. The past year has been a journey from a very dark place, but having had the “overweight” experience has been an enlightening one. Having been subjected to all the negative comments and jokes has made me not only a more sympathetic person, but because of the determination it gave, a healthier one as well.