fitness, Running

Simply Healthy Mama (The Beginning)

In 2011 I was sick and tired of being obese.  In fact, that time, I was tiptoeing very closely to being “morbidly” obese.  When I finally faced the facts and the scale I was so disappointed in how I let myself go.  I made a commitment to get healthy.

My weight issues go way back to birth.  I came into this world weighing 9 pounds 6 ounces with chubby cheeks.  I was a junk food junkie from a young age and I was always chubby.  My mom would order my clothes from the “Pretty Plus” section of the JC Penney’s catalog and I can remember when I was 10 years old having to shop at a local women’s store because we couldn’t find anything in the girls section that would fit.
By the time I was in high school I was an average size.  I was not obese but I wasn’t in a healthy weight range either.  I was simply “overweight”.  I always felt like the biggest girl in the class although looking back on it, I really was only about 10 pounds from being at a healthy weight for my height.
Senior year–size 13 dress (and I thought I was so HUGE.  What a distorted view I had of myself!)
When I went to college I was about 20 pounds overweight.  I went on a crash diet in the Spring of my freshman year.  I quickly dropped 30 pounds and unhealthily got down to 132 pounds.  I say unhealthily because I was exercising like a mad woman, eating very little (no more than 800 calories a day), and constantly criticizing myself if I ate something I deemed “unhealthy”.  And yes, on occasion I made myself throw up if I thought I had eaten too much.  I lived off of low fat potato chips, apples, and salad without dressing.  And despite being at the lower end of my healthy weight range, I still felt fat.
Last day of freshman year of college.  Can you believe how small my waist was?!  That was a size 7 dress.  
I started dating my now husband and then I got a job for the summer at TCBY.  Happy in a new relationship, and overindulging in free ice cream at my job, I managed to gain back about 15 pounds.  Then I went overseas for a semester and lost that weight again.  I came back from Asia feeling healthy.  I had lost the weight not by dieting but by walking everywhere and eating low fat, healthy Asian foods.  I remember feeling very healthy when I returned from Asia.  I was tan (and I never tan), I felt strong, and I weighed 140 pounds.
Me in Indonesia in 1997.  I am still to this day amazed at that tan! 
The KFC in Salatiga, Indonesia.  
Me and my hubby two weeks after I returned to the states, one week after we got engaged and two days after his kidney transplant.  We are both 19 years old here.  

When I got married a year later, I was back to being overweight (around 165 pounds).  I gained some more weight after I got married and then we moved 6 hours away from my family and friends.  I became lonely and miserable and turned to food to make me feel better.  I steadily started gaining weight.  Over the next 9 years I had two babies and packed on about 35 more pounds.

This is when I first really starting putting on some weight.  I was so depressed and lonely and homesick.  I got pregnant with my first daughter right about a month after this photo was taken.   


After having my first daughter, I went to Weight Watchers.  I lost a little bit but never maintained it.  I went back again after my second daughter was born.  I always lost about 12-15 pounds, went back to my old habits and gained it back plus a few pounds.  I also lost some weight using in 2008.  I started the Couch-to-5K program and only got about half way through.  Once again, my depression and loneliness got the best of me and I ended up turning to food for comfort and gained all the weight back.

This is me and my oldest child when she was about 10 months old.  I had an awful haircut and color and I was at my all time highest weight and feeling miserable!
So then we moved to NC in 2009.  I had another baby.  I lost most of the baby weight but remained obese.  I joined a gym, met with a nutritionist, lost some weight, fell off the wagon (again) and gained it back.  In January 2011 I looked in the mirror and didn’t recognize the person that I saw.  I was unhealthy, obese, tired all the time, sore, and depressed.  I knew I had to get serious about my health and make a commitment to lifelong change.  I got my butt back in the gym, started taking classes (even when it felt really awkward), started eating clean and started dropping weight.

Me and my middle daughter in January 2011.  I was so tired of being overweight and was so ready to make a change!
I remember taking that first photo and being so disgusted with myself.  I guess it totally shows on my face!  
I still have a ways to go.  I’ve had ups (losing 40 pounds, running a half marathon) and downs (gaining 18 pounds back) but I always manage to get back on track.  My ultimate goal has always been to be a healthier mama for my three girls.  In the last three years, I’ve gone from a completely sedentary mom to a mom who loves to jump on the trampoline with her kids and who leads a girls running group and who runs races with her kids.
Me in March 2012 after my fifth 5K
My first half marathon, April 2012
My oldest daughter after her first 5K–she placed second for her age group!
This has been an amazing journey.  I’ve met some new lifelong friends who help keep me accountable.  I have done things I never dreamed I could do (half marathons…oh yeah!).  I have made an impression on my children and I intend to keep it up for their sake.
Here’s to healthy living for life!
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2 thoughts on “Simply Healthy Mama (The Beginning)

  1. I just came across your post and I am not sure how I got here but I am glad I did. I have struggled all my life with weight issues. I am now 66 years old and weigh 190. I had 3 lap band surgeries and they have all failed. I am at my last resort and looking to start a life plan with food plans and exercise plans . I could use some help. Thanks

    1. Hey there! I’m glad you found me. Don’t ever give up! I think that is the biggest lesson I have learned in the last few years. I’ve had plenty of ups and downs and I’m currently in a “down” season! I’m not anywhere close to where I want to be. I’ve made mistakes. I’ve slipped up. I’ve gained weight. But I’m not giving up. Never, ever, ever. 🙂 I try every day to remember that HEALTHY is my goal and not SKINNY. It’s hard because some days I just want to fit into my skinny jeans again! But I keep trying and I keep learning and I’ll will never give up. 🙂

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