The Back to Sparkpeople Story...
Friday, April 01, 2016
I've been on a long "journey." It all started at 283 lbs. I got married, got pregnant, and somehow lost 50 lbs while pregnant. I was so proud. My post-partum weight was 235 and I felt like I had a huge jump on my health! As the months went by, though, the weight started coming back. When I made it back up to 266 lbs, I decided it was time for a change. I joined sparkpeople. It was a big success story for me.
Surprisingly, I was a grown woman, a parent, who didn't have a strong concept of how weight management worked. I suppose I had heard "calories out > calories in" on more than one occasion, but until I actually sat down to do the math, I didn't have a truly firm understanding. 3500 calories = 1 lb. So if I want to lose 1 lb in 7 days, I need a deficit of 500 calories (or more!) per day. Now that's math that I can get my head around!!!
As long as I stuck to tracking my food, the pounds dropped steadily. Actually, once I had a set of recipes that were easy, tasty and filling, I found this process extremely easy and effortless. used to remark to my husband, "I can't believe how easy this is. Why didn't we do this sooner?"
We never felt deprived, because we had treats. We just kept our calories in check. Instead of eating an entire sleeve of Thin Mints, we ate 4... and not necessarily every night. We had tasty meals that we actually enjoyed. We had worked out strategies for going out to eat by researching menus ahead of time, so we had favorite entrees (that were also calorie friendly) selected before we ever arrived. We could even do it spur of the moment. If my in-laws said, "Let's go to Outback!" I had a plan, no research necessary!
As time went by, though, I noticed a few things. One was "Phantom Fat." I had lost 70 lbs, but I couldn't tell the difference in my body. I felt like I still looked 266 lbs. Part of that, though, was the other thing I noticed... I was obviously getting thinner. My clothes were sizes smaller. My body, though, looked just like it did at 266 lbs. Why? I wasn't exercising. I wasn't building muscle and changing the shape of my body. It was the same rolls of fat, just smaller ones.
I decided it was time to start exercising more, so I started Couch to 5K. I don't have to tell many of you, this is a fantastic program for gaining stamina. 9 weeks later, I was down to 188 lbs, a new all time low. I kept running, but started to get more lax with my diet. For the following year, I stayed in the 190s.
Suddenly, I was pregnant with my second child. I did GREAT with my weight during this pregnancy, right up until the third trimester when the nachos cravings kicked in. By the end of the pregnancy, I was up to 235 lbs. After having my second daughter, I got serious, and within a few months was back down around 200. I maintained there for a while.
Then, we made a big, life-changing decision. It was time to pick up our family and move states away to be near our extended family. We would be moving to a rural area with lots of cousins nearby. The kids would have woods to play in, land to run on, great schools, and lots of loved ones nearby to heap love on them. That's exactly what happened, too. There was one thing we didn't count on, though.
All the food. I forgot about all the good food I grew up around! We started settling in to our new area and started eating. The pounds packed right back on. I was 220, then 230, then in a flash, I was back up to 250 lbs.
Now I'm back to Sparkpeople to get this weight off again. I have noticed a huge difference in my health. My stomach is easily irritated, I'm tired all the time, and I have acid reflux! I feel like I get sick more easily and more frequently. I'm back to tracking and I have started a fitness program right off the bat, so that as the pounds melt away, my body reshapes itself into something stronger, instead of a deflated version of my obese self.
It feels good to try get it back under control. I hope I stick with it.