It’s a little difficult for me to write this post today, but I also know there are some out there who need to read it.

I need to read it.

This blog won’t really become all about my weight loss, or about this major health movement, but it will always be centered around our everyday life, and this is certainly a huge part of my regular life right now.

I’ve thought I was overweight as long as I can remember.  And let me tell you something: I had loving, encouraging, affirming parents.  But our culture and this world said a bit different, and that was enough doubt for my insecure and immature brain to cling to, to believe.

me on our honeymoon in 2003, can remember being completely insecure when Matt snapped this shot of me.

I was an athlete in school, and while we’ve touched on my early high school days before, in the end, I turned out mostly liked and had boyfriends and the regular jazz of teenage girl adolescence.

Upon entering my senior year, though, I was quite consumed with how I looked and remember diligently chugging down SlimFasts every single day  and skipping out on off-campus lunch with my friends.

And when teenage tragedy struck (a.k.a. having my heart shattered in a million pieces), I was consumed all the more.

Somewhere along the way, though, in my freshman year of college, I grew a little more comfortable in my own skin, but after a terrible car accident and a couple of months in a wheelchair and a year of physical therapy, I was back to my old ways, measuring my food and weighing every Wendesday.

And again, y’all we’re talking about a size 8 & a ton of muscle.  Now listen, I’m not a tiny person.  Never going to be and never truly wanted to be, but I couldn’t fully accept myself even though I accepted it partly.  Am I making any sense?  My skinniest self is still 5’8, wears a size 10 shoe, and can palm a boys’ basketball.

So while I’ve known that my whole life, and kind of loved that about myself, I still felt so ugly, so unattractive sometimes.

Fast forward a few years.  I put on 32 pounds carrying Gray, and looking back, that was a pretty impressive feat.  My body could have easily gifted fifty pounds to me, but it didn’t.  I remember feeling absolutely beautiful after Grayson was born…I know, it was that post-baby hazy coma.  That, and I lost 25 pounds in the hospital.  Anyway, I really felt quite good about myself until Grayson turned one year, and I’d even put about 10 pounds back on.

All of a sudden, I was miserable, frustrated, couldn’t button my pants, and worse, just felt sad about shopping or looking in the mirror.  I was going to make a change.

I found myself a great trainer and put myself on the nutrition plan.  I was focused, and didn’t miss a workout or take the first bite of a cookie or sugar for three months.  In three months, I was down 2 sizes, 25 pounds, and down to 18% body fat.

And that was amazing.  So liberating and freeing and I felt incredible.

For about 3 weeks.

post baby #1, after losing it all, and walking across the stage for becoming a Director in SLAH (direct sales)

And then I traveled and missed one workout.  And real life resumed and I ate one or two cookies.  All the while still continuing to exercise and stay healthy…but I fretted about how much was ever enough.  I remember walking across that stage in the pic above, feeling insecure and a little worried about how tight my pants were.  Really?!

Have mercy.

Within a few months, though, I was pregnant again and of course, the stretch marks and pounds came back with a vengeance this time.  They reared their ugly heads quicker and easier, and by the time I had her, I’d gained about 38 pounds (BUT, I’d put about 10 pounds back on throughout the year before pregnancy bringing my total to 48).

And I went back to working out when Ava was 7 weeks old and my chest was ridiculously heavy from nursing–it was miserable.  But I thought I needed to.  I thought I had to, to lose the weight.

But this time, it just didn’t budge.  My body fat moved, but the weight?  It just stuck around.  Even after Ava turned one year old, I was still clinging to the pounds.  So I started a challenge at the gym (Trinity Fitness here in Troy, Alabama), the same gym I’d partnered with to tackle the weight after having Grayson.  I lost 11 pounds in that month, and I was pumped.

But then I started having these major back pains.  And it turned out I was pretty sick.  So I gained that weight back, and I was frustrated.  Very, very frustrated.

Because it wouldn’t shed, because I ate healthier than most of my thinner friends, because I felt like I just couldn’t pull it off.  I felt a little resigned.

I worked out more than anyone I knew, but I couldn’t lose weight.  When I did lose weight, it felt like I didn’t really become content, and I still didn’t truly believe I was beautiful or pretty or fill in the blank.  It seemed to me that the only way I could truly lose weight was to almost starve on the challenges, and I just absolutely felt like I could not give that much time and focus to just eating perfectly every 3 hours.

My career was growing and challenging me, I was homeschooling…there were more than enough reasons to put it all off.

And that cycle continued for the next 2 years, which brings us to today.  This is me about 2 and 1/2 months ago, taking the photos for my book headshot.  There I was, just accomplishing a huge dream, and I was worried about how my pants fit.

The point is this:  I had/have body issues.  There’s no way around it.  I wasn’t totally happy with myself unless I was killing it at the gym.  Which is fine and perfectly healthy, but I truly couldn’t keep pleasing that side of myself.

After it nearly killed me to take a photo of myself without the kids in it, I decided something had to change.  Drastically.  And it wasn’t going to begin with my body.

P.S.  This story has a happy ending/beginning.  Want to hear the rest?

Come back tomorrow and we’ll finish our chat…

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