Once upon a time, there was a mom. Her entire identity was just that. Mom. Nothing more and nothing less, because we all know that the title of “mom” is nothing to sneeze at.
Way back when, she used to have hobbies and interests outside of motherhood. She even worked outside the home and was quite good at every job she took! But alas, with the arrival of her 3rd child there also came mysterious health issues. Pain, suffering, anxiety, joint and nerve issues and way too many careless prescriptions from the doctors had her spiraling out of control and farther and farther from being the woman she once was. She almost lost herself entirely. She was sick, body and mind. She took the pills the doctors prescribed her as she was told not realizing how she was being poisoned. The pounds piled on, she missed out on time with her her family, her muscles grew weak, her soul weary until she physically and mentally gave up. She was using a walker to get around. She was a recluse in her room and people grew around her while she missed it all.
Eventually, something came over her…a power she’d never known before and wouldn’t see again for a long time. It was determination. She threw out all her pills and said “No more!!” they weren’t helping her and she felt they were making her worse. She was right. With the medicines out of her system she regained a little bit of her health…not all…but enough that she made a decision that since her family didn’t quite feel finished she wanted one more child.
This mom loved her 4 children with all of her heart. As these children grew, and needed her less she became panicked, for she knew not what to do if not completely submerged in them.
Her hobbies consisted primarily of “mommy groups” which she attended with her youngest. She made friends with other mothers of young ones through La Leche League, and Babywearing International and other such groups and really felt like she had found her place and her people. Of course, many of these friends were just starting these families and this mom was on her last child. She couldn’t keep her child from growing to maintain breastfeeding and babywearing as the glue that held these friendships together. She loved and valued the relationships she formed with these people but noticed and acknowledged that having kids the same age isn’t always enough.
By this point, her weight had gotten out of control. She wasn’t one of those moms that shed pounds while breastfeeding but, in fact her body seemed to store fat during this time. Her preemie child needed to be fed a lot and due to the time she spent focused on nursing him in the beginning, she grew roots into the couch where she remained for years nursing him into toddlerhood. Depression led to binge eating…which led to weight gain…which as it often does, led to more depression.
This mom was 260 lbs and lost. She hated herself and needed a change.
She joined a gym. It had a tanning bed. She loved tanning (spare the lectures, ok? This has a happy ending.) and so she told herself if she got nothing else out of this gym membership, it was a good deal for a tanning package. She just made a rule for herself that if she wanted to go tan, she had to do some exercise first. She’d walk slowly on the treadmill for 30 minutes. She’d sweat, and pant. She wanted to die. It was HARD and it was embarrassing, but she promised to do it before she tanned so she stuck it out.
Little by little it got easier, and eventually tanning wasn’t what got her there. It was that treadmill! She craved it. The fitness bug had bit her and there was no turning back!
She hadn’t changed her eating habits yet at this point but started noticing the “calories burned” counter on her treadmill. She wanted these to mean something, and so she downloaded the free MyFitnessPal app on her phone and began logging her food. She stuck with logging everyday and suddenly the pounds started falling off. She got more motivated and tried different activities. She enjoyed this and was seeing results!
She was finally beginning to find herself. Her confidence was growing, her waist was shrinking. Her kids were still her focus, but in a different way. She wanted them to grow and she wanted them to be inspired by her!
Before she realized it, a year had passed and she’d lost nearly 100 lbs. When you get that close to your goal weight the pounds come off more slowly and once again she felt a little lost. For this entire year she had shared her “weekly weigh ins” and was so encouraged by others. It kept her motivated and gave her purpose. Some weeks she wouldn’t lose any weight and she realized she needed to set new goals.
She decided she wanted to become an athelete. 36 years old is a perfectly reasonable age to start something like that, you know! 😉
She hired an amazing personal trainer and began lifting weights and even running! Running miles, and miles and miles….
Those runs took her miles apart from where she started. She went from using a walker….to placing in races. She went from 260 lbs… to 149.6 lbs. She went from wearing a 3X….to wearing a small. She went from wearing a size 20….to wearing a size 4. She went from resenting how her body failed her…to loving all it could do.