Invest in yourself

I’ve always been a pretty healthy person. I’ve never loved working out, but I’ve always been active. We don’t follow a strict diet, but we eat fairly well. Up until my late 20s, I was always pretty “thin”. I did gain a good bit of weight after getting married, and got pregnant within 18 months of getting married. When I delivered my first child, I weighed close to 200 pounds. But, I dropped that weight fairly easily. Once LK finished nursing, I did Weight Watchers, and got back to 125 pounds. And, just a few days later, found out I was pregnant with Sam. I actually delivered Sam weighing less than I did when I got pregnant with LK. After delivering Sam, I lost some weight but not all of it. Again, after nursing him, I did Weight Watchers, and maintained my weight around 140lbs.

As time went by, life got stressful, and I put on some weight. But nothing I was really concerned about. It was more an appearance inconvenience than a struggle with the number on the scale. And, I was still fairly healthy. Until December 2013. During my routine annual exam, my doctor found some things of concern and suggested I undergo a biopsy and some further testing. Thankfully, the concerns were nothing serious. But, the genetic testing I did showed that I was a “candidate” for colon cancer. Not a surprise, and this runs in my family. I decided at that point, I really needed to be an advocate for my own health. After Christmas, I was going to get my act together and make sure I stayed in fantastic health.

Life turned upside February 12, 2014 when my mother passed away suddenly. The test at the hospital showed that she had heart disease. My itty bitty mom who walked miles every day had heart disease? I will say, I worried about her for a couple years because she had a persistent cough. I know now, that was a tell tale sign of congestive heart failure. I would love to say my mom’s death was a catalyst for my health journey, but it wasn’t. I lost all interest in caring at all. Mom was in shape, got plenty cardio exercise, ate well, didn’t smoke and didn’t drink. If she could die at 56 with heart disease, anyone can. And so, my health spiraled out of control. I gained over 80 pounds. I didn’t eat often, but when I ate it was terrible food. And, honestly, I was drinking a lot as well. The only way I could sleep was to be half lit. And, I really didn’t care what it did for my cancer risks or heart risks. Without really thinking about it, I was probably more apt to spiral myself toward life threatening health…..

I felt bad all the time, I was tired all the time regardless of how much I slept, and just couldn’t get it together. I went to my general practitioner and finally told her I was ready to do something different. After doing some blood work, meeting with an endocronologist, having more tests run- they told me I needed to have my thyroid removed. I spent a decent amount of time blaming my weight on my thyroid and my thyroid on my weight. One day, I realized how much of my kids’ lives I was missing out on simply because I didn’t feel like being an active participant. And, I could tell it was really bothering LK for her friends to make comments about my weight. One day, the light bulb just switched. I decided to do something about it.

The problem is, all the gym memberships, and fitness programs are expensive. I’m not the type of person that can just do videos at home. I can’t buy a gym membership and expect to show up. I have to have more accountability than that. I totally hate working out. That’s where I discovered the Be Healthy Challenge. On a whim I signed up. What could it hurt? I also found out my insurance would cover some time with a nutritionist and trainer. So, for $225 I had a 12 week plan to get started. With the help of a mentor, personal trainer, encouragement from friends, and a solid meal plan; life started changing. But, it wasn’t easy or problem free. During that 3 month period, I was sicker than I think I have ever been in a year. I got pneumonia, strep throat and a stomach virus. Grandmother was sick, my kids were sick, work got chaotic. I had plenty reasons to quit and just forget it. But, I had decided I was worth it, so I stuck it out! I lost pounds, lost body fat percentage, gained muscle mass, and most importantly started feeling better. Quite honestly, I still weigh more now than I did when I delivered both of my babies. But, I’m on a path to do something about it. I also found out during this time that I had severe arthritis in my knees, and if something didn’t change, I would be needing artificial cartilage and eventually knee replacement surgery. So, we had to add physical therapy to my regular workout routine. As of now, my knees are improving- and I get to keep my thyroid. All of my blood levels are coming back in line, and with continued progress, I shouldn’t even need medication.

The Be Healthy Challenge has ended, and I’m still not where I want to be. So, I decided to invest in myself. It’s expensive. I’ve committed to spending almost $2000 on continued use of a personal trainer and fitness classes. My kids deserve to have their mom participate with them, but more importantly, I deserve it. I’m worth the time, effort and money it takes to get there. I spend hours every day serving everyone else. I spend nearly $10,000 a year on LK’s dance alone. I have to mentally change my perspective to spend some of my resources on myself. I can’t be my best for others if I don’t.

So, here I am, putting myself out there on the world wide web. Hold me accountable, encourage me. But, more importantly, believe in yourself. YOU are worth it too! If I can do it, you can too. If something about you isn’t what you want it to be, do something about it. If I can find the time and money to do it, so can you. Please, don’t make it a waste of damaging my pride to put a picture of my 200 pound self in a bathing suit online….

Transformation after 14 weeks

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