As a child and teenager, weight loss was never a concern for me. I was an athletic young lady and “could eat whatever I wanted” and really wouldn’t gain any weight. I remember girls in my 7th grade class having “weight loss challenges” and they would see who could lose the most weight in a week. They would sit at lunch and eat saltine crackers and drink water. I remember thinking how ridiculous they were. I never said that, but it was how I felt. I can even remember telling my mom about what they were doing. The idea of being worried about weight loss at 13 didn’t make sense to me.
Fast forward a few years to 2002. I worked at a Christian camp for quite a few summers in Junior High and High School. After I graduated from High School that year, I went back to that camp for the summer. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with myself. I was going to go to college, but knew I didn’t want to be in thousands of dollars in debt when I didn’t even know what I wanted to do. I ended up staying at this camp as an intern. This same summer, I met my husband. 🙂
After that year, I stayed on again as a second year intern. Now, mind you, this was a full working ranch. Not just a summer camp. We had horses to feed, cows to herd, and buffalo to de-worm. Oh, the stories I could tell! My point being, I did a lot of physical labor. We bailed hay, stacked wood, shoveled snow… we worked our tails off… literally.
The following Fall, 2004, Greg and I married. Isn’t it funny that you remember what you weighed on your wedding day? Anyone else? I was 103 pounds. I didn’t consider myself unhealthy back then, but when I look to the way I ate…. oh my… Let’s just say that Ramen Noodles was a staple. After the wedding, my food choices didn’t get any better. My work load decreased. I became a nanny and spent my days reading books. Much different than how I had spent the prior 2 years of my life. I joke that instead of the “Freshmen 15” I gained the “First-year 15.”
A year into our marriage I was ready to have a baby. Shoot. Who am I kidding? I
was ready thought I was ready to get pregnant on our honeymoon! I have always wanted nothing more than to be a stay at home, homeschooling mom. Discontent and nagging were the name of my game that first year of marriage. I’ve learned a lot since then. My one year anniversary gift was to stop taking birth control. Two months later we found out I was pregnant. I was elated. And nervous.
I gained a lot of weight in my first pregnancy. I suffered from postpartum depression. I was an emotional mess. 5 1/2 months later I was pregnant again. Greg was working 4-10 hour days, in school Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and was leading worship at our church on Sundays. Life was crazy. I didn’t gain quite as much weight with the second baby, but still more than I would have liked considering I had some “extra weight” when I got pregnant.
Right before having our second child, we moved in with my in-laws. After delivery, I took my 6 weeks off, and started just strolling the neighborhood in the evenings with my husband and children. I didn’t engage in ‘real’ exercise, just our nightly walks. I went on a “food combination” diet where you didn’t combine proteins and starches. It worked! But it didn’t last long. When my son was 6 months old, yup. You guessed it! I was pregnant again. And so the cycle continued for baby number 4 and 5! Between each pregnancy I would lose some “baby weight” but never all of it before getting pregnant again. I gained the most weight with my last baby, who ended up weighing in at 9lbs 11oz! Woo. She was a big one! We had an amazing home birth with her.
Six months later, and not pregnant, my husband approached me with “the talk.” He was ready to be done having children. I wanted one more…. or 10. :p He jokes that I was ready to be the Duggars, but truth be told, I was ready to take as many as the Lord would give me. It was a very, very, very hard process for me. In all honesty, I was really upset with Greg. I did NOT want this. At all. I cried and cried and cried some more. On our way to his appointment I remember praying and asking the Lord to let me not be the bitter, angry wife. He answered that prayer. Not one day has gone by since that day 4 years ago that I have been upset about the decision.
But. This is where my real weight loss story begins…..
Read Part 2 Here!