Weight. It's perplexing how one little word can exert so much control over our lives. How, with one little tip of the scale, we can either feel good, or bad about ourselves. For some people, weight is not an issue. They can eat whatever they want, whenever they want, and never gain a pound. For others, there is this constant battle to lower those numbers. A battle that they will sometimes fight at any cost.
Before I had Jasmine, my weight was never really an issue. I say "never really" because there was a time in my life I put on a little weight. We had just come back from a three year stint in Germany, and I finally had access to all of my favorite fast food joints that I had been denied. Like most people who haven't had the opportunity to indulge in something they love, when presented with the chance to enjoy it, I happily forked over my cash, completely oblivious to the fact that my size 4 jeans no longer seemed to fit anymore.
I remained in this blissful state of oblivion for months. Until one day, finally, I took a long hard look at myself in the mirror. I realized for the first time in my life I didn't like the person looking back at me. So I started running. Hard. Everyday. Until I finally recognized the girl looking back at me.
For years, I managed to maintain my weight, with little to no effort. It seemed that once I took the weight off the first time, my body just automatically shrank back to it's original size.
Then came my pregnancy. And, believe me, it was quite a journey. Not a particularly happy or easy one, but it had a good ending. The condensed version of my pregnancy is that by the end of it, I was taking six steroids a day in an effort to increase my blood platelet count to reduce the likelihood that I would bleed out during birth. Luckily it worked, but sadly, the perfect birth that I had envisioned ended in a c-section.
Once I was discharged from the hospital, I was instructed to continue taking the steroids. Suddenly, I had this intense desire to eat nearly everything in sight. I guess because I had gone through such a traumatic pregnancy/birth, James did everything he could to keep me happy. Including stocking the apartment with all the junk food I could eat. Which at the point, was quite a bit. By the time it dawned on me that my desire to eat all the time probably had something to do with the steroids that I was being weened off of, I had already regained all the weight that I had lost giving birth.
Then a second problem arose. Because I was so hard headed, I didn't follow my doctor's orders, I overdid it. As a result, my incision swelled. So that meant I had added an additional 3-4 weeks to my already 4-6 week long doctor imposed "no work-out period."
Then (because all great things come in three's) there was one more problem. I finally gave up trying to work out, and just figured maybe I could start dieting until I got the all clear from my doctor. However, it seemed that every time I started trying to control my food intake, my milk production would slow down. I fought this battle on and off for months, until finally I just decided to let it go until after I was done breastfeeding.
14 months later, I was finished breastfeeding, and finally ready to recognize myself again. I went into it hard. I did the 30-Day Shred. Which actually wound up being more like the 60-Day Shred. I did zumba at least three times a week. I took Jasmine walking every chance I had. Slowly, I started to notice a change.
Jasmine is 17 months old, and I am now finally only a few pounds heavier than I was before I had her. My work-out routine has changed quite a few times to try to fit my hectic schedule, but I manage. At least three times a week I run three miles. I try to squeeze in a few hours of zumba here and there, and I've just replaced my 30-Day Shred with Jillian Micheal's new Kickboxing DVD. When you combine this, with a complete overhaul of my eating habits, the change has been drastic.
It's not even the change in my weight that really motivates me, it's the change in myself that's been the most inspiring. Now, whenever I hear someone say something bad about their weight, I always try to encourage them. Before my struggle, I didn't truly know what it meant to not feel comfortable with your body. Now that I've been through that battle, I understand how difficult it is.
So if you're reading this, and you're like the millions of other people who aren't comfortable with your body, know that I believe that you can make a change. It won't be easy; the worthwhile things in life rarely are, but it is VERY possible.