Friday, May 18, 2012

The Weight of A Military Wife & Mom

The weight of a Military Wife and Mom, ummmm yeah, and I'm not talking about all of the things that I, as a Wife and Mom, especially being a Military Wife and Mom, must do on a daily basis, especially with The Major being Deployed. I'm talking about weight, the 274 pounds of weight that I use to be. Yep, you read right, I weighed a whopping 274 pounds and that was my highest weight ever! Was I always over weight.....NO!

Growing up I was always a skinny girl with long hair, even when I was in Middle and High School I was still skinny.(I don't really like the word "skinny" I prefer "thin") When The Major and I married I weighed 121 pounds. I maintained this weight until I became pregnant with our first child The Princess, Teen One. When I was due with her I weighed 164 pounds. This my friends is the weight that I should be right now for my height, needless to say I am not 164 pounds right now! After having the Princess I lost about 20 pounds, I was very active and made myself lose the baby weight, heck, I even ran with The Major! Second pregnancy, The Bookworm, Teen Two. This is where my weight went uphill and never did come back over it, it stayed on the hill for about 13 years! Yep, you read that right, 13 years. I could use all sorts of excuses as to why I didn't try to lose the weight after having our second child, oh heck, why not, let's name a few:

~Too busy with 2 children under 2 1/2.
~Too tired.
~Not enough time.
~I'll start tomorrow.
~I'll worry about it later(yeah, try 13 years later).
I think you get the picture. I did walk, I had a jogging stroller and everynight The Major and I would walk around our neighborhood, but is was just walking, the problem was realizing that the stuff that I was putting in my mouth was the wrong stuff. I would be obese until I realized that the things that were going in my mouth were not good for me and that I was eating way to much, much more than a portion size should be.

The picture above to the right is me at my heaviest....274 pounds!

The wake up call....have you ever had one of those, and I'm not talking about the ones that you get while you're on vacation, I'm talking about the ones that you get about life, your life. My wake-up call was in November when I was listening to a radio show. The speaker on the show said something like this: "Parents are you living a life that is healthy? Are you living a life that one day when you are older are your children going to have to take care of you because of careless things that you did to your body like smoking, drinking, and not eating right? These things can cause problems with your health and can cause long term problems. Are you being fair to your children? Take a look at your life and see where you can make a change for the better." After I heard this I knew that I had to do something about my weight. I knew that if I continued on the path that I was on that I would not only be hurting myself, I would be hurting my children and my husband( heck, I was already hurting them and myself with my obese self, I just hadn't realized it).I was tired of having obese 30 something female written in my medical records and charts everytime that I went to the Doctor. I knew at that very moment that the word obese was going to come off from the front of my name. I didn't care how long it was going to take, I knew that I was laying it down and handing it over to God and I knew that when I did that there was going to be no looking back only looking forward to a bright, healthy future, not only for me, but for my family.

Funny how things happen because this all happened right after The Major Deployed and little did I know that at the same time I would be diagnoised with being allergic to turkey and caramel coloring. God works in mysterious ways! I was having such bad itching episodes where I would break out in hives because I didn't know that I was allergic to those two items. I had two really bad episodes that landed me in the ER. Once I found out that I was allergic to turkey and caramel coloring I had to start reading the labels on everything before I bought it at the grocery store or before I ate it. I suddenly dropped 15 pounds in two weeks time, when I started reading labels! My biggest addiction....COKE ZERO! Yep, it contains caramel coloring, as do most soft drinks. From this day on I eliminated caffiene out of my diet and started to only drink water. So many things contain caramel coloring: yogurt, sauces, ham, healthy choice entrees, ice cream, you name it and it probably has caramel coloring in it. Now to turkey. I wasn't really a fan of turkey to begin with, so it doesn't really bother me that I am allergic to turkey, although I do have to watch for turkey by-prodcuts in things. Thank goodness that there is ham that contains no additive or preservatives and is all natural!!! I don't eat anything, especially things like chili, if I even think it could contain turkey!

Now fast forward to January of this year, I was already down 15 pounds, so now my weight was 259. YIKES.....still obese and not just obese but very obese. After talking with my Doctor we decided that it would be good if I started seeing a Nutritionist on a regular basis, every two weeks. I have to say that it was the best decision of my life! He told me how many calories I should have a day, how much protein I should have, how many carbs I should have and yes, that I should exercise! There was that word.....EXERCISE! I've always hated exercising and unless exercise can be fun, I do not want to do it! Oh yeah, and I had to document everything that went into my mouth into a food journal and bring it back to every appointment so that he could see. This was good, because I was being held accountalbe to someone else other than my family. This was someone that wouldn't be scared to tell me the truth and who would tell me just like it was!

The end of January The Major flew into DC to the Pentagon for work for a few days. He calls me and tells me to book a flight on Delta using our frequent flyer miles and to meet him in DC for the few days that he is there. Now mind you I have NEVER done anything like this in my whole entire life, I have never been spontaneous! For once in my life I thought about me and I booked my flight as fast as I could and worked out all the details about the Two Teens and school and the house after the fact! When I met the Major at the Hotel in DC I was 25 pounds lighter than the last time that he had seen me, making my weight at 249.I felt very proud of myself for the first time in years. I even had to buy a few new shirts and pants before I flew! The Major was very proud of my loss as well and was a huge encourager to me to keep it up. Not only was I proud of my weight, I was also proud of how I manuevered around DC while he was at work from 5 am till 7 pm for the 3 days that I was there. I learned how to take the Metro to everywhere that I wanted to go and I didn't get lost!

After getting back from DC it was February and the first thing that I did was throw out all junk food in the house, except for the few items that are the Two Teens favorites. I decided that I was eliminating not only caffiene out of my diet, but also sugar and carbs. Once I did this, the weight started dropping and once I started exercising, it started dropping even more. Now mind you, my exercise routine is not figurous. I walk every morning around my neighborhood and I walk for one mile. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday I do the Wii Fit for 30minutes and on Tuesday and Thursday I do my eliptical for 10 minutes( go ahead and laugh, but have you ever gotten on an eliptical, it kicks your butt and I am working up to 15 minutes...hey...I started out at 5 minutes!) I told my Nutritionist that when I get off of my eliptical that my legs feel like jello, he laughed and  told me that I must be doing something right! Gotta love my NUT(short for nutritionist)!

Since February I have gradually started losing the bulk of my weight. Every morning I weigh myself time I get up and if I lose weight I document it in my journal. I have been very hard on myself and have really disciplined myself on what I eat and on how much I will allow myself to eat, and by doing this I am losing the weight and feeling better than I have in years! A few days before Easter I had to go out and find a dress because none of my dresses were going to work for Easter. The one dress that I was wanting to wear for Easter was a dress that I hadn't been able to wear in 4 years and much to my surprise, when I tried it on it was WAY to big! So, what's a girl to do....I went shopping and took the Princess, Teen One with me. I was shocked to discover that I had went down from a size 22/20W to a 14W, this was for the purchase of a new dress for Easter. Not only did I go down in dress size, I also went down in bra size by 2 sizes!!

3 weeks ago, I again, had to clean go out my entire closet because I had nothing in my closet that I could wear, and when I say nothing, I mean nothing! The picture to the left is everything out of my closet, all of my clothes! Imagine putting on a pair of capris and they are a 20 W or a 22 W and you are 60 pounds lighter. Um, yeah! I went out and bought 1 pair of shorts, 3 new shirts and 3 new pairs of capris( oh yeah and I also had to buy new underwear!). I was surprised when I tried on shirts and found that I went from a size 2 X to a Large in regular misses! Not only that but I went from a size 22 W/20 W to a regular size 18 in misses in carpis and shorts! Oh yeah, and I had to buy a new pair of sandals because my once big feet that were a size 11 shrunk to a size 9 1/2!! Talk about feeling like a new woman! Needless to say, that day, I cleaned out my entire closet of everything and the only thing that went back in were the new clothes that I purchased.

Skip to last weekend, I found myself having to go back out and buy another pair of shorts because the ones that I bought are now getting to be too big! Yep, another size down! And needless to say that the capris that I bought back when, yeah, they are big now too! I can see the inches shrinking :) I bought a new dress on Tuesday for a Wedding that I am attending this weekend and I went down to a regular misses size 14! I felt like dancing right there in the dressing room!

I've had a lot of people ask me what I eat. Minus sugar, caffiene and carbs, I eat whatever I want. I always eat protein first, then vegetables, then fruit.(remember, I go to a Nutritionist so I know what is healthy for me and not, and fruit is good for you, yes some produce sugar but it's not the same as SUGAR and yes good carbs/bad carbs...listen people if you eat a whole pizza then obviously there's a problem and do you know how many carbs you just ate, and how about those french fries or those hamburgers that you love on those big buns that you get from a drive-thru or those breaded and fried chicken tenders, I think you get the picture) Anything breaded and fried is NOT good for you! So, back to protein....I eat a lot of chicken. I eat it baked, grilled, canned. Other sources of protein: crab, shrimp, fish, eggs. Vegetables are fresh or frozen and sometimes in the can. I make sure that no vegetables have added butter or cheese or any other sauce added to them. Fruits are fresh or frozen and sometimes in the can, but I make sure that there is no added sugar and that they are not in heavy syrup. Now, what about dairy products? I do eat babybel cheese and laughing cow cheese wedges. If you absolutely have to have cheese on something, go with mozzorella cheese, it is better for you than any other type. Milk, yes I do drink milk. In my house I have the Two Teens so I do not buy skim milk, I buy 1 % milk, but for me I buy Light Silk Milk. If you buy Silk Milk, do not buy the ones that have added flavor like almond, not good for you.

How much do I eat in a day? This is another question that I get. I try to have 60 grams of protein in a day, less than 40 carbs(bread products is not the only place to find a label, you'll see) and around 1000 calories. Yes, this is possible because I am living proof that it can be done, but remember I am also under my Nutritionist's care.

Snacks....I limit the snacks but here are a few of my favorites: sugar free popsicles or banana popsicles, bananas, strawberries, apples, suagr free applesauce, babybel or a laughing cow cheese wedge. What about snacks on the go or when you are out. I keep a snack ziploc bag in my purse or van with a mix of banana chips, natural almonds and cheerios. Or I'll throw a babybel cheese in my purse.

What do I drink? WATER. Water is all that I drink. I am very careful what I drink because I do not know what contains caramel coloring, so I stick with water. I do however add the sugar free little packs like Ocean Spray Cran-Grape or Cran-Lemonade. I have found that the Crystal Light packs are just too sweet for me. Another key is making sure that you at least get 64 ounces of water in a day. Your goal should be 64-84 ounces of water. And here is another tip that a lot of people do not know not drink while you eat. Yep, do not drink while you eat. You should drink up to 30 minutes before you eat and not drink anything again until 30 minutes after you eat. Why? Because when you drink while you are eating you are flushing all of the food out of your stomach, thus this makes you hungrier a lot sooner than you should be. I know what you are saying, what, I can't do that! I admit that it is hard to begin with, but you get use to it.

*****Let me also say that this is my plan that I follow from my Nutritionist and my Doctor and that you should discuss any changes that you want to make regarding your weight or your nutrition with your own Doctor. This is my plan and what has worked for me based on my body type.*****

With that being said, I feel better than I have in years, probably the past 13 years! I am off of several medications that I use to be on, my thyroid medicine for my thryoid disease had to be lowered and I am officially down 65 pounds as of Mother's Day! The best news came when I went to my Doctor yesterday and I was officially taken off of my blood pressure medicine! That was a huge step, and when I told the Major via Skype he was so happy and said that it was an answer to prayer, that he had been praying that I would come off of the blood pressure medicine. Another great feeling are my heels. My heels no longer hurt, my plantar facsiattis is as if it no longer exists! What a great feeling! And just in case you're reading this and trying to calculate my weight, I am not ashamed to tell you that I am at 209 right now. I am very close to onderland and when I reach 199 I will be dancing! But I am not stopping there, my goal is 164, remember that weight, yep, that was the weight I was when I was prego with the Princess and that is the weight that I should be for my height. I know I can reach my first goal of 199 and I know that my second goal of 164 is reachable too. I take it one day at a time and a pound at a time. Slow and steady surely wins the race!

The Major was here for a few days last week with work and when I picked him up at the Airport he was blown away. He has seen pictures of me and we see eachother on Skype, but nothing is like seeing someone in person. He kept telling me how proud he was of me and it felt like his eyes were always on me. My Husband has always loved me and has always told me that I am beautiful no matter what my size was or is, but for some reason when he told me how beautiful I was this time, it felt different and I really believed it because when I look in the mirror I see someone completely different than I use to see. I see someone that has a much smaller face, a smaller body and a huge smile! Someone that is happy at where they are in this season of life and someone that is finally proud of themself! Someone that is also now not camera shy! Before I use to hate getting pictures made, I would usually be the one behind the camera taking the pictures. Now, I love to be in pictures and I'm the one with the biggest smile!

Support...My Two Teens are my number one supporters! The picture to the right is my Two Teens in my pajama pants that I am wearing in the above picture when I was at my heaviest weight ever and they can BOTH fit in the legs of the pajama pants...CrAzY! They are constantly ecnouraging me. And some of the things that they tell me are so funny! They tell me all the time...Momma, where did your butt go! You have no butt now! Or they'll say something like....Momma, your boobs have shrunk! My favorite one is one that Teen Two told me.....Momma, you use to have flab under your neck, now it's skinny! Or another one, Momma, you're one hot chick! Yep, encouraging words out of the mouths of my Two Teens! And Two Teens that are very proud of their Mom!  Also, the Major has been a huge supporter also. Although he is deployed he still finds ways to encourage me even though he is thousands upon thousands of miles away. My parents have been huge supporters to me as well. Even though they tell me that they love me know matter what I look like, they tell me that they are so very proud of what I have accomplished thus far. Many friends have been great encouragers to me, and really, it really does mean a lot when someone tells you that they notice that you have lost weight and that you look really nice. While many friends have been supportive, there are also those that seem to have backed away. Sad, but true. But let me just say this, I am the same person today that I was when I was 65 pounds heavier. I am doing this for me and I am much happier and healthier than I have ever been. My outside appearance may look different, but I am the same person in the inside that I have always been. The picture below is me 65 pounds lighter and off of my blood pressure medication, and a lower dose of thyroid medication. I feel better than I have felt in 13 years!

Why am I sharing my story with you? "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body," 1 Corinthians 6: 19-20. Why did it take me 13 years to get what this verse was saying!?! We all know that we live in a body conscious world. There are so many products out there to clean us up and fix us up. There are so many fad diets and exercise plans. There is great concern about physical shape and health. But there is another dimension to our body. When you accepted Christ as your Savior and became a Christian, something happened and you added another dimension to your body. Your body is now a temple of the Holy Spirit. Just like the temple in the Old Testament was given great care and immense wealth was placed on it's construction, we too must take great care of our body and in it's construction. We are to be careful where our body goes, what it does, where it ponders and how it reacts. We are to glorify God in our daily life and in all that we do.

These are pictures of the 3 people that I changed my life for, I want to be around to enjoy many more years with my wonderful Husband the Major and my terrific Two Teens! So what are you waiting for....put down the spoon or the fork and get moving! Clean out your pantry, clean out your fridge, replace it with healthy options. Start moving, start walking, start exercising. Get off the couch, out of your computer chair, outta bed and get moving! Go on a walk, explore your neighborhood. "For we are to be the aroma of God, letting out a sweet fragrance".(2 Corinthians 2:15) We have a job to do and it starts with YOU first!

No comments: