My fitness journey started when I was in college. Back in the good old days. I remember always thinking about my body image and although I was pretty happy with what I looked like, I always wanted to be a bit thinner. I would pay big bucks to have that body right now…and I would appreciate it so much more.
So many times I think the same thing about my life now and how I feel about my body. I know that when I am 60, 70, 80…I will look back at pictures of myself when I am in my 30s and, again, offer to pay big bucks to have that body back, and appreciated it so much more. Trying to embrace that mindset in the moment.
Marta, Haley and I played ball together in college – best years ever! I was always in good shape due to playing softball and basketball in high school, and that followed me through college as well. I was at my smallest in college while being put through the gruesome workouts and playing so much softball. After my four years of ball, I went back for my fifth year and student teaching, staying in great shape and probably being even a bit thinner. Fast forward to December of 2004, and Haley and I signed to go play professional softball for the Chicago Bandits. Yeah!
When I arrived in Chicago we started practice and everything was going great. During our first game’s warm up, I dove for the ball and something popped in my knee. I had to have knee surgery bringing my activity level to a sudden halt.
During the rehab process, I definitely felt my body changing. I am not a person that can sit still and maintain weight. For the first time, I felt that I was losing my athletic figure and becoming much softer and less toned and strong. I feel like I haven’t been happy with my body since then.
I stepped it up a bit before getting married and was more than happy with the way I looked for my wedding day and on my honeymoon a few months later. Life was good. As time passed and priorities changed, I worked hard at my teaching job and enjoyed the newlywed lifestyle. I, again, noticed changes in my body, feeling soft and no longer proud of the way I looked. I know a lot of people would say “you’re crazy, you look great”, and as much as I appreciated their support, the bottom line was always that I could do so much better.
When I got pregnant with my first son, I slowed down again, much like when I had knee surgery. I was tired, school was starting back up again, and working out became one of the last things I felt like doing. And you could TELL during my pregnancy that I wasn’t moving enough. I gained 60 pounds with Meade. I was a sausage, I was not cute at all, and felt like crap – not just because I didn’t look good, but my lack in exercise made a huge difference in how I felt. I was tired and run down, had a really tough class that year, and towards the end of my pregnancy, I was put on bed rest because my blood pressure was getting a bit high. Although I did not have pre-eclampsia, I was getting close. I delivered Meade a week before my due date.
After having Meade, I couldn’t wait to get back to working out, wondering why on earth I stopped to begin with. I was always such an active person, that it was unfathomable to stop cold turkey like I did while I was pregnant. I missed sweating my butt off and feeling a great burn. The hubs and I got healthy together working out in the mornings and sticking to a great diet plan. I did not have a quick Hollywood transformation, but by Christmas (10 months) I was feeling good about my body again. I was weighing equal to what I weighed before getting pregnant and was so excited to again feel good about the way I looked.
About 6 months later, we got pregnant again with Cooper. I vowed to do my second pregnancy different, especially since my sister, Maggie, was getting married 9 months after Cooper was due. Even though I tried much harder to stay on top of my health on round two, I still packed on the pounds with my second pregnancy. I gained 50 pounds with Cooper, and it came off even slower than the first. Add in a random bout with egg allergies, which really put a damper on my dieting. I would get seriously sick every time I would eat anything with eggs, and this was something brand new to me. My egg white omelets and healthier eating came to a halt as I ventured over this hurdle.
As Maggie’s wedding and the 9 month mark approached, I was way behind where I wanted to be by that point. I hated getting my picture taken, and knew that something needed to change.
Throughout all of this, I just have never felt like myself again. I worked out HARD and always had. I run, I lift weights, I do cardio – everything you should do. My hubby trains athletes for a living, my basement is full of equipment and DVDs and treadmills and I have no excuse not to work out. If I miss a day or two of working out, I feel guilty. So I have struggled with putting in so much work and not seeing results. Even gotten my thyroid tested and tried supplements and other hard core diets, without success. Add in having three beautiful sisters, who have also had kids of their own and had much more success, it has been difficult. Although I am super proud and happy for them, my struggle with not being able to understand or wrap my brain around my difficulties has been trying at times, but I keep pushing on.
I have always eaten pretty healthy – watching what I eat always, splurging a bit on weekends and during celebrations, but always keeping a pretty good watch on what I shovel in to my mouth. My sisters and son have recently been diagnosed with Gluten Sensitivity / Celiac and this has changed our diet even further. We are overall very healthy. I maintain my weight very easily, but really struggle losing weight.
I hate the scale and have no problem with the amount I see when I look at it. I am just not happy with what my body looks like. I weighed 145-155 in college and looked great. I was only at 160 before starting my 30 Day Challenge compared to that, but had a completely different body. It is amazing what children will do to you (and so worth it)!
My 30 day transformation was just what I needed to get the kick-start towards a successful change in my life. I am now creating challenges for others, which helps me stay on track and continually get motivated by each new group I work with. I am in a never-ending 30 day challenge, and am excited to stay on this track forever.
Although my body image struggles are based solely on aesthetics, I know that I am a healthy person with a loving husband and two great boys that have supported and accepted me at every stage along the way. I am glad that my healthy way of life is now matched up with what I see in the mirror each day, and I get to feel better about myself when I go to get dressed or have a picture taken.
Thanks so much for stopping by to read about my journey.