Ok, this is the continuing history of my life, and my desire to show the way to other women who struggle. This is also where nutrition changed my life.
During my last post, I had finished my 2 deployments and 3 tours in the Navy as a Surface Warfare Officer, and then moved on to teach Naval Leadership at the Naval Academy. I had also met my forever partner, Ben, during this time. We got married in 2004, and loved living the dual-income-no-kid life. Then we moved to Central California, where I discovered the amazing news that I was pregnant. Ben and I were thrilled, and it was fitting that I would stay home with the baby, since I wasn't able to find a job. So, I did what I thought all pregnant woman did: shop and eat. Sometimes not in that order, and sometimes at the same time. I just assumed that once I pushed that baby out, that all the weight would just melt off of me, like you see on T.V.
I could not have been more wrong. I ate my way to over 200 lbs, and my son was born at 8lbs 6oz. Much to my horror, I did not fit into my pre-maternity jeans that I brought to the hospital for my "coming home" outfit. But, after getting the hang of nursing and pumping around the clock, and not sleeping, I started trying to work out again. I say trying because I considered walking to the fridge my cardio. I knew I had to do something because the weight was not budging and I was tired all the time. We moved a few months later, and I got into a groove at my new gym. My husband was gone quite a bit for work, so I spent a lot of time with my newborn and at the gym. I managed to see the weight come off bit by bit, and I was encouraged because I was exercising, but it just wasn't happening fast enough. So I decided to go on a program where I tracked every single calorie. It was effective; it was not fun. I got down to my pre-pregnancy weight and I was so obsessed with every single calorie that I when some girlfriends asked me to "Girls Night Out", I seriously considered staying home because I knew I couldn't eat or drink anything. Although I was where I wanted to be, physically, it was a pretty lonely and isolated place. I thought this was the point where I was going to be super happy because I was skinny again!
Oh the irony, once my husband returned from being gone over 6 months, to a skinny, emotional, crazy person, I became pregnant once again. I WAS SO RELIEVED. I could stop counting calories and eat whatever I wanted again. I slipped right back into my old habits and I had the best excuse to do it again. I was determined to not gain quite as much weight as I did the first time around, but I wasn't going to restrict myself, with such a massive responsibility to eat for two. Around the 8 month mark, I completely gave up on the trying to set myself up to not have to lose so much weight and just did what comforted me.
After my second son was born, we immediately moved to sunny, warm, Rhode Island in January. (insert a shivering emoji rolling it's eyes). I was SO determined to lose the weight and get healthy that I joined a gym and bought a new pair of running shoes. Turns out, the running shoes did not make the weight just fall off, nor did they make me a stronger or better runner. (*not what I gleaned from the commercial, btw). I became obsessed with running. I signed up for a half marathon and downloaded my running calendar, bought a running chip for my shoe, and off I went. I knew that running everyday was going to give me the license to eat whatever i wanted, not gain weight, and that is truly what I was after, that would make me my happiest!. I did it! I ran across that finish line in just over 2 hours. I was so excited that I was now an official athlete and I could just relax and live happily ever after. Um.... then i started gaining weight again! SO.NOT.FAIR.
At this point, I was stressed out, anxious, self conscious about my weight, unhealthy, not sleeping, a stay at home mom of 2 little ones and in tears all the time. I just did not know what to do, and I felt so out of control that I was considering the calorie counting, food deprivation, fun-sucking, workout obsessed lifestyle again. I was very depressed, and although my husband was loving and supportive, he just didn't understand the stress I was putting on myself to just be happy. Why wasn't I happy? i had two beautiful children, a great house, amazing husband, but something was missing. Where had I gone? Where was that girl who loved helping people achieve great things and showing others the path to success?
She was overweight, exhausted and fed up. I was so LOST. Then I met Heidi. She changed me life in less than an hour.
I walked into her gym told her i wanted a training session with the best trainer that could make me lose the most weight, right now. She looked me in the eye and asked me if that was all i wanted. I was thrown for a loop- yes, I just wanted to lose weight, what else could she possibly mean? After a couple minutes of discussing my goals and explaining the completely unfair betrayal of my body transformation after having kids and then working out like crazy, she asked me one simple question: "What do you eat?" Well, I certainly had an answer to that one! I could tell her every calorie I had eaten in the last week. She shook her head and explained to me that those calories weren't feeding me. That although I was eating within certain boundaries that would eventually cause weight-loss through starvation, I was not focusing on the right foods to eat for my health and happiness.
I cannot even tell you what a relief it was to hear her explain to me that she didn't care about counting calories or how many miles I had racked up on my fitness app. She checked in with me daily about how I was feeding and treating my body. Was I eating a balance plate? Did I drink enough water? Was I sleeping enough? I had never even considered these questions.
In a matter of less than 8 weeks, I was feeling the best I had ever felt- in my whole life! I had lost all of my baby fat, was having fun with my family, going out with my friends, sticking to a fitness calendar and exploring healthy foods that really fulfilled me. If I could have just stayed glued to Heidi for the rest of my life, I would feel this way forever!
Then, Ben tells me we are moving, far, far away.