I was not an overweight child. I grew up with a stay-at-home-mom and an entrepreneur dad who grew most of our food to save money and for health reasons. I knew about garden-to-table, free-range chickens and grass-fed beef before it was “hip.”
As a teenager, my self-esteem took a nose dive after my mother walked out and my grandfather mistook the changes my body went through in puberty for weight gain. When a girl is told repeatedly that she is fat, she starts to believe it. When she believes it, she becomes it. This is a lesson I learned the hard way, but thankfully, I also learned that it works in the reverse as well! Think something about yourself, believe it, become it!
When I graduated nursing school, I weighed 200 pounds. At 5’9″ tall, that’s not terrible, but still it was too much. I gained 20 pounds in my first two years on my own, and with Weight Watchers, I was able to lose 20-25 of that, but I quickly gained it back after meeting my husband. In 2007, I became pregnant with my first child and weighed 235 pounds. Throughout my first and second pregnancies, I only gained 25-35 pounds and quickly lost it within two months of giving birth. With my third child, I weighed my heaviest at 275 pounds. I didn’t feel good, I had no energy and I have no confidence in myself. I knew changes were necessary, but I didn’t think I would EVER be able to achieve my goals.
In July of 2013, I sat in the doctor’s office with a six month old baby, listening to a doctor tell me that the abdominal pain I’d been feeling was the beginning of fatty liver disease. He told me that my blood work showed I was becoming insulin resistant and if I didn’t make significant changes in my diet and my weight, I would be a full-blown, type 2 diabetic within a couple of years. Never have words stung me so much, how did I get to this place?
That fall, I began searching for something that I could stick with, something that I could make a part of my life. I didn’t want a diet, I didn’t want to count points, I didn’t want a fad. I knew I was going to have to work, but I knew there had to be something that would feed my body without leaving me hungry. Whatever I did, it was going to have to be a family change. I couldn’t cook separate food for myself, and I wanted my family as healthy as they could be.
My husband was completely on-board with any changes I wanted to make. Thank the Lord, I am blessed with a husband who loved me as much as 275 as he does at 190. He’s always found me beautiful, never complained about my size and has been a continuous encouragement especially on days when I wanted to give up! I could not have gotten to this point in my journey without him as my coach. He was so motivating and inspiring that I decided to become a Certified Health Coach to be that person for others embarking on their own health journey!
In January 2014 I began making changes to the way I ate. I cut out processed sugar and all “junk carbs.” I learned to eat healthy carbs and healthy fats and enjoy my meals! I began to understand how to jumpstart my metabolism and keep it going by eating frequently throughout the day. Blood sugar stabilization was very important to prevent the spikes and drops that result in bingeing, fatigue and mood disturbances. Within a short period of time, the weight began to melt away. Five pounds became 10 and before I knew it, I’d lost 30 pounds. My brain didn’t even register the weight loss after 20 pounds because that is the most I’d ever lost and mentally, it stopped counting at 20! My husband had to point out when I reached the 30 pound mark!
To date, I’ve lost 85 pounds since the birth of my third child! I’ve maintained my weight for the past year as I’ve relaxed into my smaller size. I still have about 20 pounds to go, but my focus this whole time is more on my body fat percentage than the number on the scale. That’s why I don’t really have a goal weight and why I’ve been so relaxed over the past year. I want to feel good and like the way that I look in my skin rather than obsess over the number on the scale. If my body fat percentage is in a healthy range, I will like the way that I look and I will feel good! As far as clothing sizes go, I’ve dropped from a size 20 to a size 10!
In October 2015, I completed my work with the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute and officially became a Certified Health Coach. I know that without my husband’s encouragement and motivation, I wouldn’t have been able to keep going on the rough days. I wanted to be able to teach women how to take care of their bodies and really focus on the big picture, not simply the foods we eat or how much we exercise. There were so many factors that contributed to my weight loss success and through the classes I teach that were developed by the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute, I am able to capture those elements and support you in your journey!