My Weight Loss Journey

I’ll say it. I’ll say it and be proud.

I’m come a long way…a damn long way.

It has been a hell of a transformation, both mentally and physically and it has taken many years to get to this point….

and it is far from over.

I was always a chunky kid. I was the middle child of 3 girls who were both thin their whole lives. Everyone always said I was like my grandfather, Freddy. Why? Cause he was fat, too. Not what a 12 year old wants to hear.

I always played sports and dieted in an attempt to stay healthy. I wasn’t good at sports, but i always worked hard anyway. every season, I would be the recipient of some type of sportsmanship or coach’s awards. you know the kind…the ones that say, you weren’t good at this particular sport, but you sure did try hard. good work.

I was around 185 when I went to Syracuse University for my freshman year of college so i was no skinny mini for an 18 year old…

but when I left SU 4 years later at about 235 pounds, that ‘fat’ 185 seemed like a distant memory that i would have done anything to get back to.

as a 22 year old woman, i was out of control and no amount of dieting or exercising could outweigh the amount of self-sabotage i added into my own life.

not to mention that i had totally developed somewhat of a drinking problem that had taken over my life as well. i finally kicked the drinking problem on july 19th, 2003 and have been completely sober since that day.

that is when things started to fall into place.

4 months later, i started the south beach diet with my mom and dad. we all were hard core at first, even though my beloved grandfather (who lived with us at the time) died on our second day of the diet. we made it through the grief of losing a cherished family member as well as the trays of cookies and endless casseroles that were brought to the house without losing sight of our weight loss goals…not one of us cheated on the diet throughout the craziness of that week and from then on, we knew we could do it.

i lost about 50 pounds in the first year/year and a half. i stalled for a while, but continued to do the low carb thing, albeit somewhat modified. when i would cheat, i would cheat and have something high in fat like pepperoni or bacon, but that was still low carb. it got me through the stalled times, which were plenty. I like to change up the kind of dieting I’m doing because I know I need some type of structure, but sometimes I crave change. I’ve tried many, but I tend to go back and forth between weight watchers and south beach and it seems to work for me…each one at different times.

i remember feeling so skinny when i got back to the 190’s…I had come so far and it felt great. But I wasn’t done. Slowly but surely over the next 4 1/2 to 5 years after that, I continued to shed the weight. It was slow and I had ups and downs, but it was always in a downward trend. I had times where I indulged and I had times where I was super strict, but i was never going to gain it back. That was for sure.

For my wedding on July 4th, 2009, I was down to 145 pounds. In all honesty, that was two pounds up from my weight 7 months prior when i had gotten engaged. let’s just say i’m not a “pressure” dieter…I don’t do well with quick loss goals. I am more of a lose-it-over-time kind of gal which is fine cause it has worked for me. I didn’t care. I felt beautiful and fit on my wedding day.

We relaxed on the honeymoon, allowing ourselves to eat and indulge in whatever we wanted…I mean, after all we were newlyweds!

Big mistake. The honeymoon phase (translation – eating badly and not really working out) lasted for 4 months after the wedding and resulted in a very quick 15 pound weight gain.

Until the day I discovered I was pregnant.

I kicked it into high gear and my focus from then on was on being healthy for my baby growing inside of me.

Which isn’t easy when protein and veggies make you gag and cookies helped to soothe my nausea…no lie.

I attempted to be incredibly healthy during my pregnancy without dieting (which is hard for someone who needs structure to stay in control) but I did end up putting on a solid 40 pounds and found myself just hovering around 200 when I finally gave birth to my beautiful baby girl in July 2010.

So if you haven’t been doing the math as we’ve been going along, that’s

40 lbs (weight gained during pregnancy)

   + 15 lbs (after I got married but before I got pregnant)

for a grand total of 65 lbs to lose.

It seemed daunting…particularly with crying newborn, then a colicky 5 week old, and then a teething 4 month old.

But I started eating healthy and walking right away.

I lost about 15 pounds right away and got down to 185.

and about 4 months after Caleigh was born, I realized my weight loss had stalled at 175 so

 I started increasing the pace and distance of my walks and started throwing in some strength building workout videos.

I also joined Weight Watchers interested in their new points + plan.

I was super strict and stuck to the plan religiously, weighing all my food and counting points.

I gained three pounds the first week so I decided to go a different route. 🙂

I also shifted my thinking a bit.

I started viewing the process as a decision for life as opposed to a temporary diet.

And I started viewing myself differently – I was not a victim (poor me) who had to diet…

I was a strong woman who wanted to set a good example for my daughter and was choosing to live my life in a healthy way.

We had a delicious, but healthy Thanksgiving dinner, just the three of us.

We made it through Christmas and a trip back to visit family in NY as well…still making healthy decisions.

And I had finally broken through that plateau and was now weighing in the low 160’s.

And at about 7 months, I joined my Fit Mamas workout group started by my trainer friend that I had met in our local moms group.

She set up a 90 day workout plan for a bunch of us mommies who were looking to get fit.

The workouts were so hard I almost quit every day for the first 2 weeks.

I started freaking and self sabotaging and gained 4 pounds so I decided to start calorie counting using My Fitness Pal online and for the first time in my life, it worked.

I realized what an incredible opportunity I had:

-a personal trainer/physical therapist personally designing my workouts and I had to pay nothing

-the freedom and time to stick to the plan, being a stay at home mom

-a support group of moms to support and motivate me

I could not waste this.

I threw myself into the program completely.

By the end, I had lost another 15 pounds, had stronger muscles than I’d ever had in my life, had run a half marathon, had made some new friends and had started training to possibly do my first sprint triathlon.

Not a bad couple of months.

I’m proud of where I’ve gotten and where I am now, weight wise.  But i’m not done…it is a never-ending battle and will be something I struggle to control for the rest of my life.

I have good phases and bad phases and I find that my diet controls my life…when I am behaving in healthy ways, I feel great. When I am overindulging, I feel like crap. Plain and simple.

I am hoping that this blog can be an outlet for me to reward myself for the good phases and share what I am doing well…

but I am also hoping for it to be a place for support when I am really having a tough time…it can truly be overwhelming. I’ve really begun turning to reading others’ blogs to get me through those tough times and so I am hoping mine can give the same hope to others.

I’m happy with my weight, but the biggest thing I have had to struggle with is realizing that I may never will not have a perfect body. Some people just don’t and I am one of those people. My thighs will always be disproportionate to the rest of my body…it’s the way I’m made. I’ll never have a completely toned body because of what I call my ‘collateral damage’ of being a former fat girl. it’s just a cold, hard fact.

But that is okay.

Cause I have come a long way…a damn long way.

and I’m proud of it.

6 responses to “My Weight Loss Journey

  1. Angela

    I am both pleased and ashamed to say I’m just now reading this….pleased because it makes me so happy to read about your journey, and ashamed because it took me so damn long to get over here and read this story.

    What an awesome woman you are. I can’t wait to read more. Wish I could hug you right now.

    A

  2. amybart

    Right back at ya! You are the one who inspired ME to share my story…because of how strong you are in the good times and how honest you are in the times where you might struggle…all of us who have issues with food and body image are so connected because of our understanding…where those who haven’t been through it, find it hard to understand sometimes.
    🙂

  3. joeybart

    Hun,
    I love reading this, I truly do! I know the story, I have been with you for a good chunk of it, but it still amazes me on how far you have come. The dieting, the quitting drinking, the dedication that you show has always inspired me! You never give up. Even when you might have a down few days or weeks, you are quick to jump back on the horse…I guess that’s where all those High School sports awards came from, you always work so hard.
    I am always proud of you…whether you are 135lbs or 235lbs, I will always love you baby!

  4. Everyone needs a Joey. That’s hot.

    Amy, I’m gonna be needing some ass kicking real, real soon. So put on your boxing gloves and some good shoes. I gotta get back to me, girl. Thanks for this little push.

  5. awesome, honest story. thank you. I can totally relate. ps I got here by checking out your amazing 1st birthday party for your daughter – you are creative, and clever, and intelligent. the weight thing is just a small part of the many-faceted you.

  6. Michelle

    Whatever your weight, you are an amazing woman. I say that because how many people have the strength to kick not one, but TWO addictions! Bravo to you and keep up the good work! Your daughter is a cutie too, by the way. : )

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