Thursday, August 30

Changes

When I was pregnant with Milo, I gained a lot of weight. I managed to lose all the baby weight, but I held on to about 10 extra pounds that had slowly crept on over the last few years. When I got pregnant with Olive, I didn't want to gain as much weight as with my first pregnancy. But morning sickness and the dreariness of it all got to me, and I basically had a completely lackluster attitude about it.

I ate whatever I wanted and somehow that translated into weight gain. I was mad at myself for letting it happen, but I made no effort to remedy the situation. I think I had already given up on ever being thin or even average. I was 30, I hardly exercised, and I never have had an athletic or naturally thin body type. I figured that baby weight was mine for good.

And then I had Olive, and a few weeks after her birth, I was feeling like a huge fat cow. I hated looking at myself. I had no one to blame but myself and it was depressing. On top of carrying around an extra 70 pounds, I had a ton of ugly stretch marks around my middle. Everything was saggy and gross. And moms, you know how it is, feeling bad about your post-baby body and being so hormonal and tired that everything is magnified a thousand times. It was not a good time.

A friend of mine had done Weight Watchers in the past and was planning to join again after her baby was born. On somewhat of a whim, I signed up. Didn't really think about it, just decided something had to be done about this weight. I wasn't ready to give up yet. I started tracking my food and making small changes. Less bread. Less cheese. Fewer random snacks. Smaller portions.

And the weight started to come off. Five months later, I am down 65 pounds from where I was the day before Olive was born. That's two Milos. I figure I have about five pounds to go before I'll start maintenance, though I have no idea how to do that. I'm very good at gaining weight, and pretty good at losing it, but never staying the same. So we'll see how that goes.

But it wasn't just Weight Watchers that has changed me. For some crazy reason, a few months ago I decided it would be a good idea to start running. And before I'd ever even tied up my laces, I signed up for a 5K. When I signed up, the race was in 12 weeks, giving me plenty of time to train with the nine-week Couch to 5K program.

I'm now about to start Week 8 of the program, and the difference in my body is incredible. My arms and legs are more toned than they've ever been. Ever. My face and neck look visibly thinner to me. Pants that have been too tight for years are suddenly baggy. My wedding ring slips and slides around my finger. I'm wearing skinny jeans and enjoying them, for crissakes. Even though my tummy still has the almost-faded stretchmarks and extra roundness that are the telltale signs of having recently had a baby, I feel better about my body than I have since I got married.

It's not just outside changes that I am noticing, either. I can run 25 minutes without walking. I'm sure my heart is getting healthier. I can walk up more flights of stairs before feeling winded. Never in my life have I exercised as much as I am right now. And it feels pretty incredible.

Sometimes I feel guilty for leaving in the evenings to go work out. I miss the kids' bedtime, and there are few things I love more than reading stories and cuddling with Milo. But I'm so glad that he gets to see me put on my workout clothes and head out the door. He is learning that exercise is important. I want to set a good example for him and pave the way for his and Olive's lifelong health.

To sum up, I'm proud of myself. If I can make these kinds of changes, anyone can. Because I really like eating and watching television. My 5K is in exactly one month. And I am going to finish it.

4 comments:

Lindsay said...

So, SO proud of you,friend!!

katy said...

Go Megan!! I'm so happy to read this! I leave three times a week to do my yoga and always feel bad walking out on bedtime but I NEED my exercise or I'm a crazy lady. Way to put yourself on the priority list, you deserve it!

Stephanie said...

Great job, I'm so proud of you! You're such an inspiration.

(And if you can lose 65 lbs in 6 months, I'd say you're pretty good at losing weight too!)

Making Each Day Count! said...

Way to go girl. AMAZING! I really want to join the running wagon but it's been a journey, lol. I'm terrible at breathing, like terrible. I think it's great and I can totally relate to the missing out on kid stuff but having Ten has really pushed me to keep up with working out. I can see a difference in how she sees me and see her pride when she talks about me working out or exercising. That makes me feel so great.