Then I went to college. I lived on campus my second year of college. It became a routine to head to the dining halls and eat whatever you wanted, as much as you wanted. Everything was fried, and french fries are served with almost every meal. I remember ordering plates of chicken tenders with gravy and french fries, a cookie, and a Dr. Pepper. I remember the cheese sticks. They were very yummy--a little too yummy. I also remember that Chick-Fil-A was a popular choice several days a week. The Polynesian sauce...I put it on my sandwich, I even dipped my fries in it, even when the sandwich already had mayo on it.
When I visited home, people started to notice that I wasn't as fit and trim. I could tell because my clothes were getting tighter and I was creeping into a size 16. Then, in no time, I was in a size 18. I remember weighing 180 before I got married. My wedding dress was a size 18. I didn't ever feel that big, but in pictures, I noticed it more. I thought to myself, "Who is this girl?!" Anytime I went out I didn't feel that great because I wasn't able to wear many flattering outfits. I was slowly losing the battle with food.
After marriage, the comfort level set in. I was comfortable with my husband. I didn't have to try as hard, afterall, we were already married, right? He would love me no matter what, but I was beginning to hate the way I felt. I was a teacher and I remember all of the foods that we were tempted with as teachers--donuts, cupcakes, candy. Eating these were a regular part of my diet. But, I was miserable, I was depressed, I was unhappy. I was--fat. (It is hard to say that, but I was in denial at the time.) I had weighed in at my heaviest, 208.
After we moved to our second assignment in the USAF about four years ago, I was still a little heavy. I started adding exercise into my daily schedule. I remember my attempts at exercise again in the apartment complex gym and remember reading the book, "You, On a Diet," by Dr. Oz. The book explained how our bodies work and how they processed foods. I believe it mentioned something about eating organic foods and unprocessed foods, so I started researching this subject more. Before I knew it, almost everything I was buying was organic.
I started noticing a change when I changed my eating habits. I noticed I was losing weight and I noticed that with eating right and the combination of exercise, weight was really coming off. My husband noticed it, even though he thought my idea of eating organic was a little crazy. But there was proof. I was getting smaller. I was happier. I also learned about portion control.
About a year went by and I was still losing weight. Then I got pregnant. By the time I was pregnant, I weighed in at 180. I had lost 28 pounds before my pregnancy during my weight loss journey. Learning to eat right was a blessing in disguise for my new baby. I gave my daughter the best nutrition any new mother possibly could, eating as many whole grains and fruits and vegetables as I could. At 9 months pregnant, I was back up to 206. I had only gained 26 pounds during my pregnancy, which is good.
After my daughter was born, I continued to eat well. I replaced all white flour foods with whole wheat and whole grains. I kept fruit around so anytime I was hungry I ate fruit. Weight dropped quickly, and I was into exercising again. I joined a gym. The gym offered childcare so it was nice to be able to exercise while my daughter was in childcare. More weight was coming off.
I started getting compliments. People noticed that I was losing weight. They wondered what my trick was. I told them the truth--I was losing weight through eating right and exercise. Afterall, this is the healthy way to lose weight and stay healthy. Compliments are like gold to anyone losing weight and is motivation to continue on.
I was approached this past spring to get certified to teach cycle classes. I never pictured myself ever teaching cycle classes at a gym, but I gave it a try. I became certified to teach indoor cycle classes. For anyone that has ever taken a cycle class before, they are challenging, but they are great, intense workouts. I was put on the sub list at our local gym to teach cycle classes and have taught many classes. After the holidays, I plan to teach on a regular basis a few days a week.
I now weigh in at 140. I have lost a total of about 70 pounds since the beginning of my weight loss journey. Through eating right and exercising as often as possible, I have been able to maintain a healthy weight.
I am healthy and I am happy. I hope that I can inspire others to start their own weight loss journey.