My heart was, and still is a pretty shadowy place in the weight and appearance department. Thankfully, I feel as though I am beginning to break free from the bondage of obsession, apathy, disdain and hopelessness. Here is my story.
I've always been a stocky girl. I remember being a size 7...in the 7th grade! But, I was a cheerleader and active and managed to keep a lot of weight gain at bay in my youth. It wasn't until High School, when I quit cheerleading to become more active in choir and theater that my weight began to creep up. By my Freshman year of college I was 5' 4" and 170 lbs. I wouldn't have been considered "fat" by an onlooker's definition, but I most definitely was above my healthy BMI. While I inwardly struggled with the fact that I was "fat" by my own definition, I did nothing about it due to the demands of working and attending school full time.
When I got engaged at age 23, I did what every bride-to-be does. I went on my first diet and began to exercise regularly. I had lost 30 lbs, and was running about 20 miles a week by the time my wedding rolled around. I felt great and maintained this new and lovely body quite well for a while.
Then I got hit with the (amazing, yet fearful) bomb of pregnancy and motherhood. I stopped running and began indulging my every craving and whim. I gained 60 lbs that first pregnancy. Soon after my first son's birth, I resumed my running and counted every last calorie that entered my mouth. Thanks to the calorie counting and breastfeeding, my weight dropped.
But it was short lived, as my weight gain was worse with my second pregnancy. A whopping 70 lbs! After my second son's birth, I suffered horrible PPD and went back to my running and calorie counting with an almost obsessive vigor as a way to cope with my depression. I dropped the entire 70 lbs in 8 months. I was down to 1350 calories a day, and exercising 5 days a week with Spin classes and running. Even with all this grief and obsession, I was never satisfied with my appearance or my athletic performance. I believe that my restrictive diet and demanding exercise were to blame for my beautiful baby boy falling off his growth chart at 9 months. His doctor suggested I begin supplementing formula to compensate. Thankfully, it wasn't necessary, however it was a close call to my commitment to breastfeeding!
After a miscarriage and continuing struggles with depression, I became pregnant with my third (fourth) sweet baby. My wonderful midwife suggested that I eat more protein, reduce my carbohydrate intake and monitor my blood sugar from time to time. I gained 50 lbs with this pregnancy. Unfortunately I was strongly addicted to carbs and sugar and had an extremely difficult time denying my pregnant self when it came to cravings!
After my third beautiful baby boy was born, I felt pretty helpless about my diet. I knew I didn't want to go to the extremes I had before with my diet and exercise. I knew that with three small children, I wouldn't have the time for calorie counting and long bouts of running. I knew I wouldn't be able to stick to a low carbohydrate diet very long (though it proved effective) due to my sweet tooth and carb cravings. And with four year old and two year old boys, our family meals now needed to consist of more than just a lean protein and salad. I had seen an advertisement for the book, Trim Healthy Mama, which came with the promises of "sanity" and "peace" and "no more fads" and WOW, that is just what I needed!
After one month of following the Trim Healthy Mama way of eating, I can say that I am no longer addicted to sugar. Carbs no longer have the stronghold they had before. I am no longer counting calories obsessively nor am I running 20 miles a week (insane for a mother of 3!) I do not feel the crazy ups and downs of depressive mood swings (probably sugar related!) I feel at peace about the way I am feeding my family. AND I've lost 10 lbs! But the best part of it all? I feel a real hope and true peace about the direction I'm going with my health. This book and I had a true Divine appointment! Serene and Pearl give biblically sound advice on matters of diet, sex and overall health that give PEACE and not a mandate that can't be upheld.
I can't wait to share the next several months with you as I share my journey towards forever healthy!