The Spark that Started this Journey
Friday, October 09, 2009
It is interesting to think back to the way (or weight) I was less than 2 years ago. Post pregnancy I was up to 195 pounds, and at five foot four, that is a lot.
I was active as a kid and even through my freshman year in college. I actually lost weight my first year because I was eating soups and salads and not gravy and cheese loaded dishes made by mom. Unfortunately, I gained all the weight back and then some after my appendectomy, and in addition to a crazy class schedule and holding down 2 part-time jobs, the weight just packed on. I was able to lose some (unintentionally) when I switched colleges. I say unintentionally because I could not drive and did not have a car, so I walked everywhere.
I went on to law school, where stress and begin with family again packed on the pounds. I was up to 180 pounds. I enjoyed the Mexican fare of southern California and the wineries of Temecula. I tried for a while to take off the weight...I mean actually exercising. I still had not gotten the eating part down.
Before I was pregnant with my son, I was able to get down to 170. I was excited. I had started walking up 5 flights of stairs in the building I worked in and parking in the top level of the parking garage as well so that I was forced to use stairs (I have an aversion to elevators anyway, so when I say force, I mean force). Pregnancy, however, derailed my efforts. I packed on 55 pounds. Before entering the hospital to give birth, I weighed in at 226 pounds.
When my son was about a year and half, I found myself exhausted all the time and unable to keep up with him. I realized that I did not want to be like my mom. She was a great cook and she took care of us, but she did not enjoy activities with us. I remember her always being sick when I was a kid. To add to this, my cholesterol levels were horrible. So I started small. I took a yoga class at my University and loved it. I knew I needed to get my stress levels down (I work full-time and am working on a Ph.D.).
I came across SparkPeople a month after starting and the weight started falling off. I could not believe my ignorance of caloric values. I loved eating Taco Bell's Nacho Bell Grande, but found out that was 700 calories!! That was almost half of my daily recommended number of calories (and let's not even talk about the fat in it). I loved that I was being rewarded for "being good", even if they were only Spark points. It was enough of a motivation to continue.
I have plateaued several times, which has given me an excuse to add other types of workouts to my plan. I love trying new DVDs and just recently asked (and received) Turbo Jam and ChaLean Extreme. (I've started the Turbo Jam for Oct. and Nov. and plan on starting Chalean in Dec. I'm excited because I've already lost several inches in only 2 weeks.)
I have gotten to the point where I feel like something is missing if I don't exercise and I feel horrible if I eat something that is less than nutritious. My stress levels are back to normal, my doctor doesn't get on my case about my weight anymore, and my cholesterol levels are in a healthy range. And now that my son is 4 years old, I need all the energy I can get to keep after him.