My Weight Loss Story
My new readers do not know something about me. I have struggled with my weight. It has not always been this way though. If you are like me, my weight loss journey may sound familiar to you.
As a child I was skinny. I could eat whatever I wanted and not gain weight. In college I gained the freshman 15 and then a bit more. By the time I had my oldest I was not fat but what I like to refer to as “chubby”. When I became pregnant with my oldest, I did not want to gain too much weight. I continued to exercise and swim and tried to not gain too much weight, while still yet enjoying my pregnancy. It was easy to do. The first part of my pregnancy I was so sick that gaining would have been impossible :). I ended up gaining 25 pounds during that pregnancy and then lost it all, due largely to nursing. Weight continued to fall off and I ended up losing another 40 pounds. This was the smallest I had been in years. Here is a picture from that time period.
The above picture was taken in Hawaii in 2005
After that I ended up having another pregnancy, which we lost the baby, and I kept gaining weight. Then a month later, I was pregnant again with baby number 2. With my pregnancy with “Turtle” (baby #2 loves turtles!), I started out trying to be healthy but, I would say I was craving Tacos or this or that and my poor husband would run out to get them :). I became lazy with permanent couch syndrome lol and did not exercise like I had with my first pregnancy. After Turtle was born he came out an avid nurser, so I thought “great I can get rid of all this weight fast” right? No. Turtle was a different kind of baby. He wanted Mommy ALL THE TIME. He was not happy unless he was nursing and for those who do not know I cannot do CIO ( Cry it Out). So as much as I would have liked to have become more active, I did not. Thankfully, my oldest Bookworm was great with keeping busy playing while I was nursing. The weight stayed and didn’t come off. We finally moved and Turtle got a little bigger and I started doing weight watchers and trying to go to the gym.
This is one of the few pictures that I have from this time period of myself. I have tons of everyone else and I like to blame my husband for not taking pictures, but, in reality, I never asked him. I started to become extremely self conscience about my weight.
After moving and beginning weight watchers and trying to go to the gym, my weight did start to come off. I was trying to find a picture of me during that time frame and couldn’t. I remember crying out to God to help me lose the weight. I was doing really good at losing but still had not made many lifestyle changes. I was still trying to do WW’s but would give in way too often. Then God blessed us with pregnancy number 3. I decided that pregnancy was not going to be like the one with Turtle so I kept hitting the gym. I was still nursing Turtle as well and I was determined to make sure I did not gain too much weight. This plan went great until 20 weeks. I had my ultra sound on “Nemo” (baby #3 loves Nemo!) and they found markers for “what they believed” was either Edwards Syndrome or Down Syndrome. Either way, I was regulated to not getting my heart rate above a certain amount. So…there went my gym time because taking a fat pregnant woman and telling her she cannot get her heart rate above a certain amount will do 2 things – (1) She will put her baby first and (2) She will use number 1 as an excuse to avoid ALL exercise in general. It was, after all, for the baby right? 🙂 So I gained, I “craved” and I grew – A LOT. One thing I failed to mention so far in this post is that I have large babies…..Very Large. My oldest Bookworm was 11 pounds 5 ounces. So, grew I did.
After Nemo was born I had hoped that nursing would help again; but Nemo had some issues and ended up in the hospital. I was pumping and feeding him around the clock and this went on for months. I lost some of my weight mostly due to how much I had to feed him, but still not enough to really count for much. We also moved during this time and then my husband deployed right after we got to our new Duty Station. It was around this time my oldest was diagnosed with aspergers, which amounted to alot of stress. Stress and food lead me down a path of craving but, Dear Sisters, what should I have been craving? I should have been craving God and not food. I did not turn to Him. I did not call out for Him to help me with my addictions and cravings of food. I turned to food as a child turns to its mother for comfort and a soft place to fall. Jesus said in Matthew 11:28, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” He didn’t say to run to McDonald’s or Taco Bell or eat a bag of chips. As I waited on my husband to get online for our web cam sessions, I would eat. I would be so tired from all I had to do I would eat; kids were acting up, I would eat. I could list a thousand excuses as to why I felt I was justified during that time and I could give another thousand reasons why I didn’t exercise; but the truth of it is I did not treat my body like a temple. “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” – 1 Corinthians 3:16-17. What was I doing to myself and to my body? I was destroying it!!! God had chosen me before He even created the world according to Ephesians 1:1-4, and I didn’t care enough to save myself. In my defense, I did try many diets. I tried many things I could do myself, but did I ever really go to the one who made me? Did I ever really cry out to Him to help me with my cravings? Did I call on His name over and over until I could win the battle? The answer is simply No.
I am going to share a few pictures I have of a time period while my husband was deployed.
You can see in the above pictures how my weight increased.
By the time my husband came back I was really at my largest. We moved again soon after he came back and I finally decided I had to do SOMETHING about my weight issue. At that time a very dear friend of mine had surgery and was successful with it. I decided to pray about this and speak with Dr’s. It was recommended that I have gastric sleeve. For those who do not know what gastric sleeve is, they cut your stomach out to the size of a banana and you can only eat very small portions. I made all the appointments and, about that time, we were told we would have to move again. So I decided that if it really was God’s will that I have this surgery then I would be able to get all the appointments that I needed to get (and there were many to get done) and the surgery scheduled BEFORE we were to move. I also wanted a month recovery time so that I was not recovering on the road. Well, I got 6-9 months of appointments and tests done in 6 weeks and surgery scheduled. Our move got canceled BUT it still worked out. In a bit, I will post pics starting with the day my husband came home from deployment and through my WLS ( weight loss surgery) journey. Some may say I took the easy way out but I do not think I did. WLS is just a tool like exercising or dieting. I could sabotage it if I wanted to. I have chosen to use this time period as a time to grow in the Lord and make healthy changes for myself and also my family. I have went from eating a bag of chips in one setting, to being ok with just a bite or 2. I do not deny my body any food but I do put protein first, veggies next and then, if room, good carbs. Occasionally, I do eat a treat. Before my life change, the treats were the norm and not the exception; and now I have made them the exception not the norm. Is it easy? Well, right after the surgery, a book came out called Made to Crave. It is written by a wonderful woman of God and I was excited to read it, until I opened it up that is. See, I was still recovering from my surgery and although the weight had started to drop, it hadn’t dropped enough for me to make a huge difference, and in my head I was still the same. I did not have the cravings I had but I had a lot of head issues that I had to work with. So what did I do? I threw the book across the room! LOL! I have later picked the book back up and at this point in my life I am 94 pounds lighter then I was 6 months ago. As I get further out from surgery, I can eat more things and I want to make sure that I am dealing with my prior food addictions and with my relationship with God and finding something I can stick to along with my tools for life. One of the verses that has stuck out the most to me is in Chapter 1 of the book. “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” – 1 Corinthians 10:23. This means that everything is permissible but not all things are beneficial. Eating a bag of chips is permissible, but is it beneficial? This is my new motto with food!! I have realized now that my food addiction is related to alcohol and drugs and it is something that not only do I need to overcome it physically, I need to overcome it spiritually with God. I need to pray and seek Gods guidance on ALL things including food and my body but I also need to be a good steward of the temple God has given me and take care of myself. It is not always easy but all things are possible with our Lord and Savior. Ladies call out to Him to help you not just with your marriage and children, call out to Him to help you with your cravings and food. I am not saying weight loss surgery is the answer for everyone but if your struggling with weight loss, call out to the Lord. “Come to me all who are weary and I will give you rest.”