Friday, January 9, 2015

Fitness Friday: My Journey So Far

I am hoping to soon make Fitness Friday more of a check in that perhaps others will like to join in with as well.  In the mean time, I wanted to share with you my journey so far and why I wanted to make this blog.

May 2012 ~ At our biggest
Four years ago (was it really that long?) my husband Tony and I decided it was time to get healthy.  That did mean loosing weight but the ultimate goal was to be able to live life the way God intended us to.  We longed to be active family, creating and nurturing times with our kids that they would always cherish.  Times that were not just about food.

You see, when you get a family this large, sometimes the easiest way to celebrate a special occasion is with food, lots and lots of food.  Cakes, pies, cookies, homemade bread… these things were a part of our daily lives.  With 11 people in your house, trust me, every week if not everyday, there is something to celebrate!

We had to learn to make healthy choices, to face the fact that food addiction was a major issue in our lives, and if we wanted to see our grandchildren we needed to make big changes.

When one of our children was having health issues our doctor recommended making her gluten free and we went along for the ride.  What we found out was very surprising.  More than a few of us are gluten sensitive in this house, especially me. 

Tony and me when we were at my half way point in weight loss
My health and well being changed dramatically after I got past the first few weeks of withdrawals.  In fact, in the beginning stages of our journey I went and had half a sandwich at a fast food joint.  I got so sick I was cramping in the car and my head hurt so bad I had to go straight home and go to sleep!

All in all, Tony and I lost a significant amount of weight.  I lost over 70 pounds and Tony lost about 100!  We ate mostly a Primal diet, which is similar to Paleo but we ate dairy.  Basically, we ate a lot of meat, vegetables, and little to no sugar or gluten with tons of exercise.

When I hit my goal weight, I did what a lot of people do.  I relaxed a bit and stopped working out.  I brought gluten free grains back into my diet.  I started to put back on weight, but it didn’t seem too significant.  I was content with my size and health.  And that is when I got pregnant.

Oh boy, is it easy to make excuses when you have a bun in the oven.  Silly isn’t it?  You know that you aren’t really eating for two, but in the throws of it you sure can forget.  I had a really hard pregnancy.  There were some terrible things going on in my life and it lead to a lot of problems.  Depression became a very serious issue and I started to eat lots of sugar and wheat again.  Two things that can compound depression.

I started packing on the weight.  I gained literally 10 pounds in one week at a certain point.  It was spiraling out of my control.  I knew what I had to do but I just couldn’t bring myself to it.  I ended up the late weeks of pregnancy going to a new doctor and it was discovered that I had gestational diabetes.  My diet changed drastically (no wheat, no sugar) but the depression was still there.  Not nearly as bad, but that black dark voice was still whispering in the back of my mind.

After I gave birth to my beautiful daughter, breastfeeding didn’t work and the depression came back in full swing.  I blamed myself and felt like a consummate failure.  Soon I was eating dessert every night and craving Pizza Rolls.  That resulted in about a 50-pound weight gain since I had reached my goal weight in 2013.

Anyone who has dealt with depression knows that it can feel nearly impossible to surmount that abyss.  You know what you have to do to make things better but it seems so unattainably out of reach that any small set back can feel like a crushing defeat.

It has taken me months to get to the point where I know I can do this.  I have done it before and I will do it again.  I am eating strictly Paleo now and feeling better than I have in a very, very long time.  We all have bad days, but the depression is all but gone and I am getting active again.  Changing the way I eat was the first step; the next was getting moving!

This blog is a place where I will chronicle this journey, all the successes and failures.  It will be a place to encourage and motivate, hopefully not just myself, but you as well.

Me now ~ here we go again
Thank you for taking the time to visit me and I pray that our Lord will bless you and that you will feel His guiding presence in whatever journey you are on.

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