Over the years, I've gained and lost a LOT of weight. I was a chubby kid all through school, though I managed to slim down a bit my senior year of high school. I slowly put that back on over the next couple of years, and by the end of my pregnancy with my son, I was a whopping 213lbs. This was not the best look on a 5'6'' frame. I spent close to the next two years in the 190's. I dropped lower than that for awhile with the help of Weight Watchers, but I didn't stick with it. I was depressed and unhappy with myself, and it was affecting all the other aspects of my life. I ate like shit, and I needed a change. I used Jake's second deployment as a way to implement the change. I started doing research on healthier eating and joined a gym with childcare. I took my tubby butt to the gym 5 days a week, sometimes twice a day, and did water aerobics, step aerobics, weight training, yoga, and anything else I found enjoyable. Classes encouraged camaraderie among the participants and fed into my competitive side. I started eating cleaner. I already loved to cook, so I just had to change the kind of groceries I was buying. Less processed junk and more wholesome goodness. Over the course of 12 months of living this way, I went from a size 16 to a 4. I'd never seen a 4 in my LIFE! I thought I was "big-boned" and could maybe look forward to an 8 in my wildest dreams. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with ANY of these various sizes, I just know where I felt comfortable and where I didn't. Over the next few years, I maintained my weight in the 130's, but the physical activity level was much lower and not nearly as consistent. After I moved back to the States from Germany, I got more regular with the workouts again. I had a half-hearted stint with P90X and a did a lot of running around as a single-but-not-single mom of a 6 year old boy. By the end of Jake's 15 month tour in Afghanistan, I was down to 120lbs. I felt the best I'd ever felt in my life! It wasn't perfection, by any means - terrible stretchmarks and a lot of extra skin from the massive weight loss still haunted me - but I felt good in my skinny jeans!
A few months later we made the decision to try and have another baby, and the next month I was pregnant! Fertile Myrtle, that's me. The pregnancy started off with the best intentions... I was eating right and walking a lot. But cravings took over in the last trimester, and a diet consisting mostly of Culver's Frozen Custard had me gaining 50 lbs overall. I breastfed my daughter, partly in hopes that it would help the custard diet melt off my mid-section. Turned out I wasn't so lucky. The hormones were actually making me HOLD ON to the weight. All of that combined with the stress of caring for a newborn AND everyone else was making depression rear its ugly head again. I was determined not to let it get the best of me, so I tried not to obsess about it and do what I could, when I could to be active and eat right. After a year I was back in the mid 130's. Our move to Hawaii and my impending 30th birthday had me looking for something new to try. I was burnt out on all the workout dvd's I had at home, and I didn't have access to a gym with childcare. Late one night I happened to see an infomercial for Tracy Anderson's Metamorphosis, and something about it clicked with me. Completely out of character, I went online right away and ordered it. I've been hooked on the Tracy Anderson Method since. I don't follow her diet so much - it's hard to adjust it to fit the needs of a family of 4 - and I'm not as hardcore as my fellow TAM-ers when it comes to working out 6 days a week, but I love the Method, and I've been more consistent with it for the last 6 months than any other program I've ever tried. I'm back in the 120's and working my way back into those skinny jeans!
Thanks to my TAM journey, I've met some truly lovely ladies online. They are so inspiring and full of encouragement. Parker, whose blog you can read here, is the one who encouraged me to start this blog. I can't thank her enough for the confidence she's shown in me in pushing me to go outside my comfort zone.