ME!

Babyweight (well, any weight!) is a tough thing to lose. After Faith was born, I lost it pretty easily. A combo of breastfeeding & the whole new-mom-trying-to-figure-it-out deal got me back to pre-pregnancy weight fairly quickly. When I was pregnant with Zoe, however, things changed.

After we got “the diagnosis” prenatally, all bets were off. With stress levels & uncertainty at the max, I reverted back to my old ways of comfort eating. Oh, how I love emotional eating. It’s like instant gratification.

Unfortunately, my comfort eating didn’t end after Zoe’s birth. Post-pregnancy, we were faced with multiple surgeries, NICU time, ER visits, not to mention beginning our journey learning to navigate therapies, insurance companies, & medical waivers. I had no time (or desire!) for exercise. I was too consumed with worries over Zoe’s development–when or would she ever sit up? Crawl? Stand? Is walking ever a possibility? Are we making the right decisions? Why is her progress SO slow despite John & I putting all our efforts into getting her everything she could possibly need? I was exhausted. Mentally, physically, emotionally.

Thankfully, I had my sweet family & friends around to give us much needed breaks & encouragement, but I loved nothing more than to put the girls to bed, throw on my comfy clothes, and curl up with dessert 🙂 That cycle–which I kept telling myself was temporary, & that I’d get back to exercising and lose the baby weight went on for almost two years. After all–I was a mom now, and my kids were my first priority. My needs had to be on the backburner.

Or did they?

I don’t remember the exact point that I realized something had to give. Maybe when my 30th birthday rolled around? Or maybe when I realized that my girls needed momma to be healthy & fit just as much as they need momma to be involved & present with them. Or perhaps when I realized that my dad died at the age of 43 from a heart attack, & I am only 12 years from that? Scary.

One of my biggest turning points came from seeing my husband get in shape–I mean REALLY in shape. He began eating well, lifting weights, and I began to notice 😉 I’ll never forget the day he told me that he realized we can’t expect Zoe to push herself, and challenge her physical limits, if we won’t do the same for ourselves (and oh, how I love that man. I mean, really, how many men are this AMAZING!).

And so….things changed.

It’s not as if I had hundreds of pounds to lose. I had 20. But that 20 lbs kept nagging at me. I’d feel a twinge of guilt with every fast-food drive through. Every bag of kettle corn I’d blow through. I knew better. After all, every day at work I’d preach to my patients–exercise, lose weight, watch your sugars, do this, do that. But really, who wants to be told these things by someone who’s not practicing what she preaches?

I joined weight watchers (LOVE them!). I tracked (& still do track) every bite, every meal, every drink. It wasn’t easy at first. I craved carbs. Desserts. One bad day would send me longing to reach for that extra bowl of cereal, or maybe to call it cookie day and bake some sweets with Faith.

But on those days, I would remember. My dad. My health. My girls. Zoe.

I am now only 6 (yes–SIX!) pounds from my goal weight. Once I reach that, I may decide to shoot for 5 lbs lower. Or I may take a break and just maintain it. But I am loving it. It feels great to wear “skinny” clothes again. To know that I weigh what I did BEFORE I got pregnant with Faith. To know my girls are learning to eat healthy foods. Yes–our grocery bill is higher than it used to be just because fresh foods aren’t cheap. But it’s worth it.

I have even learned to love exercise. John & I use naptimes now to work-out. I’ve signed up to run in my first 5K—with my mom!! I am loving it! If I am going to ask Zoe to push her physical limits daily in therapy, then I need to do the same for myself. My girls need to learn how to eat healthy. I don’t want them to learn what it means to comfort eat. I want them to be active. I want to be that role model for my patients at work when I encourage them to exercise or lose weight. I want to keep up with my kids, and not develop health problems that I could’ve avoided had I only made better choices.

So there it is. I don’t blog much about myself, but that’s what’s been up. I am loving my family’s new focus on a healthy lifestyle. I may regret the 5K (I don’t LOVE running just yet!) but you know what? At least I tried 😉

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