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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

How I organize{d}...my weight-loss {and maintenance}

This one is probably my most personal post yet...although the one about feminine products is up there!  I'm going to share with you my ups and downs of my weight since being married to my Sweetheart in 1994 and how, only by God's grace, I got myself organized and lost the weight!  Here is where I will begin, my wedding day:


July 8, 1994 - I weighed 145 pounds
And yes, my wedding organizer said I was her most organized bride ever!



Five years later I had my son.  I had severe edema {extreme swelling}, gained 70 pounds, three days of labor, and a c-section {uggh!}:


This is a week before I had my son - well over 200 pounds!  Uggh!




Then, I worked hard and lost {most of} the weight.  I had to get more creative and exercise really for the first time in my life!  I carried my son in a backpack for babies/toddlers and walked 45 minutes a day.  I wrote down what I ate {something that seems to be crucial for me}.


Down most of the weight, but gained back another 20 pounds before my next pregnancy! Not good.



Then, 4 1/2 years after my son was born, I had my daughter.  I was hoping that pregnancy would be easier the second time around - nope, it wasn't!  I gained 80 pounds {remember, I hadn't lost all the original weight}, had toxemia {severe swelling PLUS high blood pressure and very dangerous}, another emergency c-section, but got to skip labor this time {yippee}!  Here I am at my heaviest ever...ever!  I'm well over 250 pounds!


It hurt to walk...it was extremely uncomfortable - can you tell? Eight months pregnant with my daughter here.


Since most of my weight gain was water, I actually lost 50 pounds in just two weeks after her birth!  However, I still had another 40+ to lose!  But, by God's grace, I was able to do it!  Here is what I look like now and what I did to lose it:


Now weighing 150 pounds and same "size" clothes as my wedding day! 
This was taken 15 years later...for better or for worse!  My hubby is SO handsome!


So, here is what I have done to keep myself organized and losing weight!  


  • First, I schedule myself each morning to do exercise.  I have chosen to power walk {although the first few months were not very powerful}.  I walk up our street - I call it "The Hill of Death" because it's nearly 2 miles STRAIGHT up a hill to the top.  I would walk as many mornings a week as I could, which was about 4-5 mornings a week.
  • Second, I write down everything I eat.  I used an online tracking program- Weight Watchers - and it worked well for me.
  • Third, this wasn't just about eating right and exercising.  This is about having self-control {and not being lazy}, one of the fruits of the spirit {Galatians 5:22-23} and as a Christian, it is an area that needed to be given over to Him!  
  • Fourth, I am still constantly working on this area of having self-control with food and have to constantly ask God's forgiveness when I fail!
  • Fifth, I now have a morning walking partner who dares to head up the "hill of death" with me 3 or 4 times a week and knowing she's going to be waiting at my front door at 6 AM definitely gets me out of bed! {Set out EVERYTHING the night before to get ready quick in the morning!}
  • Sixth, anytime we eat out, I go online and decide exactly what I should eat by finding the restaurant and the menu online {nearly every restaurant I have gone to has an online menu}.  This would help me figure out approximately how many calories and what things I could eat without the worry.  Most places I could easily find something on the menu.
  • Seventh, I set myself a goal:  to power walk a half-marathon!  I did it in three hours and nine minutes!  {I walked faster than some people ran!}




My son with me after my half-marathon power walk!



For me, losing the weight isn't nearly as hard as it has been maintaining it.  I still struggle with getting lazy or not writing down what I eat {figuring that I knew I was OK}. I stopped using Weight Watchers and  I have found a new app on my Iphone called "Lose it" and it's free - or go online at Lose it!  It's nearly the same as the Weight Watchers' program, but is free.  I encourage any of you who struggle with self-control in the area of eating.  I made excuses for years why I couldn't exercise.  When I had just my son, I got a backpack and carried him on my back and walked!  When he got too big for that, I stuck him in a wagon and walked with him.  





You can find some way to fit in exercise in your day {hey, cleaning counts, too}. There IS a way, it may be hard to figure out, but you can find a way.  And eating, you can write down everything you eat, you know what is good and bad for you.  It's all about eating too much and not the right thing.  Have someone keep you accountable. My walking partner texts me her calorie count every day!  So, if your goals for this year are to lose weight AND organize...you can do both! 


My artist friend who went up the "hill of death" with me...illustrating our experience!
Parties:
Far Above Rubies 
Women Living Well

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