I wanted to share the struggles and successes of losing almost 100 pounds TWICE in one lifetime and managing to keep the weight off!
I wanted to share the struggles and successes of losing almost 100 pounds TWICE in one lifetime and managing to keep the weight off!
So I had been running consistently for months, eating healthy with calorie restrictions and very little carbs for years, and lifting weights for about a year at this point, and had been at my goal weight for about 3 months and super proud of it!! I had made it through a wedding that I was a bridesmaid in that I used as a goal for my weight and body to be in a certain shape and size and was nailing, than Christmas came along 😕 I never once laid off of my workouts but I did take it a little easier on my eating habits and gained about ten pounds within a few weeks because once I gained about five pounds around Christmas why stop there I might as well keep eating, you know? So I picked up my running game and ran longer and harder and lifted more but noticed it only made me eat more so it was really a lost cause. So basically I spent until the next summer fighting those ten pounds, which of course no one else notices but YOU, but that’s enough for you! So it drive me crazy and I struggled with it, and quite honestly I’ve been back and forth with that ten pounds between 150 and 160 pounds since that Christmas -and have just learned that I need to deal with it and if I want that body back I’m going to have to fight for it and that’s the reason for this blog, to have the support of others and to be able to share my story of how I was able to lose 100 pounds twice in my lifetime and I can take control back of my life and my weight as well as my body!! Thank you for reading and your support!!!
So after a few months of walking, eating healthy, and doing the strength training and even incorporating weights into both upper and lower body and of course having plenty of days of not being able to lift a pencil or sitting on a toilet without being in agonizing pain I developed an amazing workout plan and become quite strong! I was really pleased with how my body had responded to the workouts and the weight training and it had sculpted and my measurements and my clothing that I could now fit into were proof! I was also finding myself with more energy which is one part of diet and exercise that I adore because natural energy is very precious to me! I started slowly losing weight and seeing results and than steadily but surely went from about 200 pounds to around 170 in six months or so. I than stayed at around 165 to 170 for around a month and became very impatient with the plateau that I had hit because it was the first time in six months that I hadn’t lost anything in a month and got irritated. I decided to once again up my game and I of course live in Houston where the weather is typically warm year round and was on one of my walks in January and it was 70 degrees and saw a woman who was very lean and muscular jogging in my neighborhood and I though to myself “I wonder if I could be a runner?” I went home and looked up how many calories running burns and what the difference is in running verses waking and decided I was going to do a couch to 2k! So the very next day I got up at 5am, I out on some sneakers, and I opened my front door, and started my music, started the app that told me when to run and when to walk and went on my way! I ran for 30 min that day for a total of 1.5 miles, which of course wasn’t even half as far as I walked even on one of my walks but I ran it, which was very new for me! I was a little tired when I got home but I felt amazing!! I was so excited that I had gone on a run!! I wen ton a similar type of run a few days later and another one a few days after that and went further and further each time and did these runs on top of my workouts everyday but Sunday so I kept with that rhythm and never ran on Sundays and the weight just started melting off!! I was dropping at least five pounds a weeks and was still eating very healthy of course and dropped another 25 pounds in 5 weeks and was down to my smallest weight I had seen in many years which was 145 pounds!! I wasn’t even just skinny, I was fit as well! I was muscular and the fact that I was running and lifting weights meant that once I got down to my goal weight I started included a few cheat days in and could eat pretty much whatever the hell I wanted and never gained a pound because my muscles were still recovering and needed the fuel! I basically fell in love with running in those months and at times get away from it because my knees are not as young as I would love them to be but I love running and always go back to it because of this experience and recommend it to anyone that is even slightly interested in it!! ❤️🏃♀️
So after I discovered how working out was going to benefit me, I talked it over with my husband and he gave me some great ideas. My husband, who has a long history of athleticism, and a ton of experience with strength training, advised me to start lifting weights. I kind of hesitated because I am not built small and every time I had been strongly fit I felt as if I look buff, especially in my top half. My body has always been a bit of a triangle to say the least, I’ve always had broad shoulders, big boobs and no butt and skinny legs. I always played shortstop in softball so I never worried too much about building a ton but instead just about staying toned and keeping all over strong. I never once focused on building a particular muscle on my body over another. My husband, the muscle guru, told me to build up my butt because it was the biggest muscle in my body and it would burn the most calories while resting and proceeding to explain to me how all of that worked. I was a little confused by it all in the beginning so he basically gave me a schedule to start with because I’m annaly schedule oriented and made it simple for me, which is kind of the same schedule I stick to today sadly but it worked for me and you gotta stick to what you know. So basically along with my daily or double daily walks I would do upper body workouts on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Than, alsong with my daily or double daily walks on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays I would do lower body workouts and would rest on Sunday and just make sure I walk enough steps to keep my body moving throughout the day but not to many to exhaust my body after a long week. So that Monday I started with a morning walk and when we got back home I started with an app that I had downloaded that had a fifteen minute workout that had moves like shoulder raises and a few push ups and a few other moves but there were no weights or anything involved. It was a simple workout and I was excited to get started with my workouts! I woke up the next morning on Tuesday thinking I was going to be sore and was excited to be sore, and was so disappointed to find out I wasn’t! I proceeded to do my morning walk and proceeded to do my lower body workout which consisted of doing some squats, lunges, and leg raises, and again with no weights and they were all just using my body weight and the workout lasted again about 15 minutes and I also did a double walk later that evening. The next day, that Wednesday, I woke up very sore, like couldn’t sit on the toilet without holding onto the wall sore, I was completely shocked! I was also very happy that I had torn some muscle too but wondered what the difference was from the upper body and the lower body had been, and realized that I was dumb, I carried around not only an infant all of the time but a toddler who barely learned to walk just a few months ago quite often when I wasn’t carrying around the infant, my upper body wasn’t weak!! I needed to up my game for the upper body and needed to seriously build up my booty to get it all even and this would help me lose weight. I continued with this schedule and continued to eat with calorie restrictions, mainly cutting out heavy carbs, fried foods, and processed foods, and keeping my calorie intake for the most part around the total that I either burned or under and I began losing weight within that next few weeks!! I got really excited and very quickly became addicted to exercising and it very quickly became a very pertinent partner with eating healthy in my life and as well as a daily habit. I developed into a minimum of 10,000 steps a day, which is still my daily minimum three years later and am still on the same workout schedule that I developed that week of three days of upper body and three days of lower body and one day of rest. Even if I am sitting at my desk working I make sure that I get some sort of workout in with resistance bands or it’s a rainy day I walk my happy butt in place in front of the tv I make sure I get those steps in or find a room to reorganize on the house I make it happen. If I can make this happen so can you. Exercise may not be fun at first but you find a way to build it into your schedule or make it fun somehow some way, you just have to find a way to make it contour to you.
So after I had slowly but surely lost a few more pounds and was sitting at about 215 pounds and I knew I didn’t have the time or patience for doing Atkins again or juicing for long periods of time because it was just a little too much to do with three kids and a husband to feed to be so focused on feeding myself such a specialized menu so I knew that I needed to find something that I could incorporate my family, especially my kids into. I was still going on my regular walks and had my youngest in a stroller and my daughter would walk sometimes and had even incorporated a few of the neighbors into my morning walks and even had a few that wanted to go on evening walks so I would double up on walks some days even. I was counting steps and making sure that I would get a certain amount each day and I believe in the beginning it was around 5000 that I would always make sure I got. Than on the days that I would double up on my walks and would get more steps and of course would keep my calorie intake in check I would always drop a pound or two each the next day. As I had mentioned before I grew up athletic so I am not unfamiliar as to how the body works and how to exercise it just hadn’t occurred to me to put eating well and exercising to lose weight, why I don’t know but it makes perfect sense but these are the things you learn along your journey that you should’ve seen all along I guess. So this of course gave me the bright idea to walk more and give myself a step goal that I need to reach daily that would help me burn more calories so that I could basically eat more and be happy and feel better and be even more happier! This was of course the first time I had realized that two things that I loved, food and sports, could help me lose weight!
So I was still hanging around 245 pounds and trying to calorie count and I basically go very hungry everytime I calorie count and end up eating everything in sight by the time I go to bed. So I had read that juicing was a great way to get very few calories in but because of all of all of the vitamins you’re taking in from the fruits and vegetables you gain this insane amount of energy and your appetite is naturally suppressed so you eat less but you’re not drained. So of course I was intrigued and bought a juicer and found a book of recipes on amazon and a lot of these recipes I still use today! But these recipes are good for breakfast, lunch and dinner so you don’t get bored and aren’t eating the same thing all of the time since it’s truly just liquids you’re taking in it can get a little mundane. So I had a few recipes set out for a few days ahead and LOTS of fruits and veggies and was ready to go. I fed the kids and started making my juice, it took quite a long time, like 30 minutes to prep and then condense in the juicer and the first sip was terrifying but it was surprisingly fantastic! I used a recipe with apples and it made it sweet. So I drank the entire thing and afterwards I was very full which I was also very surprised to see because after all it was just liquids. I made my lunch a few hours later which had apricots in it which also tasted very good and I was again very full after lunch which carried me all the way to dinner and I had only taken in maybe 700 calories and wasn’t hungry at all. I then made my dinner which this one was a hard one because this was the family meal so when we all say down to eat they had the chicken and sides I made them and I had a beverage basically but if it ended up working and I lost weight juicing it would be worth it. The next day I woke up and weighed myself and I had lost two pounds!! I was very excited to see such an awesome amount of weight loss in just one day! I went the rest of the week drinking nothing but juice and it was a little expensive and got to be a little time consuming so I couldn’t say that I could be one that would do it consistently but I ended up losing 12 pounds in one week and honestly wasn’t hungry at all and had a ton of energy after that first day of the juicing. My body also seemed to have went through a cleanse because I had clearer skin and felt amazing, and I even pooped amazing lol! I highly recommend juicing whether it be long term or short term not just for weight loss but for general health reasons. I still have my juicer and make juice a few times a week and do a cleanse a couple times a year at least of a week or so at a time. I highly recommend this form of dieting!
So this time I had just had a beautiful baby girl 13 months prior,a boy five weeks prior, a hysterectomy due to cervical cancer two weeks prior and was ready to focus on my weight loss once again. I was staring at the scale that first morning at 252 pounds once again. It was the lovely deja vu that I swore I would never see again. So I started the day with the idea that I would start that week with the idea that I would once again cut out carbs so I could lose the weight fast because why not? I was never going to have another child again, I was never going to have to lose another ounce of baby weight and not to mention my Lupus was under control so in my head if I go my weight under control I would get it under control for life. I proceeded to plan my meals for the week and cut carbs out just like I had done before when I was on Atkins years ago and had done so well and was so disciplined at it and had lost so much weight so fast. I had it planned out to a T! Until it came time to get no sleep because my infant son stayed up all night crying, my toddler daughter wanted chicken nuggets with macaroni and cheese and my oldest son wanted chocolate pudding for dessert after dinner. I mindlessly munched and barely noticed and ended up losing a few pounds and gaining them right back and it continuously fluctuated for about a month to end up not even moving on the scale in the end. I realized by the end of the month, once I was fully released to exercise after the surgery that I was going to have to count calories, that having a family of five it was going to be almost impossible to do the diet that worked best for me because my beautiful family needed me to cook for them as well and life was almost a little too crazy for that type of meal planning for right now. I had basically decided to revisit it at a later time. So at this time juicing was super popular so I decided to take a stab at that and experiment with juicing because apparently it had the same energy level and it had great health benefits. So on to the next adventure of juicing!
So fastforwarding a few years from the first weight loss adventure of where I did just straight Atkins and lost the 100 pounds I am now newly married and since I was in my early 30’s when we got married and wanted kids we decided to try right away to get pregnant. Well we were very blessed and were pregnant with our Charlotte within the first year. I of course had no idea how to maintain my weight during pregnancy, and this was years in the process of the maintenance period but it was a whole new ball game while pregnant and after being diagnosed with Lupus so I basically had gone back to calorie counting because I was advised by not only my Rheumatologist but by of course also my OBGYN that I shouldn’t be doing any kind of high fat low carb diet while pregnant and to just stick to low calorie if I wanted to keep my weight down during the pregnancy. SO I started the pregnancy out without too many cravings, the first trimester I didn’t do too bad with my weight gained exactly what I was supposed to which was a pound a week. I also was bartending throughout my entire pregnancy so I was on my feet through the entire pregnancy so that I felt helped with not gaining a lot of weight as well. When I got into my second trimester I started getting really bad sweets cravings which I never really had before so of course I gave into them not knowing what would happen Throughout the rest of the rest of my daughter’s beautiful pregnancy I slowly but surely gained 49 pounds of the 100 that I had lost, and only about 10 of that was baby unfortunately. I had a beautiful, healthy baby girl in June of 2013, my second child and was ready to start losing weight soon after I recovered! She was not even a week old before I was out on my walks and eating right and ready to get my waistline back! I had gotten back into the routine of eating better throughout the postpartum period and and went back to exercising when I was allowed which was basically just walking at that point because I hadn’t discovered real exercise and I was doing good at dropping the weight with just calorie restrictions and hadn’t planned on going full Atkins again until I felt like I wasn’t dropping the weight fast enough. When my daughter was about 2 months old I had just passed through the six weeks that you need to start getting your life back in order after having a baby, well plus some, and I was starting to dismiss carbs again because I was getting impatient with calorie counting and knew what a high fat low carb life could bring me, and started the process of beginning Atkins again, when I woke up one day expecting my period and realized it was missing I was pregnant again. Not only was I pregnant again I had only lost about 15 pounds, ten of that was my daughter being pushed out of my loins, and the other 5 was simply just getting moving around. So of course because of my past weight weight drama my first thought was “oh sh$t, how much fatter am I going to get?!?” But then I thanked God for another blessing bestowed upon us and I informed my husband who proceeded to freak out that we were pregnant right after having our daughter. Fast forward to me being 3 months pregnant and my OBGYN had found cervical cancer cells and informed me that I would need a hysterectomy and gave me a choice to either abort the baby I was carrying which we didn’t even know the sex of yet, or carry the baby to term and risk the cancer growing and dealing with the consequences that came about. Of course we decided to proceed with pregnancy and we had a blushing baby boy and I had a hysterectomy about 4 weeks after his birth and the cancer stayed within the cervix and hasn’t shown it’s ugly face again and my youngest just turned 3 as well as I got to top my heart off with three beautiful children and that was plenty for me and my husband, and honestly our bank account. So needless to say my third pregnancy through the hoops that I had to jump through and stress that I dealt with and on top of that my Grandmother, my favorite person on earth, passed away between the birth of my youngest and the hysterectomy. It wasn’t the best summer ever. I had gained all of my weight that I had lost back to the pound, I was starting my second journey of my weight loss adventure at 250 yet again in the fall of 2014.
So for about THREE years or so I went in and out of keto dieting and using the Atkins diet to drop a few pounds if I needed to to maintain my weight. I would try to stay within a ten pound goal range and for three whole years I did! It was amazing, I never knew that having control over food and what I ate would give me so much control over my life! It gave me control over how I felt every day, how I functioned, how I looked, hell even how I dressed because I was thinner! I would go through my junk food phases and eat whatever I wanted for a weekend or even a week but I would always feel like crap and have stomach pains and not feel good afterwards for days on end and as soon as I would start back on the keto dieting, or what I refer to as Atkins, which I always will no matter what it gets called nowadays, but my stomach would feel better and I would gain back my energy and all would be right in the world. This feeling would mainly come from just not eating a ton of processed crap, not eating a lot of stuff that doesn’t basically come from the Earth. I have always said I wish I didn’t love bacon cheeseburger the way I do because I would be a vegan TODAY! But unfortunately this girl is a straight carnivore, but one that really loves her veggies because I can’t eat that burger without onions and tomatoes on it. After a year of eating basically eggs, meat, green vegetables, and fish only my taste buds had changed so drastically that I believe that they had changed for the rest of my life, because here I am now almost ten years later and I still don’t eat much processed food, I still think white bread tastes disgusting, and sweets are just not something I crave. After almost a year on Atkins, or the diet that has been called so many things like the “Caveman Diet”, I believe that it was the best one out there for me personally because of the fact that it changed how I taste food for the better and I now appreciate food and every bite that I taste, and I now I eat to live and not live to eat, and the best part about my first weight loss journey was, the weight loss of almost 100 pounds was the second best thing due to all of these primary factors that I learned about life and food!
So I had hit my goal weight of 150 pounds!!!! I had started this journey about a year prior and had busted my butt and had found success with the Atkins Diet and had lost 95 pounds in just about a year and a half with the only exercise being walking and eating a ton of cheeseburgers and my life was great!! So I decided that after this long journey to introduce carbs back in. The Atkins book advises to introduce them slowly, so that you don’t basically gain the weight back super fast, so you basically bring them back the way that you almost took them out, in increments. So I started with a few strawberries and my son and I went on a picnic at the pool, because hey I was not afraid of my bathing suit anymore (insert happy dance here) so we made some lunch which included my bacon cheeseburger bites and some strawberries. So we go to the pool and my son takes off and I sit down to enjoy the first little bit of fruit I was going to have had in about six months, the only carbs I had had had been from vegetables for about six to seven months and I decided to go with fruit to keep with the “from the Earth” theme I had going so it wouldn’t upset my stomach. So I’m super excited to try this and I have my water bottle, my burger bites and my strawberries, and I bite into that beautiful red strawberry….and it’s disgustingly, and overbearingly SWEET!! I literally spit it right out! It tasted so gross and I was so shocked! I couldn’t believe how weird that was and that sugar, even sugar that God made, tasted so weird to me! It almost tasted gross! So decided that I was going to nibble one more piece, after a few more of my burger bites of course, and try it again, and I realized I just needed to ease back into sugar and that my taste buds had completely reset and everything that I was going to taste was going to be like tasting it for the first time. So I decided to live life like I had never tasted it before and truly enjoy the food I was eating. I tried a ton of different fruit, because it was summertime and there was lots of fruit available and I enjoyed every bite of food that week and stayed within the carb count that I wanted to and still eve lost a few pounds!! I weighed in at 145 by the end of the week and was on top of the world! I ate very well and was feeling amazing and had introduced carbs, not a ton of them, but had introduced carbs back in, and was feeling great!!
So for the sake of keeping my story a little short and not drawing it all out I am going to fast forward a few months and save you all some pointless and boring reading and move right into the fact that I stayed consistent on the Atkins Diet. I moved right along with the weight loss and continued to loss weight consistently and adjusted the diet as needed with adjusting the amount of carbs I took in, which if you are attempting to start an Atkins style diet please have your calculator ready because you’ll definitely need it! It was definitely a learning curve and there were plenty of bumps in the road but I learned a lot of how the body works and kept my ketostix, which if you aren’t familiar with what they are I have a particular brand I love just go to my site there’s a link there, but I definitely learned a lot. I was in love with how fast the weight came off but I was much more in love with how I felt, I was crazy energetic, my skin looked amazing, and not to mention I was crazy healthy!! My blood pressure was perfect, my blood sugar was always perfect and all of my tests that were so messed up from my horrible Lupus flare up were coming back completely normal. With Lupus I basically had an elevated white blood cell count and inflammation as well as fatigue and none of these things were going on while I was in full on ketosis. I was also not having any issues with my digestive issues, I did however have to take iron supplements as well as a multi vitamin and calcium supplements but I have to take those anyway due to the Lupus but the iron supplement was added in by my doctor because of all of the protein I was taking in with the Atkins diet I basically wasn’t pooping and it was bothering my digestive issues which activated my Lupus created IBS so hints the iron supplements which moved it on along, tmi I know but getting “backed up” is truly a very real part of any high protein diet so you’ve been warned! 😉 So now that I was at a good healthy weight I wanted to start introducing carbs back in, slowly but surely.