Hello readers! I was so excited when Kristen asked me to do a guest post for her! She is such a fabulous woman and I am so happy we have become friends! Kristen and I first connected during our route to becoming the thinner, healthier versions of ourselves so I thought I would share with her readers my own story of the ups and downs of weight loss and the struggles I've had with my body. I look back at pictures of myself when I was a kid and think, "Holy cow girl! You were skinny!" A skinny child I was, but for some reason, once I started school, that all went out the window. I was never what I would consider fat...but skinny I was not. I started doing at an early age with my mother. She went to the meetings at her work and would bring home all of the materials and we'd go over them together. I had some success with it, but it is really hard to count points as a Junior High/High School student who has her meals prepared for her, who hangs out with friends 3 nights a week at Denny's, and who loves extra butter on her movie theater popcorn. But, I had a fall back. I was constantly exercising. I played volleyball, basketball, and ran track so although I was eating whatever I wanted, I was able to do this without gaining a significant amount of weight because of all of the running around I was doing. Enter college. My exercise went out the window and the freshman 15 came on...big time. I have no recollection of what I weighed in high school. I wish I did. But I hit the 200's in college. It was my sophomore year and my roommate and I decided to join Weight Watchers. I can still remember stepping on the scale for the first time and seeing the woman write down a 2 as the first number. It was awful. My heart was heavy but it was just a starting point for me. I knew I was there to make a change and I had my roommate with me! What could be better? Ha! Today that roommate and I are not on speaking terms (would you speak to someone who stole from you, turned off your power, and moved out during the summer without telling you...leaving you to pay for all of the utilities yourself?? I think not.) And we were not good influences on each other at all. I soon quit and went back to doing the program off and on by myself. I started working out a little more consistently on campus but I never fully got into a routine. I was at a standstill. My lowest point came during the summer after graduation. I moved home to live with my parents while attending graduate school and stepped on the scale for the first time in a very long time. I can't believe I am about to share this number since I don't think I have ever told anyone...but it read 234.5 lbs. I was literally shocked. I have never felt so bad about myself in my life. It was time. I had hit rock bottom and I needed to change now!
"My sister and me...this is hard to even look at now. I had no idea I was that big."
I had been dating my now husband for about 2 years then and knew that marriage was in our future. I didn't want to be heavy on my wedding day. So my mother and I joined forces and again started Weight Watchers. Seriously girls. This works if you work the program. I began walking on a regular basis, started Taebo, and began going to the gym for cardio and weights. I ate healthy and had someone cooking my dinners that was counting points as well which was extremely helpful. It was working! Matt and I got engaged that year in December and now I had tangible motivation. My wedding date was set! I had a year and a half to do it and I was determined. And do it I did. I lost 78 lbs. before my wedding. My lowest weight I ever read on the scale was 156 lbs. I was thrilled. Of course I still saw the flaws, but what woman doesn't. My hips, thighs, and butt were still bigger than I would've liked, but I was healthy and happy for my wedding day and it showed.
"My dad walking me down the aisle."
Since that time 2 years ago, I have put some weight back on. I'm about 20 lbs. heavier than I was at my lowest and I'd really like to be at about 150 lbs. How did that happen? Well, honestly, I stopped tracking my points and went back to my regular bad eating habits. Weight Watchers markets itself as being a lifestyle change not a diet, but I did not treat it as such. I followed the program but I never stopped wanting to eat badly. And really, I still haven't stopped. It's an ongoing issue. I'm now back to doing Weight Watchers on my own. I have my good days and bad days, but I have new motivation. My husband and I are looking at starting a family next year and I want to be as healthy as possible for our baby. Plus, losing the weight now I'm sure will be 10 times easier than waiting until after the baby is born. Plus, I made a vow to myself that I would never see a number starting with a 2 on the scale again...so I want to make sure that even when I am pregnant that doesn't happen. So what is your weight loss story? How did you do it...and what kept you motivated? Have you been able to keep off the weight? Do you have any tips to share? Everyone's story is different but I am confident we can learn from each other and help give support along the way. Thank y'all so much for giving me this safe place to share my story! And feel free to stop on over to Lucky in Love to keep up with my progress! I can use all of the encouragement I can get! Warmly, Jenny