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I was one of those people who never had to worry about the things I ate. I had a small frame and a fast metabolism. I loved food, and I ate what I wanted. As a teenager, I didn’t really follow the crowd and diet or worry about what I ate, I just continued being me. I also exercised. Not because I wanted to, but because my school made me. We had gym class 2-3 days a week, where we would run a mile, do situps, pushups, weights, and other things. I never thought it was a big deal, but when I look back I realize that sadly that was probably the best shape I have ever been in.
Everything changed however, when I went to college. I had heard of the “Freshman Fifteen,” but thought that I was above that. That could never happen to me, I thought. Sadly, I did gain about 15lbs, and the next year I was determined to get rid of it. I exercised a little more, ate better, and over the next summer lost what I had gained the year before. But from then on it was always a struggle to keep the weight off.
Fast forward to a couple months before my wedding. I had tried on and picked out my dress and it fit pretty good, but I was determined to lose some of that weight. During that time Jon was in basic and I did lose some weight while he was away. When we got married, my wedding dress was a size 4 and I was proud of that fact. I didn’t think I was doing that well in the weight department, but knowing I was a size 4 in at least my wedding dress helped.
Several months later, I was back to gaining weight again and over the next 6 months I had gained up to 30 lbs! I had heard that sometimes people gained after they got married, but I knew it was more than that. I was mortified when my clothes stopped fitting, and I was sad at how much I was eating at meals. But I couldn’t stop myself.
Around this time I was also trying to get pregnant. I wanted to be healthy so I started working out 3 times a week with a friend. No matter what I did, I was still gaining. I knew something had to be medically wrong. I won’t get into the whole story, as you can read about it here: (What I was Diagnosed With) but when I went to the doctor, I finally found out what was wrong. I had Thyroid disease, Hypothyroidism to be correct. That was why I had been gaining all that weight, and had not been able to stop eating all the time.
About the time I found out about my hypothyroidism, I also found out that I was pregnant again after my miscarriage. I was now on medication and losing the weight that the disease had caused, but pretty soon I would be gaining weight from the baby.
During my pregnancy I gained about 25 lbs. My doctor had told me since I had already gained 30lbs before my pregnancy, that I probably wouldn’t gain that much during the pregnancy. However, because I was eating for two I started eating a lot again. I was eating bigger portions and snacking a lot. After I had Adam, I lost a lot of the baby weight. However I still had 30lbs to get back to where I was before my thyroid disease and what I should be for my height and body type. I started working out again, but could never keep up with exercising all the time. I started watching what I ate as far as calories, and that worked for awhile, and I lost 5 more lbs. Christmas came around and with the holidays and lots of food, I gave up on trying to be thin and in shape again.
At the beginning of this year I wrote a blog post about my goals for the coming year. My number one goal for this year was losing my baby weight. Here is what I said:
1. I want to lose that baby weight!
I was doing a good job with my dieting in the past month or two, but then when the Christmas holidays hit, I kind of just gave up and figured I would start again in the new year. I am determined to achieve my goal weight and I have a year to do it in, but will hopefully do it in less. I am excited about being a little bit more healthy and hopefully getting into a great work out routine that I can always do even after I get the weight off.
I remember being excited for a new year and excited to start exercising, but that never happened. I would do some things here and there, but then get lazy and go back to my old ways. I started to see a lot of articles about eating healthy, losing weight, and staying in shape and I was feeling guilty. I wanted to do all that, but I was never able to find the right motivation.
Then I came across one article that really hit me. It talked about a Christian woman who had recently died. And although the article had nothing to do with being healthy or losing weight it mentioned one thing this woman was remembered for by her family and friends: that she did the best she could to take care of her body, to eat healthy, and be fit because she knew her body was the Temple of the Holy Spirit.
I thought about that a lot in the coming days. THERE was my motivation. It’s not about eating healthy because it’s a fad, it’s not about losing weight to stay thin, it’s about taking care of your body because the Lord made me and He made this body, and he wants me to take care of it. It was starting to sink in and since then I have been searching for the best way to do that.
I have been looking for more healthier foods to make, and working on portion control when it comes to eating meals. But I am still struggling. I have come to realize that my eating habits are actually a sin. A sin called gluttony. (Gluttony: over-indulgence and over-consumption of food and drink.) I love food. But I love food a little too much. And when it becomes something like this, it tends to get out of hand:
“The morning starts off with a longing for lunch and a yearning for ‘just the right thing,’ till we get it. We complain how bloated we feel after lunch, and then within the hour we’re back to discussing what dinner will be. The cycle continues until it ends somewhere around 11:00 p.m. with another snack on our lap. Sound familiar?” –Reshaping it All
And that is me. Always thinking about the next thing I’m going to eat. I have snacked because I’m bored, snacked because I’m lonely, snacked because I am watching tv, and snacked because there is nothing else to do.
When I recently started hearing about a book called “Reshaping it All: Motivation for Physical and Spiritual Fitness,” I was excited. This is exactly what I need! I read about it on two blogs I follow and they were people I really admire and look up to. I first heard about the book from Courtney at Women Living Well and I added it to my book list. Then, I read a post from Mandi at My Perfect Mess and her very honest post was what did it for me. I understood every single thing she was going through, and I knew that was me. Her post made me even more determined to get the book and now that I finally have, I want to share some of the tidbits and my journey with you.
My posts will be a little about the book, some quotes, my thoughts on it, and my journey to a better and healthier me. I want to be fit and healthy so I can set an example. I want to take care of my body because it is the right thing to do, and because my body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit. I hope you will travel with me on this journey and learn a little about what it really means to be fit physically AND spiritually. If you don’t have the book I encourage you to get it and read along with me!
What about you? Do you have a similar story like this? What are some things you do to eat healthy and stay fit? How have you made these changes?