Why do I strive to live a healthy lifestyle? This was a question that I didn’t really have to face until 18 months ago. In my childhood, teens, and early 20s, I never struggled with weight. I’d always had a slim build and high metabolism and could eat pretty much anything I wanted. I didn’t have poor eating habits. I just didn’t really need to be intentional about what I ate. I never really exercised habitually, just for fun from time to time. In my mid-to-late 20s I learned that I needed a lifestyle change.
My husband and I got married and 10 months later I gave birth to our oldest son. I gained 50 pounds over the course of my first pregnancy, due to my “eat whatever I want” policy that had previously worked just fine. We PCSed to Fort Leonard Wood, MO shortly after our son was born and I did manage to lose most of my pregnancy weight, due mostly to a lot of biking on those good old Missouri hills.
Twenty-one months later our second son was born. I was casually more careful with what I ate this time around, but still did not have good exercise habits in place. We also weren’t able to do as many outdoor activities now with two toddlers to keep up with and I found myself 10 pounds shy of losing all my pregnancy weight.
Twenty-one months later (are you seeing a trend here?) our 3rd son was born. At this time, it became apparent to me that pregnancies and age have a way of slowing the old metabolism down. Reality set in. I realized the weight I had gained over the course of my pregnancies was not going to just melt off. It was at this point that I decided I needed to change my lifestyle, incorporating better eating and exercise habits.
Since then, I’ve worked my butt off (literally) to lose my pregnancy weight. I have followed a fairly strict exercise regimen of working out five days a week, leaving the weekends for family time. I have worked my way through many DVD workouts. I love the convenience of being able to do my workouts at home when it works into my schedule (or more accurately, when it works into three toddlers’ schedules). I also began running in the summer of 2013 and did my first 5K!
Still, I couldn’t lose the last few pesky pounds of pregnancy weight that insisted on hanging on. To reach my goal weight, I still had to lose eight pounds at this point and I was very discouraged. I then realized that even though I had addressed my lack of exercise, I had not really addressed my nutrition. A friend of mine had told me about a nutritional cleansing system that she was using.
I decided to give it a try starting in January 2014. My results have been awesome! I lost all eight of those pesky pounds in six weeks. I have lost an additional three pounds recently, bringing my total weight loss to 50 pounds now, and I cannot believe the difference in appearance and jean size. Even though eleven pounds does not sound like a lot, I have lost inches also and maintained the weight loss, despite working out every day and gaining muscle weight. It’s amazing what changing your nutrition can do! I feel really good and have energy to keep up with my kids, my workouts, and my life.
Now, I strive to maintain a healthy lifestyle to serve the Lord, my family, and those around me to the best of my ability. I am so blessed to have three healthy, energetic little boys. They are a bright spot in my life and I would not undo having them ever, despite the effects on my body. If the Lord blesses us with more children, I hope I’ve learned to be a little bit smarter as to what I eat and how I exercise so I don’t get quite so out of shape in the future. I am also blessed with the knowledge that I can use my nutrition program safely in the event of pregnancy as well.
I also love to coach others as they strive to reach goals in their own lives and I hope my story has been an encouragement to you!