The other day, I came across this photo of myself that was taken in January 2013. I just cannot get over it. I stared at the picture for a long time because it didn’t even look like me! I know that I’m not overweight in it…but I look…uncomfortable. My face looks a little swollen and I can remember being at that weight and just not feeling like me anymore.
Honestly, I can’t believe how different I look now! I lost the biggest amount of my ‘extra weight’ in a period of about three months. (You can read my original post and how I did it here.) However, over the next year (and a few months), I’ve maintained this new shape. Of course, I’ve fluctuated here and there. And during the winter months, I naturally gained a few pounds like most people, but this “new me” (or the me that I remember from many years ago) is where I feel most confident and comfortable. Look at this transformation… real change is possible!
I feel healthier, stronger, leaner, faster, more confident, and (ahem)…sexier. 😉 It’s embarrassing to say that, but it’s so true! Even though I’ve never been considered overweight by any means, I feel so much better about my body now. I could have easily kept going in the opposite direction on the scale after my twin boys were born. That would have been WAY easier than getting my butt into gear and turning things around like I have. However, that’s not what I wanted for my life and it’s definitely not the lifestyle I wanted my kids to emulate. Real change IS possible if you put your mind to it! Of course, you have to actually put in the work each day. That means eating healthier, maybe eating a little less, increasing your activity level, getting enough sleep, and drinking enough water. It’s not easy (even for me!) but the quicker you “get it done,” the quicker you can go into maintenance mode. And, believe me, you will feel so much better about yourself when you get to this point. Of course, you still have to eat well, sleep enough, and get enough water…but it’s easier to maintain your shape than it is to feel like you’re constantly depriving yourself in some way.
The next photo was taken when I was 35 weeks pregnant with my boys (the day before they decided it was time to come on out). Obviously, my stomach was being stretched to the max! If you’re brave enough to look closely, you can see the stretch marks on my side. After I delivered my boys, I cannot even begin to tell you how badly those stretch marks itched. It was awful, just awful. Anyway, those stretchmarks are still there, even if they have mostly faded and are now a silvery-grayish color. I don’t always see them, but if I turn a certain way and the light hits them right, they can be quite noticeable. Of course, I wish they weren’t there…but they are. And I’m over it. It’s all part of growing two babies in my belly at one time!
And this is what I look like right now:
It took some serious work, time, and dedication to get back to this point and I didn’t put the effort in until my boys were two years old. That’s the point when I felt like I could focus a little on myself again. Those first couple years with two newborns and a toddler were a blur of diapers, bottles, projectile vomit, little to no sleep for months on end, and barely getting anything else done…other than simply making it through the day with my sanity intact. And, let’s be honest…that didn’t always happen. 😉 It was a rough time period for our household and I’m glad to be past it!
Obviously, some of my transformation comes down to the luck of having good genes and my natural body type. I’m not saying everyone needs to have a body like me (I realize this sounds very conceited on my part…), but the point I’m trying to make is that we can all make changes to our bodies and we can all become our “best selves.” It may be going back to the way you looked before kids…or it may be that you’ve never really been in shape and you’ve yet to see and FEEL the difference! I cannot reiterate that point enough. When you lose the belly fat (or bottom fat, or leg fat, etc), you will move easier. You will walk lighter and I would be shocked if you didn’t gain confidence along the way!
If you want to see changes in your body, then put in the effort. It’s hard. Even for me! I struggle to get out of bed almost every morning, but I know that if I’m going to get in a ‘real’ workout, it has to be done BEFORE my kids wake up. Sure, I can get on the elliptical after they wake up, but it’s not the same. Constant interruptions, pulls for my attention, multiple potty breaks, requests for food, etc, etc. It’s not the same intensity I can get in before they are awake. And the thought of even attempting to workout after they go to bed? Yeah, that’s not gonna happen!
And as far as eating goes, even though I still really need to watch the quantity of my food intake (because I can easily overeat), it really is so much easier to stay on track when you’re eating 90-100% “real food.” You’re not being tricked on a constant basis with the chemically-produced and artificial ingredients that are formulated to excite your taste buds and keep you coming back for more. If you’re still eating a large percentage of processed foods, I promise that you WILL enjoy real food once you let your taste buds adapt. It takes a little getting used to, but it happens. 🙂
And as the saying goes, “abs are made in the kitchen.” Couldn’t agree with this more! You can workout and do crunches all day long (well, maybe not…), but if you’re eating too much and have a layer of fat over your tummy, you’re never going to see the muscles underneath the surface! The presence (or lack of) my own abdominal muscles fluctuates from week to week. I go through the same feelings about this as most people probably do. Some weeks, I’m super dedicated and can see abs like this (or even better)…
And sometimes I just want to eat a little extra and not care as much. 🙂 The point is that I’m in control and I know that when I let my eating (or activity level) slide…I immediately see and feel the effects. I’m not saying that’s always a bad thing. Sometimes, I think a little ‘relaxing of the reins’ can be a good thing for my mental health. If I push too much, it backfires and I get burnt out. I think it’s good to find a happy medium…and that comes back to being in maintenance mode (which is where I’ve been holding steady for the past year). I guess maybe it’s time to finally have my wedding ring taken in a size and stop wearing this spacer…
The sooner you decide to make eating healthier and being active a priority, the sooner you can start maintaining your new shape! Real change is possible if YOU want to see changes!
What do you think? Agree/disagree? 🙂