Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Guest Post by the amazing, 104lbs smaller Lindsay!!!

Over the past (almost) 3 years, the members of Jilly's Losers have lost a LOT of weight.  I've seen people reach their goals, lose weight, get healthier, happier...and completely change their lives.  But for the first time in the history of my group (my own weight loss aside)...someone lost 100lbs.  And she did it in 7 months.

I asked Lindsay to share her story with not only me...but with the world (or the world that sees my blog anyway haha) and she didn't disappoint.  This had me in tears.  I see so much of myself in her and I see so many things that make me want to do even better.  Lindsay pushes me as well as the others in Jilly's Losers and I am so grateful to have met her.  I hope you enjoy reading her story as much as I did.  I can't wait to see where she goes from here!

"My Name is Lindsay..."

My name is Lindsay. I am a 29 year old female with a very handsome husband and 6 amazing children ages 1½, 2½, 5, 6, 7, and 8. I have worked 2 nights a week as a registered nurse since I had my first child 8 years ago. I have spent my married life caring for my home, my husband, my children, and forgetting about myself.

 I have struggled with my weight my WHOLE life. I have tried a lot of crazy diets like…all protein, no sweets, cleanses, etc…always able to lose 20lbs or so but always able to gain it back PLUS some.  I have spent my life as a “closet eater”.  From the time I was a young girl I would sneak food and eat it in private. I would hide food under my bed, in my back pack, or my pockets. My older brothers would make fun of me and how I looked and dressed or how much the car went down when I got in it. It hurt my feelings but obviously not enough to make me want to change. When I turned 16 and was able to drive and had my own money this “closet eating” got worse and I would eat in my car all the time. When I started early college at Weber State, as a senior in High School, it got even worse. I would drive to the grocery store late at night and buy a cake, put it in my backpack, and come home and eat it in my car or in my bed. I was an ADDICT...A FOOD ADDICT and I couldn’t stop. After I graduated high school, when I was at my heaviest (250lbs), my mom told me, “You better figure out a way to lose weight or we are going to a doctor in one month.”  I feared going to the doctor and what they would say so my mom and I joined a group called, CHOOSE TO LOSE. It was a group of women who got together weekly to weigh in and encourage each other to make healthy choices.  I lost 88 lbs by eating very little and exercising A LOT.  . However, I was still an addict to food.  I would do great for a few days and then have a “binge” day.  Like I said, I exercised A LOT.  I would walk up to 9 miles a day plus run on the treadmill after school and I loved Tae Bo.  If I had an awful binge I wasn’t afraid to force myself to puke it up.  I didn’t do this daily or even weekly but I did do it every once in a while.  I would hardly eat anything most days and definitely NO SWEETS and then I would break down and binge. So, YES, I lost 88 lbs but I did not do it in a healthy way.  I met my husband 2 months later and by the time we got married, 11 months after that, I was back to 220lbs. UGH!!  Too much eating out and hanging out and making out and not enough exercise. I became that “closet eater” once again (which was now even easier because I lived in my own home and did all the shopping) I would buy 3 boxes of Hostess Swiss Rolls (one of my favorites) and hide 2 of them so if I decided to eat the whole box I could replace them before my husband noticed they were all gone. We had our first baby 9 months later and my final weigh in of my pregnancy was 298lbs. Long story short…after my 2nd baby I weighed 320lbs. I maintained that awful weight through the next 4 pregnancies. I always tried to lose weight but was never able to break that horrible 300lb barrier. 

My weight has kept me from doing so much!  Too big for airplanes, too big for amusement park rides (I actually got stuck in one of those turn styles that you have to go through to get on a ride…embarrassing), too big to fit comfortably in movie theatre chairs or regular arm chairs at a restaurant, too big to go swimming or go on a water slide.  My seat belt was at its max!!  As my kids have gotten older they have started to ask, “When can we go to Disneyland, Why can’t we go swimming?”  I knew I had to change!!  In fall of 2013 I ended up in the ER twice in one month for blood clots in my legs. I was sure the doctor would explain to me that obesity is a huge risk factor but he didn’t say anything! Why didn’t he say anything?  I had hit ROCK BOTTOM!  I was only 28 and I was going to die if I didn’t change.  He didn’t have to tell me that.

This is the same time my mom told my about Jilly’s Losers, a weigh in group like we had done before, but on Facebook.  I felt sick to my stomach….how could I share my weight with anyone?  I was at my heaviest…327lbs.  NOONE, except my OB/GYN knew how much I weighed and I didn’t want them to.  Finally, the day before the new season started, I decided this was how I was going to change. I WAS GOING TO DO IT!!!! I was tired of people telling me how “pretty my face was” or kids making fun of the size of my butt or telling my kids that they had a “fat mom.” I was tired of being unhappy! So I joined and I posted my before picture and my starting weight (one of the most humbling things I have ever done). I decided at the start that I was NOT going to do any crazy diets or give up sweets. I joined MY FITNESS PAL and started counting calories.  I started walking 3 miles a day, rain or snow. It was December and half the time I did it pushing 2-4 kids in a double stroller or even pushing the double stroller empty just so I wouldn’t slip on the ice. On really bad days I would drive to the mall and do my walk there. I did 20 minutes on my stationary bike (I had to sit on a pillow because it made my butt hurt so bad), and did my 8 minute Tae Bo workout video. I ate breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, and dinner.  I stopped eating after dinner and I drank A LOT of water. I have a huge 100 oz mug from Maverick that I kept full of ice water (which I love) and drank it every time I had a craving.  I was amazed after my first week when I had lost a whopping 8 lbs!! Yay!  I was doing it. I continued to count calories daily and never banned myself from treats. Birthday cake was ok and so was a small treat every once in a while. Eventually I started eating wheat bread instead of white, whole grain cereal instead of sugar cereal, brown rice instead of white, and skim milk instead of 1%.  My snacks went from chocolate and sugary treats to fruit, carrots, string cheese, wheat thins, trail mix, yogurt, and Quest bars.  I fought myself daily to stay on track. I forced myself to exercise even if it was 10pm after my kids had gone to sleep.  It all paid off…After my 1st 8 week season I had lost 30lbs. Now, don’t get me wrong…I wasn’t perfect.  One day I ate a whole 12 pack of snack size milky ways (I think 830 calories) for lunch. I got depressed and mad at myself but I knew the only thing to do was rub it off and keep chugging. I got back on the wagon A LOT and the weight kept coming off.

As of today (7 months into my journey) I have lost 104lbs!!  I continue to follow the same routine… my daily exercise consists of walking 3-4 miles, 30minutes on the stationary bike, and a 25-30 minute circuit training workout video (I do a few different ones to change it up).  Of course there are days when I don’t fit it all in but I do my best. I have learned to love exercise and sweat!  I still eat every few hours and I drink tons of water.  I count my calories everyday and I continue to fight myself daily to stay on track with eating.  As long as I don’t ban myself from sweets all together I am ok.  A small treat here and there keeps me sane! Honestly, I thought the cravings would end but I have come to the realization that they most definitely will not!!  Food is an addiction, my addiction, and it takes constant will power and self control to control it. I keep my healthy treats stocked up and close by so I can grab them when the cravings come. I am feeling so good about myself and I love all the compliments I get from my family and my friends…It keeps me motivated.  We are going to Disneyland in September and I can’t wait.  I am so proud of myself.  I enjoy getting dressed and getting ready for the day.  I finally feel pretty. It’s like my life has started over!  I haven’t reached my goal weight yet and sometimes I get frustrated and tired of the journey because it is HARD, so HARD!  I literally had to have my husband stand by me last Sunday while I cleaned the kitchen because I felt like my self control was gone.  I was jittery and I wanted to eat everything in sight. I told him to stand by me and stop me if I tried to eat anything.  This happens often J and he is happy to help me…Thank goodness! When the scale doesn’t move as much as I think it should I want to quit. When I break down and eat 3 pieces of cake instead of the small one I started out with and when I give into my cravings, I feel like a failure. Then I stand up, start over, and remind myself that I AM IN CONTROL AND NOTHING CAN STOP ME!!!!! 

Jilly’s Losers has been my life saver, literally!  Weighing in each week keeps me on track.  I have lost consistently all 7 months and never POSTED a gain.  Yes, Jill, that’s right…I have indeed gained weight on my journey!  But if I see the gain in the middle of the week it motivates me to kick it up a notch and make sure I have a loss to post for the real weigh in the next Tuesday. I fight hard for those losses and I will keep fighting for my goal weight and, most importantly, for myself!!  I have found the me that has been lost under all that weight for so long and I wouldn’t give it up for anything!