Weight loss. Just typing those two words makes me cringe a little. For so many years I've been struggling with my weight and body image. I feel uncomfortable when I look at pictures of myself that were taken in the last decade. I see how heavy I was and it triggers emotions I'd rather not deal with.
I wasn't always fat. Before get bent out of shape about me using that word, hear me out. I wasn't ever thin, either. At least not by today's standards. I was a tomboy as a child and spent a lot of time playing outside with neighborhood friends. We were very active. Running in the back yard, riding bikes, playing games and chasing each other through our 'hood were our favorite activities. But even then I had a sturdy build.
It would be easy to blame my mother's cooking for my inability to be thin. She grew up on a farm and my grandmother taught her all the farm staples, those recipes for meat and potatoes where every meal contained butter and milk and cheese.
My teenage years were miserable. While the popular girls bragged about wearing size zero or size 2 jeans, I felt large in my size 10 pants. Size 10 was considered fat. Looking back now I'd have appreciated my body for how strong and powerful it was. I would have played more sports. I would have worn clothes that made me feel good about myself instead of hiding in baggy jeans and over-sized t-shirts.
In college I lost some weight. I was going to school and working as a bartender at my father's tavern. I was always on my feet. That was the first time I felt confident about my appearance. Those feelings were fleeting, however. A boyfriend I was dating told me no matter how much weight I lost I'd still have thick thighs. I ditched him very shortly after but his words stuck with me. I fell into a bit of a depression and the weight I lost found it's way back to my hips and stomach.
When I met my husband things changed. He often told me how beautiful I was. He loved my shape and encouraged me to stop worrying about my weight. I was so grateful to finally have met a man who loved me for who I was instead of what size my pants were. I became comfortable in our relationship and we were married a few years later.
Of course, marriage brings some weight gain, but having babies really changed me. Gaining pregnancy pounds was terrifying but I knew this was necessary to have a healthy baby. Losing the weight post labor was not as easy as I thought. Society expected me to shed those pounds in the first three months. The fashion magazines showed pictures of celebrities "post baby bodies" and the beauty industry led me to believe I was disgusting if I couldn't get the weight off before my baby turned one year old.
I was never able to shed all the weight after having three beautiful babies. The nurses claimed breastfeeding was the key, but I was always starving when I was nursing. I didn't understand that it takes proper nutrition to make breast milk. I was eating anything and everything just to maintain the energy I needed to take care of a newborn. I gained even more weight. I sacrificed myself to care for my children. I didn't have time to plan and prepare healthy meals. I didn't have time to exercise. I worked all day at the office. I came home exhausted only to take care of children all night. It was a miserable cycle.
I joined various gyms and worked out sporadically but nothing ever stuck long term. Just as I would see results life would throw me a curve ball and my exercise routine would stall. I realized that I was taking on too much. I was caring too much about everyone else and it caused me to let myself go.
Things changed for me six months ago. Now that my kids are older I've been able to take more time for myself. I joined a gym and began working out 5-6 days a week. I changed my eating habits and I've lost 44 pounds so far. There are still days when I struggle. Sometimes it's difficult to crawl out of bed. Sometimes I don't feel like working out. I fight those demons. I fight that voice inside me that says I can't do it. I tell her to shut up.
The difference this time is that I'm not afraid to fail. I'm not afraid of failing because failure is not an option. I pencil in my workouts in my calendar. I take the time I need for myself. It's been one hell of a journey, but it's not over. It will never be over.
One thing that helps me stay focused is posting motivational quotes and memes on Facebook. We all spend a lot of time on social media and seeing those words reminds me of why I started and inspires me to keep going. This is what led me to create this extension of my blog. I want to document my journey and write about what I'm going through. I believe it will help me to dig deeper into my psyche to overcome all the mental and emotional obstacles I endure. As uncomfortable as that makes me, I feel like it's important during this process.
I also want to inspire others who may be going through a similar struggle. I've had so many wonderful friends and acquaintances supporting and encouraging me that I want to pay it forward. I want to share the tips and tricks I've learned. I want to help others be the best version of themselves they can be.
I've often told my husband in the past that I felt like I lost my mind. Being a wife and mother and a full time working woman can be stressful. It's difficult to juggle everything. A year ago I told him I wished I could lose my hind instead of my mind. And thus the name of this blog; welcome to Losing My Hind!