Five days after I had my second baby, my nephew said it didn’t look like I had the baby yet, because my belly was abnormally large. He was right. After gaining 70 lbs. two times in a row, my body was not the size I’d like it to be.
As soon as I could after Jackson was born, I attempted to get fit. My husband dusted off my treadmill and made our garage a workout area.
I am sure it doesn't help working out on the treadmill watching the Food Network and wanting to cook the things I saw on Semi-Home Made or 30 Minute Meals. But hey, I was working out, right? I would lose three lbs., then gain five back. It was pure insanity. I think before Jackson was actually one year old I had lost about 25 lbs. and was nowhere near a goal or even happy about how I looked or felt.
When Jackson turned nine months old and I was done nursing him, I decided to get surgery to help me lose weight and get healthy. After much soul-searching and research and discussions with my doctor we decided the Lap Band would be the most effective for me. It is a restrictive band that is placed around the top portion of your stomach to basically force a person to eat less—exactly what I needed.
I was working through a lot of difficulties. This was the assistance I thought would help me with my lifelong weight struggle.
I had the surgery and was happy with the results. Weight loss was quick, but not super fast. My food intake (not my diet) was controlled, and I had to exercise.
The Lap Band is not a quick fix. You can get it and not lose any weight. If you only eat ice cream and mashed potatoes and chips, it's not going to work.
Two months into the Lap Band journey, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I had six surgeries in one year, and the only exercise I could do was walk. I couldn't lift my arms for months, lift my kids or vacuum (which didn't bug me at all). So it put all my work basically on hold. I didn’t gain any weight back, probably because they removed eight lbs. of breast.
So after the surgeries, and my long recovery and many, many laps around my neighborhood and the , I got clearance to go for it. One year to the day after my original cancer surgery, I started. I committed to myself, my kids and my husband that I was not just losing weight but I was getting healthy. I went through drastic measure surgery to give me the best chances of survival from cancer. I owed it to my family to stay healthy for them.
On March 9, 2011 I started an exercise plan of my own. I was going to exercise for at least 20 minutes each day. Some days as a mom and a working mom, or anyone, for that matter, 20 minutes is all I can commit to.
I didn’t have the money for a gym or a trainer. But 20 minutes was manageable for me. I tapped into a whole slew of resources of health and fitness via social media. And I did it, through the whole Lenten season, 40 days or some kind of exercise.
The next step was committing daily to making better food choices. Now my body actually craves vegetables over chips. Don’t go crazy—I still support the Lay’s Chip man, but his inventory at my house is much smaller than it used to be.
So six months later I stand here 80 lbs. lighter. And I'm not just walking; I run now. I have run 4 5Ks, a , and am in training for my first half-marathon. Last night I ran, my fat butt ran the whole way for eight miles, and I was thrilled with myself.
It’s not that I love the running. I love when the run is done and I feel I accomplished something for me and for my family. I am giving them the gift of a healthy wife, mom, and daughter with every stride.