Alright the beginning… that seems a good place to start… Wait… Let me just preface this with. Each persons fitness journey is going to be different. We all are going through ups and downs, and have to start and stop. It took me a while to understand this. But this is normal and it is a part of life. It is what a journey is. Not just a month here and there. But the entirety of your change for the better, and your learning what your body can do for the rest of your life.
Alright the beginning… that seems a good place to start. I was always an athletic person. I used to be a competitive swimmer. My strokes were 200 m Butterfly and 500 m Freestyle. What that meant was I was placed on a Medley Team and I was asked to do IM’s. (Individual Medly – Butterfly, Back, Breast Free) I cannot tell you how much I hated breast stroke. I felt so slow. I digress… being that I was a Butterflyer. I ended up with massive shoulders for a girl. Or so I thought/sometimes think.
Here is a picture of a person doing butterfly.
That is what my back muscles looked like. Sigh… I may never get back there again. However… fast forward a few years in college. Life happens. I have problems with family, and end up leaving to be on my own. I jump into the work world and the daily trying to keep up with bills. I was doing well, for a 21 year old with a QA job. Life happens again, and I have to take care of myself. I made some bad relationship decisions and I had to iron those wrinkles out. I end up on my own and going back to school for Culinary Arts.
I meet my now husband, and fall in love. He is loving, kind, understanding, responsible, a sweet heart, soft spoken and a generally great person. All the things my ex was not. I am happy we are buzzing along and we end up having two kiddos. I was not expecting to be able to cause of female problems from the age of 12. I did not workout with the babies because I was scared of losing them. I was told I would never have babies when I was 12. I was scared, thrilled and excited to be pregnant. My baby boy came to us, perfect and healthy. He was 9 months when we found I was pregnant again. Bonus! We wanted a second, and we got one. My beautiful healthy baby girl.
Fast forward 2 years, and I have not been working out at all since college for about 8 years. I finished second college in 2007, and got my degree. Yay! I let myself go since then. I had life, and hazards, and love, and so many other things that people fall into the trap of, and put aside my health and working out.
Baby Gates Be Damned
I have two little ones one 4 and one 5 years old. They are under foot and around foot, and on foot, and on hip, and just need me for everything. I did not have the energy before this to do anything but make sure everyone’s diapers (or nappies for some of you) were changed, and all parties were fed and not trying to kill themselves by going down the two flights of stairs in our home. We lived and still live in a town home that is three levels, and kids whew…they wanted to go up and down stairs, baby gates be damned. I still held my jobs at night and took care of everything else for them during the day.
It was at this point when I finally had a chance to breath and got my head above keeping babies alive to keeping toddlers alive. I noticed in my pictures just how fat I had gotten. I hated taking pictures of myself so I was always behind the camera instead of in front of it. I had let myself go, ho boy had I let myself go.
That is enough of those pictures… you get the picture. Hahah… see what I did there. Eh eh eh…
Health Issues? No, Healthy as a Horse, Just Fat!
I decided I needed to do something. Anything… cause doing nothing was probably going to kill me and I was pretty miserable at this weight. Yeah I could eat what ever I wanted when I wanted, but really I did not like the way I looked the way I moved, none of it. I have been asked if I started my journey because of health issues. The answer is no. I was healthy as a horse as they say. Just fat! I had some criteria that had to be met for me to be successful. I believe in setting yourself up for success. To do so know your needs, and see to them.
- I had to be able to do it at home. I had kids and no extra time.
- I had to be able to do it without a lot of extra equipment at first.
- I had to be able to do it when I had little ones under foot.
- I had to be able to do it period. I had to get this big body moving. This body that was not used to working out any more moving, and not hurt myself. I could not be down for the count with little ones.
- I had to do it on a budget. I don’t know if you all know, but children are expensive. =) I love them dearly but they will cost you an arm and a leg and your sanity.
I found a system that met those criteria. It was from BeachBody.com and it was the Turbofire series. It allowed me to do it from home, with little to no extra equipment, it allowed me to do it with kids under foot, I just had to make sure they were occupied with snack time. I was able to make 30 minutes a day time to get my workout in. Either during the kids snack time, or during nap time. I wedged that workout in where I could. It was important to me so I made sure I put it in. I am not here to sell the workout, just to tell you what I did. It gave me a structured workout, with a calendar of what to do each day. I needed this. I am a type A personality and I need the check marks and lists. It gave me a structure to work from. One that I could do and keep doing. Here is a picture of me on a day after one of the workouts.
I started in June of 2014, and I finished a whole 90 days, or one whole rotation of the system. I even got the tank top to prove it. I changed my food consumption and I incorporated healthy good for me foods. I felt good and I decided I needed to change it up and this is where I added yoga and kettle bell to go with my HIIT workouts.
Wanting to get myself to the next level I restricted my food intake more because “that is what you do” and only allowed myself “good for me” foods. I ate spinach morning noon and night. I ate nuts, and veggies, and cut out most meat. I craved and loved things like beets. I would make a whole pan of roasted beets and eat it all for the next couple of days. I was losing weight and feeling great. I had lost about 40 lbs. One day I had this excruciating pain, in my abdomen. I was on the couch and could not move. I called my husband at work and it passed till it felt like it moved again. As the pain passed again, I thought it was just something that may have been temporary. I tried to ignore it, but that level of pain got me scared. That night and the next day I was passing what I found out to be blood in my urine. I was rushed to the hospital the next day and found out I had a kidney stone. It was 5 mm or 1/5 of an inch. So they had to schedule a surgery to get it out. Doctors were surprised I did not go to the E.R., but I have a high pain tolerance. I had to wait 2 days for the surgery and they said it may pass between then but most likely it would not. The surgery went off without a problem. They tested the stone after the surgery and found it was calcium oxalate stone. I had not been drinking enough water, and I was eating all the foods with calcium oxalate. I love them to much it seems. Here are some of the foods with them:
- Bran flakes
- Potato chips
- French fries
- Nuts and nut butters
These are all foods I love. Especially beets, nuts, and spinach. I was shocked because these are “healthy foods”, and supposed to be good for you. But I learned this the hard way. Everything in moderation, and drink your water. Drink lots of water. I drink about 3 liters a day.
I healed up nicely and got back to workout as soon as I was given ok from doctors. I was antsy and raring to go. I was worried I would lose progress. It was about a week till I could do something light. Then the week after that I was able to go back to my regular routine.
By September 2015 I had lost 60 lbs. I was over the moon. I hit a plateau and was upset I was not losing more weight. I kept up with the workouts and eating healthy. I decided to start eating whole foods. Cutting out all processed foods
We are at September 29, 2015, and I am scared. I had been having symptoms of cancer for the past 6 months. My OBGYN was concerned it was a tumor that they could not see, and I put my head down and tried to ignore it. Do you see a recurring theme here? I try to ignore my pains and keep going. It is in my nature, and I figure I can just walk it off. I could not walk this off. I was bleeding so much I was in risk of becoming anemic, and I was getting more tired and weak as I went along. I know my husband was worried, and I was sad cause I was thinking of having a third baby. It was a huge decision and I did not want to make it. I ended up deciding to go ahead with my doctors suggestion and had a full hysterectomy. She removed my uterus and my cervix. I did end up having a tumor, and adenomyosis. (“
Adenomyosis is a condition in which the inner lining of the uterus (the endometrium) breaks through the muscle wall of the uterus (the myometrium). “ ) My tumor it turns out was benign but it was one of these. “Endometrial hyperplasia: A condition in which there is an increased number of cells and glandular structures in the uterine lining. Endometrial hyperplasia can have either normal or atypical cells and simple or complex glandular structures. The risk for developing cancer in the lining of the uterus is higher when endometrial hyperplasia has atypical cells and complex glands. “ Find out more information at cancer.net. Mine had atypical cells and could have turned/developed into cancer. So in the end it was the right call to remove my uterus. Cancer is scary and serious don’t be me and stupid and wait. Just go get it checked out.
Here is a post I made on the day of the surgery.
“I am awake and alert. I am doing ok. I am keeping up on the pain meds. I had a slight complication during surgery. They accidentally cut my bladder. Now I have to live with a catheter and bag for two weeks. Wee!
Thanks for all the love and well wishes everyone. =) My H is taking great care of me, and the kiddos are doing awesome.”
Two weeks of bed rest due to complications and cut bladder. I wanted to get up and do all the things but the pain and the discomfort made me listen to my body.
Come Hell or Hysterectomy
I had made plans and bought my ticket run a 5 kilometer. It was a goal I had set at the beginning of 2015. It was in November and was a turkey trot. I was not cleared to run but I told my doctor I was determined to get out there and at least do some of it. I was given the go ahead to walk the race, and my family came with me. My two children and husband came out and walked the race with me. I was in pain but I was determined to sort of complete this goal this year, come hell, or hysterectomy.
Three months of only walking and no lifting more than 10 lbs had me biting my nails to get back to my workout routine.
By December 2015 I was gingerly making my way back to my workout routine. I wanted to keep it up and not lose my momentum. I lost some muscle and gained a few pounds but was able to get back to it slowly.
Fast forward to November 2016. Here is the workout I did for that day. =) I still have it, cause I put it up for my friends to see.
Here are the workout details if you want them:
100 squats, no rest
100 lunges, no rest
3 x 1 minute wall sits with 30 second rest in between
100 pike sit ups, 30 second rest at 45, and 65 mark
50 leg lifts, rest at 25 for 30 seconds
50 leg extensions
95 lb dead lifts with olympic barbell, rep set: 10, 9, 10
This is what I looked like then:
If you made it this far, I am amazed. This is already a long winded blog post and I am only up to 2016. But thank you for reading. Keep up the good work, and keep on going. Don’t let little things get stop you and only let the big things stop you till your doc says its ok to get back to it.