FOLLOW MY STORY

116…142…123…178…134…128…133…140….and now 123!

What do all those numbers mean?

They are my weight over the past 20 years. Yes, I’m putting it all out there for the general public to see.

And before you think, “Pshaw- what is this girl complaining about?  Those aren’t bad numbers!”…. I realize that wearing size 6 or 8 sounds good to most people.  But on my 5’4” frame, 10 pounds makes a tremendous difference.  When I creep above 130 my body is different.  I have several pairs of jeans that don’t fit as well as they should and when you spend $100 on a pair of jeans, it’s extra motivation to make them fit.  I need to get back to size 4 so that everything in my closet fits again.  I’d love to be able to wear a bikini again, too.

So here’s my life story- in pounds.

I’m 5’4″. Exactly.  In high school and freshly out of high school I weighed 116 pounds. I wore size 4/5.

At ages 18 and 19 I worked at Dairy Queen and that second year there I had the perk of free meals….and every day for lunch I had a Triple Cheese and Bacon Burger, onion rings, soda, and usually a blizzard or sundae. Just the thought of eating that much now makes me want to gag! I was still a size 4/5.

For my early adult life (ages 18-21) I maintained around 120 pounds. Still a size 4/5.

At age 21 I got a desk job. Over the next two years I slowly gained weight. I really didn’t notice it too much because I loved clothes shopping and I would buy new outfits almost weekly. My size went from a 4 to a 6 to an 8 to a 10 and at my peak I was starting to wear size 12. I didn’t see it as a problem until one unseasonably warm late-winter day when I went to pull on my size 10 shorts and I couldn’t get them up my thighs. I refused to buy shorts the next size up. I weighed 142 pounds when I finally got on a scale. I was 23 years old.

According to weight charts, I should have been 125 pounds. “Healthy” is between 111-146 pounds. So although I wasn’t “overweight” by any medical charts, I was overweight by my standards and knew I had to do something.

At that very moment, I cut out my morning snack (which was usually a muffin out of the lunchroom vending machine). Breakfast was a cheese stick (quick and easy, protein based). Jim and I went to lunch together every day- it was either a Burger King Whopper Jr without mayo and without cheese (290 calories, 12 grams of fat….no fries or soda and only $0.99) OR if I went home for lunch it was a grilled cheese sandwich with no butter, and fat-free american cheese. Water to drink. Dinner was normal- not an oversized portion, and I never ate past 7pm.  I limited myself to no more than 30 grams of fat per day….hopefully closer to 20 grams.  Food was fuel for my body, not something eaten as an activity.  I ate to nourish my body.  As a result of my dietary changes, without exercise, I lost 18 pounds.

I maintained at 123-126 for nearly two years….with zero difficulty. I had stopped counting calories and fat after the first couple months and was just eating small quantities of whatever I wanted, still trying to keep my diet low-fat. I was a size 2-4 and happy!

My first pregnancy in 1999- I gained 55 pounds. YIKES.

I lost most of it after the baby was born, but never those “last 10 pounds”. I was able to maintain 134 for years….even after two more pregnancies. 134 was my new normal.

I was OK with that. It makes me a size 6. I could still wear a bikini and not feel bad about myself. I was eating normal breakfasts and normal lunches and dinners. I was not working out, not watching what I ate. A coke every day. Coffee with International Delights creamer every day. Life is good! I knew with some effort I could get back down, but I really didn’t have any desire to do that. I was happy.

Another turning point. In 2007, at age 34, we had no living room- no tv, no couch to sit on. We were doing some remodeling on our house so every awake moment was spent doing something- always moving, never sedentary. No change in my eating habits, although I was drinking a lot more water. My weight started dropping. I was 128. For my height, that is between a size 2 and 4. At Old Navy, at least!! I loved how thin I felt and loaded up on new clothing. It was fabulous! I felt so good about myself, I felt pretty, I felt sexy. It was amazing!

Then winter hit. I gained my typical 5 pound winter gain which put me at 133. Not bad. That was my “normal” remember? I didn’t lose it. I didn’t care. I maintained that weight through all of 2008.

But then the same thing happened the next winter- another 5 pound weight gain. Now I’m weighing 138. When Spring arrived I managed to lose it and get back to my 133. I still wore a bikini in Mexico that summer (2009). I probably would have looked better in it if I weighed 128, but I was OK at 133. I always operate under the theory that there’s someone else wearing a bikini who looks worse than me, so why can’t I wear one?

The following winter- another 5 pound gain.  I was back at 138 and it wasn’t going away.  This was 2010.  I started running/walking/elliptical-ing 4 days a week- and kept doing it for nearly a year. I watched what I ate, I worked out, but my weight would never go down below 133. “Normal” was 135.

I stopped exercising in March 2011 because the exercise equipment got buried under piles of stuff while our house was being remodeled again.  And we were so busy that I never made the time to exercise.  Oddly, my weight stayed at 135.

And that’s where I am now.  Entering winter- it’s November 2011.  I’m determined to lose that last 10 pounds and I’m determined to not gain another 5 this winter.  I want to get back to 120-125. I WILL make it happen.  Sure, I’m older- my body is flabbier, my metabolism is slower.  But if I can lose those 10 pounds and wean myself off the diet to maintain 125-128, I will be the happiest girl in the world.  I have no doubts that I can do it again.

** UPDATE**

I started the Take Shape For Life Plan and it took me 5 weeks to reach my target goal.  I stayed on the 5 & 1 plan for another week, then started Transition.  I actually lost a bit more weight and inches during Transition!  I followed the Transition plan for three weeks and am now in Maintenance.  I still have a Medifast snack once or twice a day.  I mean- if you could choose between a greek yogurt or a chocolate brownie- and the brownie has more nutrients, less fat, higher fiber and more protein- wouldn’t you?  Sometimes I want a hot cocoa- so I choose a Medifast hot cocoa!

I’ve maintained my new (smaller than high school!) body with zero difficulty and I look forward to helping others reach and maintain their goals, too!

If you would like to learn more about the TSFL program, I’d love to be your coach…..you can learn more by visiting my TSFL page: http://www.teambuckley.tsfl.com

*** THREE YEAR UPDATE ***

I am no longer a coach with TSFL, but still highly recommend their program and I continue to utilize their tools and use their bars as my to-go snack when I’m out and about.  And when my sweet tooth strikes, I still enjoy their puddings and brownies.

I’ve been able to maintain my weight loss, but it does take work.  Around the holidays (typically Nov-Dec) I still battle that winter weight gain like everyone else.  The good news is that weight that comes on quickly, often goes away relatively quickly with exercise and resuming healthy eating habits.

For all of 2014, I participated in a Circuit Training / Cardio / HIIT fitness class… typically just once a week.  I also started running- just 2-3 miles a couple times a week.  As a result of this, I’m definitely stronger, have more muscle mass, my weight has gone up, but my measurements are about the same.

I’m healthier, happier, leaner, stronger, not afraid of anything physical any longer!

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