Jan 7, 2014

Investing in ME

I have been wanting to write up a little post about my weight loss over the past year. Before I do so, I am going to share a piece of a conversation I had with my dad this past weekend. We were talking about my new photography 'skills' (or lack thereof) and he asked if I was going to take classes. I told him there was an online class I wanted to take but it was $300. I said that I am not trying to make photography my profession (EVER) and just wanted to take nice pictures of the boys. So it was hard to justify spending money like that 'just to take pictures of the boys and family'. He said 'Well, you are investing in yourself and that is always a good thing. Your art can always be improved'. 

Investing in myself. Hmm...isn't that always a hard thing to do? Doesn't it seem like sometimes you invest time, money, love into your kids, spouse, family, home, friends but you put yourself last in line? I always feel guilty for doing things for myself whether it be buying a new outfit, a new pair of shoes, or taking a photography class (which I did about 9 months ago and loved it!). Even when I started working out again after having Thomas I felt guilty for having to take the boys to the gym with me so I could work out. Shouldn't I be spending those hours with the boys? Not dumping them off somewhere so I could work out?

So I am glad my dad gave me that reminder of investing in myself. It doesn't have to always be by spending money, but it is nice to invest in myself in order to make me a better Jen, a better mom, an improved wife and daughter, and simply a happier person.

How does this relate to my weight loss? Well, let's back up about 12 months. I had my sweet T Bone on December 26. Here I am in my huge, swollen, and chubby glory the day before he was born. You can barely see my eyes because my cheeks were so chubby they swallowed up my eyeballs!

So while I didn't realize I was 'investing' in myself per se, I joined the gym last March. I finally could start working out after having Thomas and he was old enough for me to take him to the daycare room. For some reason something clicked with me and I decided to also eat better. I gave up Coke (I haven't had one since MARCH!) and for a couple months I only had a 'cheat' day on Saturday when I could have my sweets and desserts. The rest of the 6 days were limited to healthy snacks and healthier meals.

However, it was still hard to get myself to the gym. Between preschool, naps, nursing T Bone, have to make reservations in advance to get Thomas in the daycare room, and wanting to take the boys somewhere fun rather than the gym and ultimately not being happy with the service in the daycare room, I was only going about once a week. Through only diet did I lose the last of those pesky baby weight pounds.

The biggest change I made was in October. I was done nursing Thomas which meant I didn't have to be home when he woke up in the morning (or didn't have to pump when I woke up...I HATE pumping!). So I decided I would just try to work out at 5am so I could be back home and showered before Brad had to leave for work at 6:30. So that means I set my alarm for 4:30 am the next morning and as I fell asleep I thought 'Ha! Yeah right! I will never actually get up and make it to the gym'.

Well, folks, I made it to the gym by sheer miracle. I not only made it to the gym, but I enjoyed getting up early and getting my workout out of the way before anyone woke up. I enjoyed being showered before anyone woke up. And this routine stuck with me and I have been working out at 5am ever since...and making it to the gym on average of 3-4 times a week. There is a 5am core/ab class that I take twice a week that helps force me to get my butt to the gym...and my lovely c-section abs are trimming up!

Sure I want to fall asleep by 1:00 in the afternoon, but it is worth it. I feel so accomplished on those mornings when I workout before the sun is even up. And I can tell a huge difference in my body (duh) for adding in those workouts.

Since Thomas was born about a year ago I have lost about 55 pounds. I usually will blow it off saying 'well, most of that is just losing the weight from being pregnant' because I was one of those lucky pregnant people who gained a crap load of weight. But you know what, not everyone loses their baby weight. And not everyone loses their baby weight and then some. So for whatever reason I had those 55 pounds to lose, I lost them. I had to work hard to lose them, too. In case you didn't realize, having three c-sections take a toll on your midsection! Even though I lost the pounds, my body isn't the same and my stomach is one big gross flabby mess. So I am still working hard to fix that.  I am still working hard to lose those 'happily married' pounds I gained before the babies were born.

Bottom line is I am proud of how far I have come so far, I am committed to investing in myself to continue losing weight and know because I am investing in myself I will be healthier and happier (and the bonus being thinner too!) More importantly I found a way to invest in myself in a way that didn't take away time from being with my sweet babies before they are all in elementary school (and eventually get married and leave me forever, but that is jumping ahead a bit!). I can sacrifice a smidge of sleep for a couple years to fit in a workout without sacrificing the fun times I have with John, Matthew, and Thomas during the day. Changing my schedule to workout at the crack of down was the biggest and most impacting change I made last year and I am thankful I did it!

What are you doing to invest in yourself? What do you hope to change in your life to make that happen?

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  1. Thank you for such an honest and inspirational post! I fall into that "happily married, newlywed" gained a few pounds category, and realized after 1.5 years if I don't make some changes now it will only get harder! Congrats on being so disciplined and getting the weight off the right way!

    1. Thanks Ashleigh for commenting! You are so sweet! People always say 'it gets harder to lose the weight later so be careful!' but I never listened...or cared I guess. But they are right! Good luck making those changes! :)

  2. That is incredible!! You go girl!! You should be very proud of yourself!


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