September 19, 2012

Let's Get Real...

For a while now, I have been thinking about sharing my heart with you all about weight loss. I have had tons and tons of e-mails/tweets asking me about my healthy living journey... particularly now that I will be in a gorgeous fitted wedding dress on March 9th.

Let me take you back to give you a little life snapshot...      
Growing up, I was a junk food addict. I loved sugary treats and processed snacks more than most kids. I first remember realizing I was overweight toward the end of middle school, but didn't really know how to change my eating habits.

Once I reached high school, I happily danced on the pom team performing in front of the whole school at pep rallies and games in spandex and leotards. Suddenly body conscious, I turned to advice from my mom to get healthy.

We did Weight Watchers together and I feel for the first time in my life, portion sizes and eating healthy foods made sense. I changed my eating habits, learned to love working out, and easily dropped 30 lbs.

This weight loss carried me through the rest of high school and college, with natural fluctuations. Upon getting my first big girl job, I slowly learned how to re-work healthier habits and activity into a busy schedule.

I feel like I definitely know what to do and how to get there, it's just a matter of not being lazy and choosing healthier foods/exercise over convenience.

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Unfortunately, my weight took a big turn in the winter of 2011. After months of testing and feeling horrible, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. This disease makes me feel extremely achey, lethargic, and some days I just feel like I have the flu.

In order to manage this disease, my rheumatologist put me on steroid treatments for 3-4 months. Within no time at all, I had rapidly gained 30 lbs. on this medication. For the first time in 8-9 years, I felt extremely self-conscious and helpless.

The medication was in my system for several months after choosing to discontinue those treatments, and it definitely had a strong effect on my metabolism and thyroid function.

Luckily, a year later, I am finally able to lose weight again... I just hadn't planned on being a bride while in the midst of it.

  

Thankfully, I have a very sweet, encouraging, and supportive fiance who has been my gym buddy, healthy meal advocate, and makes me feel very beautiful at any size. With encouragement from my doctor, family, and friends, my metabolism is finally back to normal, and resorting back to lifestyle changes has led me to drop 12 lbs. so far!

With the help of Weight Watchers keeping my accountable and providing a very structured and stable way to lose weight again, I am slowly seeing results and feeling like myself again!!

At my highest weight last year, I weighed close to 188 lbs, and felt extremely lost. The clothes I wore when I was 160 lbs. no longer fit me, and I desperately wanted to feel like "me" again. At my healthiest and most active state, I was comfortable right around 145 lbs., and I am slowly working my way back to feeling strong and confident.

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Am I losing weight just for the wedding?
Nope. This is all about a healthy lifestyle change I made years ago, and want to return to my norm after a tough year and a half of struggling with my body image.

Is the wedding a good motivator?
Absolutely!
What bride doesn't want to feel stunning in her dress and completely confident? On days when I don't want to gym it up, I think about how beautiful my wedding dress is. The way Adam will look at me when I walk down the isle, and how I don't even want to have a worry in the world of how my body looks on the big day. It's all about feeling like myself again.


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With exactly 29 weeks until the big day, and 25 weeks until dress alterations, I feel like I can easily get back to my normal with a weight loss of 1 - 1.5 lbs. a week.

On the days where I want to skip an easy elliptical date or indulge on the sweet treats the office girls like to share, I have to remind myself, "I can do this!"

I thought today was a good day to share a piece of my heart and struggle with all of you who may be in the same boat as me. I think there are a few things every girl who struggles with this needs to remember...


1) You ARE beautiful at any size. Truth.

2) You CAN get to a healthier normal and we can do it together.

3) Every day is a new day to commit to making better choices... isn't that refreshing?

4) Believe in yourself.


Thanks for being great readers and friends, and thanks for letting me share my heart and journey. If you are on the same path, remember that you are not alone.


Wishing you renewed motivation and lovely encouragement!



19 comments:

  1. you are the sweetest and I know you are going to be a beautiful bride-whether you lose some weight or not. With that said, I hope you gain your confidence back. With the stress of finishing grad school/taking my boards/planning the wedding, I got married at my highest weight of my life and still regret it. I can't wait to see your special day unfold.

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  2. I applaud you for sharing your story--I think there's some kind of therapeutic release when you're able to do that. I'm glad that you're so positive about this journey. Keep in that mindset and you'll be great :)

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  3. I definitely appreciate you sharing your story. I have often wanted to share my weight struggles but worry about opening that part of myself up to the world. Perhaps you have given me the strength to do so.

    25 weeks is CERTAINLY enough time to get to the weight that will make you happy, in a healthy way. I look forward to your progress - but hun, PLEASE know that you are going to be beautiful on your day regardless!! xoxo

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  4. Girlfriend, with that attitude alone you are on the right track! Keep up the good work! Even though I've never been one to need to lose a lot of weight, I do know it's hard staying motivated & keeping your eye on the prize sometimes. (This week has been the worst in the last month for me!) You can do it & you have plenty of time to get it done in! Congrats girl!!!

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  5. I've had a renewal of motivation in this area as well! Having a bone disorder, as a kid I used to have to go to physical therapy 2x a week and that helped me get my exercise - especially since I couldn't participate in physical activities at school. But when I got to high school I didn't have to go to therapy anymore and thankfully with all of the musicals I did that helped me stay somewhat healthy. But after that... for too long I used excuses like "I can't use the equipment at the gym" or "I just can't find a fun exercise regiment that won't make me die" or "But I love chocolate! I need it!" Through all of the excuses I never did anything about it, then would feel self conscious and hate how my legs and stomach looked. I started doing yoga last year, but I go in and out of the habit all of the time. But now, I'm getting back into it. I have to! No more excuses of busy schedule or anything like that. I am going to WORK OUT!

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  6. Very sweet inspiring post! I'm sure you are going to look beautiful on your wedding no matter what, and feel beautiful too!

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  7. Your post really hit home for me! I was also 189 lbs my senior year of college after maintaining a weight around 150 the first three years. Unfortunately it was me eating out every meal and never saying no to junk food. After college, I lost 20 lbs just from not eating out every day! I'm trying to lose the last 20 now - it's a battle every day, but I also tell myself I can do it! Keep up the awesome work - you will be a stunning bride! :)

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  8. You have an amazing attitude - I know you can do it!! :) I can't wait to see your wedding pictures!!

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  9. I was on steroids for 6 months and the weight gain is the worst! Good for you for getting healthy. You will look amazing on your wedding day!!

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  10. thanks for sharing this, meg! i have always struggled with my weight and body image... i am really trying to establish healthy habits and lose the weight now... and its tough. so thanks for sharing your story and motivation! :)

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  11. Such an honest post! Your readers appreciate it :) When I hear about the struggles others have with body image, it makes me feel not so alone. While I admit that I've been "thin" for the last several years, I also grew up as a junk food addict and have had trouble moving away from that.
    The right motivation can make anything happen and I think your wedding will be a great incentive :)

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  12. Great post! I can relate to this...I gained some weight after my miscarriage earlier this year and I felt terrible for a few months. I started working out and eating better in June and have kept it up...it's hard work, but it definitely is a mood/heart/mind booster! You are going to be a beautiful bride!!

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  13. Good for you for trying to make a healthy lifestyle change. So many people just complain and do nothing about it.

    Good luck. You're going to be a beautiful bride!

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  14. Thanks for sharing your story and your motivation. You are lucky to have someone who is there for you and who will help you through the good times and the bad. As long as you are feeling fabulous on your wedding day (or any other day) you will radiant with joy and beauty. Keep up the strong work!

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  15. This is a wonderful post. It's so great to hear such honest inspiration!

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  16. Oh steriods are the worst. So awful! You got this, Meg! Thanks for an honest and inspiring post!

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  17. Get it girl!! You've got this!

    My entire life I was ALWAYS the "bigger" of my group of friends. Like you, I decided to kick it in gear about 8 months before the wedding. BUT, the difference with me - I didn't want to be "skinny" for my wedding.. I wanted to create a healthier lifestyle for myself.

    You are so blessed to have a understanding and sweet fiance who supports you - that's amazing. You are an inspiration to many with this post!

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  18. thanks for sharing this! i was put on a lot of medicine when I was dealing with severe migraines and gained about 25 pounds my first year of college. AFter that I did loose a lot of it but it started my insecurities about my weight and body. I am disciplined in working out but I have no discipline in not eating sweets! you are motivating and will be a beautiful bride regardless! thanks for being so honest!

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  19. Thanks for sharing this girlie. I'm sure it wasn't easy! I'm totally right there with ya. I ballooned up to 188 last year and had no idea how it happened. Luckily I've been doing MFP and lost 35 lbs but I've definitely not done as well the past few weeks. Your post makes me want to do better again!

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