Thursday, May 22, 2008

12 weeks of Fit Yummy Mummy Changed My LIFE!

12 Weeks - 17 Pounds - 1 New Lifestyle

A little over 12 weeks ago I started the Fit Yummy Mummy Transformation Challenge (the next one starts in the fall). Though I'm not technically a "mummy" (at least of human children) I had finally lost patience with my own lifestyle and eating habits.

I had ballooned to 184 pounds - 44 pounds heavier than when I married my hubby 5+ years ago and 84 pounds heavier than when I graduated high school 12 years ago.

Admitting the Problem
Some of you might say, 184 is thin! What's the big deal? Well, it was a big deal. I kept having to buy bigger and bigger clothes and was nearly stretching out size 14 pants. I couldn't comfortably cross my legs or sit comfortably like I used to.

Not only that, but I knew my eating habits were unsustainable. I would literally eat two pints of Ben & Jerry's on a Friday night. After I had my pizza of course.

Meals on the weeknights weren't that much better. Lots of pastas, breads, and always dessert. If I had two veggies in an entire week I was doing "good."

Exercise had become a rare occurrence.
Before I got married I was going to the gym every day. I still wasn't in great shape but I was able to eat pretty much anything I wanted without gaining a ton every week. Of course getting married, and becoming busier in general, made the workouts disappear.

I joined Weight Watchers twice - there were meetings at my work during lunch time. I lost 10 or 15 pounds each time and gained 20 or 30 later. And I was always hungry.

And yes, my marriage did suffer as I gained weight. Hubby gained weight too but of course it never seems to matter so much for men. Though he has lost weight with me the last three months.

Finally, I read a post by Holly about Fit Yummy Mummy and started crying.

I had lost control and had to start over.

I was never taught how to eat properly. My father died when I was 8 and my mom did the best she could, but she struggled with her own weight. She tried every diet out there and at her heaviest was over 300 pounds.

Eating to cure all pain was typical. Boredom, depression, anxiety - all were addressed with some food.

I would come home from school in middle and high school and make a box of mac and cheese for dinner and follow it up with some ice cream or candy. Since I was so athletic I was still skinny as a rail with a quick metabolism.

As I entered the workforce and started sitting more and playing sports less I started to gain weight. It wasn't so bad when I gained the first 20 pounds because I actually looked healthier and less anorexic.

But my eating habits never changed - from high school to college to marriage. A box of macaroni and cheese was often my favorite dinner. Spirals were my choice. =) Dessert was every night. Driving through Wendy's, Burger King, and Arby's were common occurrences.

A couple of years I finally switched to Diet Soda from regular. I had been drinking two or three regular (and often caffeinated) sodas every day. Afterward I drank up to 5 diet sodas every day. Although I've always been a big water drinker so I got a lot of liquids.

Finding a Solution
While I did finish the 12 week Fit Yummy Mummy Transformation Challenge, I do not want to stop.

I didn't do this as a "diet" or a quick fix. This is a LIFESTYLE change.

I'm certainly not where I want to be yet.

However here are my before and after stats.

On February 12th -

  • I weighed 184 pounds.
  • My waist was 40 inches.
  • My chest was 40 inches.
  • My thighs were 27 inches each.
On May 19th -
  • I weighed 167 pounds.
  • My waist was 39 inches.
  • My chest was 38 inches.
  • My thighs were 25.5 inches each.
It might not seem like a huge drop in inches but my pants are definitely looser and I'm even having to use a safety pin to hold up a few pairs! Plus I measured myself on the 19th after a fairly decent meal. So I may have been a little bloated.

I will continue to follow the Fit Yummy Mummy Lifestyle Plan (which I highly recommend...Holly is fantastic.) I need to hop back on the exercise wagon as the last couple of weeks have seen a slight slide. Especially in resistance training.

I do want to continue my success in changing my lifestyle and my habits.

Today I feel like a (mostly) different person. I am in no way, shape, or form 100%. But my lifestyle has changed so radically that my family hardly recognizes me.

My day starts with a banana...something I would rarely eat before. Now I have at least two each day. Apples, yogurt, carrots, cauliflower, brown rice, navy beans, almonds, raisins, and whole wheat english muffins and pasta are now part of my staples. As well as salmon and chicken.

I read labels carefully now and will not buy things that include hydrogenated oils or corn syrup. Unprocessed foods are now more prevalent in our everyday life.

While I did not lose the 25 pounds I had set as my goal when I first started, I still feel successful. And I don't intend to just quit now. Slow and steady wins the race. :)

I have not perfected anything and I still eat things that I should not. Fridays are still tough and I tend to over do it on the weekends. My exercise routine has slowed significantly since I started doing Agility training with my dog Trooper. We run and run and get lots of exercise twice a week. My muscles are always sore afterward. :) But I need to add back in the resistance training at least.

I cannot explain how much this has affected my life. Not only my life but my husband's life. He has lost more than 15 pounds as well, even though he didn't follow the program in the same way. He did start exercising more and eating better along with me.

Eating better has also made my Bipolar condition less volatile. I truly believe that sugar makes my Bipolar spike into high highs and super low lows. During the last 3 months whenever I've slipped and had processed sugars (in excess) my mood has immediately altered. I also got sick to my stomach. Yet when I kept out the excess sugar I was much more even in my emotions. This is a HUGE deal!

I've even started cooking and experimenting with recipes! Good grief it's like I'm a totally different person. Instead of regular white flour I started using whole wheat flour in recipes. As well as raw sugar, sugar alternatives (can't remember their name but they are natural), and fat free plain yogurt instead of shortening.

I don't know where I would be if I hadn't buckled down and joined Club Fit Yummy Mummy. Still gaining weight? More depressed? More fights over food with hubby? All of the above I am sure.

I will continue to follow Fit Yummy Mummy...because it isn't a program. It is a new LIFE!!!

~ Megan Castro
Proud member of ClubFYM

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