Hi everyone!! Happy hump day! I did a blog post a while back about my struggles with my body image, weight fluctuation and getting to a happy place with my diet and body. I wanted to do a part two to that blog post and actually show those fluctuations and how I found that happy place. So here we go, from high school to college, after college to our wedding day, training for a half marathon to pregnancy and postpartum body!
Guess that means we start here…..(gulp). The pictures above are from the end of my high school senior year in 2006, which was the first time I gained some noticeable weight. Wowza. This was a little hard for me to post but here ya go! First off, it was hard to find any “normal” photos of me my from that time where I wasn’t making a kissy face or doing something silly. 🤣Before these photos were taken, I was in good shape from playing sports but, when I graduated early I stopped working out, stopped playing soccer and started eating terrible. I didn’t really know much about healthy eating and it wasn’t that important to me at the time. Unfortunately I became super self-conscious of how I looked and never felt comfortable in my clothes. I maintained this size until spring of my freshman year of college.
Another picture that makes me LOL. Above is from winter of my sophomore year of college in 2007. Again, it took a lot of digging to find a semi normal picture. Please excuse the unseasonable tan and poof on my head. I lost all of the weight my freshman year by basically cutting everything I ate in half, skipping meals, living on Diet Coke and Diet Mountain Dews (sometimes that was my meal) and spending hours at the gym. I eventually realized how terrible this was for me and tried to just workout, eat healthy and practice moderation. I do believe I would skip meals time to time still (since that was long ago now I am having a harder time remembering all the details). The crazy thing is, looking back at this photo I’m like holy moly I was tiny but I guarantee in my head I thought I wasn’t at the time.
Here I am summer of 2010. I did put on a little more weight towards the end of college but was better about my eating and stopped skipping meals. I worked out but not insane like I did in the beginning.
Above is summer 2011. Once I started working my first job after college I traveled a lot, stopped working out and had the WORST diet. This is when I started to pack on the weight again. I steadily gained weight and by summer I was at my biggest. I remember being back in that yucky self-conscious space again when I felt so uncomfortable in my own skin. None of my clothes fit, I hated how I felt and I just couldn’t get motivated to lose the weight.
Above is summer 2012 and 2013 when I was starting to tighten up my fluctuations. I finally had enough and knew I needed to make a change! I tried a couple fad diet things that didn’t really work. I can’t even remember the name of one of them but I remember the food tasted really bad and the results didn’t stick. I ended up hiring a personal trainer and would get my booty up very early a couple days a week to work out with him. He put me on a meal plan and I saw amazing results. But once the traveling started again for my job in the new year I put the weight back on. I had another moment of ‘oh s*** Angie here we go again, none of your clothes fit and you are back to feeling tired and very uncomfortable in your own skin.’ So it was time to make a change again… except this time it wasn’t a quick fix or a diet. I needed to make a lifestyle change that I was going to stick to! This obviously took some trial and error and I needed to find something that worked for me! So for me, that was Isagenix. I felt like it gave me a completely new mindset about nutrition. The quality of what I put into my body became most important and I found a routine to always fall back on in case I got off track- which is always going to happen to everybody! The 15 pound weight fluctuations stopped and I was able to main my weight.
Above is our wedding in Fall 2014. I got really committed before our wedding to get in the best shape ever. My workouts were frequent and tough and I followed my cleanse and shake routine to a tee. I felt great in my dress and was happy with all my hard work! After we got married it was a little bit more difficult to sustain the motivation to stay in pre-wedding shape but I eventually got back into a routine that worked for me. I found that just a few days of eating healthy, sticking to my smoothies, and working out somewhat regularly did the trick and gave my body the reset it needed to get back into the swing of things. When the motivation crept back up to pre-wedding status, I challenged myself to run a half marathon
Above is when I was training for the half marathon in 2016. I started to view food as fuel for my workouts. I wanted to eat nutritious meals that would give me the most energy so I would always have strong and better workouts. I knew that eating certain things made me feel bad so If I had an early workout the next morning I would eat a super healthy meal the night before. And yes, there was still indulging but I didn’t beat myself up over it as much! After making eating clean such a habit and lifestyle, cheat meals made me realize how good and bad my body is capable of feeling based on the food I consume. So now if I didn’t want to eat something unhealthy, it wasn’t because I thought it would make me fat it was because I knew it would make me feel like crap.
Above are some bump pics from 2017. Ahhhh pregnancy. Before I got pregnant I thought I would be able to hold the healthy pregnancy thing down and have control of what I ate. Now that became a joke! I was definitely good about keeping up with my workouts but I felt nauseous almost every day until I was about 8 months pregnant, which meant I wanted all the carbs. There were several days where my only meals were pasta. I definitely tried to practice some moderation and balance the best I could and never stopped using Isagenix. I also did my workout classes until I was 8-9 months pregnant. I swear that helped me not put on more weight than I did. I gained a total of 40 pounds and my goal going in was 20-25.
Above is 17 days postpartum and a little over one year after giving birth. I told myself I would bounce right back after having Sophie. Nope did not happen. I was reminded again and again it takes 10 months to grow that baby and it will take just as much time to get your body back! Those were such true words. With the lack of sleep, hormones and nursing I felt like it was a lot harder to eat healthy after I had Sophie. Once she started sleeping through the night it got a little easier and then when I was able to get back into my early morning workouts it got even easier. I felt like the rest of my weight didn’t come off until I was done nursing.
Above is a photo taken a few weeks ago. My weight still fluctuates but only within a few pounds here and there. I’m actually pretty happy with where I am today. I don’t have as much time to workout like I used to, I’m not nearly as lean or as toned (or orange tanned lol) as I used to be and I am okay with that. I generally eat pretty well but I still indulge when I want to and I have mostly stopped beating myself up over it. It is important to me what I put into my body but I don’t kill myself when I don’t eat healthy. Some people like to count macros; others like to eat really clean all the time; some do paleo; some just practice moderation; but ultimately we are all different people and have different things that work. For me, my change in mindset is what worked. I changed the way I viewed food and exercise and made it more about feeling good for myself, than looking good for others.
I really do believe once a person stops putting all that pressure on themselves, it makes it a lot easier to achieve goals and find confidence in in self-image. The scale doesn’t define us and there isn’t a magic size that makes someone beautiful. It’s all about feeling good and comfortable in our own beautiful skin, whatever shape or size that is for you!
So there you have it, part two of my health journey! I know this will always be a journey for me and some days I will feel healthy and confident and others I won’t but that is just all part of it. If you are on your own health journey just remember that it doesn’t happen overnight and to give yourself some love and grace! I hope you have a great rest of the week!