I was never confident. I never liked my body. I was teased as a child for being Asian, having a flat-face, having “chinese-eyes”, for being flat-faced, for not being able to wear stylish clothes or make-up, for having weird parents, for being raised as a Jehovah’s Witness and the list goes on and on and on. I was always self conscious about my looks and it only got worse after the birth of each child.
I found out ON my 18th (1/11/99) birthday that I was expecting my 1st child. I was adopted. My mother had no natural children of her own. I had no one to rely on for pregnancy support or education. I remember people telling me “At least you get to eat whatever you want now that you are eating for 2!” Up until I got pregnant, I’d always been able to eat what I want. Since I was a young child, I had a monstrous appetite, eating adult size portions of prime rib, ribs, fried chicken, mashed potatoes and I loved bacon! I ate and ate and ate (unhealthy – think Denny’s, McDonald’s and ice cream EVERYDAY) while I was pregnant. I would go into Thrifty’s & order a double scoop of ice cream every day. It’s NO wonder I gained over 45 lbs. I looked AWFUL! I was able to lose all but 15 lbs. and got stuck at 126. lbs. until I found out I was pregnant with Emily in April of 2003. I was a lot more diligent about eating healthy this time around, however I wasn’t as educated about clean eating as I should be or as strict as I needed to, but maintaining better eating habits and walking, I only gained 35 lbs. this time. Again, I lost everything, but that last 15 lbs. and got stuck at 142 lbs. The birth control Depo Provera didn’t make it easy to lose any weight either. From the time Emily was born up until I got pregnant with Rebel in September 2009, my weight yo-yoed from 137-145 lbs. On October 21, 2009, when I found out I was expecting my 3rd child, I instantly recalled at how hard it was to lose the baby weight at almost 23 compared to almost 19 and imagined that it would be increasingly difficult this close to 30. I knew that we had zero family help, so making sure we had a healthy baby was the most important thing. So I set a goal to achieve the best health while growing this baby inside of me. I was diligent about what I ate and what I put in my body. I cut out all sodas. I cut out fast foods. I allowed myself to eat ONE sweet and eat out at a restaurant only once a week. And I started walking in the evenings. I ate healthy, nutritious, whole foods and cooked all of our food. People constantly made comments about how I made them sick and it wasn’t fair that I looked as good as I did and only gained 28 lbs throughout my pregnancy. It was not a result of luck or genetics. It was a results of will power fueled by my goals and my desire to have a healthy, strong, smart baby. I was still terrified that I was going to be fat and look even worse after child #3. On 6/7/2010 I delivered a healthy 8 lbs., 6 oz., healthy, SUPER STRONG, beautiful baby boy, who has been extremely healthy, incredibly smart and amazing. I continued to eat healthy since I was breastfeeding and on my 6 week postpartum appointment, I had lost 32 lbs. I did it! My hard work paid off. My dedication to my goals was worth it. I still wasn’t happy about myself though, my body in clothes didn’t reflect a mother of 3, but underneath, I felt like a bowl of jello! Almost a year later, life happened. I was going through some major personal issues and about had a mental breakdown in May of 2011 which took a major toll on my health. I allowed myself to pick up old habits. I started drinking and smoking heavily. After the kids would go to bed, it was nothing to kill a pack of cigarettes and a 12 pack of beer. My meals consisted of sausage, steak, bacon, gravy, canned veggies, and processed foods. My whole body ached all the time. I lived off of Tylenol PM to sleep. I remember hurting everywhere, inside and out. I will never forget the day I looked down and saw three rolls being separated by my snugly fitting “one size fits all” leggings underneath my dress. I was disgusted at how my body looked and felt. That was my “ah-ha” moment. I didn’t want to look or feel this way at 30. This was my turning point, breaking point, moment of acknowledgement.. yet, it still took me over 2 months to finally decide to do something and commit. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I could be toned & described as fit, let alone help aide others in their own personal weight loss/fitness journey. What a ride it’s been and it’s not over yet. Once I stopped settling for this body of a mom and using my kids as an excuse and found a way to make it work, my whole life changed! My stress levels have decreased, my marriage has become stronger, my relationships with others have improved, my outlook on life and my future is so much brighter.
What is your life like now? Is your vision for your future make you smile or cringe?