Weight has always been something I struggled with. As far back as I can remember I was always a bit chubby. I had extended family members who would ask when I would lose the “baby fat” – when I was 15. I would say from high school up until now I’ve had a moderately active lifestyle, and even when I did make healthy food choices I still wouldn’t see any progress in weight loss. In November of 2008 my husband and I decided to start trying to have a baby, we struggled with that for 7 months and finally went to the doctor to see if there was a problem. As it turns out I have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. It accounted for the infertility as well as moodiness, fatigue and inability to lose weight. So I started taking medicine and was excited to start losing weight. 2 weeks after starting the medicine we conceived our beautiful daughter, so weight loss was off the table for the next 9 months. When I got pregnant I was a little over 200lbs and wore size 18 jeans. I was well over 250lbs by the time I gave birth. On February 16th, 2010 we welcomed Payton Elizabeth Norman into the world. She is the most beautiful girl.
While I had tried to lose weight so many times before, something about knowing that I had to set a good example for my baby girl made this time so much different. I officially began my quest to lose my baby weight (and pre-baby weight) in April of 2010. I weighed in at 233lbs.
Even as I began this journey nearly 5 years ago, I really had no clue what I was getting myself into. I just knew I couldn’t continue to live the way I was living. My daughter deserved so much more. I had so many misconstrued ideas about what it meant to really be healthy. Ultimately my goal when I started this journey to health was to fit back into my pre-pregnancy clothes… which I did sometime in July of 2010. I think I was around 210lbs here.
It was around this time I started running more regularly. I began toying with the idea of running some races for extra motivation to keep running. I continued tracking calories, going on walk/run’s, and the (very)occasional group class. I went up and down 10 lbs or so, with my lowest being 199.5 (for a day… February 2011). I was very scale focused for the whole first year. I tried the HCG diet for a week and hated it, so I stuck to running and trying to “eat well” but I wasn’t very consistent.
My journey took its next big step in June 2011 when I decided to register for the 2012 Disney Marathon. I focused more on training than weight loss, so my weight pretty much stayed in the 200-210 range throughout those six months I trained. I did, however, notice a change in the way my body was shaped.
Marathon day came and went. Then it was over. I learned a lot about myself during those six months. My goals and desires changed. I no longer wanted to just fit into my old clothes or be skinny. That is when I really started wanting to be strong, healthy and fit. Shortly after the marathon I began training for a half-marathon with Team Living Water. After nearly a year of long run training, I admit I was burned out. There were a few weeks I really struggled with the idea of this journey. It had then been 2 years since I started my journey and I really had to fight negative self-talk about how far I had (or hadn’t) come. I mean, 2 years later and I was still hovering around the weight I was before I got pregnant. Regardless of the scale, I had made some major progress:
I started playing with the idea of more intense strength training sessions for my cross training. I began with the Body Sculpting Bible for Women, moved on to New Rules of Lifting for women and was really liking it. Something about lifting weights just felt right. After dipping my foot into the world of lifting I felt confident enough to try CrossFit as a part of a 60 day fat loss challenge. And I fell in love.
My journey since starting to CrossFit has been completely different than it was when I first set out to lose weight. It becomes less and less about the number on the scale. After over a year of doing CrossFit my husband and I went to a CrossFit Level 1 Certification course and became CrossFit L1 Trainers. CrossFit changed our lives so much we decided to make the jump and opened our own CrossFit Affiliate, CrossFit 70 in Wentzville, MO.
In the time that we have owned our gym I have continued to make great strides in my own health and fitness journey. I continued to lose fat, gain muscle, and most importantly I learned to be happy and confident in my own skin. I tried many different styles of eating – From Strict Paleo to a Bodybuilder type nutrition plan. I’ve found that balance and moderation are the keys to maintaining health and happiness. Because going from being overweight to being obsessed about food is like trading one prison for another.
After losing somewhere between 60-70lbs I had some major excess skin. After research and discussion I decided to have a tummy tuck/abdominoplasty to remove the excess skin from the weight loss.
I won’t say that I have “made it” when it comes to weight loss. The truth is my weight on the scale currently isn’t much different from what it was before I got pregnant. My body fat percentage, however, is night and day different. I was nearly 50% body fat back in 2012. The last time I was measured I was around 20% body fat. I may still weigh close to 200lbs, but I have 160lbs of lean muscle mass. It isn’t just the scale that matters!
So, is my journey over? No way! I’d say it’s just beginning. I’m so proud of where I’ve come from. If you would have told me nearly 5 years ago this is where I’d be, I wouldn’t believe you. I share (or overshare) my story so that others out there will know that it is possible. The decision I made nearly 5 years ago to pursue health is one that changed my life forever. It wasn’t… and still isn’t… easy. It is hard work. But it is worth it. YOU are worth it. It doesn’t happen over night. Dreams become reality one choice at a time.