If you know me, you know it’s no secret that I have always struggled with my weight. Thanks genetics (insert eye roll) and years of poor choices. Ever look back and think “I wish I did something about my weight when I thought I was fat the first time!”
I wish I had the body I hated in high school! Ha! If I’m being honest after having 6 kids that body is long gone.
I think the biggest issue I have had in years of failed diets and attempts at quick fixes has been my mindset. How often have you started a diet with this idea like “I’m going to start Monday, or the first of the month, or next week, etc. so, I better enjoy this time of gorging on junk food while I can.” Or the opposite, “I’m not going to eat carbs, sugar, or anything that is in a package.” Three days in and I’m hiding in the kitchen downing a full sleeve of Oreo’s. These diets and thoughts are just not sustainable, hence why my weight loss has never amounted to anything.
After our son passed away, I packed on a lot of weight, weight that I could NOT afford to gain. Call it grief, call it stress or call it a summer full of ice cream cones because that’s how we dealt with things. I then had this notion that I could work out, and it would all change. I started back to the gym, even picked up
running fast walking. I spent several months pushing myself at the gym and roughly watching what I was eating with absolutely no changed on the scale. It was so discouraging. Looking back, I realize there is no way I could work out enough to put me into a calorie deficit. I wasn’t tracking my food close enough. Also, if you are familiar with autoimmune disorders, you know that sometimes running and cardio is hard on your body.
I have PCOS, which I hadn’t had any issues with because I had constantly been pregnant (6 kiddos in 8 years). I also have Hashimoto’s which is an autoimmune disorder where your body attacks your thyroid. If you are anything like me, you head to Google or Pinterest and start looking for how others have fixed these issues or managed to lose weight. I was determined to not have surgery, it just does not align with how I think. I think the mental part of it is so important. For me, knowing how to care for my body, what nutrients I need, and how to control the impulses to over-eat are going to give me tools to sustain a loss. My goal with weight loss has never been to be skinny or look a certain way, it is to be present and live as long as possible for my children.
I think most other moms would agree, the thought of leaving our kids early is just too much to bear. For me, and many other moms of kids with special needs it is a whole other level. I have to wonder who will care for my son Bentley if he does not live independently when I am gone. Of course, my other kids are amazing and have hearts of gold I know they’d take good care of him, but that’s not something I want to have to ask anyone else to do. As Bentley has gotten older and this has become a nagging thought, I knew it was time.
My good friend and neighbor told me about this program at the local gym she works at. If you’re local to me and are looking for something amazing and challenging both physically and mentally listen up!
Momentum gym has this amazing program called Total Body Transformation (TBT for short) that runs for 6 weeks. You meet with a trainer who goes over your body composition and goals and helps you with your nutrition. They can help you set your macros to either maintain or lose, depending on what your goals are. Then you have two workouts a week with the trainer and a small group of other women doing TBT. These workouts are NO JOKE. I’m talking about struggling to sit to pee for several days after. These workouts push you, but amazingly. The biggest surprise for me with the workouts was that these are not cardio-based, we’re talking about lifting weights. Now I know what your thinking because there is such a stereotype around women lifting weights. “She’s going to look all buff,” I promise you the amount of work that goes into that type of body figure is just unimaginable. The trainers I work with (who are amazing) are gorgeous fit women, but in no way look buff. They look like that could hold their own, and like they have taken care of their body.
It took me a while to wrap my head around this concept because if you have ever tried to build muscle you know you may see the numbers go up, on the scale some weeks. At some of my weigh-ins, I’d see minimal changes on the scale initially but hear “You’ve gained 5lbs of muscle but lost 8lbs of fat”. I had to really let go of the scale numbers, do you hear me!? LET GO! As my trainer says “it is a data point, but it’s not the entire picture.” The concept of building muscle is really that when we’re resting that muscle will do work for us. So naturally more muscle you have the more your body can work for you at rest. Hence why this becomes a much more sustainable option for weight loss. It’s not a quick fix, you’re not going to drop 20lbs in 6 weeks, but you’re building a foundation for a long term goal.
Aside from losing weight (slow and steady for me), I have seen so many things change in my life. I have energy, and not just a small burst of energy but that all day long energy. That is HUGE for someone with hypothyroidism! I have grown incredibly stronger physically. I started TBT barely able to do a plank for 10 seconds (no joke), I couldn’t do a push up to save my life, and no way could I deadlift any respectable amount of weight. I have tackled non-scale victories left and right. Not to mention being surrounded by a group of women who are working on themselves with the same goal in mind, to be better today than they were yesterday. I will say this gym has been amazing, no feeling like I didn’t belong or feeling insecure. The trainers and even other members have been so encouraging. I enjoy this new way of eating because it allows me the ability to fit in things I want without feeling guilty. I am usually logging my food choices for the day ahead of time, so if it’s a pizza night I can work those 2 slices in no trouble.
I typically do my TBT in the evenings (either Monday or Wednesday) and then Saturday morning. On the days when I don’t have class, I can be found getting an extra workout in the early morning hours which I have absolutely come to love. I put on my headphones jam out to music and get after it. Then I finish with a 10-minute meditation to start my crazy day! A huge benefit to the program is that the trainers send out the workouts in an email after so you can save them. I can replicate some of the workouts we’ve done that I’ve loved or hated! If I don’t go to the gym I often walk to the grocery store with our youngest son in the morning. I love to use the app Map my walk, it’s free and keeps track of your distance and time. I enjoy seeing how many miles I can reach in one month!
I feel like as a mom of 5 kiddos, 3 with special needs I am constantly juggling. It’s often so hard for us moms to take the time for ourselves but I promise you DO IT! You deserve to take care of yourself. I always tell my friends you can’t pour from an empty cup.
Some things I’m using at home or the gym that I am loving or have been helpful are listed below!
Food scale (because eyeballing it is just dangerous!)
JBL wireless headphones (the price difference compared to some other brands was just insane. I am so please with the sound and battery life so far!)
I have a long way to go, most likely at least a year before I’d be going into maintenance, and while that seems daunting, I’m really excited about what the future holds for me.
* Ashley Gable is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Also this blog may contain other affiliate links This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.