Friday, April 6, 2012

The Story of My Body: Sandra

Sandra around her heaviest.

A few years ago I hit my highest weight of all. 177lbs. On my 5’4 petite body that was a lot. I had been thin all my life. (about 120/125). I had my daughter at 19 and within 8 months was almost back to where I had started with little to no effort! Right after that I got pregnant with our son. I gained about the same amount of weight but it took longer and more effort to lose that weight as well. But I did it!!

Around 2008 I quit smoking, working out and caring about what I ate. Bad choice. That is when I got up to 177lbs. I felt sick. I didn’t want to get out of bed. I didn’t want to play with the kids. I didn’t want to do anything but eat and sleep. I thought I was sick.

I went to the doctor who ran a series of blood tests. She pretty much told me I was fine, needed to lose weight and that I was showing signs of becoming diabetic if I didn’t start doing SOMETHING. That was my HUGE wakeup call. HUGE.

I got a book about eating whole foods and did that for a little over a month. I started walking/jogging at that time also. I was determined. Or so I thought. I lost about 15lbs quite easily and felt SO much better. But I knew I needed to lose more. I wanted to feel good about myself again.

I stayed at around 165 for awhile. I got into running. I did my first race (a 10k) in January of 2010. It was rough, but I DID IT!! I followed that with a 4 mile race and another 10k! Around that time my husband and I decided to TTC. So I hit it hard again. I knew I wanted to lose as much weight as I could before getting pregnant.

It took us 6 months to conceive and by that time I was down to 152. I was running quite a bit (compared to before) and my longest run to date was 8.89. I felt good. I ran and worked out for a couple of months after I found out I was pregnant. Then I got morning sickness so bad (they should really call it all day sickness!!) that I stopped.

Once I started feeling better I was so out of the routine, I gave up. I tried to eat healthy food while pregnant and did pretty well. I was 185 the day I went into labor. The first time I weighed myself after having the baby I was 171. (April 2011)  I knew what I needed to do.

I waited a couple of months before I started to really hit it hard but it was always in the back of my mind! I started Weight Watchers at this time to help with portion control. I was running in the mornings with the baby and then walking/jogging with friends in the evenings with the kids. By the time he was 5 months old (Sept 2011) I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight of 152. I was proud. But I knew I was still not done.

I went back to work part time at this point, and that was hard because I was used to working out twice a day. A luxury I could no longer afford. Somewhere around this point I decided to run a half marathon. I thought it would keep me motivated to keep running and I love having a goal. So I started really training. I would run in the mornings before work or run on my lunch break.

So in November I ran my very first half marathon. (2hrs 33 minutes!!) 4 months after going back to work (January) I had reached 131 lbs. I had gone from a size 10/12 (12/14 before I had Eli) to a size 4. After my half marathon I continued to run and build my mileage up. I was at a point in my running where I thought, "Huh…I think I should do a full marathon."

I had encouragement from friends (RMM) and I went for it. I ran my first full marathon in March of 2012. (4hrs 54 minutes). Not even a year after I had my 3rd child. THAT felt AMAZING!!!

I am proud of what I have accomplished. Because I chose to take care of myself I am where I am. I am a healthier, happier, better mom who enjoys life now. It wasn’t easy. None of it was or continues to be. But it is SO WORTH IT!!!!

My older kids (8 and 9) have always been active but they have been running with me and doing the smaller races, placing in almost every run they do!!!(Elise was running with me before I became pregnant).  They always ask me about my longer runs and always seem to have a bit of awe in their voice when they repeat it back to me. “Really Mom, 15 miles!!!” That makes me smile. I continue to run and continue to set goals for myself to achieve. I still run quite a bit and am trying to incorporate more exercises into my routine. It is hard trying to fit it all in with 3 kids, a husband and working full time, but I manage. I don’t think I’ll ever be “done,” but I am starting to really appreciate what my body can do! There is always another race to do!
From L-R:  May 2012, Jan 2012, June 2011 (about 2 months postpartum)

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