Height: 5’4″ – 5’7″
Pounds Lost: 20-30
Pounds Gained: 0-5
Work: Full Time Work at Office
Single mom – check. Full time, in office employee – check. Stress eater – double check. Divorced – check. All of the above contributed to my “before picture.” Any parent, but especially those of us who do this on our own, can tell you, kids are more than a full time job. Exercise and eating right were not a priority. Getting dinner on the table before 7p, making sure the little one was clean and asleep by 8p and keeping the checking account in the black were, quite frankly,the only things on my priority list. We ate a lot of pasta and sandwiches. We “treated” ourselves to a lot of helpings of ice cream. We swung through the drive through more times than I can (let’s be honest, should!) count. I was in a state of mind, where just getting through the week was a success…even if it meant pumping my family full of junk that wasn’t very good for them and certainly wasn’t healthy.
At the beginning of 2013, and having to buy a larger pair of pants for work, I realized something was off. This wasn’t working. I felt gross and tired. I took baby steps. Not just baby steps, but mini baby steps. I started off taking a multi viatmin. I know! Slow down lady! It quickly morphed in to buying fresh fruits and vegetables over chips and fruit snacks (I have a 4 year old folks!). We eliminated breads and most dairy. For me, this was tough, but I knew it would be worth it. I tried to convince myself that I could do it gradually. Nope! That’s not me. I found myself “cheating” all the time! It was an all or nothing type situation. So, I tossed everything. I had to! It was a defcon 5 situation. Get it out! All out!
I would buy the pre chopped, pre packaged veggies for my son to munch on, instead of goldfish and gummy bears. I made dinner instead of heading to the drive through. This one was tough. By the time this single mommy gets off work, battles the evils of rush hour traffic, picks up the little one from daycare, gets home and then starts cooking, its a free for all for anything and everything in the pantry. It’s a hard habit to break. The drive through is so easy and convenient. But, I kept trying. I failed. A LOT. But it got easier and easier. Planning quick healthy meals became routine and, surprisingly, easier. It took time and a lot of trial and error. Who knew kale was so good?!
We also started exercising. OK, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. Instead of coming home and turning the Disney Channel on, I opened the back door, zipped up his Spider-Man jacket and said, “Go play!” That’s how it started, we just played together. We took a walk to see the next door neighbors dog. We played hide and seek at the park. We (yes, mom included) slid on the slides.
As I noticed the pounds start to fall off from eating better, I knew it was time to incorporate actual exercise. I had every excuse in the book. I couldn’t go to the gym because who would watch my son. I couldn’t do anything after he was in bed because I was too tired. Valid excuses. But excuses none the less. So, I sucked it up and joined a local gym. I still had no idea how I was going to get there. You can’t very well take your kid with you (unless you find a gym that has childcare – SCORE!). The gym intimidates me. In my head it was full of people who really didn’t need to be there anyway, in expensive jumpsuits, looking at me like I was the “big girl.”
It took a lot of Katy Perry on the iPod and averting my eyes from anyone and everyone, but I went in and started. Don’t I make it sound easy?! You just start!
If you are anything like me, it was not easy. I am not a gym-person. I had no clue how to turn anything on or use their fancy machines. It was a mess! But, thankfully, the how-to instructions are fairly easy to understand and you’d be amazed at what stalking the one chick in the place that looked like she knew what she was doing can do!
It’s been almost a year. I’ve dropped 3 dress sizes and almost 30 pounds. I feel better. I look better. I sleep better.
As a divorced, single, stress eating, tired mom who occasionally stalks people at the gym to learn how to use machines, let me just say – it can be done. It’s not overnight (I’ve tried all those things!!) and it’s not an easy adjustment, but it’s well worth it.