And by a little, I mean a LOT. It is amazing the connections we make with people in the blogging world. It seems like everyone has a story to tell about how they got to where they are in life. Rochelle found my blog through friends, and left a comment, leading me to her blog. Through her comment I found her blog, and I read her amazing story about her weight loss success and her new found love for running. I asked her to share her story with all of you because I feel like she is like most of us. She's busy, she wanted to improve herself, and she had to make it fit her lifestyle. The best part is, she did it! Read on...you'll be motivated.
Megan: How did you get into running?
Rochelle: I choose running because it’s an activity you can do whenever and wherever. With two small kids,working full time, and working on my Masters degree, there is such little time. Trying to schedule in a class at the gym just seemed impossible and would end up taking my time away from my kids.
I’ve always been in awe of those people that could run miles upon miles. My cousin ran a half marathon last year and I thought if she did that, I could do it too. I wanted to be one of those people who’s Facebook status’ talked about how far they’d run that day. So, I started small with the couch2 5k program. I still remember when running 3 minutes was hard! I remember the incredible feeling I had when I accomplished my first 20 minute run, how amazing it was to run my first 30 minute run, and then to run my first 5k!
I am currently watching the The Biggest Loser and I’m crying as they’re running a marathon. It inspires me to want to run a marathon because I know how amazing that must feel!
Megan: What is your weight loss story?
Rochelle: When I got married I weighed 143 lbs and was in great shape. However, as a couple we didn’t do any exercise and ate a lot. I quickly gained 20 lbs in my first year of marriage and then had a baby and promptly gained 20 more lbs by the time he was a year old. I wish I could say my weight gain was strictly “baby weight”, but nope! I lost all the weight I gained being pregnant before I even left the hospital.
I remember stepping on a scale when my son was a year old and being horrified to see I weighed 183 lbs. I don’t know how it happened. I swear it just crept up on me! I didn’t have a scale at my house and I was not in tune to my own body.
I decided starting October 1, 2008, I was going to do something. I started out with not eating any sweets, any cheese, and only diet soda. I quickly lost 7 lbs in the first two weeks. Then my tiny itty bitty cousin invited me to go to a kickboxing class with her. I know I looked like a whale next to her, but I loved it! No matter how awful I looked trying to do the moves, it was a great workout and I felt great. I definitely recommend Julie’s Turbo Kickboxing class at Gold’s Gym. I started doing those classes two times a week. I was also following Weight Watchers. I quickly lost a total of 20 lbs before Thanksgiving. I felt so good! I think my biggest problem was that I saw myself as the 140 lb girl that got married, which is the opposite of most people. I felt so good at 163 that I quit dieting. I stopped going to kickboxing shortly after that and completely fell off the bandwagon.
Thankfully, I didn’t gain any weight by the time I got pregnant in September 2009. I only gained 18 lbs with that pregnancy and on May 4, 2010 when I had my baby, I weighed 181 lbs. After a year in the 160’s and my doctor telling me I was 30 lbs overweight, it clicked. I finally realized that I shouldn’t settle for 163 lbs and I wasn’t content with my weight. So I gave myself a goal, something to work hard for. I was determined to fit into my wedding dress by my 5th wedding anniversary on December 21, 2010.
Three weeks after I had my baby, I started taking short and slow walks. I also started doing Weight Watchers again. You get an extra 10 points a day for nursing, so I made sure those 10 points were chocolate! The baby weight and more came off very quickly. By the time I went back to work 6 weeks later I was 155 lbs. I was so excited with how great I was doing, but I was not going to quit until I made 143 lbs.
That’s when I took up running. I knew that losing the baby weight was going to be the easiest, so I needed to step it up for the rest of the weight. I continued to run and do Weight Watchers and the weight slowly but steadily came off. When I reached 143 lbs in October 2010, I knew I could still afford to lose more weight plus I still didn’t fit into my dress! I guess your body really does change after two kids. So, I set a new goal to reach 50 lbs in 6 months. I reached 132 lbs on my son’s 6 month mark and felt awesome! We also had a weight loss challenge at work that just ended after 10 weeks. I lost a total of 12.8 lbs while competing in the challenge.
As of today I am 128.6 lbs and feeling so good! My goal is 125 lbs, but I’m not too worried about losing weight anymore. I just want to firm up and get ready for my next goal, to run a half/full marathon.
Megan: What has been the hardest part of your journey?
Rochelle: The hardest part of course is the dieting! I am NOT a fan of dieting. I hate it! I love eating! I love eating whatever I want, which is why I got so heavy. So dieting was hard. When I first started I did so well! I went for three weeks straight without faltering at all, then my mother-in-law took me to the Pizza Factory and I got pasta and I lost it. I had to try and jump back on but once you’re off, it’s so hard to get going again. Thinking of life without all the treats just seemed like a life I didn’t want. But, like the saying goes, “Nothing tastes as good as thin feels.” If I knew beforehand how much weight I was capable of losing and how great I would feel, I would have dieted harder and better instead of being such a slacker!
Megan: What were some of your “healthy” strategies?
Rochelle: The biggest key for me is portion control. That’s why I choose to sort of follow Weight Watchers. I just love food! So, I’ve had to learn that if I want to indulge in a Chocolate Zinger, then I have to cut back somewhere else in the same day, or work out a little more. I also buy lots of healthy snacks to have in the house and make sure to keep the unhealthy stuff out!
As a working mom, I ate on the run a lot! So, I started cooking healthy meals I could freeze ahead of time, that way if I ever felt too tired to cook, I could just heat up something instead of going out to Wendy’s. I also started eating a SmartOne every day for lunch at work. Boring? Yes! But, it helped me stop going out to eat everyday like I was.
Megan: Where did you find the motivation when you weren’t “feeling it?”
Rochelle: Nike says “Just do it.” I know it sounds corny, but it works. Even though working out was the LAST thing in the world I wanted to do some days, I would still do it! I just got on the treadmill or went for a run. Sometimes I would only go a mile and turn around and come home or only work out for 20 minutes, but I never regretted one time I did it. I had my husband on board helping me so whenever I didn’t want to do it, he would force me to go anyway!
Megan: What is different about your life now, and your life pre-weight loss?
Rochelle: I just feel so much more confident and I have more faith in myself. Knowing that I can run 5 miles now, something I never in my whole life thought I could do, is amazing! Knowing I can be under my pre-wedding weight after having two kids is such a confidence booster. I would shop at Kohl’s for all my clothes because I felt out of place, or like I didn’t belong in shops at the mall. Now I proudly take my double stroller through those tight stores knocking down clothes everywhere, but I get to buy those cute skinny jeans!
Megan: What is your best advice to stick to it?
Rochelle: Set goals and make sure you have something to always keep you motivated. I know I’ve used the excuses “Just one day won’t hurt”, or “I was sick so I’ll just take the whole week off”, and then I never started back up again. I set goals this time around to help me.
I registered for a 6k and I was not about to waste the $25 I spent! I also had people help me and motivate me. We also did that weight loss challenge at work. My two cousins and I, who all had babies this summer, did a weekly check-in with each other so we had someone who cared about our progress.
Having those things to keep me in check definitely helped. I didn’t want to be outdone by my coworkers or my cousins, so I had to make sure I had that weekly check-in on my mind when I wanted to take the day off or I wanted to pig out.
So set your goals, get your support system, and don’t give up!
Amazing, right?!?! Thank you SO much for sharing Rochelle.You are incredibly inspiring!! I know there are others of you out there who have overcome similar things, and I'd love to hear about how you did so. It's amazing how hearing others success stories reminds us that we can do it too! What is your motivation? What keeps you going?