The Journey Begins

For nine years I had a consistent weekday morning routine.  My alarm would go off at the crack of dawn, I would jump out of bed {already dressed for my workout}, and either get on my elliptical machine, run outside, or go to the gym.  I would spend an hour, five to seven days a week focusing on staying in shape, training for races, and creating toned muscles.

Last spring I had gained some weight and no matter how hard I tried I could not lose those extra pounds.  I went to my doctor to have him test my thyroid sure that was the problem.  My mom and sister both have thyroid issues that started in their late 30's so I was sure this was the reason I had gained weight.  A little blood test was going to give me the answer I wanted for my weight gain.  

My doctor told me two things that day.  The first was that I was physically fit and my body was happy at this weight. I might not be happy but my body was functioning well and I was healthy.  The second thing he told me was as I approached 40 {gulp} I needed to focus my exercise not solely on cardio but to work on being strong and flexible.  He said that strength and flexibility would be key to staying fit and healthy as I got older.

A week later the doctors office called with my results which showed my thyroid levels were normal.  I was disappointed to not have an answer to the unwanted weight.

As summer started I was in an internal battle between accepting my almost 37 year old body and my desire to see the scale at a certain number.  

Our summer started off in a blur.  The kids and I did two road trips within the first three weeks of summer and came back home to hit the ground running with vacation bible school, swimming lessons, morgan's gymnastics schedule, and keeping up on life at home.  By the end of July I was exhausted.  My  exhaustion plus my allergies kicking into high gear created a situation where my desire to jump out of bed at the crack of dawn disappear.  

I gave myself a week long break. A week turned into two weeks, which turned into a month, which turned into almost six months of not regularly exercising.  

During that time I had started to believe the lies that exercise didn't really matter.  After a rough spring of seeing some weight gain, even after giving up eating sweets and having no fountain soda for 8 weeks, my exercise efforts seemed in vain.  The scale did not move.  I believed that all the time I put in to exercise was yielding no results.  Why not sleep in later if exercise didn't matter??  If I did get up early I could cross a few things off my to do list or get caught up on some shows on the TiVo instead of spending time on my elliptical machine or outside running.

My attitude towards any type of exercise was bitter.  The lies had taken root and were so ingrained in what I was now believing.  The more comments were made or questions were asked about my lack of desire to exercise the more I dug my stubborn heels in and stood firm in my desire to not exercise.

Sometime late this fall, my heart and attitude began to soften.  I am not sure exactly what changed but in part it was due to the fact that my clothes were starting to not fit.   I decided to join weight watchers on line to help me focus on making healthy choices and jump start my weight loss.  I loosely started the plan before the holidays and began to exercise again in the mornings.  I saw some immediate results.  

When Christmas and New Years came I gave myself permission to not follow the plan.  I wanted to enjoy lefse, cinnamon rolls, and cookies.  I knew I would start back on the plan fully committed and focused after the new year.

I am at a weight that is the heaviest I have ever been in my life when not pregnant or post baby.  I know I have a long journey ahead of me to get back in shape and lose some weight.  I know that I need some accountability so I am going to document my journey here.  I haven't quite decided if I am going to post weekly or monthly. I am leaning towards monthly as I feel like a weekly update would be a little boring and redundant for my readers. {thoughts?}

In an effort to be real and honest and to live a good story I am going to put my weight.  It makes me nervous and feel sick to put up the number but I definitely have felt like this is part of the journey. This is part of keeping life real.  It is part of being vulnerable. Its part of being honest about the journey to getting healthy again.

Starting weight: 149.8 lbs
Goals: to make healthier choices
to follow the WW plan
to get in shape
to not focus on the number on the scale but how my clothes fit and how i feel
to be fit and healthy for my family
to exercise at least 4 days a week 


Michael said...

I understand this journey. You will get all kinds of advice, and I will not be an exception.

When I lost the most weight it was because I chose every day the AMOUNT of food to put into my body. As you know, how we grew up around food, at least in the early years- one never knew if there was going to be enough to go around. So as a result, I ate a lot... the first time around, because seconds were not always an option.

Today, I take ALL the food I FEEL I need to take. Then I sit down, look at it, and choose- knowing there will be more if I am still hungry- to cut all my portions in half. In my brain I have satisfied all my issues around it- I have enough, and I choose to the amount I eat. 15 lbs over 6 months and a very strong feeling of control over it.

Second, you are almost 40. You are a beautiful woman, and you are never going to be defined by what the scale says. Start your journey and enjoy it.

Jeni said...

Thanks for being so honest Kristen! I have been feeling like I need to start a disciplned excercise program...not because of what the scale says but b/c I want to be healthy for my family. Reading about your journey will help me stay motivated!

sarah said...

kristen, it sounds scary, but full disclosure about whats going on in the ups and downs of weight loss is what has helped me loose 40 pounds. ive just started to share with people outside a few close friends how far ive come since mid july. if you need a little extra motivation, ive tagged posts with great scripture or accomplishments to check back to when i feel low.


and good luck! with your focus on christ and maintaining your body to be the best representation of him possible, you cant help but succeed. (we are created in his image, after all. :)

Leah in Iowa said...

I've been working to lose weight, too, and am at almost 40 pounds down since Labor Day. It has been both an amazing and difficult journey, but I'm happy with the progress so far. I've written a few posts about it, and I think that helps, like you said, to be real. Although I'm not as real as you, posting a full picture AND your weight online. Bless your heart! I'll pray for you, and be a cheerleader if you need one.

OCMom said...

THANK YOU for posting this! I, along with tons of other women, have these same feelings! You are so brave and will conquer these goals! You are motivating me to get back into it! This week I have not gotten up once to do any exercise and even if it's not tipping the scale the way I want it to, it was making me feel so awesome and giving me so much energy throughout the day!

Looking forward to watching your story! Hopefully I will be right along with you!

Susan said...

I so relate to you, once again. I have GOT to get back on the wagon. I am paying the monthly WW dues and not following the plan at all. UGH and I lost 11 lbs in 5 weeks and now...I am back up 1. Thanks for your honesty...

you are beautiful inside most of all friend

Valerie Berg said...

Ah, I feel so bad that you were feeling this way for months and I had no idea (that defines why I never saw/see you) and what a lousy neighbor I must be. You will bounce right back with so many dear friends, God by your side, and your utmost determination. I wish I had your drive. I need it. The word "contentment" is a bad word for me as it takes away any drive. You go girl! Perhaps it's time to motivate each other for those Saturday morning runs!

Alice said...
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Alice said...

You are amazing! Every time that I read your blog I am thankful for you. I have just taken 4 months off from working out and need to get back at it. You can do it. This past year I have logged my running/biking/etc.. on http://www.runningahead.com/ It has been a good tool to keep me honest as well as give me a pick up when I feel like I am not getting anywhere. I may have a bad day (or few months) but I do like to look at the charts and see the numbers going in the right direction. I have not opened my page in 4 months as I have been afraid of the truth. Time to get back at it.
Thank you again for your post! You are beautiful inside and out!

Simply Sara said...

so, so, so proud of you.
my heart is bursting with crazy pride for you!

do you see how God is already using your journey to touch so many other women?

love you friend and will be cheering you on every step of the way!

Alana said...

You can do it! I know you can. I have been trying to get back on the bandwagon myself with The BIG D :-) I have been doing yoga consistently for about six months, 2-3 times a week, but nothing else and eating crappy. My goals are to keep up with the yoga, start back on a 5K running plan and eat better. Eventually I want to add in the calorie counting as well, but I am taking it a step at a time! Let's cheer each other one. You are beautiful by the way!!