Thursday, April 11, 2013

Before and After

I was never the "skinny" kid. But, I was never the chubby kid either. I would say I was somewhere in the middle...but maybe just a tad closer on the chubby side. I never felt confident about myself and I definitely wasn't that girl that could eat whatever she wanted. I pretty much gained five pounds any time I even looked at a cheeseburger or a piece of pizza. I struggled with this throughout grade school and even junior high. I think I hit my peak weight, of my teen years, when I was a sophomore in high school. It wasn't until I started dating "A" at the end of my sophomore year that things changed. I remember seeing our first picture together at a dance and thinking "dang! I'm bigger than he is!" That was all the wake up call I needed. Between then and the end of my high school career, I shrank down to an almost "anorexic" size. I had definitely taken it too far.

But then college came. I will admit, I didn't pack on the freshman 15, like everyone says you will. I actually did really well. It was more of a gradual progression back towards my previous weight. It happened so slowly and so subtly that I didn't even realize what was happening. My clothes still "fit" so I was oblivious.

When we got engaged I was your typical college kid...going to class, studying, partying and living on beer, pizza and fast food. So should I have been surprised that when it came time to look for wedding dresses that I didn't feel comfortable in any of the dresses that I tried on? It was then that it clicked. I think I had gained a total of around 35+ pounds in my 4 years of college. It was during my dress shopping experience that I decided I wanted to lose a few pounds before the forward to six months later and I think I had accomplished losing a total of 10 pounds. It wasn't much, but I was proud of myself for that.
My final dress fitting, right before the wedding.
But it didn't stop there. In fact, all 10 pounds came back and then some. The weight slowly crept back on, just like it previously had. It finally hit me when "A" made a comment two years into our marriage. It wasn't a direct "fat" comment, it was something along the lines of "we should start working out together." We, as women, know exactly what that means. My motivation kicked in right then and there. (Are you starting to see a pattern here? It would all start to "click" and then I would decide to do something about it, only to yo-yo back to where I had began...) 
Before: 180 lbs and 30% body fat.

We joined a local gym that offered bootcamp style workouts and meal plans to help us on our road to fitness. The way they tracked our progress was to weigh us and measure our body fat at our first meeting. That's when reality hit me smack dab in the face. I stepped on that scale not knowing what was going to pop up. (I hadn't weighed myself for a couple years; besides my annual doctor appointment, where I never looked! So the last time was right before our wedding and I was 150 pounds then; a number I was proud of.) When those three bright red numbers appeared, I wanted to faint. 180. I was up 30 pounds in 2 years. So, I bit my lip, hid my embarrassment from my husband and never looked back. To say it was hell was an understatement...I was pushing all 180 pounds of myself to the max, to the point of almost fainting each and every workout. But I was making progress with each and every workout and I could notice slight changes in my body.

Now, the workouts weren't the hard part. For me, food has always been my enemy. What can I say? I love to eat! So going from eating whatever I wanted; late night taco bell runs after a night out with friends, or picking up chicken nuggets and fries from McDonald's when I got off work at 10:30 at night, to a strict 1200 calories a day was HUGE! But, that was the turning point for me. What I put in my mouth ultimately pushed me past the plateaus and led me to reaching my goals.

The week before I found out I was pregnant, I had just finished a 10 week weight loss competition through our gym with a grand prize of $1000 at the end. I pushed myself to the max during that time. I wanted that $1000 so bad I could taste it...literally! (This was also 1 year into my fitness journey.) I lost 21 pounds in 10 weeks and 8% body fat. (I took home 2nd place :( So close, yet so far away.) So that number, combined with my other hard work, left me with these stats after one year:  40 pounds lost and down 12% body fat. I weighed in at 142 pounds with 18% body fat. I was so proud.  
After: 142 lbs and 18% body fat.
Then came that pink "+" sign on that stick. Now what?

Until next time...


  1. Hey Jenna! I just came across your blog- I'm a NE blogger currently living in TX, looking forward to reading about your journey!

    1. Oh my goodness! I'm so glad you found me! I always love meeting fellow (or former) "cornhuskers!" Your little family is adorable...thank you for saying hi and for following me! I can't wait to follow you too :)