“But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” – Isaiah 40:31.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Show n' Tell Wednesday

I considered doing "Word-less Wednesday" but let's face it....being "word-less" is nearly impossible for me. I love to talk and I love to tell!

I have read a lot of inspirational stories of fit to fab and incredible stories of weight loss. I never really considered my story that great until recently when I was looking through some old pictures. 
I have been active my entire life.  I played soccer, golf, cheered and was on the dance team in high school and college. Being involved in so much really helped me maintain a healthy weight and I could always eat what I wanted to.  When I got out of college was when the trouble started.  I had never worked out on my own, I was always part of a team.  So the weight slowly started to creep on.  It wasn't until I was preggo with my first son that I REALLY lost control....I did not enjoy that pregnancy at all.  I was living in a new place with no friends or family so I was already a bit depressed.  Add pregnancy hormones and cravings to that mix and by the end of the pregnancy I had gained a whopping 70lbs.  I was miserable!!!
2 weeks after the birth of prince #1
 I decided then I would NEVER let my weight get that out of control again.  I had watched my own mother battle food/weight issues her whole life and I did not want my kids to deal with that too.
I didn't know what to do, so I started taking diet pills. That was when ephedrine was legal, and I lost 80lbs in 9 months. It was extreme and a very unhealthy way to lose weight. Plus, I had no tone at all. Was I skinny?...yes. Was I healthy?...no.
When I decided to get preggo with prince #2, I was terrified of gaining weight.  Food had become an obsession of mine.  I thought about food all day long, what I ate, when I could eat next, how many calories I've consumed, how hungry I was.  By that time, ephedrine had been outlawed and I was having to make healthy choices to keep my weight down.  This was all new to me. I spent 6 months of pregnancy #2 on bed-rest and I was able to keep my weight gain down to 25lbs.
Preggo with Prince #2- claw marks courtesy of preggo#1

It was in 2005, 1 1/2  yrs after the birth of prince #2 that I walked into a gym for the first time in years.  I hired a personal trainer to teach me how to live a healthy, balanced,lifestyle.  He gave me a meal plan and an activity plan and the tools that I needed to take back control of my health.

It wasn't long till I was bit by the fitness bug! I loved to see how my body and mind could be transformed through fitness.   I was working out with weights with my trainer 1 time a week and on my own 4-5 times a week. I also added Pilates classes, I was able to get my mid section trimmed down and toned up better than it was in high school, sure I still had the claw-like stretch marks, but who cares, I had abs!!  By the end of 05' I was teaching 4-5 pilates classes a week and  
In early 2006, on a whim and with much prompting from my trainer, I entered a fitness/figure competition.  I had no expectations of winning going in. I wanted to do it to prove to myself that I had it in me.  I entered the competition world blindly. In my category Amateur Tall there were 15 other girls.  Most of the girl were 5 yrs younger, had never given birth, and were born with definition!  I figured I had nothing to lose and I gave it my all and came out in 3rd place!  I almost threw up when they called my name for the trophy.  I was pretty sure they had the wrong girl.

It was my first and last competition. A few months after the competition I injured my neck tumbling. The injury required 7 months of physical therapy and I was not able to work out with any weights for almost a year.  By the end of that year I was still at a healthy weight from making good food choices, but my muscle tone was less than desirable.  It was depressing to see all my hard work go down the tubes.  I waited one long year for the Dr. to tell me it would be okay to workout again and when the day finally came I could care less.  When you work out or run everyday, it's easier to get up in the morning and go to it....but when you have been sedentary for a year it is hard.  I wasn't sure I wanted to conquer that mountain again. Maybe I could just be happy being complacent....and I was...complacent that is...for about another year. Of course that weight started to creep back on...I did manage to get through preggo #3 with minimal weight gain..about 20lbs. Though  I was already about 15lbs over weight when I got pregnant.

When prince #3 came along I started running.  I don't know why. It just seemed easier than going to the gym. I could put him in the stroller and take him with me.
Maybe it's because I'm older, maybe it's because I KNOW what I am capable of, maybe it's because I decided to educate myself on my own fitness.....but I am committed to being the healthiest I can be.  I am so proud of myself and what I have accomplished.  I am still 10lbs from my goal "healthy" weight, but I don't feel intimidated by the mountain anymore.  I have found a healthy balance and have a much healthier relationship with food.

So now you know the rest of the story.... well not really the rest of it....ok most of it... I could keep writing but I don't want you to fall asleep at the computer.....;)

If your new to my blog, welcome! If your not new, thanks for stopping by!
I love reading your comments and feedback!

Grace and peace,



Hannah said...

Oh April! You are awesome. Totally wasn't falling asleep - was ready for more!

What a great journey you've been on. I often wonder what has changed in the last 10 years that has made me so much "stronger" than I was back when I was doing team sports. I'm absolutely not where I was with regard to being in shape...by a long shot...but I absolutely feel more capable and strong now. Crazy how it works.

Loved the pictures. You were beautiful while pregnant. And holy hot mama in the competition - Mrs. 3rd place! So awesome!

One last thing. I have claw marks, too. I try to tell myself they are reminders of three healthy pregnancies and babies. Sometimes it helps, other times I want a tummy tuck. Stat! :)

RockStarTri said...

Great story.

Jen said...

I love it and your give me hope that I will have abs one day.

Great story and the best part is that is seems not to be controlling you anymore. You do it for fun!

H Love said...

So happy to find your blog! It is so comforting to hear other Christian mommy's sort out their love for running! You look amazing! I am constantly trying to figure out how I can run to glorify God!


April - you are amazing and look fantastic! I can relate to so much of your story (I've even took part in a fitness competition in college). Congrats on getting to where you are!

Glenn Jones said...

I love these "Rags to Riches" stories. And these riches are even more important becuase they result in healthy and longer lives!

Way to go Apil! Congratulations on a job well done!

Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

LOVE the story.. And "Claws" priceless!! I have many many of those..

Wendy said...

Love your story!

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