Sunday, January 1, 2012

It's like this...

...I've decided to (as one of my New Year's resolutions to hold myself accountable) start a blog. To discuss what you ask? My weight loss mission! Disclaimer: (Blunt humor will be found throughout these posts, so be prepared:) Sometimes you just have to laugh at yourself, otherwise you'll go crazy!) Also, this first post is very long to give you some background. The remaining posts will not be this long.

I have had people email me and ask me, "what are you doing to lose your baby weight?" I have also had people say that "[weight loss] is so frustrating; I get started and then I have a bad day so I just give up." I want to touch those people who feel frustrated; who feel that no matter what they do nothing ever ever works.

So, I have started this (hopefully) daily blog for the next 9 weeks while I tackle the "insane"
Insanity workout DVD set to tell you a few things; what I am eating, doing for exercise, my successes, my failures, my frustrations and my triumphs. Weight loss is not easy. I have succeeded and failed throughout the years.

A little history:
In high school I hit 200 pounds. I was not all that active and I certainly didn't watch what I ate besides watching it go from the plate to my mouth and honestly, half the time it wasn't even on the plate; it went straight from the pan to my mouth. I don't care what anyone says, no matter how many years go by, you always remember what happened in high school and whether good or bad, those years do impact your life in different ways. For me, being moo'd and oinked at in the halls was not all that enjoyable. Now, I am not trying to make you feel bad for me, those moo's and oinks are partially to credit for making me the determined woman I have turned out to be.

In college I was introduced to a friend who was "Mr. Fitness". He was an inspiration to me to get fit. Simultaneously I received a flyer in the mail to do a triathlon with the
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I thought to myself, "hey why the heck not?! It's for a great cause and I can do anything I want right?!" (Mind you, I was 200 pounds). It didn't stop me; I trained and finished an Olympic sized triathlon (1.5 km swim, 40 km ride, 10 km run) and I was HOOKED on fitness!

Throughout the next 8 or so years, I ran and completed 6 marathons and sprinkled a few shorter triathlons in there too. Boston was my first marathon (2003) that I ever ran and I ran it with the
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society as well. I finished in 4 hours and 44 minutes if my memory serves me correctly and I was in a wheel chair for a few days after due to poor training and being slightly under 200 pounds, but none-the-less I loved it!

In 2008 I ran the Baystate Marathon (my 5th marathon) and FINALLY got a qualifying time (3 hours and 32 minutes I believe) to run Boston as an official qualifier. This was a BIG DEAL! I started my training that winter for the April 2009 Boston Marathon.

Amidst this training in the snow, I woke up one day with two numb feet. Thinking it was related to the training I didn't think much of it, but when it didn't go away I knew I had to see a doctor. My primary care physician said I was healthy and "it will go away". I rebutted (because let's face it, you have got to be your own advocate these days) and said, "no, I want to see a Neurologist. Give me a referral please and thank you."

Two MRI's later and a visit with the Neurologist gave me the answer I never ever would have suspected...ever. Verdict: Multiple Sclerosis diagnosed at the age of 28 (2 weeks before my 29th birthday). After a few days of being inpatient to solidify the diagnosis and the doctor telling me that he was "stunned I could even walk" given the amount of lesions on my spinal cord and brain, I asked the doctor...well
told the doctor that I would still be running the Boston Marathon in April, so nothing he said to me was going to stop that from happening.

I did. I ran it and finished in under 4 hours...woot woot! I was also graduating with my MBA that year, marrying my best friend and we ended up getting pregnant right after our wedding, so all in all, 2009 was the BEST year of my life regardless of my diagnosis. And you know what? It was a BIG wake up call to tell me that I, Melissa, am
not in control. God has a plan for my life and it is up to me to "keep on keeping on" and to move forward despite this "setback". Oh yeah...and by this time in 2009 I was down to 133 pounds at my wedding, but as I mentioned....I was blessed to get pregnant right after we got married.

I ALWAYS thought that I would have control over my weight when I was pregnant. (I forgot to mention that in 2008, I was certified as a personal trainer with the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM).) Of course, I'd have my weight under control right; I was a personal trainer for goodness sakes!? Not so much!

I went to the gym at LEAST 5 days a week EVERY week of my 41 week pregnancy. However, I didn't count a single solitary calorie the entire 41 weeks. Some people say, "well you were pregnant so it's ok." And I thought to myself "you know what, you're right. I've been counting calories for years and I just want this time to enjoy
not having to count for once!" BIG mistake. I gained each and every single pound I had lost from 8 years prior. I topped out at 203 the day I went into labor (and yes, I'm a freak and I weighed myself when I went into labor.)

Lesson learned for my next pregnancy: count calories, continue to exercise and (possibly) meet with a nutritionist as often as possible. Now, you may be thinking, "well Melissa, your son is 17 months old. Why has it taken so long to take the weight off?" Breast feeding. For some people, nursing takes the weight off faster, but for me (Ms. Barely Produce Anything For 13 Long Long Months) could not exercise because every single time I would, my very lacking supply would plummet. I decided that (for me) nursing/pumping was more important than my weight (for that 13 months). I stopped in August.

So, the day I gave birth to my little love bug I was 203. Today I am 153. Still 20 pounds over my wedding weight, but I'll be honest, I don't want to be 133 again. I will be satisfied with 140. So, this my friends, is the "beginning" of my quest to attain that goal and I hope you will join me for the ride. I will be posting my daily menu and workout program. I am happy to answer any questions you have and support you in any way I can.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, so if you have any specific health concerns, you should speak with your physician first and foremost. :)

I don't want to ruin the surprise for you, but in the end, here are the "secrets":
~You MUST count your calories and once you get used to doing this (takes a while) you won't
need to count any longer because you'll be cognizant of what your body needs.
~Exercise daily and it does not need to be boring and/or an hour long. You CAN get a great workout in 30 minutes!! JUST 30 minutes a day...I think we can all manage to squeeze that out of our days to be healthy.
~Fad diets do NOT WORK and you will only gain your weight back and then some. I'm serious. Don't. Do. Fad. Diets.
~Losing weight is hard, keeping it off is harder. There is no easy way to do it. Sorry, but it's true. :)

Whether you're trying to lose weight because you simply want to fit into your old jeans or you are fighting against the evils that exist today in the forms of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, MS...I hope you find this inspiring and (if nothing else) humorous!

"Nothing can sabotage winning, except for fear of losing. Success usually lies just beyond failure."


  1. I'll be here supporting you girl!! And in a few months, you can help me find inspiration all over again!! xoxo

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