18 Months ago, I made the decision to get myself back into shape. I’d been in shape before, had pioneered a successful running and adventure club for 2 years, and had lived the healthy life that I wanted to live. But somewhere along our road down infertility, I quit taking care of myself because I just could not take the questions anymore from the people we worked out with. “When are you going to have a baby?” “Your eggs are screaming, you need to get on it.” “Tell that husband of yours to get you pregnant.” And my favorite, “Do I need to send my husband over there to get you pregnant?” I watched women lap me in the baby-making department, and when those who already had had one child as we struggled to just get pregnant started coming to kickboxing class pregnant AGAIN, I just could not take it.
So… and I hate saying this… I quit.
I was on synthetic hormones for almost two years as we tried IUI’s and then quickly moved onto IVF. It took 3 rounds of IVF to finally have a successful pregnancy and by that time, I had climbed to 192 pounds. I only gained 17.8 pounds during that first pregnancy, but that put me into the 200’s and that hurt my head. I lost the weight very quickly, but remember, I only had to lose 18 pounds. By the time my first child was a year old, I was back in the 160’s due to eating a very strict paleo diet and doing some exercise (walking). We quickly moved into IVF for our second child, thinking it would take 3 rounds again, but it worked the first time (a frozen cycle with our first son’s cycle twin – conceived on the same day in the same IVF cycle 2 years earlier). I started that pregnancy at 167.6 pounds and ended up gaining 35.4 pounds that time. The weight came off almost instantly again, but I was not happy in the upper 160’s and lower 170’s. I was nursing with a pretty low milk supply, so I wasn’t going to do anything to interfere with that, including exercise, no matter how uncomfortable I was at that weight. I hovered in the 170’s for a year.
In June of 2014, I decided I’d had enough. I had nursed my son for a year and if exercise diminished my supply, well, that was how it was going to be. I enrolled in an extreme fitness class (the same one I’d done 8 years earlier where I met my husband) and did my initial testing on June 14th. I weighed 180.6 pounds and my body fat percentage was 33.9% on day one. In that 10-week program, I lost 25.0 pounds and dropped my body fat percentage to 25.8% (a loss of 8.1% points which was 24% of the fat on my body).
I kept pushing myself and got into running again, then into INSANITY and TurboKick and BodyPump at the YMCA, and kept kicking and hitting the kickboxing bag in our garage. I shed more weight and more body fat percentage points. I dropped another 15 pounds and shed another 3-4%-age points of body fat from September 2014 through the end of January 2015. I was on a roll and I’d never been so fit in my life (including my youth), so I wasn’t going to let anything stop me. I’ve maintained that weight (140’s) and body fat range (no higher than 24%) through all of 2015.
Today, I weigh anywhere between 138 pounds (on a good day) and 141 pounds (on a bad day). My body fat percentage is between 21.2% and 21.6% from day-to-day. I keep pushing, I keep working, I keep changing it up. I have goals, goals that I’m not sure I can meet (comfortably in the 130’s, a body fat percentage consistently below 21.0%), but I have them anyway. Goals are important.
I’ve never been one to be happy standing still, no matter what I’m up to at the time. Crafting, career, getting pregnant, parenting, fitness – I’m always pushing the envelope and working harder. I’m not going to stop setting goals now that I’ve reached goals I never thought I’d meet – I’ve worked too hard to get here to just stop. It’s been a fun, grueling, high-energy, sometimes painful, but always successful 18 months. I intend to keep on going, to keep getting stronger, to get a little leaner, to become even happier.
I look back on my “before photos” from June 14, 2014, and I don’t even recognize that gal. I look nothing like her, I feel nothing like her, I think nothing like her. I’m a new person (or rather, the person I was before infertility took me into its grip), and I like the current me a lot more than I liked that gal back in mid-2014. I know that my weight and body fat percentage will fluctuate throughout the rest of my life, but I better NEVER be that gal from June 2014 EVER again.