If not for the skinny jeans…

Archive for the ‘The history’ Category

I guess I should be a professional by now.  I’ve been yo-yoing for the last 10 years, at least!  Yo-yo dieting that is.  I’d gain weight, get upset and frustrated, find a way to lose the weight, get happy (read complacent), start slowly gaining again, and so on and so forth.  I never really stuck with anything.  In hindsight, I think it’s because I’m lazy and I didn’t want to have to work at it.  I wanted it to be easy and effortless.  As effortless as gaining the weight.

Well, I don’t have that kind of body to be able to mistreat it like that and get away with it.  If I eat too many cookies, I feel it.  If I eat one pizza slice too many, my bloated belly shows it.  I would get frustrated because I’m a relatively active individual, and I like going to the gym and getting sweaty.  I don’t like counting calories, or fat grams, or figuring out how many carbs are in a serving of this, that or the other.  I don’t like having to base my life around specific number.

We had Amelia roughly a week after this picture was taken.  As you can see, I wasn't the smallest pregnant chick!

We had Amelia roughly a week after this picture was taken. As you can see, I wasn’t the smallest pregnant chick!

So I didn’t.  And the scale would go up, then down, up, then down.  (picturing the yo-yo aren’t you?)  After Amelia, I remember looking at myself in the mirror and feeling utterly depressed.  I didn’t have the energy to do anything.  I always seemed to be cranky.  Nothing fit.  I was worried about my husband still finding me desirable, because I didn’t.  Standing in front of that mirror I battle both superficial and internal battles in reference to my health and appearance.  I made the decision, while seeing myself in all my stretch-marked, post- second baby squishiness that I would get healthy.  I would work.  I would change my lifestyle.

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This was roughly four months PP.

This is where Weight Watchers comes in.  I had done WW on a couple of other failed stints, but I remembered the program was the easiest to follow, but was also a great path to teaching me how to treat my body.  I was excited to get started, and even better, my husband wanted to do it with me.  Although he didn’t have nearly as much to lose as I did, he wanted to support me and shed the 20 pounds he’d been fighting to get rid of.  I went to my first meeting and weighed in. 188.8 pounds.  Seeing those numbers cemented my resolve to get it off.

While I was visiting my family in Maryland was when I initially signed up. Of course I was gung-ho at the beginning.  I had tons of motivation!  I tracked every little thing I ate or drank!  I measured every. single. thing.  At first it was fine and I was seeing some good changes on the scale.  We visited Tom’s family and I maintained what I was doing more or less.  It wasn’t until the fall that I really started slacking, but that’s for the next post!

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I found out I was pregnant with Eliska shortly after getting to mine and my husband’s first duty station, Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas.  We had briefly discussed whether or not we would have kids.  We decided we would, but that we wanted to wait until after our upcoming deployment.  God apparently had other plans.  We got pregnant while still on birth control and had a very big decision to make concerning my military career.  We talked about it for a couple of months and decided we were too worried that our deployment schedules would be off from one another and our child would never have a really stable, comfortable home to grow up in.  I left the army in September 2007 and we welcomed Eliska a mere month later.

Haenke FamilyI gained a total of 35 pounds during that pregnancy, which brought my weight up to a total of 195 pounds.  I kept telling myself I would not go over 200 pounds!  I would walk, and luckily, Eliska had me craving fresh produce almost the whole pregnancy.  I honestly wasn’t upset at all with the weight gain.  I didn’t sit and eat whatever I wanted, but I didn’t stop myself from eating anything either.  Tom deployed three weeks after Eliska was born, so I moved back home for the help.  I started cosmetology school and swore I’d get back to my pre-pregnancy weight.

Fast forward three years.  I’ve FINALLY gotten to my pre-pregnancy weight (165 pounds).  I didn’t do anything long-term to get it off.  I would diet here and there, things like briefly joining Weight Watchers, trying the prepared meal system Nutrisystem (disgusting), and the ever popular SlimFast diet.  I would get some cardio in, but nothing ever stuck.  We had another deployment coming up and Eliska and I stayed in San Antonio to wait it out this time around.  Some family members of mine were prescribed Phentermine.  It’s a medicine to suppress your appetite.  I was able to get a prescription for myself and started taking them right away.  I noticed immediately that I wasn’t hungry nearly as often, and when I did eat, I would fill up on much less food.  I had a group of friends and would go out to the local country bar and dance for 3-4 hours straight.  Country dancing will really get the pounds off!

071It was great!  In roughly 6 months I had dropped my weight to 142 pounds!  I loved how I looked!  I loved how confident I felt!  I was so excited for Tom to come home and see the “new me!”  It was roughly August by this point and through varying circumstances, I wasn’t getting in my “cardio” like I used to.  I had also stopped taking the Phentermine for months at that point.  Slowly, ever so slowly, I noticed my size 8 jeans were getting a little snugger.  I noticed I was getting a wee bit hungrier.  But I didn’t do anything about it.

When Tom came home for R&R in October I was about 150 pounds.  I was still happy though.  We enjoyed our time together for the brief two weeks.  He came back on Valentine’s day and I had gained another 5 pounds or so.  Slowly creeping back up.  We agreed that we wanted another baby and started trying in May.  It was almost like a switch went off.  I didn’t care what or how much I ate AGAIN!  I would actually tell myself, oh it’s okay, its more insulation for the baby!  Making jokes out of my weight gain…

We got pregnant with Amelia in July.  I was up to 170 pounds.   Unlike Ellie’s pregnancy, this first trimester I was miserable.  I had morning sickness almost every day and to top it off I was attending college classes four days a week.  I was exhausted.  And the only thing I could stomach?  McDonald’s!  I’m not joking!  I ate McDonald’s or nothing.  It was ridiculous.  But I took it for what it was worth, and tried to pick healthier options, but I found myself eating a large fries with BBQ sauce for lunch on many days.  I think I may have taken real walks simply for the purpose of keeping fit, um, maybe 7 times during the course of the pregnancy.  I had so much going on in my life that watching what I ate and keeping fit were not the top of my priorities.  Until I met Salli.  My midwife.  An absolute icon for my sanity during that pregnancy.  She stressed the importance of watching my health in order to ensure the health of the newest member of our family.  I took her words to heart and started upping my protein, eating more fresh produce and lots of whole grains. I noticed a big difference in my energy levels and daily attitude.  I think I gave more credit than was due to the fact that I was finally out of the morning sickness phase and less than what was due to my dietary changes.  I still didn’t walk as much as I should have.  When Amelia decided to come a month early, I was topping the scales at 213 pounds!  No wonder everything hurt!  After she was born, I remember talking to Tom and telling him I was desperate to get the weight off.  I was going to join Weight Watchers and this time I would stay with it.  I had to.  There were no more options.

I’d like to point out that this is what brings me up to my current state.  I will talk briefly about joining weight watchers and some of the triumphs and failures I’ve had in the past 9 months.  If you haven’t noticed yet, there was a lot of yo-yo dieting happening in the past 10 years.  I wanted to make sure that this little bit of my history was known so that some of my current and future decisions make a little more sense.

An individual has to be within certain parameters in order to stay in the military.  A certain height.  A certain weight.  You have to be able to pass a “rigorous” physical test.

I was totally prepared and excited for all of this when I enlisted.  I had gotten my weight down to around 150 pounds through exercise alone.  I was able to pass the physical test and I made it through basic!  I went on to my Advanced Individual Training unit in Monterey, California.  At 152 pounds, for my height (5 foot 4 inches) you have to start getting body measurements to make sure you’re still within the body fat allowance.  I was 154 pounds.  Constantly.  It didn’t matter how hard I worked during PT.  I just couldn’t figure it out.  I always “made tape” though.

The measurements that were taken were my wrist, forearm, hips, and neck.  I always hated getting my hips measured.  My body shape is in between an hour-glass and a pear, so I’m “curvier” on the bottom half.  I had my own issues with how the military used the measurements, but that’s for a different post.

While doing PT in California, I ended up hurting my ankle.  I had to get a permanent profile which basically meant I could run, but only at my own pace, not the unit’s pace.  I took that to mean “don’t run.”  So I didn’t.  There are alternate events they give to soldiers who can’t participate in certain parts of the physical test.  So, instead of running 2 miles under a certain time, I had to walk 2.5 miles under a certain time.  I’ll be the first to tell you, the walk is so much harder on your body than the run.

I was getting lazier and as long as I made tape and passed my test, I didn’t put much effort to lose any extra weight or get any more fit.  I definitely had the mentality, no one else tries hard, so why should I?  I focused my military career on the other aspects of my job.  And I was good at it!  I even met a great guy and got MARRIED!  Bonus!  He was fit and handsome and never seemed to have to care much about what he ate.  Yes, I was jealous, and ridiculously in love with him!

And after being in, I realized the military’s “standards” can very easily be smudged if you knew the right people.  (I didn’t know them! lol)  One of the aspects of the military that had initially attracted me into joining no longer seemed as important, and my body was paying the price.

Image A picture is worth 1000 words.  And what this picture says to me is not something I like admitting.  I was 18 when I went to prom.  I loved the color red and I knew I wanted something that would make me feel beautiful.  My mom and I went to a couple of different stores looking for a dress that fit… in more ways than one.  I knew I had been gaining weight, but was in EXTREME denial about how bad it had gotten.  In two years I had gone from 136 pounds to over 175 pounds!  But, I had a steady boyfriend who cared for me.  I didn’t care much about anything else besides that.  Until I got our prom picture back.  I was in shock.  Did I really look like that?!  I was so embarrassed!  Not just for myself, but for my boyfriend.  To this day, I will say I looked like the big red Kool-Aid man, and everyone was too polite to tell me otherwise.  This picture is the only one left.  I burned the rest.  I hated looking at it.  I didn’t ever want to see it again.  I kept one.  One single picture as a way to remind myself that I would never lose focus again.  Because of this picture, I can only remember my reaction to getting the picture.  I remember very little from my actual prom.  This picture essentially ruined my prom.

That summer, I was a lifeguard, and joined Jenny Craig.  I made sure to swim laps every day during the down times.  I made sure to eat what was on their planned menu.  I had to get the weight off.  I hated how I looked.  I was going to college that fall and I was so fearful of the infamous Freshmen 15.  By the time I went to college, I was 155 pounds.  20 pounds lost in the course of the summer.  I was ecstatic!

One problem.  I hadn’t learned much.  Jenny Craig did all the hard work for you.  I knew I’d be walking a ton getting to and from class so I never made the effort to do any other type of exercise.  I also wasn’t paying any attention to what or more importantly, how much, I was eating.  By the end of my first semester I was back up to around 165 pounds.

I had already decided that college wasn’t for me, so I knew I wasn’t going back next semester.  In fact, I enlisted in the Army (after getting the support from my family).  I was scheduled to leave the following March (I believe).  I started working out and running to get ready.  I hired a former Drill Sergeant as a personal trainer and he was literally whooping my butt on a daily basis.  Unfortunately, I ended up hurting my back seriously enough that I had to drop out of my enlistment and go to Physical Therapy for a few months.

I finally started to feel better and enlisted, once again.  I was scheduled to leave in April 2003.  I have no idea what my weight was because I didn’t concern myself with it.  I only cared about getting myself well enough to get through Basic Training.  I just knew being in the Army would be what I needed to stay fit.  You never see military folks out of shape… or so I thought.

For now, that’s the backstory.  I know it’s long and I apologize to everyone reading this.  The next section will be about how my health was affected while in the military, and should be a shorter entry.  

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