In 2010, I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. In late 2011, I got pregnant with our first child. I weighed a bit more than I wanted to, but hadn’t really been interested in doing anything about it. At that first check in for Becca’s pregnancy, I weighed 170lbs. Due to my RA and a large flair about midway thru my pregnancy, I got put on prednisone… And gained a LOT of weight. When I went in to deliver her at 38 weeks, I had gained over 75 pounds.
Due to other health issues (gallbladder removal the week after she was born and not being able to eat for almost 8 weeks), I lost that 75 pounds relatively easy (though not in a manner I would recommend!), and when I went in the fall of 2013 for my first appointment with Gray’s pregnancy, I weighed in at 172.
I only gained about 40 pounds with his pregnancy, but found myself in the fall of 2015 18 months from delivery, with no plans for more kids… And weighing around 180-185. I was not happy, and not feeling healthy. I had started going to the gym occasionally- mainly for the playcare room to give me a little reprieve from the kids. (Guilty mama admission there!) But I often made excuses and it definitely wasn’t a regular thing.
Then December rolled around and I was determined to start the gym habit before the January new years crap. At some point, though I don’t remember what date specifically, I walked into the dietician’s office bc my best friend was sitting and chatting with her. I butted into the conversation when she said she was going to do the 52 day Best Body Countdown and said “oh sure I’ll do that with you.” I didn’t even know what it was or what I was signing up for. I was just doing it to support Johannah.
What I didn’t know was how it was going to change my life. Drastically. I’ve been told by several doctors that regular exercise would help my RA- and ease the pressure on my joints. And now? Now I’m seeing that. I have an amazing trainer who in one quick session was able to teach me some really awesome ways to modify exercise to allow for joint pain, and to still push my muscles to build strength. I have learned so much about my body and my own autoimmune hindrances, and I’m learning ways around them. I’m learning how to listen to my body, and stretches, strength training, and cardio routines that are making me not only lose weight, but become a stronger person.
The other piece to the best body pie that I didn’t really think about when I dove in was just that – pie. I have always (esp when pregnant) had a sweet tooth. I find it really hard to pass up baked goods- brownies being top on that list. A good brownie is pretty darn close to Heaven, in my books. So hearing the words “only 5 grams of added sugar a day,” sorta felt like a death sentence. But I was determined. I had paid my money and I was going to do this for Johannah, if not for me. But somewhere around day 45 (about 8 days into the countdown), it became less and less about doing the program just to support her, and more and more about building a healthier me… While supporting her.
Now? I’m proud to say that having a salad with kale, spinach, and swiss chard is my typical lunch. Every day. Instead of being obsessed with ice cream and/or brownies, I pop cherry tomatoes like they are going out of style. I eat peanut butter I’ve fresh ground myself at the store with local honey on a high fiber English muffin as a decadent treat for breakfast every couple days. Breakfast? Oh yeah, I eat breakfast every single day. Three solid meals and a strong snack every day. My water intake wasn’t a problem before, but now I make sure I maintain my regular intake before I consume any other beverages. Pop and tea are a thing of the past. Coffee and wine? They are here to stay, but with the rest of the way I’m living my life, I can easily consume my one or two glasses wine once every or every other week with no worries of the calories or sugar.
I truly have learned how to control my portion sizes and make smarter, healthier choices for not only my meals, but also my activities and daily routines. I have made fabulous progress, and this is no where near the end! I plan to continue these habits the rest of my life! I’m so thankful to my support system- my best friend/accountability partner (who pushed me to be my best every step of the way!!), the staff at the gym, and to my wonderful hubby who encouraged me and pointed out my visible progress milestones along the way!
Increased plank time by 1:44 (from 1:00 to 2:44)
11.8 pounds lost
3 1/4″ lost around the waist
Lost 1/2″ fat at the halfway point, Gained 1/2″ muscle back by the end- around my left thigh
Come to find out, not only did I complete the program, I lost the most weight of anyone participating from our gym! They rewarded me with a new Fitbit Flex and a free membership to the next TRIBECore workout group ($150 value)! WOW. It’s so amazing to not only feel good about myself and be proud of my progress, but to see these people who believe in me… Enough to literally INVEST in me… Wow. Just wow. I have never felt so encouraged! To know that they believe in me is just amazing. I never doubted Johannah or Cody’s support of me because they are truly my best friends, but to see the support from the gym staff is just incredible to me. I’ve found not just a gym close to home with excellent playcare for the kids while I work out, but I’ve found a FAMILY that is an incredible support system!
Want more information about the program? Check out Sohailla Digsby’s website here to join in the next round of the program and countdown to YOUR best body!!