Hello, this is me sharing My Story to help and inspire others to start their own “In The Weighting” Journey. Today I am a healthier and stronger than where I used to be, Thank God!!! To date I’ve lost over 55 lbs and 67.5 inches!!! Starting size I was busting out of size 24, (refusing to buy a bigger size) wearing XXL Shirts and now I am in a size 12 and Large Shirts. Now that’s just what people see when they look at me. What they don’t see or know is, even though I’m still a bigger girl I can do man push ups, multiple ways, up to 15-20 at a time depending on which ones I’m doing. Last year I went from Movie marathons, to running Marathons on the weekends. 3 Half Marathons in a year to be exact!!! I can hold planks for up to a minute. Thats 60 seconds looooooong. For those who who have tried or done a plank, know what I’m saying. Now most things I need to move, carry or get done, I can do without having to wait on My Husband or boys to help me. I’m not the strongest woman but I am Stronger than what I used to be!!! I’ve still got more I want to do. I’m not where I want to be but, Thank God I’m not where I used to be!!!
So now your probably wondering how I got here. How did I do it? Well let me back up a bit. I was Blessed to grow up in the 80’s, in fact I was born the Summer of 1980 so I like to think the 80’s started with me. LOL!!! Anyhow it was the land flowing with Mickey D’s, Pizza Hut, Pop Tarts, Doritos, Fritos, Reeses Pieces, and Mt. Dew, in the glass bottles. They way it should still be!!! So my palate was developed to love the good stuff. Our bottled water we drank was colored, fizzy and sugary. The veggies we ate was on our pizzas and burgers. So there was my eating habits. As a child I never had a weight problem. I was so active. I walked or rode my bike everywhere. When I got my car I was working 2 jobs plus going to High School so I was still always on the run. After Graduation, I headed off to Beauty school. Where I went 52 hours a week to get done as soon as I could while working 2 jobs so I could pay for school while going. So I could graduate with no debt and still pay me rent and bills, and I did it!!!
After graduation I tried a few salons out before finding where I would spend the next 12 years. During that time I slowly started putting on weight. Even though working in the salon all day is very physical I was only working that one job. My feet hurt so bad at the end of the day I never did anything else. I stopped playing sports, walking or running. Occasionally I’d join a gym, go for a few weeks and then stop for whatever excuse at the time.
Mr. & Mrs. Starr Celebrating 11 Year Anniversary
In 2005 I married my Mr. Perfect and 3 months later I got pregnant with our son. And I felt awful!!! I was sick the entire time. I did make changes to my diet so that my son would be born healthy. I ate fruits, veggies, and cut out ALL caffeine!!! My loved ones know those were some dark times. Caffeine is my life juice!!! However I developed Toxemia, which pulled out of working 3 months earlier than expected and onto bed rest. Where I had to sit or lie down with my feet up. No physical activity at all!!! By the time my son was born I had gained a ton of weight and lost a lot of my strength. However not thinking of me because I had a newborn I went into survival mode. Time past and eventually when I was done breast feeding my son, right before his 1st Birthday I celebrated with a iced cold Mt. Dew from the can. I had caffeine again!!! I started slowly trying to lose weight. Mostly trying low carb diets for a few weeks and then when I tasted bread again I’d binge on it and was defeated. I tried low fat diets and every other fad diet others were doing. I started to slowly work out again. Mainly all cardio machines just trying to get fat off fast. Never working on rebuilding my strength. I did start running again. Did a few 5k’s and started looking good and BAM Pregnant again. I was sick again. No caffeine again. Before I found out I was pregnant I went to two different doctors because I just felt exhausted. Something off. I got blood work done hoping to get some answers and worried my thyroid was off. Both times they said everything was normal. My first labs done for my pregnancy, he found it. The Doc called right away and said I needed to be on thyroid meds right away or I could lose my baby. I did feel better after starting meds, the same dosage my Mom takes who has a non active thyroid. Even though I still got sick everyday, and I was able to work up until Our Precious Princess Baby Girl was born. Again I breast feed and celebrated one year with a Real Caffeinated Starbucks this time. Again, I was in survival mode. Working part time in the salon, taking care of My Husband, Our kids and the house.
I felt the Holy Spirit telling me for a while that I need to stop working so that I could focus on my family, health and home. And then right after Melody’s 2nd Birthday, it all happened so fast. All in just a matter of weeks. 1st week we found out Tena, My Step Mom, the woman who raised me, was sick with stomach pains. She spent Valentines Day in the Hospital. The Doctors started running test. Next week the test confirmed she had Cancer. It started in her lungs from smoking but had spread throughout her entire body before it was found. I felt the Holy Spirit tell me then, I needed to quit work or else I would regret it. Being obedient, trusting God, not knowing what all was gonna happen, I called the salon owner. We met, I explained to her what was going on, she understood. I stayed up all night and the next day I sent out flowers and plants to all my faithful friends who I had been serving, some for almost 15 years. It was so hard to say goodbye to my clients who had become my friends. My world was changing in so many ways so fast. The following week I drove my family back and forth for Tena’s treatments. The next week she went into the Hospital, they transported her back and forth for treatment. She stayed there fighting until we lost her. The week before my Sister, Hadassah’s Wedding and 2 months before my Sister Crystal’s High School Graduation.
Going thru so many feelings of grief I thought about how 12 years before this, I had quit smoking so that I could get be healthy. After watching my Grandma die from smoking for years I knew I had to quit so that someday, my Granddaughter wouldn’t be where I was then watching her struggle to breathe and eventually passing away. I always knew that I didn’t want to smoke when I had kids. I have so many memories as a child sitting in the back seat not being able to breathe because of someone smoking in the car. I knew how unhealthy it was and didn’t want my kids to breathe it in or smell like smoke from me. When I quit smoking, it was the leading cause of death. However in 2013, Obesity was and so was I!!! Every time I heard my Dad say how he would tell Tena he would like her quit or that he didn’t want the cigarettes to take her away from him. I was thinking of all the times my Husband had asked me to get healthy. I was seeing 1st hand how my Husband and kids would be affected if something happened to me. I realized how powerful this knowledge was and how foolish I’d be if I did nothing about something I could prevent!!!
My AMAZING Husband who has loved me thru the thick and thin…literally!!!
My Journey began…Summer of 2013. Physically, I started with INSANITY!!! I knew I needed someone to motivate and encourage me. I had watch My Sis-n-law go thru the program and get Awesome results. Which I did. Not only did I lose 20.25 inches but I also lost about 20lb. It showed me what I was capable of doing when I got serious and just did it. Every 2 weeks I was doing strength test and seeing my improvements. I was getting stronger and sweating from working so hard. Most importantly I was creating the habit to work out 6 days a week. Before working out for 30 min 3X per week would have been the most I’d do and it’d been all cardio. These workouts were helping me to regain body strength. As far as Dieting, I made a decision this was gonna be a lifestyle change, not just a couple months on some starvation or deprivation diet. I was going to start making small changes of what I was willing to do to get healthy. No matter how long it took me to get there. Google became my best buddy!!! Every time I had questions about food, health, muscles, workouts, I Googled it. I swapped out junk for good stuff. Every time I went the grocery store I’d pick up something new to try out. Visited some health food stores and tried new foods until I found what I liked. By the end of 2013 I had made improvements to my health but also enjoyed the Holidays and so January began like most.
2014 I began again, I did INSANITY couple more times and then needed to find my thing. Ya know, the thing that’s you. Something you love to do and look forward to doing. So I played around started walking and run/walking when I was ready. This year I ran a 5K race. Did some research on how to be able to sculpt and shape my body. I fell in love with weights. Did some workouts from videos, eventually making up my own routine with what muscles I wanted to work and shape. Starting with body movements and then adding weights when ready. I started with 5 lb then worked my way up to 8 lb, 10 lb. I enjoyed the Holidays again and started 2015 stronger and healthier than before.
In 2015, I felt like God was telling me this was the year of discipline. So I stayed on course doing my weights 2-3 times a week. Started running again for cardio. My friend Angie tried talking me into doing a Half Marathon that she was training for. But 13.1 MILES!!! That’s 10 more miles then I’d ever done. No way was I gonna be able to do that. But I did think about it. I dreamt about it. I wished I could be strong enough to do that some day… When I discovered the race was the same day as our oldest Son’s. High School Graduation. I knew it was a no go. Thru out 2015 I did a few 5K’s with my Sister Hadassah.
Getting a little faster improving my time and confidence. After every race I was like Thank God that’s over and I’d slack off again until it was time to train for the next race. So I decided I wanted to stay in 5K running shape so for most of the later part of year, I did. Even though I wasn’t seeing the results I wanted as soon as I wanted them, I was feeling good, seeing progress and enjoying my journey. That Fall, I took my annual trip to St. Lois, MO for a Woman’s Conference. While I was there during an afternoon, the ladies all decided to go back and take a nap. I had energy I wanted to run, so I laced up my shoes and went to the Hotels workout room. Got onto a treadmill a discouraged impatient person. While running I started praying and I felt the Holy Spirit tell me, “If you want to run that Half Marathon you can and I’ll help you.” WHAT??? My mind full of doubt was saying “I’m struggling to keep up with running 3.1 miles…a Half is another 10 MILES!!!” But I felt the Holy Spirit say again ” I WILL help you.” All along I had been trying to do it all myself. Being the Teacher and the Student all by myself, and it was exhausting. So I decided to let go, and let God be my Teacher, thru the Holy Spirit. John 14:26 in action!!! “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” Later that afternoon, when I returned to the conference I remember thinking the next time I come here I will have ran a Half Marathon. Such a BIG DREAM for me!!! On the way home I shared with my friends that I was gonna sign up for a Half Marathon. When I got home I told my Friend Angie what happened and that I was gonna be running the Green Bay Half Marathon with her. As soon as the registration for Green Bay was opened, I registered. In the Fall, I started my training and ran thru the snow and ice of Winter, and Spring rains. On May 22, 2016, I completed my First Half Marathon. Just a few days before my 36th Birthday. Closer to my 40’s than my 30’s but I wasn’t running Half Marathons in my 20’s!!! Green Bay was an AWESOME experience!!!
God had kept His Promise to me…as He has so many times in past. On the way home I knew I didn’t want to lose what I had gained so I signed up for my 2nd Half Marathon for the Fall. On Labor Day in Dubuque, IA. A Challenging course where the last 2 miles all up hill!!! Not only did I run it but I PR’d by almost 8 min!!! WAHOOO!!!
After this race I had always thought it’d be cool to get to triple digits in a month. By the 1st week of September I already had almost 25 miles. I decided it was the month to do it. So I kept at it and half way thru my month I went in for new shoes. They asked if I was running the local Half Marathon. I honestly never knew we even had we until then. So I signed up for my 3rd Half Marathon of the year, that would be just weeks away. Because I had made a goal of triple digits, I kept up with training and was in condition to be able to run it. On September 28th I finished with 100.1 miles for September!!! On September 29th I returned to the Women’s Conference having ran not 1, but 2 Half Marathons, Triple Digits for the month and ready to run my 3rd Half Marathon in just a few weeks!!! That’s How AMAZING GOD IS!!! I can’t even express how Awesome this years conference was for me!!! On October 16th, 2016 I finished Strong my 3rd Half Marathon!!! 1 minute and 15 seconds faster!!!
God helped me to do so much in just 1 year and yet He used everything from my beginning to get me here!!!
I’m hoping that by sharing my story it will give Hope to you to start and while you are on your journey to DO IT, DON’T QUIT!!! No matter where you are starting, every small thing adds up to something Big!!! I ran those Marathons one step at a time. I had choices all along the way to stop, quit and give up…but I kept going. I believe if you are still reading this, that is YOU TOO!!! You are ready!!! You are gonna do it!!! You are starting, right now, this moment, you are determined to do something great!!! My prayer is that you will and that your journey won’t take as long as mine because I can share with you what I’ve learned. This is all about progress, not perfection. Every healthy choice you make adds up to help you on your journey “In The Weighting”.