It’s been a while since I’ve had a new Shed & Share on here! I’ve got a few stories in my emails, but I just haven’t had time to get them out. It’s time for a new one!! I figure we could all use a mid January inspiration, so meet Cindy D!
Profession: Wife for 11+ years, Mama to four sweet blessings; Stay-at-home and homeschool mom
How long have you been on this weight loss journey? My weight has fluctuated up and down for most of my adult life; my turning point in this journey took place in August/September 2011
Weight Loss/Inches: 32 lbs lost so far; I didn’t start taking my measurements until after I had lost some weight, so those numbers will not be accurate; I have gone down about 3 dress sizes since January 2012
What was your “low point”?
We adopted our youngest son from Taiwan in June 2011. It seems with both of our adoptions, I gained almost as much weight as when I was pregnant with my two biological children. Looking at photos from last summer and seeing my reflection in the mirror, it was just depressing. And when I stepped on the scale in August 2011, I realized I was at my highest non-pregnancy weight.
Here’s Cindy’s “turning point” photo. She thought the pink top looked nice on her until she saw this picture.
How did you get started?
In January 2012, I set a New Year’s resolution to get to the gym and workout 3 times a week. In years past, I had set a weight loss goal and usually gave up by the second week of January. This time, I just needed to get to the gym regularly. I stuck with that for a month (actually getting to the gym closer to 4-5 times a week). Then I got a heart rate monitor in February (I asked my husband to buy me one, instead of flowers, for Valentine’s Day) and started seeing my actual calories burned. Each month I set a new fitness goal. In April, I took a beginner TRX class. I had dropped about 20 lbs total at this point, and a friend/personal trainer suggested adding in strength training twice a week. What a difference! TRX is amazing. I get both a cardio and strength workout and my muscles are looking much more toned. I have finally lost all of my excess pregnancy (and adoption) weight. I am still a “work in progress”. My big goal was to lose 38 lbs before my 38th birthday in August 2012. I have almost reached that goal…but I am continuing to work towards it and have reached a point where the number on the scale is not as important as how I feel.
What is your workout routine and eating plan?
I take 2-3 cycling classes a week, plus two TRX classes. (TRX is my favorite class and has really helped me deal with chronic back pain.) I track my calories with My Fitness Pal, and I add or change my fitness goals about once a month. I still eat a pretty normal diet – no foods are off limits, but I track my calories and try to make the most of the calorie allowance given to me on My Fitness Pal. One of my New Year’s Resolution for 2013 is to focus on cleaner eating and better nutrition. I was successful with my 2012 New Year’s fitness resolution and want to keep my health and fitness on the right path. I am currently participating in a 3-week Nutrition Challenge hosted by Lindsey Fisher at Fit Envy NC Training and Fitness – http://fitenvync.wordpress.com/2012/12/29/january-2013-nutrition-challenge/
What are your top 3 favorite resources that helped you along the way?
1.) My Fitness Pal – http://www.myfitnesspal.com/ – This has been great for tracking my calories and watching what I eat.
2.) Blog – 100 Days of Real Food http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/ – In addition to trying to eat less and watch my calories, I am trying to feed my family healthier foods, too. There is so much good information about food and nutrition on this website.
3.) Blog/Facebook page of Fit Envy NC Training and Fitness http://fitenvync.wordpress.com/ – I’m participating in the January Nutrition Challenge through this blog/Facebook page. Good motivation and helping me stay on track.
Cindy and her daughter, before and after!
What one piece of advice would you give to someone who is sitting on the sidelines and waiting?
I stopped focusing on the number on the scale and setting a specific weight loss goal. Instead I committed to get the gym three times a week. The pounds came off when I was successful with that goal. And it was easy to measure and get back on track if I missed the goal one week. This year, my focus is eating cleaner and better. To help me get started, I signed up to participate in a 3-week Nutrition Challenge. I have found when I participate with others (whether in a class at the gym or in this nutrition challenge) I am more likely to stay focused and motivated than when I try to go it alone.
What one piece of advice would you give to someone who is in the process but is feeling discouraged?
Try a new class or set a new fitness goal. The class setting has really been motivational for me to work harder and become stronger. I look forward to working out now because I have found exercises that I enjoy, and made new friends in the classes at the gym.
If you are a parent, how have you balanced everything?
I am blessed that my kids love going to the gym and there are great childcare classes/staff for them. My elementary-age kids are able to participate in kids’ fitness classes 1-2 times a week and are developing a love for exercise. The gym is part of our daily routine, and my kids do well when we stick to our routine. If they start getting bored with the gym or someone is sick, I change up our schedule for a day or two and go by myself in the early morning or at night. I thought I would be taking away from my kids if I focused on myself by going to the gym to workout…but I am a better mom when I am taking care of myself and I have more energy for them, too. I have been careful to not focus on my weight too much around my kids. Particularly with my daughter, I want her to develop a positive self image and I worry if I focus negatively on my body image or dieting, it will be detrimental to her.
Cindy and her gorgeous family!
Anything else you would like to share?
I find I am eating out less and less these days. Eating at restaurants seems to always wipe out most of my calorie allowance for the day, and I can feed my family healthier food at home. On those special occasions when we do go out, I try and research the menu and nutrition ahead of time so I am prepared and don’t overeat.
Cindy –you are a girl after my own heart…asking for fitness equipment instead of flowers for Valentine’s Day! You are such an inspiration for many mamas out there (in more ways than one!) and I thank you for opening your story to us!
I am always looking for REAL LIFE WOMEN who are ready to share how they have shed weight and gained a new perspective on life!! If you have a shed story that you would like to share, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org!