We are ready for another Shed & Share story! Meet Summer!
Name: Summer W.
Profession: a wife to Randy, and a homeschool mom of 3 children – my son Taran is 16, my daughter Skylar Kaylyn is 15, and my daughter Serenity just turned 8.
How long have you been on this weight loss journey: I have dieted off and on the last six or so years, but I officially started being dedicated to a specific plan on January 1st of this year
Weight Loss/Inches Lost: 24 pounds, 24 inches
Blog/Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/swhelchel
What was your “low point”?
I struggled as a teenager/young adult to have a good self-image…though I was thin enough and worked out almost fanatically, I was never satisfied and did not like what I saw in the mirror. I struggled with eating healthy, as in I chose to not eat in order to lose weight . This of course only slowed down my metabolism. It took me until I was in my 30s to have a balanced view of myself in light of God’s love for me. Once I turned 35, I was no longer able to just start working out harder again to lose weight – I noticed that I had to also adjust my eating. And over the last 3 years, I had become much more lazy in my eating habits. So at Christmas this last year I weighed 37 pounds more than I thought I should. Staying active with my children became much harder than I liked, and this was my low point…where I knew I had to do something because it was only going to get harder.
How did you get started?
I have never been a New Year’s resolution sort of person, but this January 1st, I just decided this was it. I had a few friends who wanted to challenge themselves in the same way, so we formed a sort of “support group” and encouraged each other daily in our eating, drinking water and exercise habits. It has actually helped me so much to be texting them and encouraging them – it helps me to be inspired and push myself more when I am trying to help my friends. Our group has grown now to about 9 women (TOTAL Ladies: Temple Of The Awesome Lord) that I text daily to check in with them, remind them to drink water, encourage them when they are struggling, and put our heads together to find solutions to different roadblocks. I took my weight and measurements so that I could track weight each week and measurements each month.
After a two-month significant weight loss, I hit a wall with my weight loss and decided to figure out why or what I needed to do. I joined myfitnesspal.com to track my calories and protein/carbs/fat/fiber amounts to see how I was doing. I realized that my calorie intake was not enough every day, and I was terribly low on protein each day. So over the last month I have watched calories much more (which I never used to do but myfitnesspal.com makes it SO easy, especially if you do it on your smart phone because you can scan in the bar codes on your food), and paid close attention to making sure I am getting enough protein. As I have done this, I have also somewhat adjusted my goals, in that I am much less concerned now about the actual weight, and more concerned about seeing food as fuel and making sure that this is a lifestyle change and not just a crash diet. Though I have more inches to lose, my goal is to be fit enough to keep up with my kids and excel in our activities, fit good in my clothes and feel HEALTHY! In the meantime, I am losing more inches each month and I believe the weight will drop off naturally.
Summer, before and after!
What is your workout routine and eating plan?
I was very aggressive with my changes in eating the first two month. I ate more healthy and stayed under on weight watchers points Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday, and on Monday/Wednesday/Friday I did “only fruits and veggie days” with snacks of nuts and a few other proteins thrown in. After my initial weight loss, I now just eat as healthy as I can every day and eat my 1200 calories a day. I also do NOT eat after 7, EVER. Sundays are my day off and I can eat as I please without counting calories…I always splurge and have popcorn made on the stove with coconut oil – my favorite treat!
As for workouts, I am active, but was finding that I was not getting enough calories burned each day. Because I am a black belt in Taekwondo, I spend a lot of my time teaching classes instead of actually getting a hard enough workout in. I also dance with my dance troupe, IMAJN (I Make A Joyful Noise), each Wednesday and though that definitely burned a lot of calories, I needed to up my workout intensity for each day. I really like TaeBo, and I do that that plus I enjoy Turbo Jam and Jillian Michaels workouts. Someone I recently came across on Facebook: Alisa Keeton of Revelation Wellness – she has GREAT, uplifting Christian workouts! I teach toning or TaeBo at our Taekwondo a couple times of month, which I love doing! I take Saturdays and Sundays off, but Monday – Friday I workout primarily in the mornings before I get my kids up to get started on Bible study and our school day. Sometimes I take my workouts over to a friend’s house, because it is so much more fun to work out with others!
What are your top 3 favorite resources that helped you along the way?
1) Working out with others is so much more fun! Even having the friends to encourage and be encouraged by – this has been so uplifting to me.
2) Having goals written on my calendar was also a huge help to me.
3) Encouraging posts from blogs like Revelation Wellness and Peak313 Fitness.
What one piece of advice would you give to someone who is sitting on the sidelines and waiting?
It is never too late to start being healthy and honoring God with your temple. Take it one day at a time, and remember that each day is a new day, and you are a NEW creation. If you have a bad day just move forward, “Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.” (Phil. 3:13-14). The goal is a healthy frame of mind and a healthy body and spirit. Your relationship with God is worth far more than being skinny, but use your relationship with God as motivation to be healthy.
What one piece of advice would you give to someone who is in the process but is feeling discouraged?
This is WORTH IT. I always think of my 15-year old daughter Skylar Kaylyn as she meets challenges in her music career (check her out at MuzicfromtheSKY on Youtube!) because when she started down this road she said, “I WANT these challenges, Mom…the end result is worth it.” It says in James 1:2-3, “Consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” Be willing to figure out a different plan if something isn’t working…no two people are exactly alike and no two weight loss plans can be exactly alike. Sometimes you will plateau and your body just needs things switched up in order to wake up and listen to what you are trying to tell it! Find a friend to join you in your efforts, one who struggles in the same way and has the same goals – pray for each other and be willing to be held accountable!
If you are a parent, how have you balanced everything?
We have a lot of fun doing things as a family…the kids and I do taekwondo, we dance together, and we work out together. My hubby and I encourage them to have workout plans that are specific to their future careers – my son wants to play football in college and to be an athletic trainer/sport coach, and my daughter needs to have good endurance and lung capacity for concerts. When Serenity is old enough she will join us in dance and taekwondo…in just turning 8 she will join for the fall sessions. As Alisa Keeton says, the key to weight loss is….just move! And we like to move as a family!
Summer and her son at black belt testing!
Thank you for sharing, Summer! There’s no doubt that there are many of us who can relate to the obstacles you’ve experienced! I love her determination!! If you have a shed story that you would like to share, PLEASE contact me! We’d love to hear it! firstname.lastname@example.org