Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Strong is the New Skinny Tour

Thank you for stopping by on my stop on Free Notion's Strong is the New Skinny Tour!
I knew I wanted to participate in Becca's amazing idea for so many reasons. However, I didn't realize it would give me new strength to pick up my journey are start again. Thank you so very much, Becca.

Five years ago I was incredibly over weight. I was obese. Now, I'm not one of those people who has struggled with weight their entire life. I was a petite little thing in high school. But then I graduated. And then, there was no more marching band and no more gym class and the weight crept up. And then, I had kids and I kept gaining with each one. Eventually, I was carrying well over 200lbs on my little 5'2" frame.

 I think this was taken sometime between 2006-2009. I am not my heaviest here.

Now, it wasn't all mindless. I KNEW I was gaining weight. And I "tried" several times to lose it. And I would lose a little, you know, 5-10lbs, nothing spectacular. And then I would gain it back.
And a bit more sometimes.

In 2010, I had my fourth child. I hemorrhaged shortly after his birth and had to have a blood transfusion. And then, due to some bad, bad circumstances, I was started hemorrhaging again, 10 days after he was born. My sister in law came over in the middle of the night to stay with the older three kids and my husband rushed me and our newborn son to the hospital. (I was exclusively breastfeeding so the baby had to come with us.) While waiting for some tests after being admitted, I began to pass out from the amount of blood I had loss. I was rushed to emergency surgery where I had several units of blood and plasma pumped into my body. Over the next couple days in the hospital, I had several more units of blood and plasma given to me. I believe the final numbers were 8 units of blood and 4 units of plasma. We were told that had we waited just another 15 minutes to go to the hospital, I would not have made it. It took me a solid 6 months to recover from Thomas's birth. It took me 6 months to have the strength to walk two and a half blocks to my daughter's school to pick her up.

I took this picture the morning of the night I was rushed to the hospital. All I could think afterwards, was that this could have been the last picture I ever took of my baby.

During that recovery time, I decided that I refused to die due to some disease that I could prevent. And my obesity was completely preventable. I was not going to slowly kill myself due to poor health, or have a miserable life of pain, after nearly dying after my son's birth.
My family needed me and I needed to raise my children.
I needed to change how I was living my life.

I started by making much healthier eating choices. No more late night pizzas after the kids went to bed. (yes, for real, we did that.) I stopped drinking regular soda. No more eating loads of ice cream or cookies. I started eating a healthy diet. No white carbs, lean protein and lots of fresh fruits and veggies.  Every two weeks I would have a "cheat" day and allow myself a treat. I also began walking up to 5 miles a day. I dropped 40lbs in 5 months. Then I hit my first platue. Time to up the exercise. 

I started Insanity.

And it. Was. Hard.

 Exhausted after a hard work out.

BUT, I felt AMAZING!! I felt so alive!!! I could feel my body getting stronger. I could do more. I wasn't tired all the time. I had energy. It was awesome. 

One of our favorite exercises. We would walk for 3-5 miles like this. He was roughly 30lbs at the time. He is 2 here.

See, we did lots of walking. LOL

Strength training through Insanity gave my body a new purpose. It gave me a new life. I could tie my shoes without struggling to breath. I could run. And more than just to the car to avoid getting wet in the rain. I entered a few 5k runs. I could do a push up. I could do lots of them.
But most importantly, I could hold my kids.

I could run WITH them.

I could go roller skating WITH them.

 I was no longer a side line parent. I was part of the action.

I have back slid a little bit over the last couple of years and I have dealt with beating myself up about it. It's only 20 lbs. But, that 20 lbs feels like a lot of my frame.

However, seeing in here, I can see I am still a very, very far was away from where I came from. And since this is a journey, that means that I am not finished. And, I'm not a failure. However, I need to continue working. I have dug out my trusty Insanity DVDs and I'm getting back into the grove of getting strong.

I'm making healthier choices again. My biggest is kicking the soda habit. It's a major vice for me. But even diet soda is terrible for me. I'm focusing on drinking more water. And getting strong.

I am not a pretty princess when I work out. I sweat. A lot. So tanks are my friends when I'm working out. The Jillian tank from Greenstyle Creations keeps me stylish, so I feel good while I'm working out. I have found out that it's important to feel good and cute work out clothes help me do that.

I know lots of people have some hate towards cotton for workout clothes, but I love it. I'm not a fan of synthetic fibers. Cotton lycra is my favorite fabric. I find good quality cotton lycra from Peek-a-Boo Fabric Shop and Purple Seamstress

This pattern has a cute over tank that helps hide my roll. Let's be real. I lost a bit over100 lbs if you count my highest pregnancy weight, and I had 4 kids. I did some major abuse to my mid section. It is anything but flat even when I was down to a size 8. The out tank spares you from seeing all that. The main tank is nice and fitted. It moves well with me and doesn't ride up. I don't need wardrobe malfunctions when I'm doing squats and burpees and push ups and whatever else Shaun T decides to throw at me.

For shorts, the Brassie Joggers, also from Greenstyle, are pretty amazing. (Greenstyle has a great variety of athletic gear! You can sew up your entire workout wardrobe!) Again, cotton lycra makes them comfortable so they move well with me. They stay in place well and are nice and cool. They sew up super quickly so you can have a drawer full ready for whenever you are. What are you waiting for?

So why don't you join me and the other fantastic bloggers on this tour and commit to becoming strong in 2016. I'm sure you have heard the phrase "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels".
It's bull.
Donuts and chips and hamburgers are all really yummy.
But, nothing feels better than being strong. So join us. Become strong.

You can find links to all the other fantastic bloggers here on Free Notion.


  1. Wow, what an incredibly inspiring journey! It literally brought me to tears. You are amazing and I admire your commitment to your family and your health! And of course, I'm always a fan of everything you sew! <3

  2. Wow, amazing job! And I may have to check out those Insanity DVDs :)

    1. Thanks! Yeah, they kick your butt, but the results are amazing if you stick with it!

  3. Wow, Kelly, what a story! Sooooo inspirational. And it's great that you are focusing on not beating yourself up for a tiny backslide. Life happens, and every day you just do the best you can. Your kids must LOVE having such an active, healthy, beautiful mom. GO girlfriend!!

    1. Thank you! You are so very right, every day we just need to do our best. :)

  4. congrats, you worked hard struggled and keep working hard!

  5. Great story, thank you for sharing. I love your Jillian tanks, they look fantastic on you. I still have a lot of love for my cotton lycra too ;)

  6. I love it! And I love that even though you realized that you backpedaled a bit, you realize that you didn't completely let go. That is so important!

    1. Thanks! It is! Maintaining is so much harder than losing for me!

  7. I am always inspired by your sewing, but now I am inspired by your back story as well. Thanks for sharing!


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