A Year From Now, You Will Wish You Started Today

August 4, 2014

Reflecting on the past year, as my one year anniversary comes up with my nutritional cleansing journey, I realized that a few sentences on Facebook couldn’t do it justice.  Last year at this time I was just beginning my career as a health coach as was struggling inside because I knew I should weigh less and be healthier.  The sad truth is that I was eating very well and working out three times a week (more than I ever had), but I couldn’t get the scale to move. I was having a crisis, because I felt like a fraud to my clients.  I also wanted to get in the best shape I could before embarking on baby number 2.

Back in 2011 when I was pregnant with my son Dylan I thought I was pretty healthy.  Before becoming pregnant I had gained back all 23lbs that I’d lost before my wedding mostly due to some emotional messiness going on in my life.  My crutch had always been food and when times got tough – I got eating.  Before my wedding I spent a solid year on Weight Watchers and lost 23lbs – about .5lbs per week.  After my wedding in July of 2009 I started this blog. Without the deadline of a wedding looming I found it hard to keep motivated and to stay the course.  The harsh truth is that it is much easier to lose weight than to maintain it.  Without the weekly rush of my weigh-in and subsequent loss (woohoo!) I was lost.

When I became pregnant, I was back up the 23lbs and there was no turning back.  I did the best I could at the time to have a healthy pregnancy with my limited knowledge.  I remember insane sugar cravings (mostly at night) up until my diagnosis of gestational diabetes just 2 months shy of my due date. The night before my test I was so stressed out about it and felt so hopeless that I ate a sleeve or Oreo cookies to calm my nerves.  I was definitely in the midst of a serious sugar addiction.  Being pregnant for the first time was scary, stressful and brought out a lot of my inner demons.  Would I be a good mother?  Would I know how to handle a difficult baby?  Would my child love me?  How will I handle the changes to my life? When there’s a lot of stuff going through your mind, many of us try to squash it in all the wrong ways – drugs, alcohol, food and sex.

I remember the day my doctor told me I had gestational diabetes that I just sat in an empty conference room at my office and cried.  I was devastated.  She told me that there are contributing factors that may have led to it (being overweight, diet) but that mostly it’s a body chemistry thing.  I wasn’t going to need insulin to manage my diabetes, just diet control. That was the sliver lining. I went to the hospital weekly for diabetes counseling and learned how to check my blood sugar 4x per day.  (I remember crying that day too, when I realized what that entailed). I kept a record of my blood sugar for the nurse and had excellent results with my diet control. I was so happy to not have to actually use insulin like a friend of mine did (who was not overweight at all) that it may have been the only saving grace that got me through it. They also checked the baby’s weight weekly to make sure I wasn’t having a giant baby.  My son ended up being born at 8lbs4oz – a completely acceptable weight.

But those last 2 months of pregnancy were rough on me.  I was so swollen I had to buy new shoes.  My wedding rings didn’t fit anymore.  My back ached.  Plus is was the dead heat of summer so that certainly didn’t help either.  I had to stop taking the subway to work because I couldn’t manage the stairs.  I ended up driving to work and paying $20 a day to park my car just so I could get there with ease.  Thankfully I had a wonderful physical therapist at the time who massaged me a few times a week and helped me with my swollen limbs.  But a day after a massage it always came back – it was never gone.

Marie, 2011 about 28 weeks pregnant

Marie, 2011 about 28 weeks pregnant

 

Once I gave birth (about a week early) the nurse in the hospital tested my sugar and it was normal.  No more diabetes.  But I’ve been haunted ever since.  I keep thinking, “you’re gonna get it again.”  It runs in my family (on both sides) and now that I’ve had it once, I’m at a higher risk for it unfortunately.

Last summer a friend and fellow health coach was starting a 30 day nutritional cleanse and posted about it on Facebook.  I was immediately on-board.  I convinced my husband to do it with me and I went for it.  We had recently gone on vacation and gained about 5lbs eating at the buffet table in Las Vegas, so we were both motivated to make a change.  I could certainly feel that I’d gained weight despite taking this pretty good picture while on that vacation.

Marie & Ran Attend a Wedding August 2013

Marie & Ran Attend a Wedding August 2013

 

A friend told me I was glowing in the picture – and I was!  My healthier diet and lifestyle was showing through, but the scale just wouldn’t budge.  No matter what I tried I could never lose more than 3lbs.  Thank heavens nutritional cleansing came into my life. After the first week, I was down about 7lbs.  I was losing a pound a day.  On Weight Watchers it took me a month to lose the first 5lbs.  I remember it distinctly because we went out for sushi to celebrate!  I was following the plan and the weight was just coming off.  It was like a miracle.  My sugar cravings were decreasing, my clothes were fitting so much better and people started to notice.  My husband was also losing and feeling good.  At the end of the 30 days, we both lost 15lbs.  We felt on top of the world going to my 10 year college reunion and then my brother’s wedding.  I was so much happier and confident in my own skin.  Plus, I no longer felt like a health coaching fraud.

Iphone Import Feb 2014 4 012

Marie Before & After Cleansing

Marie Before & After Cleansing

 

I still had some demons to deal with and I did rebound a little around Christmastime with holiday eating, but I had the tools to manage my weight.  When I became pregnant I was down a pants size.  I continued my super food nutrition during my pregnancy and continued to eat the way I knew I should.  I had cheat meals and I submitted to some pregnancy cravings but it was NOTHING like the last time.  Now at 28 weeks pregnant, my engagement ring still fits.  My shoes still fit.  People are telling me that my face hasn’t changed at all (yet).  I’m working out regularly.  Best of all, I passed my sugar test 2 weeks ago and have been cleared of any and all gestational diabetes!! When an email from my doctor came through with the subject line “good news” I breathed such a heavy sigh of relief that my son asked me “What happened Mommy?”

If only I could explain what happened and how much I had to change to get to this point. Having a healthier pregnancy this time around isn’t just about me and my health, it’s about my unborn baby having a healthier womb to reside in.  Maybe labor and delivery will go easier this time.  Maybe losing the baby weight will go faster and my milk production will be more plentiful.  Maybe things will just be easier this time around because I’m coming from a much happier and healthier place.

Marie, 28 Weeks Pregnant enjoying a shake

Marie, 28 Weeks Pregnant enjoying a shake

 

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