Mission Accomplished

It’s official, I don’t have the time to blog my recipes every day anymore.  Between teaching, working out, and spending every spare moment with my family, there just are not enough hours in the day.  Summer break starts next week, and at the end of a school year, I always seem to find myself reflecting on my journey through life.  After recent discussions with friends, followers, and other people that have found themselves in my shoes, I have decided that it is time to write an update.  I am officially in a great place.20160623_103344

I was very down when I last shared stories of my personal battle to regain my health after giving birth to the most fabulous baby girl.   I wrote a blog called New Year. New Me. which was essentially a pep-talk for myself to make a change in 2015.  I had hoped to inspire others by sharing.  I had plans to get my strength back, fight my thyroid issues (more specifically Graves Disease), and lose that dreaded baby weight.  I found myself at a new low in March of 2015.  I had grand plans, but I was only becoming discouraged.  I am thrilled to report that while it may have taken me a bit longer than a year, but I. AM. BACK!

April of 2015 was a game changer for me.  The bootcamp program that I had been involved with underwent some major changes.  I no longer looked forward to going which was a cue to me that I had to find something else that worked for me.  I stumbled across a Groupon for a CrossFit gym in the next town over.  It was $199 for 3 months.  Cheaper than bootcamp and 3 months was long enough to decide if it was right for me.  I don’t deal with change well, but I reluctantly laced up my shoes and stepped into the box.  I would never look back.

Instantly, I knew it would be a challenge.  I wasn’t used to lifting anything heavier than 15 pound dumbells, and minutes into my first WOD I already had several plates slipped onto a 35 pound bar.  Maybe this was the change I needed?

Fast forward one month.  It was May of 2015.  I quickly adapted to CrossFit.  My coach was absolutely incredible in that process.  When I had doubt in my mind, he believed in me.  I also had a friend from my old program that started CrossFit with me. His support (and trash talk) motivated me as well.  I religiously went 5 days a week and by Memorial Day weekend, I received a call from my endocrinologist.  It was official.  My Graves Disease was in remission.  I stopped taking my meds that night and haven’t had a single issue since.  That was over a year ago now!

After my 3 month trial Groupon was up, I knew that this was absolutely the right place for me.  I paid for the next year in full upfront.  I could no longer use the excuse that my thyroid was broken.  It was time to finally make that change.  I spent the next 6 months gaining my strength back and learning new skills in the box, however, the scale was not budging.  In December I started wearing a Garmin activity tracker (Vivosmart HR) and I noticed that while I was having great workouts, I wasn’t burning nearly as many calories as I thought I was.  This is when I kicked things into full gear.

I needed to keep myself honest.  I would stay after the WODs and do cardio until I burned at least 500 calories.  I started logging my food intake. I made better choices when it came to what types of calories I was putting in my body.  I started drinking my greens.  I made lifestyle changes which made me take more daily steps. Holy crap, IT WORKED!

Within the first 6 months of 2016, I have lost over 25 pounds.  I am slipping into clothes that I never thought I could possibly fit into again.  I wake up in the morning and can’t wait to workout that evening. I am back to my pre-baby weight and have more muscle on my body than I have ever had in my life.  I can deadlift 300 pounds which is over 200% my body weight.  I can do real pull ups.

While all of these things are great, as far as I am concerned, the most important outcome is that I am a strong role model for my nearly 2 year old daughter.  She sees what it means to be healthy.  Not skinny.  Not pretty.  Healthy.  It melts my heart when I hear her say “strong like mommy”.

Since it is a Thursday, I will leave you with a couple Throwback Thursday images.  I started blogging as I worked towards getting in shape for our wedding.  I was in the best shape of my life… until now.  Below are pictures from 3 years ago and then today.  I did it.

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For those battling Graves Disease:

  • A healthy lifestyle is great medicine.
  • Remission is possible.
  • There are good and bad days, please embrace the good.
  • Finding an endocrinologist that you are comfortable with is priceless.
  • Stand up for yourself.

For nursing mamas:

  • It is possible to continue to nurse while working out.
  • If you are worried about supply, up your calories a bit when you first start.
  • Stay EXTRA hydrated.
  • A side note: Through life’s curveballs, I am proud to say that I am only one month away from my goal of nursing my daughter for 2 years.