My Wedding Weight Loss Before & After Story

My Wedding Weight Loss Before and After Story

I thought it would be fitting to start this blog with my story, which also happens to be the inspiration behind the entire Fit for a Bride idea!  Growing up overweight, I never thought I'd get married. My first crush was on a boy named Michael Chin and I'll never forget when he called me fat. I was devastated. Afterward, throughout middle school, high school, and even in college, I dealt with a lot more name calling and bullying, and in my mind at least, it seemed I would never have a boyfriend because I was fat. Granted, I was very outgoing and talkative, and I had a lot of friends, but beneath a happy-go-lucky exterior, I felt rejected. Anyone know this feeling? Yea. It sucks!

On my wedding day, after months of eating right and falling in love with exercise (zumba, running, and weight lifting), I vowed to make health a priority. I decided to love my body and treat it well, and to help others do the same.

 

wedding weight loss before and after

Wedding photo credit: Meredith Perdue

Growing Up Overweight

When I was young, I didn't know anything about nutrition. No offense to my mom, but we ate out A LOT. She worked long hours and usually didn't get home until late. I remember eating a lot of Chinese food, pizza, and Five Guys! We would spread it out on the living room table and go to town! My mom, my brother, and me were all overweight.

In middle school, my dad tried to get me involved in sports. He was a well-known and respected basketball coach at a local High School and had a reputation for no-nonsense training. He's a tough coach, but he has a big heart and the toughness is all part of getting athletes to their fullest potential. (A little insight: he cries every time he watches Hoosiers!)

My dad worked with me, teaching me how to shoot the basketball, get into a defensive stance, everything. The problem was my weight. I couldn't run a full mile! I did manage to make the junior varsity team in High School, but it was a small, private school and I was a junior; meaning, I should have been on the Varsity team. I played anyway--played my heart out--and we lost every game. No, seriously. It was rough!

I probably should have thrown in the towel after that, but my senior year, I tried out again. I remember tryouts vividly, running those four laps around the track... I was so proud of myself because I ran the ENTIRE time, a FULL mile. I think it took me about 14 minutes and I ran straight to the locker room afterward- I thought I was going to die I felt so sick! Sadly, I didn't make the team and so, in lieu of basketball, I joined color guard. Any other color guard folks out there?

Fast forward to college and I'm living a very unhealthy lifestyle: eating horribly, never exercising, and, I'd picked up a new habit: smoking. In 2004, my freshman year, I did manage to drop 20 pounds, but I didn’t do it the right way. I walked a lot, which was good, but I didn’t eat healthy or do any weight training, and, I smoked a pack of cigarettes A DAY. Horrific, I know!

Believe it or not, losing 20 lbs didn’t do much for my self-esteem. I never felt comfortable in my own skin. I spent my early twenties in a state of “skinny fat,” meaning I looked skinny but I really felt fat, and I had a lot of flab from losing weight and never weight training.

In 2009, two things happened: I got engaged (woo hoo!) and joined a Biggest Loser competition at work. At the first weigh-in, I was shocked to see that I was almost back to my pre-college weight of 175 lbs! Needless to say, I wasn't happy.

These photos are from our engagement session:

wedding weight loss before and after

wedding weight loss before and after

Photos by Kelly J. Mihalcoe

With an upcoming wedding, I started to change my life for good. I joined a gym and began working out daily. I went to zumba classes and took up cycling and running. I absolutely LOVED running and I still do. I love it because I don't have to be skilled or fast-paced. All I have to do is keep going, and so long as I believe in myself (sounds corny), I can do that. In 2010, I ran my first 5k and not long after I ran a 10k. I also ran two 10 milers (the Army Ten Miler and Cherry Blossom Ten Miler) and eventually, I ran a full marathon (26.2 miles)!

When I got married in April of 2011, I weighed 145 lbs, an all-time low.

{At our rehearsal dinner}

 

{Wedding day via Meredith Perdue}

I had come a long way since Michael Chin and my pre- and post-college weight-- I wasn’t just thin, I was strong! I was healthy! After the wedding, I realized I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to the Industry or my new-found love for fitness. I wanted to continue to learn about healthy living and bring these new and improved concepts about food and exercise to my newlywed kitchen and life, and to others! That’s what Fit for a Bride is all about! Motivation. Change. Encouragement.

Wedding photo credit: Meredith Perdue

My journey is far from over and I really believe in the old saying, "It's a lifestyle, not a diet."

I'm fighting old habits every day and believe me, they die hard! My default mode isn't healthy, but I'm striving to change that. I'm finding new ways to incorporate healthy foods in my diet and eliminate the toxic stuff. I'm also studying to get a personal training certification through the National Academy of Sports Medicine, because I want to be a personal trainer and help others achieve their health goals!

I really, really appreciate you reading my story. To learn more, go to the About section of this blog and definitely subscribe! I'll be sharing a lot more about my past in future posts.

Do you have a weight loss story to share? Email it to fitforabrideblog@gmail.com. I'd love to feature you!

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