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In a world where the only thing that matters is baby bottles, play dates, and pediatrician appointments – there are times when moms forget about one of the most important things in our household–our health. We tend to everyone and thing before us–many times leaving “shadows” of who we used to be. You see I used to be that mom that did everything for everyone, and in 2010 I paid the price for it–my health. I was 225 pounds and could barely walk up a flight of steps without being out of breath. I worked all day and came home to become “Super Mom” to my family. As a result, my family was suffering and my self esteem was gone. Instead of mobilizing myself for change, I felt stuck in a place of unhappiness.

Then one day I walked past a floor length mirror in my bedroom trying to fold clothes when I caught a glimpse of the “real” me. My hair was a mess, my clothes were all stained, and I looked like I’d been up for 12 hours straight. I was running on “E”. I had gotten fat–almost unrecognizable! Of course subconsciously I knew I’d gained weight (heck I was still wearing maternity clothes), but it didn’t really hit me until that moment of how far I had gone. Still that realization was overwhelming–so much that I went into my closet and cried and sulked. Then all of a sudden I got angry and decided I had to change–right then and there.

Here are the four steps I followed so I could drop some weight and get myself back to me.

1. I decided I had to exercise daily, so I picked one exercise I could do without passing out. For me that was walking. Every evening I laced up my running shoes and I walked my neighborhood up to 5 miles a night. At first I thought I was going to die, but gradually I got better and within a couple of months I went from finishing in an hour and 10 minutes, down to 40 minutes. I was improving!

2. I set clear, measurable goals for myself. Armed with a sense of accomplishment about walking everyday, I decided I wanted to become a runner. I always envied the leanness of a runner so I signed up for my first 5k in November 2010. I was nervous, not due to the miles, but for once I’d be around “runners”. The morning of the race, I nervously went to the starting line and away I went. I can’t lie there were older people out there beating me, but I finished and I was proud of that!

3. I decided to overhaul my eating. I can’t lie this was (and still is) the hardest part of my journey. I stopped shopping at my local grocery store and opted for my local Farmer’s Market. I started to research healthy recipes for my family to replace our fat laden dishes. Now we all eat more vegetables and fruit than processed food and both our stomachs and hearts thank us!

4. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t meet your goal when you think you should. It’s been almost 2 years and I still have setbacks- and I’m not at my goal weight. Instead every couple of months I reexamine my goals and reevaluate how I’m going to get back on track.

In two years, I’ve dropped about 30 pounds but I still have a long way to go before I’m back to my pre baby weight. However, everyday on this healthy living journey I become a better, more capable mom because I’m putting myself first –for once.

Moms are you getting your health together?

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