I’m a working Mom who is trying to find balance between my family, working, losing weight, and finding time for myself. Being Chelsea is part of that “me” time. I love sharing recipes, menus, how-tos and just my thoughts in general. I hope you enjoy!
I grew up with a horrible body image. My earliest memory is of 5 or 6 year old me wanting to go on a diet. I remember my Dad telling me to go on the “See-food Diet-You See Food and You Eat it!”. My Mom tells a sad story of me at 4 years old slapping my thighs and saying “Fat! Fat! Fat!” I wasn’t big. I grew up in a family of very small people and I was healthy just not small. I was completely normal but I grew early (I’ve been 5′2 since I was 10) and I matured early. I had the body of an adult when I was 11. All my peers were little kids and I was seemingly a woman. I remember in 4th grade getting a slip of paper that said 109 and we were supposed to line up in order of our number. Mine was the highest number and I was so proud. My best friend had a 46. Guess what it was? That’s right, our weights. I was so ashamed when I found that out. But, in reality, I was 5′2 and 109 pounds-that’s completely normal but I felt like a cow.
It didn’t get much better in high school. I ran cross country and swam through high school, on the varsity team all 4 years, no less, and I still thought I was huge.
Then I went to college. I always joke that in college I became what I saw in the mirror. I got to college in September 1999 weighing 130 and I came home in June 2000 weighing close to 200 pounds. I was taking anti-depressants at the time, working through some heavy stuff (that I wouldn’t wish on anyone) and I had unlimited access to food 24/7 at the dining hall. I went from eating pretty healthfully-my Dad made us dinner from scratch (very few processed foods in my house growing up) every night to eating highly processed cafeteria junk. The only thing that tasted good was the desserts. My freshman year of college was the first time I had Lucky Charms-oh what a slippery slope!
I was heavy throughout college until the summer before my senior year-2002. I knew that I would have to interview for jobs in a year and I knew that I didn’t have the self-confidence to do it in the body that I was in. I started running again and I begged my parents to pay for me to do The Healthy Way. I had put myself through college but I didn’t have the extra income to pay for that. Thankfully they agreed. It was a local weight loss program that focused on whole foods-no processed junk and no sugar or white flours (it was WAY ahead of it’s time).
Man was I dedicated! I started in July 2002 at 200 pounds and by December 2002 I was 135 pounds. By the following June (2003) I was 124 pounds.
When I met my husband, Shaun, in July 2003, I was 124 pounds and feeling great! Well you know what happens when you fall in love I slowly gained about 15 pounds but got a hold of myself. We started working out together and he introduced me to cycling. I decided it was time to train for a triathlon. First, I got an amazing job offer and moved us from Washington, DC back to where I went to school in California-triathlon training got put on the back burner with the new job, the move, AND I had a wedding to plan for!
When I got married in June 2005, I was at a great weight for me ~133 pounds-I had gained muscle and I looked fabulous!
After the wedding I started gaining AGAIN. The worst came when I injured myself during a half marathon. That completely derailed me and I was horrified the day I stepped on the scale and saw 151 (funny-I don’t have any pictures from then!). That day I signed up for Calorie King. Again I was a woman on a mission and I was back down to that great weight of 133!
I was doing triathlons.
And I started teaching spin class. I got a hair up my butt to do an Ironman.
I started training in January 2007 and on June 24th, 2007 (1 day before my third wedding anniversary) I completed the Ironman Coeur d’Alene.
I was in the best shape of my life! During training I gained weight but it was ALL muscle. The day of my race I weighed 150 pounds and was still wearing the size 4s that I wore at 133 pounds-it was insane.
Almost immediately after the race, Shaun and I started trying to conceive. Six months later, in January 2008, I got that elusive Big Fat Positive.
I wanted to be the woman who worked out all through her pregnancy and stayed in great shape. Then the tiredness of my first trimester hit. I was constantly nauseous and literally was more tired than I was the day after I completed 140.2 miles. It was miserable. I had to stop teaching spin at about 10 weeks because I almost spewed all over my class numerous times and I could barely keep my eyes open. Once I got into the 2nd trimester I was doing SO MUCH BETTER. I was walking 2 miles a day and doing some weight training and yoga. I gained a total of 35 pounds during my pregnancy and weighed in at 189 the day I gave birth.
Giving birth to Lucy was literally the best day of my life-hands down. I was able to give birth with just pitocin-absolutely NO PAIN MEDS. It was the best experience EVER. She is amazing and everyday I have to pinch myself to make sure it’s real.
I dropped 20 pounds almost immediately. I was breastfeeding and feeling great. Once I got the all clear from my OB, I started working out but the weight loss stalled. I stayed at around 165 until I stopped breastfeeding Lucy when she was 12 and half months old. Nothing I did changed my weight plus I was working full time (50-60 hour weeks for awhile), had a newborn who was waking me up multiple times a night, and I was just overwhelmed. My health and working out took a back seat while I tried to figure this thing called motherhood out.
So here I am. I’m trying to be a good Mommy and wife. Plus I want to lose the baby weight while working full time and feed my family, good, nutritious, whole foods. I want to be a healthy, fit woman who is comfortable in her skin. I want Lucy to grow up knowing how to be healthy. I want Lucy to know what healthy choices are while not stressing about food and how she looks. I want it to be second nature for her. I need to get there first. It’s a process and I’m right in the middle of it.