There's no such thing as before and after. Only then and now...

In 2011 I weighed 328lbs. I was stuck in the cycle of diet-fail-repeat, trapped in a body that prevented me from living the life I wanted to live, wishing things could be different.

In 2013 I weighed 164lbs (for like one day) and leveled out, comfortably, around 172lbs.

I had escaped the cycle of diet-fail-repeat, and fell in love with my “Ugly Body“. I was finally living the life I had dreamed of living—physically, mentally, and emotionally.

I was the poster child for, “weight loss success” with an impressive before and after then and now, side-by-side collage.

Then I had these two monkeys, and my body (and lifestyle) changed again.

After three pregnancies in three years (1 miscarriage and 2 healthy baby boys) I am up 45 pounds from my ideal weight.

I know I was pregnant and therefore have an “excuse” for the extra weight, but that doesn’t matter. This isn’t about excuses, this is about change. No matter how drastic, impressive, or inspiring the before and after appears, it’s not the whole truth.

The truth is, there’s no such thing as before and after

The word “after” defines an end to something, like a DIY project. As someone who has lost a significant amount of weight, I can tell you, there’s never an “end” to maintaining that loss.

My body has been, and will be, in a constant state of change for as long as I’m alive; thanks to monthly hormone fluctuations, eventual menopause, potential illness and injury, not to mention the inescapable effects of aging. Which is better than the alternative in my book!

Change is Inevitable

My life and priorities have changed and will continue to change as well.

Back THEN, in 2012, 2013, and 2014, I was working out 5-6 days a week (sometimes twice a day). I was running Spartan Races, 5ks and completing triathlons on the weekends. I spent 2 hours (uninterrupted) every Sunday prepping food for the week and consistently got 8 hours of sleep…or more.

I worked hard to train my body to do things it had never been able to do before.

I will admit, I miss the crap out of that body! I miss what it could do. Things like run two miles without stopping, hold my chin over a bar, get to the top of a rock climbing wall, and lift heavy things without hesitation. These are just a few reasons why “My Size and Weight Matter.”

These days, none of those things happen. With two baby boys my time (and energy) are very limited. I feel like a rock star if I get to shower three times a week! I know that this “season” is only temporary, and one day soon, daily showers will be a thing again. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I’m looking forward to that!

I admit that I also miss how that body looked. I miss my visible muscles. I miss my size 12 jeans. I miss being able to wear whatever I wanted without tugging at my shirt or pulling up my pants due to tummy rolls and not-so-helpful spare tire.

Maybe someday I will have the time and energy to work out five days a week again. (I miss my CrossFit workouts!) Maybe not. Maybe being a “Spartan” and a “Triathlete” were part of a season that has passed. I’m okay with that as well.

Or maybe, just maybe, one day I’ll be known for being the world’s oldest Ninja Warrior. Who knows? But even if that does happen, it will only be for a season as well. After all, eventually, no matter how fit I am, one day I will be too old…if I’m lucky.

For NOW (not before and not after) I am doing my best to take care of my body, daily.

I try to get as much sleep as possible. I try to eat well (half salad and rotisserie chicken, half peanut butter crackers and fig bars). And I make sure to get as much exercise as I can because it feels so good! However, instead of CrossFit, I’m usually pushing a 35lbs stroller with 50lbs of baby and toddler around my neighborhood…with LOTS of hills!) Some days, I even make it to the gym.

I suspect that someday, with more sleep, better nutrition, and lots of weigh lifting (yes please!) my “now” will look similar to my 2014 “then”. At least that’s my goal. But as of today, I am embracing my “now” and not feeling guilty about my larger, mushier, less fit, body.

No matter what, “now-then, then-now”…the one thing that won’t change is my commitment to myself, my body, and living the happiest, healthiest, version of life that I am able to live.

Before and after be damned. This is life, and there’s only then and now. And the NOW is where I live.

It’s a pretty sweet life. And I’m going savor it while it lasts.

This is my “now”.  Soon it will be my “then”.

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