My name is Michelle and I live in Minnesota!
Hi there. I've been intending to start a blog for awhile now, and am happy to finally have some time to devote to getting it up and running. The main focus of my blog will be healthy living - encompassing diet and exercise, trials and tribulations, successes and failures (or learning opportunities) and whatever else happens to pop up along the way.
Here's a bit of history about me. I'm a married, 43 year old mother of three girls (7, 8 and 12), and we live up in Northern Minnesota. I've fought a battle with food and weight ever since I was about my oldest daughter's age. I never really appreciated my body for what it was back then - strong, mature, curvy and resilient. All I knew was I definitely was not a scrawny little scrapper like a lot of my peers at the time - thin as a rail, able to participate in whatever sport they wanted, and of course could wear whatever the latest fashion trend was with ease - or at least this was my perception. I can remember being in 7th grade and being weighed for gym class before our swimming unit and being mortified that I was 132 pounds - and of course they announced that out loud - so much for privacy back in the 70's. I can remember being roughly 155 by the time I graduated from high school, and although I felt that was a bit high, I was still able to do the things I wanted to do - given the situation. I lived with my mom until the middle of my junior year of high school. She was clinically depressed with major anxiety issues, but refused to seek treatment. I had finally had enough and went to live with my father who had since remarried. It was a better situation, but not ideal. To make this introduction short, I gained the normal "Freshman 15" and then some during college, gaining about 40 pounds total. I jumped around from just under 200 pounds down to 145 once during a semi-successful attempt at weight loss through Weight Watchers. During my 3 pregnancies, my weight also bounced around, but I hit an all-time high of 275 at the height of my 3rd pregnancy. I lost some after the birth, but I just never really found my groove. We moved to Northern Minnesota for my husband's job and it was definitely a hard transition for me. I made many attempts at serious exercise (hired a trainer) in conjunction with Weight Watchers - but it never really clicked for me. My last attempt with Weight Watchers was April 2009 where I weighed in at 270. I was mortified - my husband knew I was unhappy and I just couldn't find the answer. I lost about 5 pounds and of course just coasted along.
My turning point really started with an appointment at the Family Medicine clinic at my husband's hospital on June 1, 2009. We have a Family Medicine doctor that also has a keen interest in bariatric medicine (not surgery). He was in the process of getting board certified when I met him and I decided to see what his program was all about. Basically - I had a myriad of blood tests to make sure I didn't have any big health concerns; stepped on a body composition scale to see where I was (details to follow); listened to a presentation on the nutrition information that he provided to me; and then had a short physical exam to complete the appointment. Here's what the scale had to say:
Current Body Weight: 265.2 Lbs (120.3Kg)
Total Body Fat: 46.4% 123.5 Lbs (56.0 Kg)
Fat-Free Mass: 52.6% 137.1 Lbs (62.2 Kg)
Body Mass Index: 46
Body Fat Displacement: Torso 54%; Left Leg 35.5%; Right Leg 33.1%;
Left Arm 53.0%; Right Arm 51.6%
I'm going to split the introduction/history into a few posts as to not be too cumbersome. More to follow :).