Transformation Cheryl

The past 12 weeks have been such an amazing journey.  I have met a wonderful group of woman who also ventured on the path on obtaining a healthier lifestyle.  Coming in to this I knew I needed a change in my life.

Whenever things were stressful I turned to food.  It could be a whole bag of Herr’s chips or a mouthwatering jumbo bag of Skittles.  I needed to make healthier choices when eating.  This was not only for me, but also for my children.  What I supplied in my home was what my children were also eating.  My easy way of cooking was to go get fast food meals.  Our Sundays now consist of cooking as a family and preparing lunches and snacks throughout our week.  It is such a great feeling to see my children go for a piece of fruit rather than a handful of candy.  It is nearly impossible to keep fruit in my fruit bowl anymore.  What a great feeling that is!

Also, routine exercises rarely existed in my household.  Not only do I designate a time to work out, but my children have also found time to be active.  I learned that you do not need to work out an hour or two at the gym.  All it takes it 30 minutes a day.  After a morning workout, I feel so much better and a “whosh” of energy ignites through me.  I am ready to start the day with a feeling of strength.  Usually in the morning, I hesitated to start my day and I was always extremely tired.  I not only built a better eating and workout habit but my self-image has also improved.  I never gave time for “me”.  The SKfit Challenge has showed me the way and for that I am very thankful!

My younger years…

As a middle school and high school student I was very active.  I played many sports:  soccer, cheerleading, softball and basketball.  When it was time to condition for sports I was ready  and put 100% into it.   Although thinking back,  it was only during that time in which I was active.  During the off season I never continued with running or training.   I had goals and gave it my all.  I also enjoyed riding my bike.  This was a hobby that I loved and it was fun for me.

 My college years…

After graduating high school I pretty much gave up on sports and focused on my future career.  I never really thought about keeping my body healthy by exercising or eating right.  I was interested in making career choices, working and my grades.  I decided to begin college at a community college.  My mom was a big inspiration to me and was my positive role model.  Although at times we had our differences.  My second year of college I met my husband Ron.  It was instant connection.  My mom adored him and I knew he was the one.  I started sending out transcripts and letters to continue my education at a four year degree school.  I was accepted to Rider University for the following year and I was extremely excited to go!

In the fall of 1998 I began my Education and Fine Arts classes at Rider University.  Life was pretty electrifying.  College was going well,  my grades were excellent, and I was finally feeling set in life.  My husband proposed to me so on top of everything, we were planning a wedding.  My mom and I went dress shopping and she picked out my dress with me.  On September 25, 1998 my life turned around.  At the age of 49 my mom passed away of a massive heart attack.  How could this have happened?  Everything was going as planned.  But in the blink of an eye she was gone.  I thought my life was over.  I was 21, in college, planning a wedding, how could this possibly be done without my mother?  I was able to finish the semester, although I felt like I was in a fog.  I began to look towards food as a comfort.  Thank goodness I had the wonderful support of Ron.

On May 15, 1999 Ron and I married.  I felt like I was on top of the world.  Although I truly wished my mother could have been there to experience it with me.  On top of being in college, I now had a husband, house, and another family.

I was excited to finally almost be done and ready to graduate college.  My husband and I started talking about beginning our family.   I wanted to lose weight before I was pregnant.  In January of 2000 we found out we were having a baby. ( I did not lose any weight.)  It was my senior year of college, I was pregnant, and I was student teaching in a first grade classroom.  This year was very stressful, but I managed to get through it!  In May 2000,  I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Fine Arts.   The summertime was tough this year but I knew that in September we would have a baby.  On September 17, 2000, we had a beautiful baby girl.  They needed to do an emergency c-section because her heart rate was fluctuating.  I was a little nervous at being a first time mom, but I knew I could do it.  Arianna was my main focus now.  Being overweight did not matter,  I had a beautiful baby girl.

Family life…

Everything was going well.  I had a healthy baby girl and I was enjoying life.  My college friend Jamie and brother in law Tim were planning a wedding in May 2002.  I was excited to be included  in this.  I also found a job in a private school where Arianna could go with me.  So I was making some money and being with my child at the same time.  This year flew by.

In 2002, my husband and I started talking about expanding our family.  I was excited and loved thinking about Arianna having a brother or sister.  Once again, I wanted to lose weight before I got pregnant.  I was around 165 pounds.  Well,  in March 2002 we found out we were pregnant.

I was excited to tell everyone.  (Especially my sister in law because her wedding was in a few months. ) I was in it and we were going out to look for bridesmaid dresses.  At this time I was not showing, but while we were trying dresses on I needed a size 11 / 12.  I also felt that I should get it one size bigger in case my baby bump would show.  So I ordered a 13 / 14 in the dress.  A few weeks before the wedding I started getting crampy and I knew something was wrong.  (I had a hunch things were not right.).  I went to the doctors and found out that I had a miscarriage.  How could this have happened?  I was 13 weeks pregnant.  I was very upset but on the other hand I had to keep a positive attitude because my sister in law was getting married.  Om May 11, 2002,  Jamie and Tim were married and I gained a wonderful sister in law.  (Although in the back of my mind I was still confused as to the miscarriage.)

My husband and I went to genetic counseling to figure out why this happened.  There was really no explanation.  I kept saying that it happened for a reason, but to this day I do not know that reason.  In September 2002 we found out we were pregnant again.  This pregnancy was a fantastic nine months.  At this time we needed to move to a bigger house.  (Two children and two dogs, having a two bedroom house was not happening.   Arianna  was going to be a big sister!  On May 20, 2003, I gave birth to a healthy baby girl.  ( my second c- section) Alyssa was a very happy baby.  They weighted me on the scale before I delivered and I was 200 pounds.  I couldn’t believe it.   I did not think about my weight because I was excited to have another child.

Jamie decided to take me out shopping one day.  I was excited to finally get out of the house.  We went to the mall and went into many stores.  I remember going into the store and I needed to get a size 15/ 16.  I was in tears in the dressing room.  I was done trying clothes on and just wanted to go home.  I was in such a state of depression.  I needed to do something to lose weight.  I read many articles on different diets.  So Jamie and I decided to try the Atkins diet.  My husband Ron also wanted to try it with us.  So in January 2004, all three of us started the diet plan.  I also got a long term subbing position at a school.  (Which turned into a permanent teaching job.)  I was thinking a new career, time for a new me.  Within a few months I went down to 125 pounds.  This diet was no carbs and almost starvation.  I thought that losing this much weight was awesome, so I continued this for almost 1 ½ years.

During this time of the diet, my youngest child Alyssa had developed a hole in her heart.  The hole never closed properly when she was a baby.  It caused extra blood flow though out the heart chamber.  It needed to be fixed.  She went in to Dupont hospital in Delaware for heart surgery to repair the hole.  This was extra stressful  because all I could think about was getting my child healthy.

Slowly,  after the 1 ½ years of the Atkins Diet I gained my weight back.  I began feeling depressed and I started having panic attacks.  I also began an OCD disorder which causes me to pick at my eyelashes.  I was really thinking that this diet may have caused a lot of stress on my body.  So for the next few years I really focused on my job, coaching, my children and family.  I did not want to cause any harm to myself with these quick fix diets.   I also was not sure what to do to get myself on the right track.  For the past few years I tended to fluctuate between 140 and 160 pounds.  My friend introduced me to the Skfit Life so I decided to look more in depth and realized I needed to change.  On March 2012 I began this journey to a healthy life style.  It was the best choice I have ever made!

Thank you SKFit for everything!