Let me start out this post by saying that for those of you who do not know me I have always dieted or exercised in some way. Growing up I was super skinny and my metabolism rocked. I ate whatever I wanted and it was bliss. However, I also swam – a lot. We had a beautiful big in ground pool and it was lap worthy. I loved swimming and until recently I forgot just how much I loved it.
Fast forward to the end of high school and college where I went out to eat all the time, worked in a restaurant that had the most incredible pasta, and drank – a lot. That’s when it all started going downhill. But since I was always health conscious I always got my weight back down. When I got married I was at a great weight and I was content with it. And then the babies started coming…one on top of the other and now I have 8 beautiful children and a lot of extra weight!
In between the babies I have tried to get the weight back down. If I am lucky I get down to my pre-pregnancy weight from the last child and then I get pregnant again! But all along though I have cared about being health conscious I would rather be fat and pregnant than skinny and miserable. I also have killer confidence so though I may not be happy with what the scale says I dress in a way that makes me feel good about my body.
In January I started seriously dieting. I had just stopped breastfeeding so it was a good time to start since I would no longer be starving 24/7. On my own I lost about 17 pounds in 5 or 6 weeks. Then, out of nowhere I plateaued and for a month or so no matter what I did the scale didn’t move. So I stopped for a few months. I ate whatever I wanted, took a break from the treadmill though still stayed active with my kids, and I maintained the weight loss.
My husband recently got promoted so I knew that with his new longer hours and with summer around the corner I needed to make a change for me and the kids. I hate the heat and humidity. I love being outside but not unless it is breezy or low humidity. So I decided to take my husband with me to the local YMCA to check it out. After all it was very close to our house and cost effective. Well, needless to say I could not believe it! I was thoroughly impressed not only with the pool, gym, basketball court, and exercises classes but mostly with child watch and the free activities for kids over the summer! Who would have thought that for a mere $64 a month a family of 10 could go there and have 8 of their children in child watch for up to two hours a day? Why the heck didn’t I think of this 10 years ago?!
My husband had to admit he liked it too. So we started with a trial package but I knew after the first swim we would be members and now we are! We joined less than a week ago and have been there every day for about two hours! This has changed our whole family dynamics – all for the better. My new motto is the family that swims together slims together!
You have to imagine how hard this was at first for me though because I have not put a bathing suit on in 9 years! Recently I went out and bought one for an upcoming anniversary trip and the only reason I bought it was because I felt that it actually looked good on me which has not happened in forever! So imagine me, the beached whale, putting on a bathing suit in front of not only strangers but also locals who are friends and also children who go to school with my kids?! It was frightening to have all of my birth war scars hanging out for the entire world to see. I hope I did not scare anyone!
The first swim was a family swim. It was then that I remembered how much I swam and how much I loved it. The past years I have only dipped in a pool to cool off partially because I did not want to put a bathing suit on but also because I was making sure my 8 kids did not drown in the baby pool or deep end. So during the first swim I realized I was going to have to buy a real bathing suit, not a pretty one but one that held my girls together (and inside) so I could do laps. So that day I went out and bought one.
The second swim was hilarious. I was by myself as my husband was at home with the kids. I walked in and noticed a lot of old men. Some were doing hard core laps, some were adorable just very slowly walking together in the pool conversing, and some were running in the pool. The old men didn’t bother me at all; I mean at least I did not have to be at a gym surrounded by size 0 women and men who were body builders. So anyways, I noticed that all the lanes were full and though I did not know the official etiquette I knew by instinct I was going to share a lane. I only had an hour or so and I was not giving up on my dream of being the next Olympic swimmer. Loll! So I jumped in the lane and I started off slowly. My hair was down but I did not want to get it wet. Yet as I was swimming the guy next to me, the avid swimmer, goes by me and fully splashes me?! The look on my face was all diva like, “How could you do that to me?” Well the old walking men in the next lane started cracking up. They yelled over to me, “He didn’t get you wet, did he?” Then another old man from the other corner of the pool yelled, “How dare he get you wet?!” At that point I could not help but totally chuckle at the thought that they actually saw my reaction. At that point I knew that it was inevitable; that I was in a pool and I was going to get wet. So on I swam for an hour and it was heaven! And then came the time when I had to get out of the pool. The lanes with the ladder were closed because of swim lessons so there was only one thing left to do; I had to, like the others, actually jump out of the pool. Thoughts rushed through my head: OMG, I am going to look like a beached whale leach style! Someone is going to have to peal my big arse off the floor! But I told myself I have come this far so I’ve got this! And I did, I managed to jump my way out of the pool without looking like an utter fool. Whew.
While I was swimming I noticed several things. The first thing I noticed is that every lifeguard and avid swimmer or swim instructor had a rocking body. Some were thick and some were thin but ALL of them did not have one ounce of fat on them. This encouraged me even more. Could my war scars disappear? Hmmm, one can dream… The other thing I noticed is that I could learn how to teach my kids to swim! While I was swimming there were swim lessons going on next to me so I observed how they were teaching the kids to swim. Wow, I thought, I am really getting my $64 bucks worth! WOOT! The other thing I noticed was there were several ways for me to burn calories and fat while in the pool. I did not have to just swim; I could lunge, jump, kick, and run. This was very exciting! I do love the treadmill but it can get boring after a while.
I returned home and started googling about weight loss and swimming. I was totally pumped to read about women losing 60lbs in 3 months just swimming! I also saw some great videos on how to get the most of your swim time for weight loss. At this point my only concern was my hair! I had spent the last 6 months or so doing special treatments so I could replenish the vitamins lost from pregnancy back into my hair. So since I got over putting on a bathing suit in front of the world I now took it a step further and I bought a swim cap and goggles! So now my head looks smaller, my bum looks bigger, and my eyes look squished…it’s not a pretty site at all but what the hell, who cares because I am now in it to win it?! You should have seen me while trying to put the cap on! It was hysterical. I seriously felt like a woman in labor…thinking to myself, “Either my head has to get smaller or the cap has to get bigger!” Eventually I got the thing on and now looked like a super dorky beached whale but a happy one no less.
With all of this said I am excited for this new journey for me and my family. It is so great to finally be able to lose weight and have fun with my family at the same time! After two swim sessions my 7 year old, 6 year old, and 4 year old all – on their own- tossed the life jackets and began swimming! In four swim sessions-in union with clean eating-I have lost almost 5 pounds! And that includes drinking my wine and for those of you that don’t know me I don’t have just one glass if you know what I’m sayin! Will I lose all the weight I need to? I don’t know and at this point I don’t even care. But this first week has proven that this dorky beached whale can have her cake (wine) and eat it too!