July 14, 2021

My Weight Loss Story

Health + Fitness

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WE ALL START SOMEWHERE…

I started my Coaching business a little over 6 years ago. The other day in my TimeHop a video came up that was one of the very first videos I ever did and I saw I looked really young and awkward. In that video, I shared my weight loss story because that is when I really started to share everything and all the struggles that I have gone through and my successes. The video was right after I had Gretchen that came up and I started watching it and I was like “oh my gosh, how embarrassing!” But, it made me realize that I haven’t shared my story in a really long time.

MY WEIGHT LOSS STORY

I have been doing these home workouts and eating clean for 10 years. I have lost over 50 pounds before I met David, after Gretchen, after Ralph and now I am on my weight loss journey for baby #3, Claire right now. I have lost cumulatively over 170 pounds doing these programs. So I wanted to share my journey because it is a story that a lot of people don’t know.

I have always struggled with my weight. So if you go back to when I was growing up in elementary school there were times when I remember being self-conscious and that is a huge part of my mission now to really loving my body where I am at, loving the process, loving the journey and working on that. I don’t ever want my daughters to experience what I did growing up. I was always self conscious about my weight and it probably started when I was around Gretchen’s age because I was always the biggest one out of my friends at that age. Not fat or anything but I was always way taller than everyone. Gretchen is also a head taller than her friends and that is exactly how I was. Once I started my period in 5th grade, I stopped growing. But, I can remember being in the back or in the middle of all the photos because I was taller than all of the boys and girls in my class by a lot. I guess I was self-conscious of my size back then because I always got those comments which I don’t think anyone ever meant anything by it but they would say things like…

“Oh you are a big girl.”

They didn’t mean anything by it but I think there is a big difference between saying that and saying…

“You are a tall girl.”

I hit puberty, my boobs started growing, I have huge boobs, side note. From 6th grade until the end of high school, I grew a cup size every single year. When I was nursing, my boobs got bigger again and we want one more baby so after that I am going to get a breast reduction.

So anyways, I have always struggled with my weight. I didn’t really know how to lose weight like I was in high school I was a cheerleader but, I was always self-conscious about how I looked because I was always bigger than my friends. I had a bigger chest, I was super curvy. My waist even at my smallest was 27 inches and my hips are like 38 inches and then I have big boobs. So like I was extremely hour glass shaped. So I just looked different from everybody else and I was always self-conscious about that. I tried losing weight in high school but I didn’t know how to lose weight like I didn’t even know what healthy eating was. My Dad got a gym membership for us and we would go and do the elliptical, which I hated. I thought eating healthy was like Costco muffins, Cesar salads, that type of thing so I never got results.

Now I know that your results happen from what you are eating. But I didn’t know what healthy eating was and I don’t know if this is a generational thing but we always had super unhealthy foods growing up. We had Lunchables, Easy Cheese, cereals, fruit snacks and all that kind of stuff. But I think now more people know more and I try to give my kids fruits, vegetables and hummus. I am trying to break a lot of those habits for my family because I struggled with it a lot.

Fast forward, I graduated high school and I went to college at the University of Washington. I gained weight in college but towards the end of college I started doing hot yoga twice a day, every single day. I am super flexible, I was a dancer and it was just something I loved. Just through doing hot yoga twice a day, I slimmed out a little bit.

After college, I joined Teach For America and moved over to eastern North Carolina and I spent the summer in the Mississippi Delta though if you have done TFA. I taught Middle School in the summer and then I taught high school when I went to eastern North Carolina. So I kinda gained weight doing that too. It got to this point where I had always been struggling with my weight my entire life and I remember going home from teaching as I flew from North Carolina to Seattle to see my family for the holidays. When I flew back to North Carolina I got an email notification from Facebook that my Mom had tagged me in Christmas photos and I remember thinking when I got off the plane I have to get home and get on my computer as fast as possible to untag myself from all of those photos. That was my very first thought because I didn’t want my friends or family to see candid photos of me where I probably looked huge. I remember getting home and I wasn’t even looking at the pictures, I just went through and untagged myself from all of them. I also remembered thinking how sad this was. I realized that I didn’t want to live my life this way and I was so tired of always feeling so self-conscious about my weight. I decided that I was going to do something. I knew I was going to research how to lose weight, I am going to figure it out, research how to do it the right way. I had tried quick fixes in college like I had done juice cleanses, a cabbage soup diet, HCG drops, shakes, wraps, pills, you name it, I tried it. I wanted to lose the weight I just didn’t know how but I did know that diet and exercise has worked forever for people so I am going to figure it out.

I went online and went to YouTube and I started looking up how to lose weight and anything that I thought was a quick fix like “Drink this shake” or “Take this pill” I didn’t want to do. That is not healthy. I wanted to look for “What is a clean diet” and “What are good foods to eat?”

A couple of things I found were:

  1. Shop the perimeter of the store at the super market.

  2. Only eat foods that have 1 ingredient in them. Examples: chicken, oatmeal, vegetables.

  3. Drink 1 gallon of water a day.

I started doing that and I was teaching in a really small school and I did not want to join a gym because everybody knew everybody and I didn’t want people to know I was trying to lose weight. Now looking back I don’t understand why I thought that but, I thought to myself…

“I don’t want people to know I am trying to lose weight because they are going to know that I am self-conscious. they are going to know that i am not this confident person that i might seem like.”

I did not want to workout in front of people and I didn’t want that feeling of people watching me so I went online and I found a dance workout. I always loved dancing so I found Hip Hop Abs and I didn’t even know that it was a Beachbody program. I got the DVDs (the cheapest one) because I was broke from a lot of student debt and not making a lot of money from teaching. So I got this $12 DVD which was one of the workouts, it wasn’t the whole program which I didn’t even know it was a program and I did that every single day twice a day before and after school. I still remember this entire workout program because I did it so many times and in 1 month of just doing that and eating clean foods, I lost 12-15 pounds. I actually bought a scale so I could track and see the progress I was making.

So then, I was tired of doing the same workout over and over again and I wanted to do another program. I had heard about another program that my uncles were actually talking about at that Christmas party I went to and it was called Insanity. My uncles were saying how hard it was and they said they couldn’t even do the warm-up. I was always the type of person to prove people wrong. So, I looked up the program and just the workouts was $200 and I thought that was so much money. But, I was just so committed to actually getting results. I had already lost a little bit of weight and I knew there was a money back guarantee so I just decided to do it. I knew that if I was actually spending this money, I was actually going to stick to it. So I got the program and figured out what Beachbody was and I didn’t know what coaching was or anything but I started doing that program and it was 60 days and it was really freaking hard. Day 1 I thought I was on top of the world excited to do it but then I couldn’t even make it through the warm-up. But, I decided that I was not going to quit and I went through it and I did what I could and when I couldn’t do things, I would jog in place. I kept following that same clean eating and within 60 days, I went from barely being able to do the workout to doing full on push-ups for 30 minutes before having to take a break. I was in such good shape and I started training for a half-marathon. I was down 60 pounds and I had felt the best I had ever felt in my entire life.

It wasn’t just the weight loss and it wasn’t just fitting in a smaller size pants. Initially, that is why I started because I wanted to look good but, I realized that I now felt confident. I remember times in high school where I would tell my Dad to tell me that I couldn’t go to the lake so I wouldn’t have to go to the lake with my friends. I didn’t want to go because I didn’t want to be seen in a swimsuit or shorts. I was that friend who used to make up excuses not to go places because I was self-conscious to now I want to go to the beach and do things. I didn’t even think twice about wearing a swimsuit and not even that but like sitting down in a swimsuit. I felt so good and I felt so confident. People were asking me what I was doing and I met my husband, Dave. I truly felt that I met Dave at the perfect time because I had really started to own who I was and love myself and now I actually believed that people could like me and not think that it was a pity like. I didn’t date anyone in college and I didn’t have any serious boyfriends in high school or anything. When I met Dave, I realized that he actually likes me because I like myself and I felt worthy of that. It wasn’t because I smaller but it was because so much had changed for me when I lost the weight.

So I met Dave, we got married, I maintained the weight loss, and then we got pregnant with our daughter, Gretchen right away. I gained all of the weight I lost plus more when I was pregnant with Gretchen. I told myself that it was fine I gained the weight because I was pregnant. Everyone says you are going to lose the weight when you are breastfeeding and I knew I was going to be breastfeeding. Little did I know I started breastfeeding and I gained weight and I got higher than my 40 week pregnant weight with Gretchen. It wasn’t until 6 months after having Gretchen was I really serious again about losing weight. This time was different because I knew how to lose the weight. Yes I wanted to fit in my pre-pregnancy jeans but, I also felt like I didn’t have the same energy as I did before. I didn’t have the same endurance. I couldn’t do the things that I did before physically. Not just lifting weights or push-ups or anything but things like being able to go upstairs without getting winded or doing the laundry without being short of breath. I was ready to get to work on my weight loss and I wanted to set a good example for our daughter.

I found out that there was another Insanity program that was shorter and it was only 30 minutes a day so I did that and I got that program for my birthday actually. One of my friends was doing that program and I saw that she had posted about it on Facebook. I had told her that I wanted to do it too and she told me to join her group of a bunch of women doing this program together. I said that I really wanted that accountability because I had lost weight on my own but now I was a new Mom doing it on my own and my husband was working 2 jobs at the time and I just wanted that community.

So I joined her group and I realized in that group that she was getting paid to do these groups and help people with these programs and create this community and I thought that I could totally do that too. I said to myself…

“You know what? I am going to sign up to be a coach once I lose the baby weight.”

That is actually my biggest regret right there because now I know really successful coaches on my team start coaching when they start their journey and they share the whole process and they have had so much success. They have success because people don’t just want to see a “before” and “after” photo, they want to see the journey. I know that some of you right now are following me because you want to see the journey. You are seeing me struggle every single day. Postpartum for the third time has been harder than ever to lose the weight. I started coaching because Dave was working 2 jobs and I knew that this would be something fun to do and I could earn a little extra money.

FREE 5 DAY “COACH WITH ME” GROUP

Next week, I am actually doing a FREE 5 day “Coach With Me” group. I am going to give you free workouts to try, things to be posting on social media, trainings. Click the link below if you want to do that!

Anyways, I lost the weight with Gretchen, got pregnant with our son Ralph. Side note: you know you are a Mom of 3 when you talk to one kid, I was talking to Ralph and I listed off all the other kids names and the dog’s name, Gretchen, Claire and Boot. When I got pregnant with Ralph, I wanted things to be different. I didn’t want to gain all the weight which I will say my boy pregnancies and my girl pregnancies are different. Girl pregnancies I have had hyperemsis, severe morning sickness, throwing up multiple times a day up until 26 weeks, it was really hard. Ralph was not like that at all. I was actually able to exercise with him, eat vegetables, which I couldn’t really do with the girls. Dave decided he wanted to change jobs. Coaching really helped our family out a lot. Dave was able to quit his second job with my income and he wanted to change careers so he started to pursue becoming a Police Officer. I am getting off topic here, back to my weight loss journey. Despite my best efforts, working out daily and eating super healthy, I still gained 50 pounds with Ralph. But, I was able to lose it much faster.

Dave actually went to the Police Academy so I had a 2 year old and a 2 month old by myself because Dave was gone 6 days out of the week and we only saw him 1 day a week while he was in the academy for 6 months. It was really hard because it was in the middle of winter in Washington and so I wasn’t as serious about losing weight and again I had gained weight. I was nursing and I gained more weight than my 40 week pregnancy weight. Looking back now though, I would kill to look like that now. So I gotta stop there because Gretchen has a dance recital right now and I have to take her and get her ready. But I will finish my story because I want to update you guys on where I am at currently postpartum and where I started. I know a lot of people have been asking me about baby #4. No, I am not currently pregnant but I want to get pregnant soon but I will not get pregnant until I get to a certain weight range. I don’t have a specific goal or anything but the reason for that is because my 3rd pregnancy was so hard. My hips were dislocating and it was just really rough on my body so I don’t want to start a pregnancy being really overweight. I want to be in a healthy place when I get pregnant for the 4th time because I don’t want a lot of those issues that I had with my body. Like literally towards the end of my 3rd pregnancy, I could not walk more than 30 feet without feeling like my hips were going to just fall off. It felt like my legs were just going to dislocate from my body it was so painful. I was actually able to do more physically an hour after giving birth than I was the last 3 months of my pregnancy. It was really hard. I couldn’t go to the chiropractor like I wanted to because of COVID and Dave was living in Washington while I was living here in Arizona with 2 kids, it was a really rough experience. Anyways, to answer that question, yes I want to get to the 160-170 pound range before I get pregnant again. My goal is to get there by September but if I am not there by September, I will push off getting pregnant. But it is really good motivation for me to be working hard. Anyways, I gotta go take Gretchen to her recital. I will finish this later and I will start with where I was after I had Ralph.

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Meet natasha

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I’m Natasha Pehrson

Your ultimate hype girl and weight loss bestie! I’m a wife and mom to 4 who has lost 100 pounds by ditching diets and instead focusing on creating healthy habits and changing my overall mindset around losing weight. Get to know me.