A Healthier Alternative
By Shaunna Rodgers
I am a 25 year old mother of three, currently pregnant with my fourth. I suffer from supraventricular tachycardias (SVT), anemia and high cholesterol. Over this past spring, I decided I needed to get in shape and lose weight. At the time I weighed 154 pounds, which wasn't overweight for my height of 5'8”. However, I just wasn't happy with the body I saw in the mirror. After two months of very unhealthy weight loss maneuvers, I lost 20 pounds and several pant sizes. This was the result I was looking for, but I am now recovering from the strain that I put my body through.
I restricted calories to 1,000 a day, sometimes less, relied heavily on energy boosters with Ephedra in them, drank as much Red Bull as I could stomach, and exercised for at least two hours a day. The energy enhancers began to interact with my heart medication (metoprolol, 50 mg 4x daily), and I became very ill. Around the same time I became aware that I was pregnant, and knew that I couldn't continue with the destruction I was causing. It wasn't healthy for me, and would likely kill the unborn child.
I have since then devised a program for myself that has left me healthier than I was before I lost the weight, with results that I am happy with. I eat six times a day, with calories totaling around 1,600. I exercise for one to two hours daily with two breaks per week. I walk daily as well. My diet consists mostly of fresh vegetables, proteins, and even carbs and dairy that I had previously left out. I take vitamins, drink eight glasses of water daily, and limit my caffeine intake. I no longer have to rely on the energy enhancers since changing my diet. I've even had more energy and less complications with this pregnancy than my prior ones. I believe it is due to better nutrition.
I am now currently 32 weeks into my pregnancy and weigh 151, still three pounds shy of where I began. Yet my body is in better shape than it was when I was 20 pounds lighter. I never would have expected that. Once I deliver this child, I plan to continue with my program, and will remember that health should come before appearance. A healthy diet and moderate exercise were all that I needed from the beginning.