Name: Carra Hughes Greer
Before Weight: 265 pounds
How I Gained It: I carried and gave birth to four kids in under four years, each time stacking on the pounds. I gained significant weight with my last two kids because they were twins.
I've always been an athlete. I knew each time I was pregnant that I would put on weight that I would then need to lose. But I wasn't going to diet while pregnant. I ate mostly healthy, but also totally ate my fair share of burgers and milkshakes.
Breaking Point: I knew while carrying the twins that my life would be totally different after giving birth. Not only would I have two newborns and two other children, but my eating and exercise had to be kicked up a notch.
How I Lost It: I joined a gym and have gone at least two to three times every week. Even while traveling, I found ways to exercise. I don't do any one thing, and I think that is key. I run, I walk, I climb, I swim, I dance, I stretch, I plank and burpee. I lift weights (and children). I eat right: lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, not very much red meat, lots of fish and chicken. I allow myself a cheat meal, usually on Friday night or Saturday. I drink lots of water. I sleep. I stay mentally and spiritually balanced, with the help of a faith community and a therapist, which I recommend. I set goals. I celebrate reaching them. I set new goals. I surround myself with positive people.
My life is totally different now. I was a full-time minister, and I would say I was living a very numb existence. My schedule was kids, work, cook, kids, second shift at home, and squeeze in a workout. I was unhappy with my job, unhappy with my overall effectiveness, unhappy with how little of "me" my kids and husband received. Having my twins was a wonderful surprise that I knew would force us to hit the reset button. I moved to part-time ministerial work so I could raise my children. I love my new position because my faith community accepts me fully as I am. This gave me the upper hand in my mental and spiritual perspective and played a huge role in tackling other areas of my life. I set a goal to become a certified fitness trainer, and I reached that goal, even with four kids. I've started my own business, Carra Greer Fitness. I want to help people live longer, fuller lives. It takes having the right motivation, support, and push from positive folks in our lives.
I could not have been so successful without my husband. He comes home from a full day at work and pulls the second shift with our kids so I can get out of our home and work out.
I have more weight to lose, and these last 25 to 30 pounds will be the hardest, but this journey won't end with any number on a scale. This is not all about how I look in the mirror or how I look in others' eyes. This is about being mentally and physically strong. This is about being a healthy role model for my children. This is about being a strong, healthy, fit mom. This is about showing all those people who rubbed my pregnant belly and said, "You'll never be the same," that, no, I will never be the same and my body will never look the way it did -- because I am now a mom. I created four lives. My body is different, but my body is strong.
Current Weight: 184 pounds The Huffington Post publishes photographs as they are submitted to us by our readers.
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As told to Sarah Klein