Sunday, June 16, 2013

They Are Losing It: Amber Meyer

Welcome to the first installment in my "They are Losing It" series! This series features answers to interview questions regarding personal history and struggle with weight loss, the breaking point, starting out making changes, finding time and motivation, tips, changes, and anything else readers should hear.

I "met" Amber Meyer on a facebook group for moms who wanted to get fit after having March 2011 babies. The group's been a wonderful source of encouragement, education, and solidarity as we celebrate accomplishments and understand common struggles. Without further ado, I'd love to share Amber's story with you: 

I have had issues with my weight since I was in elementary school, to be honest.  I have always had very low self esteem.  When I graduated high-school I was about 170, when I got married at 20 I was 180, and it has only gone up from there.  

Since getting married in ’07, I have tried many ways to lose weight.  I’ve only tried healthy ways, through diet and exercise, but in 5.5 years of marriage, we have had three children via cesarean, 9 military moves in two countries and three states and eleven 30-90 day military separations for training and brief deployments.   Not making excuses, but it does take an emotional toll.  In December of 2011, I began to get completely fed up.  I had a 2 year-old, 10 month old, had just gone through a miscarriage and just found out I was about 6 weeks pregnant again...I couldn’t play with my kids the way I wanted and couldn’t go out with my husband feeling confident in myself or in the fact that he could possibly be attracted to me or love me, yet alone be proud to be out with me even though he has never given me a reason to doubt it.  

That December, I decided that I was going to try to lose the weight regardless of my pregnancy. Even though I was high risk, I did doctor-approved light exercise and ate clean.  From the day I found out I was pregnant until 3 days postpartum, I had lost 42lbs! During Fall of 2012, I dropped an additional 24lbs.  For Christmas of 2012, we went home to visit my family and in 2.5wks, I gained 18lbs!  My family has terrible habits and I have a terrible time resisting between all the visits and parties.  I spent the first 4 months of 2013 getting that back off to gain 24lbs in the month of May when staying with family during a move and then again for a funeral.  That brings me here.  My 22 year-old college grad sister just moved in with me and we start our first day at the gym together today.  

When I started my first few weeks, I was very determined.  I wanted to be able to tell people I had done it even with all the excuses I could’ve used at the time… like a high risk pregnancy… haha. A facebook fit-moms group that I am part of with you, Lucy, has been a huge inspiration.  Although all of the women on the page are greatly inspiring, amongst that group, I’d say you, Puanani and Rebekah are at the core of my inspiration just because I connect to you all the most on a personal level.   Advice?  BABY STEPS!  No matter how small the change, it is better than nothing and you have to start somewhere.  I see this on pinterest a lot and it couldn’t be more true: “strive for progress, not perfection.”

Please, if you struggle with weight or other self esteem issues, do not let that become who you are.  You are a person; aside from the things that are “wrong” with you, there are a million things right.

I sit down and meal plan once every two weeks.  Depending on the month and our commitments, I will make food ahead of time.  If it is going to be a busy month, I will take the last weekend of the month prior to make enough freezer meals that I can put one in the crock pot every day so we have lunch and dinner without thinking. If the week is going to be super busy, I will even make homemade waffles, burritos and breakfast cookies to freeze.  Most busy mornings, though, we resort to oatmeal with fruit… quick, easy and delicious. We sweeten it with either honey or banana.  If it's not a busy month, I will just make meals as I go, and when I have a busy week, I’ll make meals the prior Sunday.  We’ve even begun to keep a small cooler in the van to pack a meal/snack and avoid eating out.  My son says we’re having a picnic! I actually prefer real clean healthy foods, and it's normally only time constraints that I’ve not planned ahead for or travel that get me.  I’d say raw vegan desserts and banana ice-cream are two favorite tricks.  They are delicious and allow me to indulge a little without falling off the wagon. 

I love working out, period… anything really.  It's just a matter of making the time. Just like anything I love, I never make time for me.   As far as working out, the gym works best for me because of childcare.  The YMCA has excellent rates, but right now, we are using our community on-post gym because it has a play room and is all free.  I try to go in the mornings because if I do, it sets my mood for the day.  It's not too hard for me because I am a stay at home mom… at least once I get into the habit.

3 months pre-baby (left) VS.
5 weeks post-partum (right)

happy to say goodbye to:

9% body fat
4.25in off of my shoulders
1.5in off my chest
2.5in off my thigh
3in off my waist
4.5in off my stomach
1.5in off my hips

...never thought i'd see the day... especially since there was a pregnancy in the mix.

I’ve struggled to notice the changes with my weight loss.  I know this sounds strange but I always notice my hands and feet… haha. I won’t say I am happy with my appearance yet, because I am not… but, I am finally at a place where I am only concerned with how I feel about myself.  I truly never worry what anyone else thinks about it.  The only people that matter to me (opinion wise) are my husband and children.

I think clean eating will work for anyone.  Clean eating is the very best way to start at least.  Just get rid of your sugar, processed foods, eating out etc. and go clean.  I feel it works best for most people to start off with this because it doesn’t ban certain food groups which, for people who are used to eating anything, can result in binge eating.  As you go along and become more aware of your body and its reactions, you can ban/limit things if needed.  For example, I’ve been eliminating gluten, dairy and soy because they are not my friend.  As I go, I may eliminate more.  I have tried Vegan and Paleo… I’d say I felt best vegan but I have had a hard time sticking with it as my husband enjoys meat and poultry, and let's just say gluten and soy free vegans can get pretty bored.  I will say, I was shocked that eating clean has not increased the amount of money we spend on food monthly, but decreased it.  Yes, good meats and produce etc. are expensive, but the increase on your grocery bill falls in line with the decrease in boxed groceries and eating out. 

Please, if you struggle with weight or other self esteem issues, do not let that become who you are.  You are a person; aside from the things that are “wrong” with you, there are a million things right.  I bet those around you could easily name ten things they love about you… or even envy about you.  For most of my life, I have let what is “wrong” with me overpower all the things that are right.  My husband, friends and family have consistently pointed out things I am talented with, things they wished they could do that I can, but the image I had of myself was keeping me from being able to pursue anything I was good at.  I love to draw, to paint, to sew… just create… but I question everything I do like just because I have extra weight voids out all talent, potential, personality and value I have.  It’s not true.  Everyone is worth so much more than that.  I hate that I am just now seeing it.

Want to be featured on the "They Are Losing It" series? Send an email to I'd love to hear from you. 



  1. Fabulous story, such wonderful, inspirational women here!

  2. Great story, Lucy!
    Way to go Amber!

  3. So good to hear about more than just the physical side of it, but the emotional and mental aspects too. Often that is what starts the trouble. Glad you're addressing it all. Keep up the good work!