BEFORE THE TRANSFORMATION: I used to wear very baggy clothes. I didn’t want anybody to see really what I used to look like. I was, you know, bigger on the middle so it was always sweaters or baggy shirts that were untucked, always hiding the mid-section.
THE TURNING POINT: I had always read that after your 40th birthday it’s very difficult to lose weight and very difficult to get into shape. So, this was about a year and two months away from my 40th birthday so I was still 38 years old and I said to myself, “I have to do something. I have two little kids, two little girls that are the delight of my life.” I started thinking of what if I wasn’t there to see them graduate from high school or graduate from college or get to walk them down the aisle. And that for me was a wake-up call that I needed to do something about it.
DIET TIPS: I was not weighing and measuring the food. I really wasn’t counting calories. What I was doing was starting to notice portion sizes. Like for instance, if you go to a restaurant and order a steak, maybe they’ll have the 8 ounces, the smallest steak that they have, and then they can have anything from a 16- to a 20-ounce steak. A serving of steak is 4 ounces, it’s half of the smallest steak that they serve at a restaurant, and you have to be aware of those things. That’s really where it started, was starting to limit or be more aware of what I was eating and how much of it I was eating.
GETTING MOVING: They always tell you that cardio exercise is what’s going to start lowering the fat in your body. So that’s where I started. I started on an elliptical trainer 20 minutes. My legs hurt where I didn’t know I had muscles. It was the back of my legs, the front of my legs. My calves were on fire. It was — there was a lot of ache. But I got through my second workout. And two days later, I didn’t feel quite as bad as I felt after that first night.
REWARDING MOMENTS: I love going clothes shopping now. If I’m wearing a dress shirt now, I look for the tailored fit dress shirts because that really accentuates what I’ve been able to do with my body. I wouldn’t say that I live, eat and breathe fashion right now, but I’m a little more conscious of what I wear now.
WORDS OF WISDOM: I think that the combination of diet and exercise absolutely are essential. They go hand in hand. And doing one without the other, it’s just incomplete, it’s not — you’re not getting healthy, which is more important than just losing weight.
KEYS TO MY SUCCESS: Portion control. Weight lifting. Getting informed.