“My Body Got Better With Age!”
Bonne Marano ditched unhealthy diets and shaped up the smart way
Weight now: 116 pounds
Weight then: 168
Pounds lost: 52
I’ve struggled with my body since I was a teen. By freshman year of college, I’d hit my peak of 168 pounds; that was when a friend invited me to join a gym with her and said she’d pay the $19-a-month fee if I’d drive. Sold! But my lighthearted attitude shifted once we signed up. The salesperson gave me the ultimate backhanded compliment: She said I had a pretty face, which I took to mean I didn’t have the figure to match. That implied “but” was a reality check for me.
Crazy About Cardio!
That day, I tried a 30-minute aerobics class. I was exhausted by the end, but I adored the group energy. After taking it five times a week for 9 months, I’d lost 35 pounds and was even offered a job at the gym that included teaching class myself. As an instructor, I felt a lot of self-imposed pressure–I worried no one would want exercise advice from a chubby girl. So I taught up to seven classes a day, skipped meals, and drank a lot of coffee, thinking caffeine would help me lose more weight. I maintained this extreme pace for 6 years. I was considered one of the best instructors in the area, which fed my inner perfectionist. There was no way I was going to slack off.
Balanced at Last
Then in 1992, on my 25th birthday, I herniated two disks in a bad car accident. Sidelined for 8 months, I gained 15 pounds and became depressed. But there was a silver lining: Once I returned to the gym, I was physically unable to go back to my excessive schedule. Instead of teaching “no pain, no gain,” I suddenly understood that if something doesn’t feel good, you shouldn’t do it. To help compensate for my toned-down routine, I finally paid attention to my diet. I ate satisfying, balanced meals, and that’s how I’ve lived ever since. (I won’t deprive myself–I still indulge my sweet tooth these days, only now I eat a bite of Snickers rather than the whole bar.) But all those changes don’t matter as much as a shift in the way I see myself. I’ve stopped trying to be something I’m not: I have a woman’s body and I’m proud of it.
How I Did It
I ate less…fast food. I’d go online to calories.net to look up the junk food I was craving. When I saw how many calories and grams of fat were in a bucket of chicken, I’d stop and think: “I can make a chicken breast for myself.”
I ate more…veggies. To make my salad a real meal, I’d add chicken, tuna, turkey, or eggs and sprinkle Parmesan on top instead of a high-fat dressing.
I exercised…smarter. I stopped overdosing on workouts–and gave myself 2 exercise-free days a week so my muscles had time to recover.
My mantra is… “Strive for progress, not perfection.”
Unexpected gain: Confidence. I used to constantly compare myself with the person on the next treadmill. Now I feel comfortable in my own skin.
My health bonus: I alleviated my back pain. After my accident, I had a lot of discomfort. Exercising the right way strengthened my whole core and really helped reduce the pain.
Originally posted 2012-03-26 11:18:27. Republished by Blog Post Promoter