I battled my weight my entire life. I was that girl in school that was heavier than all of the other girls. I was made fun of early by the other kids in school. Part of my last name rhymes with the word “fat.” so you can imagine the play on words I had to endure. Gym class? A nightmare. I couldn’t even run once around the gym, and I got made fun of mercilessly for it. In high school, I had no self-confidence. I didn’t date. I never went to prom. I was the overweight, shy, quiet girl. That continued in my college and adult years. And as my self-confidence plummeted, my weight increased.
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE? My self-confidence suffered horribly because of my weight. I didn’t date. I was afraid to look men in the eye. I went on blind dates, only to see the disappointment in their faces when they saw me. As my self-confidence suffered, I ate more and more because I was lonely and depressed. I was afraid to be social. I was afraid to take chances in my life. I was even afraid to go to a gym. I thought that I would look foolish, and that people would make fun of me. I was defensive. I thought that if I beat people to the punch before they could reject me or make fun of me, I could protect myself.
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY? There was no one major turning point in my weight loss journey. Rather, there were several things that built up over time, leading me to the point where enough was enough. In 2009 my mother died from complications of diabetes. When you have diabetes, it’s a horrible way to live, and an even horrible way to die. My mother died a painful death over the course of 3 months in the hospital. Watching that frightened me, yes. But, it still took me two more years to change my life, despite the fact that I was pre-diabetic. In 2011, I was in a very serious car accident and broke my knee. I didn’t walk for 2 months. When you can’t walk, can’t work, and all you can do is sit on your front porch and think all day, only leaving the house for physical therapy, you get clarity on your life. I vowed that when I was able to stand up on both feet and walk, that I would get fit, I would get active. And, that’s what I did.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED? After I recovered from my car accident, I started walking up and down my street with my cane. The, I shed the cane and walked my neighborhood twice a day. Someone randomly mentioned to me that I should try kettlebell, because it would be easy on my knee. I took his advice and my life changed forever. I finally found a physical activity I liked! I was hooked. I joined a kettlebell gym, hired a personal trainer and everything changed. Seeing results encouraged me to work harder, to try new things and to push myself. The weight poured off of me, for the first time in my life. I learned how to eat properly. I started to run. And I trained for kettlebell sport competitions. that was 3 years and 90 lbs ago. Now, I’m a personal trainer. I lift weights and bodybuild. I run 5ks and 10ks. I;ve learned how to box and do MMA style fighting. And, I teach kettlebell. I have a true passion for fitness. I have self-confidence. I have new friends who share my goals. My life is rich with fitness and new experiences. I love the clients that I train. I love seeing them find that same passion for fitness that I found. I love seeing them excited by the changes they are making. I see myself in each of them, and they inspire me. Losing weight doesn’t solve all of the problems in your life. But, I’ve found that it makes me feel stronger and better equipped to handle those problems. I feel strong. I feel confident. I am healthy. And, I can look at anyone in the eye now, man or woman. Fight for your fit. It’s worth it.
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS? As soon as I started kettelbell, the weight started to pour off of me. My endurance and physical strength skyrocketed. For the first time in my life, I saw results, I loved what I was doing, and I wanted more.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART? The hardest part of my weight loss journey has been synching my mind with the changes in my body. I stil look at myself and see that girl who was almost 260 lbs. I’ve also lost some friends in the process. Losing weight and committing to fitness means that you sacrifice some things, and not everyone is always supportive of that.
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING? I have never wanted to give up. Not once. I wanted this more than I wanted to breathe. I was fully committed.
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM? I am in a plateau now, having to lost my final 10-15 lbs. But, I’m staying the course. I’m putting my nose down, committing to the process and staying the course. My body has been through some major changes and it isn’t responding as quickly as it did at the beginning of my journey. That is normal and to be expected.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT? This has been a 3 year process for me.
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES? Yes! The scale can lie. Count your victories off of the scale! My non-scale victories are running races. I remember when I got made fun of in school for not being able to run once around the gym in gym class. So, to finish a 5k or 10k now gives me a lot of pleasure.
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? My daily diet now is structured. I count calories and macronutrients. However, I allow myself to have my treats. I build them in to my day. I’ve learned the hard way over the past 3 years that physical exercise will never outweigh a bad diet. Food intake is key.
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? I never worked out when I was heaver. Or, I’d start for a week and then quit. Now, people call me “hardcore”., I lift heavy weights. I run. 6 days a week. I love lifting and bodybuilding. I’m shaping my body with weights.
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- Ignore the scale. The scale is a liar, especially if you are lifting weights and putting on muscle mass. Measure your progess in measurements and progress pictures.
- You have to eat to burn fat. Yes, you have to eat. Stoke the fire., Throw wood on it. Don’t let it get too low.
- Don’t have too much rest time in between sets at the gym. Keep moving. Keep the heart rate up.
- Find the people that will support you.
- Log your food. It’s important to know what you’re eating and how it fits into your plan@