As I was walking out of a local department store the week before Christmas 2009, I looked over to see all these people walking in/out of the gym that sat next door in the strip mall. It was the dead of winter, and snowing like crazy.. yet all these people were going into the gym to work out.. and here I was toting out Christmas presents and of course, some snacks…
It was at that moment, that I decided to give myself the gift of health. If all these crazy people could go to the gym after work, why couldn’t I? I had nothing better to do anyway, and c’mon… I was just shy of 26 years old and weighing in just shy of 250lbs… it was just going to get harder the longer I waited to actually do something about my health… and when I took an honest look at myself… I’d never been truly happy. So.. why not? I’d been overweight and unhealthy my entire life. Always hiding behind a cheery personality to overcompensate for my insecurities, I’d always pretended to be happy, but never really was…
So, I joined the gym that night, AND signed up with a personal trainer. Two free sessions – here we go! Measurements sucked, big time… nothing says “welcome to the gym” quite like standing spread eagle arms out to the sides having your measurements taken… not just for everyone IN the gym have the pleasure of watching.. but also infront of the picture windows. Ha, AWESOME! Well, I guess I’m committed now, I mean, the entire town just saw me go ‘all in’!
Two free sessions turned into two renewals of packages of sessions. Six months later I had lost 40lbs, and participated in a fundraising walk for something very dear to my heart that affects one of my best friends – the ‘Take Steps for Crohn’s & Colitis’ walk. It felt so good to keep up with my friends for the first time in my life, and every pound kept me wanting more…
I’ve always been somewhat of an online nerd, so I figured what better way to hold myself accountable, than to post everything on FB? Well… from day one, I did… and now I’m standing just shy of my two-year mark… and to this day I’ve continued to post every little milestone. Along with ‘one DAY at a time’, I guess you could say I’ve looked at my lifestyle change as ‘one POUND at a time’. =]
I’m sure I could have lost what I have faster, but considering my journey has included two major physical setbacks, I am 150% happy with where I am today. From day one, and right up until recently, I never once set a goal, other than ‘to be healthy’. Last month I decided I wanted to lose 100lbs by my 2-year mark on 12/22/11. As of today, I’m down 96lbs.
A true lifestyle change for me meant completely overhauling my outlook of food. Taking the time to re-learn and understand what to eat, what to eat more of, what to avoid, what I can treat myself with, etc. And the funny thing is – it’s all what we learned in grade school. Applying it and sticking with it, is what’s key. I cut sugar wherever possible, and choose the leanest beef I can find.. and then, I cook my heart out! I’m not afraid to pep up some lean beef with spices and fresh veggies! You don’t have to feel bad about marinating chicken either.. and fat free dressings are tasty too, I promise!
Bottom line is – to anyone considering having surgery to lose weight.. or who feels like they have to give up and just continue to gain weight… I’ve been there. I lived off fast food – literally 3 meals a day + snacks from the gas station. I still love food, and BELIEVE me I can still eat.. but I choose healthy alternatives and recipes now.. and I don’t overdo it!
Exercise and the knowledge to make healthy choices with food go a long way. I’m living proof. With these two things, and the ridiculous amount of support that I’ve received from friends, family, co-workers, and even people I haven’t talked to in YEARS… I am here to say – ANYONE can be healthy if you’re willing to do the work! My entire life I was haunted by being the ‘fat girl’. Bullied? That doesn’t even begin to describe a day in my life growing up. But you know what? I don’t care anymore. I used to.. but I can finally let it all go. I’m a new person today, and I can appreciate so much more now that I see things from a new perspective. I’m forever thankful though, that I’ll ALWAYS be a fat girl at heart.