Building a Healthier Me
With the pressures of the “perfect thin body” shoved in our faces by numerous magazines and tv specials, being an obese individual in today’s world isn’t easy. Even when you loved the way you looked. For years I struggled with losing weight. I can clearly recall being teased
by former friends for wearing size 16 jeans in junior high. But as I got older and into college, I became okay with the way I looked. As long as my breast stuck out further than my stomach, I was still sexy in my eyes. My confidence grew stronger when I met my boyfriend my senior year of college. He loved me for who I was and how I looked. Why should I lose weight if I had someone who loved me?
After I graduated in 2012, I started to have a hard time breathing. I wrote it off as being my “asthma” , which a doctor diagnosed me having years beforehand. But as the weather got colder, it became harder and harder to manage.
I scheduled an appointment with a new doctor to get a physical and to get a new rescue inhaler prescription. On November 7th, the day of my appointment, I was hit with two large reality checks. I weighed in at 283lbs, where I assumed I only weighed 250lbs. After receiving that blow, I was hit with another one: I didn’t have asthma.
I completed the blow test they use to diagnose (which I might add, I’ve never had to do) and it came back showing I had great lungs. Really confused, my doctor told me ask nice as he could, that the weight I was carrying was too much for my frame to handle. It was then, that I knew I had to change. I told my boyfriend my plan to become healthy and he asked how he could help.
That evening after work, I walked into LA Fitness and got a membership. I knew that if I was paying money for something, I’d use it (I hate wasting money).
I wanted to lose weight without the diet pills, trendy diets, or surgical procedures. I wanted to teach myself how to be healthy. I started researching restaurants before I’d step foot in them, making sure they had meals with decent caloric values. I progressively quit eating fast food, first swapping beef for chicken and eventually cutting it out entirely. My portions shrank and I began cooking more at home with the help of Pinterest. Working out at the gym was a little bit of a challenge at first. I had anxiety about exercising in front of all these fit people.I felt like they were looking at me, judging me. But with my boyfriend by my side, encouraging me and reassuring I was doing great, I got over my fear. I tried out every class LA Fitness offered; from water aerobics to Zumba, I did it. But it wasn’t until I got the wild hair to join a 5K, when I found my niche.I hated running with a passion, but I knew it was a great way to lose weight. My boyfriend, who use to be a runner, persuaded me to go for a run in the park with him to see it’d be something I’d like. It was love at first run. I felt free. I wasn’t constricted by a turning belt like the treadmill and I could think about things from the past work week. We ran the 5K together about a month after we started running together, finishing it in about 49 minutes. I wasn’t satisfied with that time. I knew I could do better. And from there my weightloss journey took off.
Today, nearly one year and five months later, I am a whole new Justina. I have lost 111lbs, weighing in at 172lbs right now. I have completed four 5K runs and one half marathon (finished in 2:25 and never stopped). I went a size 22 to a size 10, and can even wear medium women shirts. I’m still losing weight, as I want to have my BMI fall into the healthy range.
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