The day after Easter in 2011 I received an amazing offer from a childhood friend who is a personal trainer. Though she was deployed in the Middle East, she unselfishly walked me through a lifestyle change through daily emails, phone texts, and calls once she returned.
I told her that I didn’t want to be on the weight loss yo-yo ride that most people struggle with. So a diet was not an option for me. I needed a lifestyle change. By agreeing to let her help me, I had no idea how much everything about me would change.
I began working out faithfully six days a week for about 45 minutes in my family room. I did a variety of “on demand “exercise videos with and without weights. When I mowed the lawn, I wore a weighted backpack and pushed my way through .25 acre as fast as I could. Most importantly I learned to eat clean. That meant no more processed foods, no fried food, no sugary snacks and no CHEESE or BUTTER! I had to relearn how to cook! Most of what I made contained sour cream, cream cheese, heavy cream, butter or cheese. And aside from an occasional salad, I rarely cooked any other vegetable outside of green beans, broccoli or spinach.. That summer was one of great discovery for me. I would go to my local farm and get whatever was on their bargain table. If I didn’t know what it was, I looked it up on the internet. If I didn’t know how to cook it, I learned….and feel in love with vegetables!
How specifically did my diet change? For breakfast I had 1 serving of high fiber, low sugar cereal. For morning snack I had a piece of fruit. Lunch and dinner, unlimited veggies and 1 piece of meat the size of the palm of my hand. In the afternoon I had another piece of fruit. I could have unlimited veggies inbetween.
I started the day after Easter, and by the end of June 2011 I had lost about 15 lbs and over 10 inches. I continued working hard throughout the summer, added in whole grains and complex carbs such as sweet potatoes and brown rice. I continued to lose inches and by September I was down almost 30lbs and over 25 inches!
By this point I was hooked on fitness and began my first of three rounds of P90x. the following June (2012) I ran my first 5k for breast cancer. In October I participated in the Susan G. Komen 3 day/60 mile breast cancer walk. And on Thanksgiving Day I ran my first 8k as a Pilgrim in a Turkey Trot for charity. In December, I dressed up as Mrs. Claus and ran another 3 miles in a Holiday Spirit race.
Sometimes when I look back on my achievments, I can’t even believe that this is really me! I continue to workout six days a week and eat healthy daily, with one treat meal a week. My doctor has taken me off of cholesterol medication and has given me a clean bill of health. My blood pressure also has dropped to a healthy level. Though I celebrate my successes, I still have more challenges I’d like to achieve in 2013! This lifestyle change has been one of the best journeys I’ve ever been on, and I’m looking forward to continuing the ride!