While growing up and into my 20’s, I was always various levels of overweight. As a kid, I never participated in sports and I HATED gym class. In fact, in 8th grade, I dreaded it so much that I skipped out often – and ended up failing.
After having kids and my weight going up and down, up and down, I settled into a weight of 227 lbs. I am just under 5′ 6″, and I wore a size 22. I was exhausted all the time. I felt self conscious and uncomfortable. I hated shopping, hated meeting new people, and job interviews were a nightmare. I felt trapped.
As my babies become more active and mobile, I realized that things needed to change, for their sake and our families sake. I wanted to be able to play with them without feeling out of breath. I wanted to be a good role model.
I was ready to change.
In January 2011, I started with changing my diet. I didnt GO ON A DIET… I simply made healthy changes. When I started seeing some results, I added in light exercise, and eventually I really started feeling brave so I hopped on a treadmill. I jogged very slowly, for about 10 seconds, before I had to pause and catch my breath. For the rest of that session, I had to mostly walk. But when I got off that treadmill, soaked in sweat, I felt amazing.
I convinced my husband that we should buy a treadmill – and I actually used it. I progressed from being able to jog for 10 seconds, to 20 seconds, 30 seconds, a minute, 5 minutes, 10 minutes…a mile, 2 miles. Somebody convinced me to sign up for a 5k that summer. By the end of the race, I was hurting. I was tired. I was thinking “Why in the world did I agree to this, this is awful!”. But when I crossed the finish line (in 38:48, more than a minute under my goal of 40:00)…I was hooked. Somebody joked that maybe the next year, I would be running in the half marathon instead of the 5k, and I laughed at how ridiculous it was to even THINK that.
Exactly one year later, I found myself 75 lbs down and at the starting line of my very first half marathon. I finished under my goal time and have since done a few more half marathons (and countless 5k’s). Some day, I hope to do a full marathon.
It has been 2.5 years since I began my journey. I have lost about 90 lbs and gone from a size 22 to a 6. I have more energy and confidence. I do things now that I would never have imagined doing before. I love sharing my passion for health and fitness with my kids, now ages 5 and 6. Last month, I did a 5k with my 6 year old, and was thrilled when she said at the end that she wants to do more. I can see that changing my lifestyle has not only changed MY health and life, but that it has paved the way for a better life, and better health for my kids. I don’t want them to ever be “that girl who failed gym class”. I don’t want them to live in a constant battle with their weight, like I did – I want a healthy lifestyle to be instilled in them from the very beginning.
I was a gym class failure. Now I’m a weight loss success story, half marathoner, and health & fitness advocate.