It was a hot, humid, Saturday afternoon. I was sitting in my bed in a house with no air conditioning. I was completely uncomfortable in my own body and with no energy whatsoever. This is when I knew that I had to do something.
At that time, I was probably around 238 pounds. Yes, I just put my weight out there! I don’t weigh that number anymore, but I want to remind women out there that it’s just a number…it doesn’t define you. In fact, I’m not very far from that number now! Shocking, but you’ll see why J.
I started looking into weight loss options, not sure where to go and what was successful. I was reluctant to spend money on something that I didn’t know would work for me. After all, what’s good for one person may not work for the other person. I was at church one day and the pastor’s wife pulled me aside for a chat. She told me she noticed that I’ve gained weight and she knew it was from a lot of recent stress in my life. Without knowing I was exploring my options, she told me about her success with WeightWatchers and she thought it would be a great program for me. That had to be a sign from God or my guardian angel at the very least. Little did I know how much that conversation/intervention would change the rest of my life.
I started WeightWatchers one summer before senior year of college. I lost 20 lbs that summer and I was feeling great! My sorority sisters started to notice my results and wanted to join in the success as well. So when school started, not only did I have a few gym buddies, but I had lunch buddies as well. It was awesome…the constant support I got from my sisters kept me going. We worked out together, ate healthy together, had a yahoo listserv for all sorority members who were doing WeightWatchers to share their success and challenges. Before I knew it, I lost 68 lbs! My body completely changed. I was a size 18 and I went down to a size 8. I was a 40DDD bra size and went to a 36D. Most importantly, I had tons of energy and found a new love for physical activity.
I graduated from college and moved back home with my mom and brother. I quickly realized how easy it was to lose weight in college where the food was made and the gym was a walk away. I controlled what came into my single-dorm too. Now, I had to fight the temptation of trail mix, cookies, fried food, etc. etc. The gym wasn’t close and after long days working in the “real world”, I started to get tired and wanted a night to just chill and not mess up my hair! It was hard but I managed. It helped that I found a gym which soon became my new family. I got hooked onto the group fitness classes and would sometimes take 3 classes in a row (three hours total).
But then I started to get ahead of myself. I would “cheat” every other day and tell myself “its okay, you’ll burn it off tomorrow”. The thing was, my body was starting to change as I entered into my later 20’s…my body stopped growing completely. I wasn’t burning off the calories as fast as I used too. The weight started to creep back up. Not enough for others to notice, but the scale did and my jeans started to feel a little snug.
So I thought I needed to step it up. This is why I became a group fitness instructor. I figured I would really kick it into gear because I didn’t want to stand in front of 20-40 people at a time, with my belly sticking out. I wanted to be a role model and be the image you see on TV when you think of a fitness instructor. That’s still not working for me! I’ve gained about half of the weight I’ve put on…and I gained one jean size. So I know most of it is from muscle as I teach BodyPump, but I also know a lot of it is from poor food choices. However, I’ve still become a role model for others. Women who are nervous about entering a gym class for the first time won’t feel intimated when they see me. They see a real woman doing the workouts and the moves that may seem intimating. I can tell they feel inspired because they come back! This is why I love to teach.
I’m still working on losing the 30 lbs I gained. I think it’s funny that 30 lbs ago, I thought I was still too heavy. But now I know that I want to be a healthy girl..not a skinny girl.
Major moral of my story for success: You can’t have one without the other. Eat right and work out. No short-cuts because they will come back to haunt you later. Keep it slow and steady…that’s the best way to lose.