I was overweight for most of my life. Right around the age of 5 or 6, the weight started packing on and just continued for 14 years. And at that time, at least where I lived, being overweight was not a common thing. I was the ONLY big kid in my classes. I couldn’t share clothes with my friends or shop at the same stores (this was also before “plus sized” clothes were available at normal stores). I ate McDonalds and Burger King several times a week. Chicken nuggets, french fries, and soda were my favorite meal…and pasta…and pizza. I refused to eat vegetables. It’s not hard to see how I got as big as I did. I got to my biggest in high school. At 5’1″ I weighed in around 200 pounds. This put me well into the obesity range on any BMI calculator.
I knew I would never really be happy with myself if I continued down the path I was on and in 2003, I decided to make a change. Without really knowing what I was doing, I simply began to count calories. I counted every little thing I ate and kept track of it in a spreadsheet on my computer and I tried to incorporate some kind of activity into my usually sedentary life. Anything from rollerblading around the neighborhood for 20 minutes to running in place in front of my tv (seriously). It started to work. Ever so slightly, the weight started coming off. Looking back, I would never go on that kind of “diet” again. The activity was better than nothing, but I learned later on that there is much more to nutrition than calories alone.
I eventually got tired of keeping track of everything. I had been doing the same thing for over 6 months and jogging in place is only exciting for so long. I also had a weak support system.
It’s not that my friends and family wouldn’t be there for me, it’s more that I didn’t want them to be. I was ashamed enough. I didn’t need other people worrying about my weight too. Once I reached 155, I stopped almost completely. I got complacent. Then I convinced myself that I was content. I stayed that way for years.
A couple years ago, I joined Weight Watchers. I lost 15 pounds. But again, got tired of the counting and keeping track after only three months. A trip to the grocery store was a definite headache! And needless to say, I ended up gaining all the weight right back again.
Then in October 2011, a close friend of mine suggested we go to a boot camp at Beast Athletics. I had no idea what was in store for me. It was tough, for sure. And I was sore TWO weeks afterwards. But I continued to go back. And with only that one workout each week, I started to feel better and stronger and I began to think about how I could actually lose the weight for good. I joined the 90 Transformation Program the week after Thanksgiving and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I lost 20 pounds within the first six weeks, embraced a healthier lifestyle, and became addicted to the feeling I get after a great workout!
Since then, I have accomplished so many things I never thought I would be able to do. The most important one being running. If I had a workout that included running, I used to get winded within 200 meters. It was always a struggle for me. As the weight started coming off, I went to my trainer with the new goal of running my very first 5k. I trained everyday. I finally got to the point where I was able to run it on the treadmill in 36 min. And on March 3, 2012, I earned my very first race medal!! I got addicted really quick. 5k’s became 10k’s which became a half marathon. By November of 2012, a full year since making a commitment to a healthy lifestyle, I was a half marathon runner.
I love inspiring those around me to run. One of my favorite races I ever did was one where about 8 girls from my gym ran an Iron Girl 5k and it was the first race for about half of them! I was so proud of them! Recently, I’ve started weight training and lifting. Getting stronger everyday. I mess up some days. I sometimes miss 2 days in a row at the gym. I might still have an addiction to gummy bears. And I’m pretty sure pizza will always be one of my favorite foods…but I know this is a never ending process of constant improvement and I’m totally 100% in love with it.