March 27, 2012
I have been dieting since I was 18. I am GREAT at diets actually, for the first couple of months anyways. But with every diet I have tried as soon as I would stop or eat something off-program I would get a case of the AFIs (Ah Forget-It!) and blow the rest of the day/week/month. The number on the scale had a major part in how I felt about myself. The weight always came back and more. My mother was diagnosed with abdominal cancer last year. Going through that process with her from diagnosis to treatment therapies I learned a lot about how different foods affect our bodies. I have always turned to food for comfort and security. My weight just continued to climb and climb, I would stand on the scale, feel horrible about the number and think: what is the point of trying? I am so far gone. Then I would eat.
The Wake-Up Call: My daughter was born June 1 of 2010. As we began taking family photos I really looked at myself for the first time, not just as an individual but as a mother. I saw a person in those photos who looked uncomfortable. I did not want to be that person, I want to be the kind of mom that will run and chase her daughter through the park, who will do the Terry Fox run with her and teach her about giving back and overcoming obstacles. I hated the realities that it hurt to go up the stairs to her nursery, and my legs were always aching from the extra weight. I knew I had to get control of my life, to be the me that I want to be and to be the mom that I want to be. I knew the extra pounds were holding me back.
The Food: I began changing my eating habits slowly. The first thing I did was to just cut down all of my portion sizes in half. I ate everything I normally ate, just less of it. That worked well, I had lost about 20 lbs in 4 months and was starting to feel more confident. That is when I joined the gym, shared my story with Karen and began talking to her more about eating healthy. I never wanted to do a diet again; I wanted to truly change my habits. I began setting goals to change small things in my diet: my first goal was to not have creamers in my coffee or tea for one week and I did it, and I have never used creamers again. My next goal was to reduce the amount of sugar I used in coffee & tea by half and I did that too! Then it was to not deep-fry anything for a month, done and have never deep-fried again! I then set the goal of changing my cooking and baking to use whole wheat flour rather than white flour, done! Then I began tackling vegetables. This is how I have been working, one small goal to the next, and never going back to the way I was.
The Fitness: My first stretch fitness goal was to go to a fitness class. I was always so intimidated by the idea of working out with a group of people. The insecurities of worrying about what other people would think of me were overwhelming. I had begun to trust Karen, she kept encouraging me to go try a class during our one on one training sessions. So I took a deep breath and went to her Iron Reps class. She was so excited to see me walk in she clapped and cheered when I walked in. That boosted my spirits right there. She then helped me get set up and would smile at me and give some tips as the class went on. I was so focused on her and my technique I forgot all about my own scared self. I left the class proud, and now I go to classes regularly as well as do group sessions with Karen. Our group sessions are awesome. I always learn something, she always challenges me to go further, push harder and do more than I ever think I am capable of. I told her I wanted to be able to do 10 full pushups, now I can do 15! The amount of weights I use continue to increase and my strength and confidence gets better and better every session. Sometimes we have to agree to disagree, I hate burpees, she LOVES to make me do burpees. So I do them with my teeth gritted and mumbling mean things at her the whole time, when I am done she just smiles at me and says: See, told you that you could do it!. She is now started to send me information about training for a triathalon. I am pretending to not see it. I know she will be right and if she says I can do it, I can. For now I just can not believe I could actually do a triathalon. Knowing Karen though, if I was a betting person I would bet that I will be doing my first triathalon next summer.
The Reward: The best celebration of my success is how much more I am enjoying life everyday. Being able to pick up my daughter and carry her everywhere, seeing how surprised my husband is that I can now help him move heavy things and hearing people say: you are looking GREAT! I like to reward myself by buying clothes that make me feel good about myself and my new figure. That is the best reward for me. Tonight I am trying on one of my goal dresses. If I can get into it comfortably my husband will be taking me out for a fabulous evening to show off my dress sometime in December (although he does not know it yet).