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My Weight-Loss Journey
I am someone who has struggled with my weight for most of my life. I first realized I was overweight when I was in the second grade, at age seven. At that time, I didn't feel or see myself as fat, but I started to receive signals from my peers that I was. It took me a while before I developed a self-image of being overweight, but it definitely happened over time. Because I just wanted to fit in with my peers, I desperately wanted to lose weight, so I went on my first diet when I was about eight ...
I am someone who has struggled with my weight for most of my life. I first realized I was overweight when I was in the second grade, at age seven. At that time, I didn't feel or see myself as fat, but I started to receive signals from my peers that I was. It took me a while before I developed a self-image of being overweight, but it definitely happened over time. Because I just wanted to fit in with my peers, I desperately wanted to lose weight, so I went on my first diet when I was about eight years old. Of course, at that age, I was still growing and I definitely didn't know what I was doing, so I just ended up disappointed when I didn't magically become "skinny," which to me represented the ideal of beauty.
Over the years, in spite of my determined efforts to diet and exercise off the weight, it just continued to add up on me. At one point in college, I know I broke the 200-pound mark. Along the way I had picked up several bad habits, including drinking as much Pepsi as I wanted on a daily basis, smoking, and going out of my way to avoid exercise. I ate out of boredom or to make myself feel better, and I had terribly low self-esteem. When I graduated college in 2001, I knew I had a decision to make. I could either choose to change my life, or I could choose to miss out on life. The latter choice seemed worse than I could bear, so I chose to start making changes.
At first, I didn't have much of a plan. I joined the local YMCA, and I went there several times a week. I usually used the treadmill or elliptical, and I would throw in some work on the weight machines sometimes too. Unfortunately, I was that person who walked out of the gym, got in my car and lit a cigarette, and then proceeded to drive down the road and through the Burgerville drive-through. Needless to say, my results were not dramatic. I still had some work to do.
In the summer of 2002, things finally started to come together. I saw an infomercial for The FIRM's Body Sculpting System, which consisted of three workout videos, a nutrition guide, and a gadget called the "Fanny Lifter." The testimonials on the infomercial were touching, and the before-and-after pictures were amazing! What really appealed to me about this system was its emphasis on strength training with dumbbells. I had learned that the best way to slim down was to combine cardio and weights, but I didn't know how. I decided to purchase the system and give it a try.
Soon after I ordered my FIRM Body Sculpting System, a coworker of mine at the library told me about a book called The Zone, by Dr. Barry Sears. I had heard of the Zone diet--I knew Jennifer Aniston followed it--but I didn't really know much about it. I decided to check out the book from the library. During a Labor Day weekend road trip to California with my family, I read the book cover to cover. It was a little heavy on the science, but I appreciated that the dietary principles this doctor recommended were grounded in a strong scientific foundation. The book's recommendation to eat a balance of protein, carbohydrates and fat at every meal or snack appealed to my common sense. I decided to give the Zone diet a try. I figured it couldn't hurt, and if the diet was really as effective as Dr. Sears claimed it was, then I could potentially achieve a goal that I'd had since a very young age. So the day after we returned home from our trip, I started on the Zone diet.
In addition to changing the way I ate, I had to make a couple of other dramatic changes in my life. Dr. Sears strongly advocated giving up caffeine and smoking, two things to which I was definitely addicted. That first day, I challenged myself to get through the whole day without having a cigarette. I didn't say to myself, "I'm going to quit smoking." Instead I said, "I am not going to smoke a cigarette today." The next day, having gotten through the first day without a cigarette, I said to myself, "I am not going to smoke a cigarette today either." After a few days of not smoking, I knew that if I did smoke, I would be negating all those days where I didn't smoke, and that propelled me forward. I am proud to say that I have never taken even so much as a drag off a cigarette since that fateful day back in 2002.
On the same day that I started on the Zone, I started doing my FIRM workouts. I started out doing the workouts every other day, and it was tough! During the cardio portions, I would get so winded that I would have to pause the video while I rested for a few moments and let my heart rate come down. I felt great when the workouts were completed, though! I kept at it, and by the end of the first month, having started on this program at a weight of 197 pounds, I lost 15 pounds! I was on top of the world about my new diet and exercise program, which actually worked!
Over the course of about a year, I lost over 50 pounds total. I began to enjoy shopping for clothing in my new, smaller size, whereas before I had dreaded it and had often come home in tears. My friends and family were amazed at my transformation. I decided that it was time to embark on a new phase in my life, and so following a month of travel, I moved from my hometown of Battle Ground, Washington to a new city: Seattle. I have been living in the Seattle area since then.
People who have been through the weight-loss journey will tell you that maintaining the loss can be just as difficult as losing the weight, and I would have to agree. Over the years, there have been times when my life got busy and full and I started to skip workouts or neglect my diet and I started to see the weight creep back on. Luckily, I have never allowed myself to gain too much of the weight back. I always recommit to my workout regimen and healthy eating, and my weight starts to come back down. But it does require determination, effort and focus to maintain a healthy weight, especially if you are like me and not naturally thin.
Shortly after I moved to Seattle, I became aware of a company called Beachbody. During my period of weight-loss, I had become active in an online forum for workout video enthusiasts. Besides the FIRM, these people (mostly women) did a lot of other workout videos as well, and it was great to read their reviews and get ideas for new workouts to try. At that time in 2003, everyone was raving about a program called the Slim Series, which was a Beachbody production. I bought the DVDs, started doing them, and loved them. I incorporated them into my workout rotation. A couple of years later in 2005, when I was to be the maid of honor in the wedding of two of my friends, I bought another Beachbody program, Slim in 6. I wanted to do something new and different, and this program was designed as a six-week program which could help you slim down quickly. With only five weeks to go before the wedding, I thought that sounded great. At a starting weight of 148, I embarked on the program. By the time of the wedding five weeks later, I had lost nine pounds and gotten down to my lowest weight ever as an adult, 139. At the wedding, a couple of people told me they barely recognized me. I was on top of the world!
A few years ago, in 2007, Beachbody launched Team Beachbody, a network of people dedicated to helping people achieve their goals and live healthy, fulfilling lives. I became a Beachbody Coach in order to help other people achieve their potential. I know what a difficult and emotional journey it can be to make the decision to change your life and then go through all the hard work of changing it. I also know that the rewards of doing so are AMAZING! I have grown so much as a person as a result of making the decision to embrace health and fitness, committing to a program, and following through on it. I have self-confidence and self-esteem that I didn't have before. I have passion and enthusiasm and an optimistic outlook on life. I have wonderful relationships and even met and married the man of my dreams! Now I regularly set goals for myself and design action plans for achieving them. And then I get to work on achieving them!
If you are ready to make a commitment to yourself, if you are ready to embrace health and fitness, if you are ready to change your life, I would love to help you. Please do not hesitate to contact me. I would LOVE to support you in achieving your goals! :)
Independent Team Beachbody Coach
| Pounds lost: 8.8
Member Since: 12/29/2009
Fitness Minutes: 36,337
-To achieve a healthy BMI
-To build muscle and burn fat
-To maintain a healthy diet
-To do both strength training and cardio workouts consistently
I am currently doing Brett Hoebel's 90-day RevAbs program. I drink Shakeology for breakfast every day and loosely follow the principles of the Zone diet. I log everything I eat on SparkPeople and aim to get 25-35 grams of fiber everyday.
I live in Bellevue, WA with my husband. I work in Seattle, and in addition to being a Beachbody Coach, I am working on my Master of Library and Information Science degree through San Jose State University's online program.