Monday, May 09, 2011
My Journey has been one in the making for many years. I have always wanted to have a very healthy lifestyle and be fit but life always seems to get in the way and it was never something that seemed to be something talked about as I was growing up. My brothers and sisters all played sports and outside with the other kids but I never really seen my parents take an active role in adding exercise into our lives. We did try to do family walks and even got bikes for everyone but all very short lived but it put something in my mind. I know this is when the seed was planted….but it takes more than just a seed to get it to grow.
I learned as I continued to mature that running was something I truly enjoyed and could not get enough of it as one of my high school coaches talked me into signing up for cross country and told me that I could do it and he would help me in the training process. I enjoyed learning and the freedom of being outside and enjoying nature as I ran. I saw many benefits and truly looked forward to practice and to the competitions that I would enter into.
So being young with no responsibility except for doing good in school and participating in my church activities running became a past time for me and I truly enjoyed it and being outside no matter the weather. After I graduated and went to college life started taking over and I had more responsibility and trying to get everything done seemed difficult cause I was more focused on the fun factor and dealing with being so far away from home.
The weight started packing on and I was not focused on taking care of myself at the time. Over the years as I started having children and raising them I never took the time to focus on myself and well I let my eating and weight really get out of control. Everything around me seemed to be against me and that’s when I let life rule me and take over instead of me trying to make something of myself. I became very lonely, depressed, and all my energy went into work and by the time I got home all I could do was sleep and this was a horrible feeling.
My kids were picked on because of their mom and my size and I truly felt bad for them so I tried not to put them in that position any longer. After realizing that life was passing me by and I wasn’t getting any younger I needed to do something so that I could enjoy being around my kids and honestly keep up with them.
This past year I started making small changes just a little at a time. I knew I needed to drink more water so at work I always kept cases of water so I would have something to drink and not be tempted by all the other things close by. I also started keeping healthier eating habits and good foods at work including fruits and veggies, almonds, oatmeal and peanut butter. I would still break down when the cravings would come around but I was no longer eating package of cookies and bags of chips a day or drinking a six pack of sodas.
Now eating better was only part of the battle I had put on way more than another person on to my body and my legs, knees, and feet were feeling the pressure and pains of it. I knew the weight needed to come off and I knew I couldn’t do it alone at home I didn’t have what I needed to motivate me.
Then it came in the mail the card from Gold’s Gym! I looked at it set it aside and said I should look into this. Now there was an expiration date on it but since I just got it I was like ok I will get there. I was still lacking some motivation and determination. Other papers started to stack up on it. Now at this time I knew I wanted to do something but still waiting to figure out if I was truly ready.
In September I went to the Willow Lawn center with my coupon and met with Naomi. I came dressed to work out. She showed me around told me to go workout and that we could talk when I finished. Well I still wasn’t sure just wanted to get my week and all. Naomi being very persuasive listened to my concerns and then before I knew it she had me signing up for a contract and letting me know about my training sessions to help me get started. I remember seeing the poster on the wall of the 12-week challenge at that time and asked about it. She said that it starts in January and more information will be available later but it was a great experience.
Alex is the trainer who I was signed up with. He listened to me took my measurements and we started talking about things I want to accomplish. My big goal was to run a marathon by the end of the next year. Now I could only imagine what he was thinking as he was looking at me and the shape I was in but I knew I could do this.
He started me on a pretty simple plan using the machines to help see where my fitness level was an encouraged me to keep doing at least an hour of cardio a day every day. That seemed like a lot but I knew I could do it and would do it. Well my three sessions went fast but I was not ready to sign up for the personal training sessions. I figured I needed to lose some of my weight first. So I continued to hammer down the cardio and do the machines Alex had shown me. Oh when we first started I thought I would die when we started doing sit ups….oh was it too much.
The signs were posted information was being talked about and I signed up to participate in the 12-week challenge. Now along with this my trainer had talked to me about a website to look into called sparkpeople.com and I went there because I still was not getting the results I wanted. So I did. I also signed up to do a New Year’s 4-mile resolution run and a New Year’s Day 5k run the following day. What was I thinking? I wanted to end the year right and begin the new year right also.
My two youngest boys were with me when I did the runs and they were taking pictures and cheering me on. Now I have to be honest and say that pretty much I had not really been doing any running to train for these races. I would do some cardio but never really run or jog. I was still determined to do them. I was not interested in winning but finishing to me that would be my win! I did both races and was completely and utterly exhausted after them and rested completely the next day with very little moving. My entire body was sore but I had done it and never once walked. I was not the fastest and I was not the slowest I just wanted to finish.
This is when I knew I was ready for the challenge and that is what I told Alex as we signed up and started the personal training sessions. I knew what I needed to do and he was there to guide me and help me get the results that I wanted and needed. He was my motivator and I wanted him to know I was serious. So he would always say hi and every time he would see me he would comment on how good I was looking and how much smaller I was getting. I just smiled and kept going cause in reality I just figured he was saying that to make me feel good. I kept going and I was seeing changes in my clothes and the way they fit but also in my energy level and my overall appearance. I kept at it and making those changes and trying to do everything I needed to do. I truly wanted immediate results but then I started to realize that this was a lifestyle change for me and I needed to take my time and make these changes little by little so that they will last.
My first goal was to not have to shop in a plus size store by the end of February. Well, I met that goal and I was also working in a plus size store and getting smaller every day and people asking how to do it and I told them its hard work but the benefits and payoff are so much better for me. So I began spreading the word and practicing what I preach.
So far this year alone I have competed in 6 races and in each one I improve my time and I feel good about what I am doing. I know I am much stronger today than I have been in years and that I may not be where I want to be yet but I am learning for life changes and I want to enjoy my life and be around to see my children have children. This is for me and that is why I am doing it because I want to be a better me!
It was the desire and determination in my heart to keep going and to not let life pass me by anymore but to be able to participate in it and enjoy more now than I have in the past years. This is my strength and now I want to share it with others and help others along the way!! I can do it so can the next person and I will be that support system.
My gratitude goes out to my wonderful trainer Alex and to all those who encouraged me to keep going even when I was not as motivated as I should have been. Their efforts and mine have not been in vain the results speak for themselves and I am very proud of where I am now and where I will continue to go with these changes.