7 months.

7 months. 212 days. 5088 hours. 305,280 minutes.  18,316,800 seconds.

That is how long I’ve been going to the gym. I officially started on October 21, 2013. I’m sure I’ve said it before, but that will be a favorite day of mine for the rest of my life. It’s the day I started making changes for the better in my life. I haven’t done it alone, not by a long shot, but I showed up that day ready to do whatever I was told to make my life worth living. To make my life joyous, enjoyable. Hell, to make ME all of those things. I can’t believe 7 months has already passed. Sometimes I feel like I started yesterday and other times I feel like I’ve been doing this for a long time. It has been  hard, exciting, scary, emotional,  and frustrating. I’ve laughed and cried. (a lot) I’ve learned that I can do a lot of things. All you have to do is know you can do it. Just try. I’ve amazed myself at the exercises I’ve done. Some I like more than others. Some I wonder who in the world came up with these, hello burpees? And how did they settle on that name?

I started off not knowing what to expect. Picture someone so out of shape it was a struggle to tie her shoes. Getting winded putting on tennis shoes! Someone who was ashamed to go to new places or just to go out and have fun. Worried about what people would say about her size. People are incredibly cruel and making fat jokes or fun of fat people is a widely accepted form of discrimination. It’s hurtful. Anyway, back to it…Jake was willing to take this person (me) and see what she could do. What they could do together. Well, together we have gotten rid of 62 pounds. Hopefully more when I weigh in on Friday. Either way, I’m on a path to a healthier life. An enjoyable life. I no longer get winded putting on my shoes. I can fit in chairs better. I move easier. I even shower easier. TMI I’m sure, but whatever. 🙂

I know I’ve said this multiple times before, but I never thought at this time last year I would be where I am today. Lighter, happier, and excited about the journey I’m on. It’s a lifestyle change and it’s definitely changing my life. It’s not all moonlight and roses but I wouldn’t trade any frustration or tear shed for anything. It’s still tough to pass up food or make the better choice, but I’m willing to keep on doing it. I have to for the results I want. I’m not sure if I’ve said it publicly, but my ultimate goal is to get to 200 pounds. I have 222 pounds to lose. That is a lot and it will take a little time but it always reminds me of that saying or joke “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time” I’ll get there one pound at a time.

If you are in the same boat that I was or maybe not so big, but still need to lose weight – Just know that YOU can do it. Just start with that one step. Or get out of the car at the gym. No one there is paying attention to you anyway. At least not in a negative way. 🙂

Here’s to the next 7 months and all they bring! I can’t wait.

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Thank You.

Jake – for all the time and energy you have given to help me get my life healthy. Physically, spiritually, and emotionally. (Thanks for all the kleenex and for not running in the other direction when I have those tears in my eyes.) You are my hero.

Nicole – for always being so encouraging since the very beginning of this journey. You are a treasure. Thank you for praying for me and with me.

Kristi – for answering Jake’s post on facebook back in October 2013. Without that, none of this would have started. You have a key part in saving my life. I am eternally thankful for that and I love you so much.

William, Lauren, Patrick, and Brooke – for listening to me talk non-stop about what exercises I’m learning, how much weight I’ve lost (62 lbs as of today 5/16/14!) or gained, for being some of my biggest cheerleaders and always being excited when I’ve accomplished my next goal. I love you all so much and appreciate you more than you will ever know.

Facebook friends/family – Thank you too for putting up with my numerous weight loss/work out posts. There have been a few (to say the least) and so far no one has told me to knock it off. 🙂 You’re words of encouragement are truly special.

Mom – Thank you for having me. 🙂 And putting up with me, and encouraging me, and telling me to get over it when things just aren’t where I want them to be. “More” – GUP.

And probably the biggest Thank You to God for making all of this possible. I know I’ve said this before but I never thought I would be where I am right this very minute. Losing weight, living healthier, and just living a joyous life. It’s not all peaches and cream but it’s pretty awesome.

Take Notice.

I was driving away from the gym this afternoon when I looked down and noticed how far away my stomach is from the steering wheel. For me, this is a big deal. For starters, my stomach has always touched the steering wheel. I can’t think of a car that I’ve driven where it hasn’t touched or downright rested on the steering wheel. When I got the car I have now, a lovely Dodge Charger (Woo Hoo!), it was still touching. I remember after I had been working out for a while when I got in my car and noticed I was further away and I could fit a couple of fingers between the wheel and my stomach. I remember floating to work that morning. Cloud 9 couldn’t touch me. That was the first time I could tell that this whole exercise thing was working. It became a benchmark for me. Anyone that rode in my car, I would show them, “Look my stomach isn’t sitting on the steering wheel” or “I can almost fit three fingers between the wheel and my belly. I started taking pictures on my phone to record the progress. I remember showing Jake and anyone else who would look, about the progress I was making. I still randomly take a picture. I did yesterday. Especially after weighing Monday and seeing those damn three pounds back on the scale. I need that reminder that I have made great progress and to keep focus on the bigger picture.

When the scale isn’t being my friend, I can still see that my clothes are ridiculously baggy (I soo need to buy some new duds), I can breathe easier, tie my shoes without a second thought, move easier. Hell, I’m living better than I ever have in my life. It’s not an easy road to walk. If it was, there wouldn’t be an obesity problem in this country. I’ve worked my butt off for every pound lost. I’ve stumbled along the way but I haven’t let those speed bumps derail me. I still notice so many differences in me now than I ever have before. And that is pretty remarkable.

By the way, I weighed again today and I’m back to 427. Take that corn dog and Indian taco. Think I can lose 4 pounds by tomorrow?  🙂

Slowly but surely…

This weight is coming off! I am down another two pounds this week which means I am 3 pounds away from being 60 pounds lighter since I started at the gym. What an amazing feeling! When I weighed this morning at first I was like, “only two pounds?!?” because of how much work it took to get rid of those two pounds but then I have to remember that I lost two pounds! I didn’t gain, I didn’t stay the same, I lost! And in this case, I love losing. I am now at 427 and even though that is a big number, it’s not the 500 plus I was last year. I am moving in the right direction. Moving being the key word. I am moving all the time and it’s paying off.

Keep in mind, there isn’t anything extraordinary about what I’m doing. I’m not drinking a magic potion, I’m not better than the next person, basically I’m just a regular person that wants to lose weight more than anything. That is my motivation (I guess.) to keep showing up. To keep pushing forward. To ignore the aches and sore muscles. You have it too. You just have to find it. You have to want it more than you don’t want it. It’s definitely hard and there are days when I haven’t felt like what I’m doing is worth it, but I read something today that was great. It was this:

“Whenever you find yourself doubting how far you can go, just remember how far you have come. Remember everything you have faced, all the battles you have won, all the fears you have overcome.”

So remember that when you think you can’t do it or you’ve tweaked your wrist (AGAIN!) and it adds a little something to your workouts. You CAN do it. Slowly but surely! Have an awesome day and be blessed.

 

 

Paying off.

April 30, 2014

I know I say this all the time, but I can’t believe how much I’ve changed since last year. I can’t believe I made it to 40. I am pretty sure I was on a path to eating myself to death. Actually I know I was on that path. It’s a slow process but I worried all the time about what I was doing to myself. Granted, I wasn’t worried enough to make over all changes, but I was worried that I wouldn’t make it to 40. My doctor would tell me that losing as little as 11-15 pounds could keep me from getting Type 2 diabetes. That worried me, but not enough to make changes. There is a family history of diabetes so I know what it can do to you. Still I didn’t really make any changes. I told myself I would, but didn’t. Then I got that call saying I was in fact diabetic. I was crushed but more to the point I was so pissed at myself. Pissed because this was something that I had done. Something I could have prevented (probably). That was March 2013. So I started making changes. I contacted my aunt who is diabetic and asked for her advice. I met with her and got a wealth of information. That’s something too…look up diabetes on the internet and you are flooded with information on counting carbs, what to eat, what not to eat, do this, don’t do that, etc. It is overwhelming to say the least. Okay, so here I am armed with information about how to start eating better and maintain a healthy blood sugar. I start making changes. Changes to the way I eat, being conscientious about carbs, watching my sugar levels, and checking said levels. I started losing weight! I was on a roll.

Then I wasn’t. I don’t know when I slacked off, but I did. It wasn’t a huge change or a drastic measure. I would just eat a little (or a lot) more, have this dessert, or eat that potato. My weight loss slowed or I gained, which I’m not sure because I hadn’t weighed. I’ll say gained because I could tell in my clothes. During this time I didn’t really have great weight loss. My weight at the first of the year was over 500 pounds. That’s have of 1000. That’s embarrassing to write. I had let myself go so much that I was closer to 1000 pounds than I was away from it. I don’t know what my weight was exactly because the scale stopped at 500. People are not supposed to weigh 500. I’m guessing I was probably around 530. It’s just a guess, but I’m sure it’s more accurate than not. The last time I weighed at the doctor I was at 492. That was back in September. When I met Jake and started at the gym, the first time I weighed on the scale (at the Dr’s.) I was at 484. That was, I believe, my second week there so that’s the number I use to gauge my weight loss since starting at Balance. Which as of today, is 55 pounds lost! (101 since last March!) It has been hard, frustrating, full of doubt, one injury after another, and fraught with a lot of tears. I mean a lot! Ask Jake. I’m pretty sure he was worried for a long time when he would talk to me because I would tear up or do the ugly cry. His office is well stocked with Kleenex. 🙂

I’m saying all of this because after 6 months of intense workouts and eating better, (so much better!) I am finally seeing the results for myself. I’ve know for a while that I was/am losing weight because my clothes are looser and people have commented but now I have noticed the change in me physically. Looking in the mirror I can tell that I am smaller than I used to be and I am marveling at how small my face is becoming. I can see that I do in fact have a pretty face. Clothes are downright baggy on me and need to be retired, I can breathe easier, walk easier, do life easier. I still have an intense road ahead. My goal right now is to lose an additional 100 pounds by October 21st. That’s 18.5 lbs a month. Easy. Well, not easy but I’ve done it before, I’m doing it now, and I will continue to do it. My ultimate goal is to make it to 200lbs. If it drops into the 100’s, man I can’t even imagine. I can sort of picture myself at a much smaller weight, but not really. I’ve never been small – always overweight. I am excited about the changes in my life. The relationship I’m forming with God. My only regrets are that I waited this long to enjoy His word and take better care of myself. I still have my issues. I’m not comfortable working out in front of mirrors. I still have fat that slaps together. Will that ever go away? Haha. I still get nervous on weigh in days. I even commented on Monday to Jake if there was something I could bribe him with? But I did it and was even down a pound. Woo Hoo. When it’s good numbers it’s all I can do to contain myself and not bum rush him with a hug or something. Usually we high five. It not only makes me excited for myself, but for him as well. He’s put in a lot of time and effort to get me here and he is due all the credit. It’s good to see that all your hard work is paying off and will continue to pay off. To know firsthand that your time spent has been and is worth it.

To finally see that eating all that chicken and veggies, working out twice a day and on Saturday, all the sweat, tears, frustration, elation, embarrassment, etc is paying off…now that is really something.

Attitude is everything.

Attitude can make or break you. It is definitely a part of your workout. If you don’t believe me, try working out when you just don’t feel like it or your head isn’t in it. It’s almost impossible. It can be done but it’s almost like doing it through mud or quikcrete. (Did I spell that right? anyway…) Well my attitude this week has been less than stellar. I’ve worked out everyday like always but for some reason or another, my attitude hasn’t been there. At times it has downright sucked!  And I’m letting everything get on my nerves. I was talking to my cheering section at work today and when I say things out loud I feel or sound like a child. I’m going through the motions of working out but I feel like something’s missing. Like I’m missing out on something but I can’t quite pin down what I am missing out on. It’s silly really, I think, and I’m sure I’ll get over whatever it is. I need to not get so caught up in my head and just go with the flow. I know I’m restless about situations in my life and maybe that is part of what’s off. Everything takes time and I’ve been rather impatient lately. Take the class on Wednesday morning. I was so frustrated that I almost, for a split second, thought about not doing it anymore and just go back to working out on the arc trainer. The reason –  it seemed like almost all of the exercises had to be modified for me. Realistically it was really only 3, but I was so mad at myself, and a little embarrassed to be honest, that I couldn’t do them like everyone else. That’s crazy. What I should have been thinking was ‘Holy crap! Look what I can do.’ Stuff that I couldn’t or wouldn’t even begin to try much less do 6 months ago. I suppose part of it is I still feel like this remedial kid trying to play with Rhodes Scholars. (Nothing wrong with remedial)

I need to quit worrying about not being on the level of everyone around me and concentrate on where I’m at today. Because this time last year? I was holding down the couch instead of working out in a gym. I’ve lost a bunch of weight, I’m moving better, I’m breathing better, and I’m just living better. So snap out of it! Right??? Also…if you’ve been on the receiving end of my crappy attitude this week, consider this my blanket apology. I’m not usually such an ass.

The Beginning.

The Beginning

October 11, 2013

I am terrified of beginning this new chapter of my life. I’ve been given this opportunity by the Grace of God, literally. Here’s how it all came to be…My sister, Kristi, was a member of Balance Fitness before she moved to Prague. (Oklahoma, in the country, not The Country) Even though she was no longer a member she still followed the page on Facebook. One day, the owner of the gym, Jake, posted he felt a calling from God to help someone who is need of weight loss but didn’t necessarily have the means to work with a personal trainer and if you knew someone, contact him. Now Kristi being Kristi, she immediately thought of me. All things weight loss related lead her to think of me. I’ve always be the heavy one in my family of six kids and at this time of my life, it’s the biggest I’ve ever been. So, she calls me early Friday morning on the 11th to see if this is something I’d be interested in or even wanted to do. I’m naturally skeptical and a little put off that it’s another “weight loss” phone call. (she means well and only wants the best!) I agree to let Jake contact me and we’ll just see where this goes. Later that morning at work, she sends a text, “Jake from balance is going to call you! Woot!!!” exactly as he’s calling. I missed the call but called him back later on that day. Now, for those of you that don’t know me, I don’t really like calling people I don’t know. I was hoping for a voicemail and bingo! I got one. Now it was my turn to leave a message. Message left and it was time to wait and see what happened next. I didn’t hear back from Jake until the following Tuesday. Between Friday and Tuesday I thought he might have found someone else to help, he was no longer interested, just a number of reasons why he didn’t call me back. All negative. When he called Tuesday afternoon I was a little apprehensive to answer. Even though I said I was interested, here is someone that I don’t know, offering something that I’ve never done before – a chance to change my life. After talking with him I agreed to meet him on Thursday at 4.

I didn’t mention the meeting to anyone. Kristi is really the only one I told. I didn’t want to let everyone know about it in case I chickened out and decided not to grasp this life line I was being given. I didn’t want to disappoint anyone or seem like a failure. (common theme in my life) Kristi said she would attend the meeting with me and I was overjoyed. I normally don’t go places by myself and if friends and I are meeting somewhere, I usually wait until someone else shows up before walking in. Weird I know. Anyway, Thursday arrives and I’m working myself up into a frazzled ball of nerves. All day I have thoughts of what if’s – what if I’m too big to help, what if he decides not to help me, what if I decide not to do it, what if, what if, what if. I can ‘what if’ with the best. It’s finally 3:30p.m., time to leave work and make the drive north. On the drive I’m talking to Kristi to keep from turning my car around and driving home. I know this could potentially turn out to be a life changing event, but I’m petrified. The more I drive north, the worse my anxiety is becoming. 4 o’clock is looming large and my stomach is a wad of knots and fear. I pull into the parking lot, Kristi still on the phone, and I can’t open my car door. I’m about to start crying because I’m so nervous. Kristi’s urging me on the phone to “just open your car door. I’ll be there in a minute.” I wipe off my face and summon courage that I don’t feel I really have and open the car door. No turning back now. I nervously walk towards the building and make it to the door. Opening the door I feel I could throw up all over the place. Upon entering, here is this guy with a smile on his face ten miles wide. He knows who I am and immediately introduces himself. Jake. We shake hands and I’m still just scared. I look around and it’s a nice place; an intimate setting with treadmills, weights, and machines on one side and an aerobic studio on the other. He’s finishing with a client so it will be just a minute. I explain that Kristi is on her way and should be there shortly. I quietly stand by this crazy looking machine to wait for Kristi’s arrival. There’s only one other guy there working out, so I could bolt if I wanted to. When Kristi arrives it’s such a relief to have her there. Someone who knows me and the reason I’m in this place to begin with. After Jake finishes with his client we go to his office to talk. The first thing he says is “Tell me about yourself.” Poor guy. I don’t know if he was prepared for that. I can’t even say three words without crying. I tell him I’m tired of being fat. I’m the biggest person in my family out of six kids, I’ve always been heavy, I feel my siblings are embarrassed to be seen with me in public (my perception), I’m just tired of being fat. I’ll be 40 next year and I don’t want to carry this weight around anymore. I’ve been overweight, obese, all my life. I explain to him how I have let it control everything I do. I’ve missed out on a lot of things because of my weight. The constant running dialogue day in and day out of “will I fit in this chair” “do they have booths or tables” “is this seat belt going to fit”, and countless other negative thoughts. Being this heavy it plays into every single aspect of my life. I have let it play into every aspect. I’ve missed out on so much. But this meeting is changing all of that. Listening to Jake speak about God and his plan for us, not just me, everyone, is empowering. He’s speaking about God’s Grace and do I know that I have His Grace? I haven’t really felt that way. I haven’t felt worthy. That’s another theme of my life. Not being good enough. Not feeling worth it. Listening to Jake speak, I’m really hearing what he has to say. There isn’t anything more I could do on this earth that will make God love me more. He already loves me unconditionally. I just have to know it. Believe it. We are all worthy. At some point during the meeting Jake’s wife Nicole comes in and introduces herself. She has a warmth and kindness about her that is welcoming. The entire meeting I felt like this is where I should be. This is happening for a reason. Don’t get me wrong, I was still nervous, but I knew I needed to be there. I agreed to come to Jake’s ministry that he recently started at the gym on Saturday evening; another situation where I was nervous because I won’t know anyone and it’s something out of my comfort zone.

Saturday was great! I ended up sitting in the front row, not my usual, and felt awkward for a while. I was introduced to the others and everyone was again nice and welcoming. The sermon was great. I still felt somewhat awkward after it was over, but that’s just me. Time to set the schedule for the upcoming workouts. “This needs to be 5 days a week.” Jake told me. “Okay.” I replied, thinking inside, 5 DAYS A WEEK?! 4p.m. was the scheduled time. Monday was to be my first day of training. Oh joy.

When I finally told people, the reaction is one of excitement for me to be successful. I’m blown away by everyone. I shouldn’t be because these are my friends and family. People who want nothing but the best for me. So this is how I was given the opportunity of a lifetime. What follows next can only be considered comedy.

 

So, this was the beginning of the journey that is changing my life. It hasn’t been easy and it’s been filled with joy, embarrassment, happiness, frustration, and more tears than I care to count. But it is all worth it. I’m worth it. And I think I’m finally getting that.