My Journey

13 Sep

I did and didn’t want to write this post. I don’t like a lot of “look at me! I want attention” stuff. That’s because of who I used to be. I’m only able to spout out my story here because I’m typing. I don’t have to directly confront anyone who doesn’t want to listen. I know if I tried to relay my journey to health and fitness in person, I’d stutter. I’d blush crimson and forget half of what I was going to say because all I can think about is how red my face must be. That’s because I’m still overcoming the person I used to be. See the first pic below. Always an introvert, I have struggled with my body image and self confidence for a decade. I’ve kept to myself, and kept very few close friends. I have a hard time coming up with the self-assurance to make new friends. That’s because of who I used to be.  I struggle with starting conversations among those that I am not already close to. I don’t expect everyone to understand how much of an affect one’s body image can have on certainty, courage, and determination; but I know some of you will. Even now, after my body image has dramatically changed, I have many days where I have to look in the mirror and remind myself of my capabilities. I have to remind myself that every little imperfection doesn’t change the fact that I have the potential and aptitude for great things. 

In August of 2012, I was married to my wonderful, loving husband. I weighed 177 pounds- the heaviest I’ve ever weighed. The summer before my wedding, I had gained weight and was a size 16.

On my honeymoon. 177 lbs.

On my honeymoon. 177 lbs.

For many years before that, I was a somewhat stable size twelve. I exercised, sometimes. I didn’t eat junk food, often. I wasn’t happy with my body; that’s for sure.

May 2012. 160 lbs

May 2012. 160 lbs

My entire outlook on life turned around when I walked into Jowers Training Systems a year ago. I wasn’t too sure anything would help me lose weight. But I had a yearning for confidence. I wanted to feel good about myself. What I have learned about my body, my mental and physical capabilities, and nutrition since then is enough to fill books. I figured out fairly quickly that before I had been exposed to this wonderful place, I had never really pushed myself. I didn’t know what it was to test my limitations.

Sometime around October, Jeff, the owner, asked me to keep a food log. After reviewing my week’s worth of food and drink, he’d ask me to change one thing. He’d say, “have less wine next week,” or “have less greek yogurt.” Slowly, I came to realize he was leading me toward the Paleo nutrition I had heard about and absolutely resisted. No pasta? No greek yogurt?? No sandwiches?? Cheese too? That sounds terrible. Honestly, I thought the whole Paleo thing was ridiculous. After several weeks of cutting out one thing, I decided to just try it. Something in a “Monday Motivation” newsletter from Jeff had me really thinking. He said something along the lines of I’ve been eating the way I eat my whole life, so trying something for one month isn’t that big of a deal. If I don’t like it, I can just go back to the way I want to eat. Through November and December of ’12, I eased my way into Paleo. I put my toes in the water to see if I liked it. By February, I was fully submerged and I haven’t looked back since. I had more energy and mental clarity. I slept 4,000 times better (that might be an exaggeration.) I could eat all I want and be full, and I was losing not only pounds, but inches. And inches. And inches. All I was doing was eating real food and showing up to JTS three times a week. I will be writing another post on how much paleo has affected my life.

Learning how to deadlift. January '13. 160 lbs.

Learning how to deadlift. January ’13. 160 lbs.

Then I thought, why don’t I try running? I’ve never, ever been good at running. It always felt like I couldn’t breathe and I was going to die. I’d noticed that after so long at JTS I wasn’t gasping for air…so maybe running wouldn’t be so bad. So I started slowly and kept going.

Then I thought, why don’t I try yoga? It’d be so beneficial and complement my movements in running and working out. After one sweaty session, I fell in love. Even after being unable to continue at the studio, I still roll my mat out onto my living room floor and turn on yoga videos on my laptop.

The picture below is a 35 pound loss between September and June.

35lbs side progress

142 lbs. June ’13..

From September of 2012 to August 30 2013, here are my numbers:

  • 41 pounds gone
  • Body fat from 33.4% to 22.5%. 10.9% gone.
  • From my chest, stomach, hips, (one)thigh, and (one)upper arm, 25.5 inches gone
  • Size 16 to 6

That’s results. That’s tenacity. Hard work. A lot of sweat and accomplishments. My confidence in my abilities has skyrocketed.

Here I am today, 135 pounds and still going strong.

2013-09-07_17.18.06

Why I did write this post- what I like hearing the most is “you’re so inspiring,” or “you’ve motivated me.” It’s a much better thing to hear than “you look amazing,” because I know what the struggle is like. No matter how corny it sounds, helping someone else on their journey is the biggest reward of my journey to fitness.

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3 Responses to “My Journey”

  1. John September 13, 2013 at 9:36 am #

    Awesome 🙂
    Congrats,You have walked the right way

  2. Dona September 14, 2013 at 10:19 am #

    What a great accomplishment you have achieved. Continue your great work in the future. Great story.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pumpkin Spice Coconut Cookies | - November 4, 2013

    […] took full advantage of it! In the past weeks, my only “me” time has been working out at JTS. So what do I do with a whole day without studying? More exercise, naturally. I went falling […]

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