Updated: Feb 18
I started my fitness journey on July 3, 2014. I started for so many reasons. First, my daughter was nagging me to join a gym. Second, my Uncle Larry was posting on Facebook how he was walking every day and how much weight he had lost and the medicine that he now had to take. Third, I needed to do it for me. I set my own personal goals that had nothing to do with total weight lost. I wanted to be able to ref soccer in the Spring of 2015 and I wanted to be in the same shape I was in while in college by the time I turned 50 (December, 2015). I felt like I had set realistic goals. The toughest part of this was walking into Gold’s Gym the first time. Jessica was with me and we sat in the car for at least 10 minutes before I was brave enough to walk into the door. I had to see what kind of people were walking in there. I felt comfortable enough that there was a mixture of people. I would be able to blend in. We signed up and I started working out with some cardio and the weight machines. I avoided the free weights since it was very intimating to me AND I felt very sad and ashamed of how out of shape I was and how much fat I was carrying around. I went every day, the few days Jessica went with me but she quickly got tired of going to the gym so I was on my own. I posted my training on Facebook so I held myself accountable. I started to get stronger with my cardio, I could go for 20-25 miles on the bike with random hills (I built up to 45-60 minutes, some times longer) and the treadmill was about 30 minutes. I started to see differences in the way my clothes fit. I wanted my work to be a reflection of them. I was on a mission to get my life/health back. By January, I was addicted to the environment and I wanted to be a part of it, so I started studying to become a personal trainer. I wanted to help other people feel the way I felt. I wanted to let others know that they can do it. It takes time but if you do it the right way, it is healthy and it will stay off. Around this time, I also started to do Debbie’s cardio class on Saturdays. I was getting addicted to the training. I felt great, I wanted to do more. By end of 1st full month with John & Debbie I had lost 17 lbs and 7 inches off my waist. People began to notice my weight loss, I had to buy new clothes, my old ones were just hanging off of me. 2nd month with them, I lost another 15 lbs and had to buy new clothes. At the end of February, I had my body fat tested and basic strength assessment (I wanted to compare it to the one I had done at the end of July to see how much if any I had improved). I had almost doubled everything in all categories that I had done before. I didn’t let her take my weight or body fat before because I didn’t want to know. At that time I was 38% bodyfat, Debbie took it again in June I was 26%, I had gone down 12% in 4 months. From Mid February through Mid May I lost another 28.5 lbs, I was almost to the 100 lb marker and I had lost 7 inches off my waist since working with John and Debbie, 15 if you count where I started in July. The inches literally were melting off my body. Chest 7 inches lost, Thighs 4 inches, calves 2.5 inches, biceps 2.5 inches, hips 7 inches. This is all with proper nutrition and exercise. I was did this while being healthy and eating. Yes, I ate while doing this. Debbie increased my food along the way. By end of May, I hit the 102 lbs lost marker. I have gone from size 20 to almost a size 6, my size 8s are getting big. I wore a 2XL top, now I can wear a Medium, may need a small soon. Now, rather than focus on weight loss, I am focused on the changes that my body is making, the muscle definition, the strength I have, the increased muscle endurance. I focus on what I can do now that I couldn’t do before. I couldn’t do lunges when I start with John, now I am doing different versions of lunges as well as walking lunges. Squats, leg presses, upper body strength, everything has increased to such a great level that I now feel like I belong in any gym around. I don’t worry about what other people think. I train with confidence, knowing that I learned from the best and I know what I am doing. I train alongside body builders and I can hold my own. I am able to ref soccer games, a year ago, I couldn’t spring to save my life, now I am running lines of U16 boys. My transformation is a work in progress but I will be forever thankful for John and Debbie for showing me how to properly train and eat healthy. I no longer eat because I want to eat, I eat because I know that it is what my body needs to keep growing and fight off disease. I train hard so I can see the change in my body. I have changed my life and I refuse to allow myself to go back to my old ways.
I was eating pretty healthy and stayed away from all fast food, chips, soda, cookies, cakes, etc. By then of November I had lost 40 pounds, nobody noticed, but I didn’t lose faith. I could tell that I was making changes and I was starting to feel better. I was sore all of the time but it was a good sore, it meant I was doing something good after being so inactive for such a long time. I kept at it, I wanted to be back to the athletic person I had always been. I was very driven as any 2 sport ex- college athlete would be, I had made it to the gym every day from July to the beginning of December. That is when the next step of my journey began. I really wanted to use the Nutrition coach that my sister had used and also add personal training to the mix. End of November, I was able to line it up so I could do both. I started working with John on December 10 (3 times a week) and Debbie on December 17th. I did everything that they told me to do. Debbie told me how much cardio to do, how much food to eat and when. I didn’t stray from anything. I foam rolled every day, I did my stretching every day. I didn’t want to let either of them down.
I WILL PERSIST UNTIL I SUCCEED (this is what I told myself through this whole process, I have a tank top with this saying, it means so much to me and what I am all about)
Mental transformation I started this journey feeling horrible about myself (outside appearance). I hated to look in a mirror, to have my picture taken. I didn’t want to go out to any social events outside of soccer events. I didn’t wear anything form fitting. I hated to shop for clothes, I wore the same things over and over again. As I began to train with John and do the Nutrition with Debbie, I started to change. As I started to feel better, I started to have more energy. I could do more things during the day, I didn’t want to sleep of the time like I did before I started this journey. With this new energy and the feeling of being productive, my demeanor changed. People at work noticed that I was happier, they noticed that I was losing weight. They wanted to know what I was doing and wanted my input. I gave them encouragement and as I did this, I realized that this was very motivating, helping other people. It added to my feeling better about myself. It felt good to help other people. To give them words of encouragement. By posting my journey on Facebook, I was able to help other people start to work out, watch they ate, how to make small changes so they stick to it. My outside was starting to match my inside. I knew what I had on the inside but I felt ugly on the outside. Physical appearance is a powerful thing. Yes, I was comfortable with who I was but once I started to lose weight and get healthy, I was just a different person. I was friendlier, I smiled more. I was more engaging. I felt like
I was the college athlete again, the captain of the soccer and softball teams, the leader that I knew I could be. As a coach, I was more confident, the girls noticed the difference. I feel like I am a better example to them. I have such passion for fitness and nutrition that it attracts people to me. People just want to be helped. I passed by NASM test because I want to help other people get rid of the disease in their body. Help them become happy with themselves. Help them feel confident. After a year, I can finally look in the mirrors at the gym, I can work out alongside people I would have never been brave enough to train next to. I can finally smile when I get my picture taken. This journey has been as mentally challenging as it was physically challenging. I had road blocks along the way that could have derailed this journey but I had strong, wonderful people helping me. God truly placed John and Debbie in my life to change it. In turn, I hope that I can make the same changes in other people’s lives. Being healthy is a powerful thing. It is contagious and want everyone to be infected by it. My journey is ongoing but I WILL PERSIST UNTIL I SUCCEED!!!!