The weight gain crept in slowly over years – then one day I wasn’t just a little fluffy, I was fat.
I started off like everyone - I tried fad diets like low carb, shakes, or salads for a couple months. I would stick to it at home, but every time there was a company lunch or family event, I’d stuff myself (and call it a cheat day). Looking back, I know it was halfhearted but even dieting HALF the time was A LOT. I just knew nothing would work for me, I was never going to be even a healthy weight much less fit or thin!
Right around Thanksgiving of 2015 I had enough. I remembered after my first child I did a calorie diet and it worked! Trying to remember what I ate, drank, did that worked before and I knew I needed to add MOVING MY ASS. I needed to join a program that would keep me moving and be something I would like.
This time was going to be different – it HAD TO BE DIFFERENT. In 4 short months I was going to be 30, and I did not want to start off my 30’s in the shape I was in. I did a very scary thing and took “before” pictures, but I knew I had to make sure it worked this time. The first week was rough. I was hungry, tired, sore and I couldn’t even finish a workout. After the first week I knew I found something I liked and if I wanted to hit my goal before my next birthday, I would need to do more. Every day I was sore, everything was sore. I don’t think sore is even a strong enough word. Even though I couldn’t do all the moves and couldn’t breathe in the ones I could, I wasn’t going to stop.
After the first month things started looking up a little! I was down 9lbs, I felt better, had more energy, was losing fat and getting stronger. I keep to my calorie limit down. When I had cravings, I found a way to make the foods I wanted that would keep my calorie count where it should be. Prepping became the norm after a couple months. Making sure I had all my meals planned out and packed each morning before work made it so much easier. Some days it was very, very hard. I wanted to just eat all the food. Not just the food in my house, ALL the food. Prepping gave me foods I knew I liked that I could heat up faster than running through the drive thru AKA saving grace!
Wow, I can do push-ups! I’m not gasping for air after a brief run. I need to buy need clothes. I was ecstatic.
Then my first hurtle came, and I came to understand how senselessly cruel people can be. There was an instructor who wasn’t very nice, just short with people and didn’t seem to care. I just avoided her most days, but today was not that day. After a workout SHE approached ME when I was leaving. Out of left field she told me she didn’t think I was very dedicated and that I just wasn’t even trying in my workouts…I was floored. I was down almost 30 pounds in 3 months! I worked out 5-6 days a week and soaked my clothes with sweat EVERY TIME! The worst part was that it happened in front of my daughters. I was beyond crushed. What? Why? But my kids were there, and I didn’t want to set a bad example or get into a debate in front of them, so I simply said OK and walked out. As soon as I got home, I broke down in tears. My husband was baffled, I was always in such a good mood when I got home from class and here, I was crying. I was so upset and angry and confused. Not only was I getting results, but other instructors would have me speak with new comers because of my success. This ended up being a pivotal point though, where I turned a negative into a positive. I did not want to be around her, but I was not going to let her ruin my journey and my goals. There will always be bullies and people who judge others; side step them and keep going.
So, I got a different gym membership and figured I could at least do some jogging/running on treadmills and figure out the equipment by watching others. This was terrifying. As I know it is for everyone. All the thoughts that ran through my head. Why does it take me so much longer to get ready? Are people looking at me? Shit, I forgot to shave, and people will see when I change into my workout pants. Wow, everyone is so fit, and they all look so good and I’m just a mess who can’t remember her towel/shampoo/socks/shoes. And that was just in the locker room.
Once I was out in the workout area, I just knew people would watch me struggle with machines and not knowing what weight to use. On the treadmill...oh treadmill. Why was I so out of breath at a low speed? I felt like I was barely moving and already dying??? Always thinking people were watching and judging my speeds and how long I could go for.
Now, when I signed up for the second gym, I opted for personal trainer, with 3 or 4 beginning sessions. I was thrilled, because I had no idea what to do in a gym. I’d been taking cardio classes that didn’t involve weights or any machines. This also didn’t end up working out, but it did push me. Personal trainer number 1. The ‘high rep, low weight’ guy. I was beyond bored and not challenged in the least. I had made it clear I was already working out quite a bit and wanted to push myself. So, I asked for a different trainer who was more aggressive. The second trainer was great at first! It felt great having someone show me what to do! I knew I was getting a great workout and much less injury risk than going on my own. Then I realized he kept giving me free sessions, my initial sessions were done, and he kept trying to book me out. At first, I thought it was about getting me to buy more sessions, and I was concerned about the cost but then it happened. Exactly what my husband said would. He started making inappropriate comments. The first one you always brush off, telling myself he was just commenting on my progress. It only got worse and I realized what he wanted. That was that. I didn’t want to start over with a new trainer, guy or girl. All I wanted was a good workout. Why were gyms and trainers making this harder than it already is? To the drawing board I went, I needed to learn how to work out!
2 months progress
Many, many hours of watching techniques and learning about muscle groups and SPLITS…how to train, what to train, what to eat when you’re training. The hours I spent on YouTube and in fitness forums is a little embarrassing. It took a month or two, but I stopped worrying about what other people were thinking or doing. It took time to learn what speeds I could maintain on the treadmill. It took time to learn the different weights my body could handle but would still push me. I fell in love with it. Outside of work and family, my fitness was it.
Then I hit HUGE plateau! I lost it – I cried. I was sticking to my limits and working out, so why did it all just stop? I knew I couldn’t give up; I’d already made so much progress! So, I doubled down! I started going to multiple gyms to try and change up what I was doing and learn different things, became even more strict with my calories but that only worked for a couple weeks.
I knew it was my food, something just wasn’t adding up. Back to the drawing board!!! I worked with a nutritionist and it was eye opening! *She was awesome* I learned a lot from her, but she was out of state and it was hard to be patient. I quickly realized I wanted to learn the whys of it all and how much I really enjoyed learning about it! I dove straight in to learning the ins and outs and found out how much BULLSHIT is online. This was exciting and very challenging. Reading more and more articles and learning about exercise. I became somewhat obsessed, especially with my birthday coming up!
As March approached my excitement only grew. I must be honest though; I didn’t hit my initial weight loss goal by my birthday, and it didn’t matter! I was less than 10lbs away and I looked and felt great! I was back down to the size I was when I met my husband (muscle weighs more than fat) and had more energy than when I was a teen!