I very clearly remember my, “ah ha moment”. Not everyone needs one. Do not let it get to the point where such a moment is required. Take action, save your own life and become your own hero. It can all begin with the simple decision totry. I am sharing my story in hopes of inspiring others to do just that.
I had quit smoking cigarettes a few years prior, this was my last demon and I had finally decided to conquer it. Unfortunately, my awakening didn’t occur until I was tipping the scales at 252 pounds. I needed to lose substantial weight. And so began the journey of massive weight loss, 120 pounds to be exact. I have not only lost weight but have completely transformed my body, to ultimately stand on stage and compete in figure competitions. I have loved every moment of this journey, even the ones I hated.
It all began with a few nights of restless sleep. I was waking myself up, I was gasping for air. I wondered, “is this allergies?” After a few nights of this it occurred to me. I was so overweight and likely suffering from the beginnings of sleep apnea. A very dear friend who was morbidly obese had suffered from it. I had lost her a few short months earlier. That revelation was the end of it! I was finished with being overweight, disguisted with myself and terrified.
In my youth I had been an athlete, very fit and extremely competitive. I knew what I needed to do. It was time to get in the gym and clean up the eating. It is difficult to know where to begin. Especially when you are facing down a staggering number. To make such a task less daunting, it must be done in stages. Five to ten pound victories. There must also be an appreciation for non-scale victories. recognizing that I was gaining strength and bettering myself kept me forging ahead during times of frustration and plateaus.
There were very serious physical challenges to overcome. I had a back problem that turned out to be undiagnosed spinal stenosis and disc herniations. Before beginning my journey, I had been bed ridden for a month as a result. I was absolutely terrified every day to exercise. I was especially afraid of resistance training, there was very limited range of motion. I suffered daily with back pain. Additionally, I was too embarrassed to go to a traditional gym. Instead, I joined a nearby community center that had a small gym. It was there that I lost my first 40 pounds doing cardio and managing my nutrition. Regretfully, I hadn’t started weight training at this point. I had been eating a balanced diet, approximately 3 meals a day plus snack. I wasn’t paying attention to my macro nutrient intake. I was only interested in creating a calorie deficit. Therefore, I was basically a smaller version of my fat self. Weight training and sculpting lean muscle is the only thing that will transform the actual shape of your body. The nutrition component is key and so often ignored. These are the keys to truly changing your physique.
It was time to set a new goal and change the routine. I had maxed out the returns with cardio and knew it was time for a new challenge. I hired a trainer and began to truly change my body. It was so exciting! I started to very quickly see dramatic changes. What an exhilirating and motivating time it was for me. I fell in love with it. Never in my wildest dreams would I have believed I would end up on a stage competing in figure competitions. I had always been envious and admired those women but I couldn’t even conceive of it. It was simply too much to grasp. I never had the nerve to say it out loud until it was close enough to touch!
I wanted to do something extraordinary for myself. I think it is amazing to be able to transform your body in such a fashion. I lost all of my weight slowly and steadily. It took 4 years of true systematic lifestyle adjustments. It was never a vanity project, It was survival. Anyone can do this, anyone can lose weight and get healthy. Change your mind, empower yourself and believe. There is no magic, there is only work , persistence, consistency, determination and sheer will. It is time to take your power back.