“Everybody has gone through something that has changed them in a way that they could never go back to the person they once were”
I have had a ton of people ask me how I lost so much weight. Here it is…..
Here is a before pic. 😦
It has been almost 2 years to the day since I started my personal journey to take better care of myself. I remember the day I finally decided that I had to do something. I had taken my two kids to Walmart to pick up a few things. I had not felt very well in a while. I remember being winded from just trying to keep up with the kiddos. As we walked by the pharmacy, I stopped and as shameful as it was…I took advantage of the blood pressure machine. Historically, my blood pressure had always been great. When the test was over and I saw the results…I was disappointed and disgusted with myself. Even the little machine indicated to me that I should see a doctor. I was flush, clammy, and just did not feel well. My oldest asked me if I was okay. I made up my mind right there to go and get checked out.
The following week, I went to the doctor. They did all the routine checks and all. The first thing that absolutely crushed me was when I stepped on the scale. It read 282 pounds. I have never been what you call “skinny”, but I had never been that big before. I then saw the doctor and was told that my blood pressure was really, really high. The doctor said that if my bottom number was two points higher, they would have to send me to the ER. I was appalled and disgusted with myself that I let myself get like that. They put me on blood pressure medicine and that just set off a chain reaction of depression combined with my generalized anxiety disorder. I thought to myself, I am only 38 years old….I can’t be walking around on BP medicine. So, after a few weeks of feeling sorry for myself, I finally told myself…enough. I knew I was not getting any younger and my family’s medical track record is not that good.
Due to years of wear and tear and what I like to think of as a half botched ankle reconstruction and ligament transplant surgery, I am technically 25% handicapped. I had always run for exercise, but after my last surgery the doctor said I could no longer run. He wasn’t lying. If you ever see me take off running, it looks like Fred Sanford trying to run…all gimpy and stuff. Hurts like whoa too! I guess that was my excuse for letting myself go and getting so out of shape over the last 5 years or more. That is all it was…an excuse. I knew better. I have been an “athlete” all my life and I knew I have always had like no metabolism at all. If I even look at a milkshake, my behind jiggles for a week! If I walk past a cheeseburger…5 pounds jumps all over me!
I had to do something. My health was poor, it was like work chasing the kids around. I could not afford another wardrobe. Closet was full of clothes I could not squeeze into anymore. I was ashamed to take pictures and embarrassed when I would see people I had not seen in a while. I would see pictures of myself and it made me angry because I had so much weight on me. I was so big that it looked as though I was squinting. Nope, just too much weight in my face. I was tired. All the time. On that day, I made up my mind to make a change. I was tired of hiding in pictures, getting winded walking across a parking lot, skipping out on activities, feeling lazy and most of all being embarrassed of myself.
I was tired of the looks I thought I was getting from people I was tired of being “Big” D. I was tired of the fact I couldn’t shop normal size clothes anymore. I was tired of not having the energy to do anything but sit around and be sedentary.
I would be turning 40 in a little under 2 years. A friend had recently started working out hard and made the comment that he wanted to get in the best shape of his life by the time he was 40. I thought….that sounds good enough for me too, although I never verbalized it because I was scared I would fail. I thought about what I could do. It is kind of hard when you cannot run and it hurts to walk to participate in any sort of cardio workouts…or so I thought. I did realize that I could not continue eating the way that I was. If it didn’t taste good to me, I wasn’t going to eat it. Pizza, fast food, burgers, all the bad stuff was on my menu! I slowly started making changes to my diet….baby steps. I started out by just trying to leave a little food on my plate, as opposed to cleaning it off to the point the dishwasher wasn’t necessary.
I guess I doubted myself, because I did not have the desire to join a gym. Partly, because I was embarrassed about how I looked and how out of shape I was. I was afraid of getting discouraged by seeing people who were in shape and didn’t feel like I would stick with it, so no need in wasting the money. I needed something I could do in the privacy of my home. Where the only person responsible for failing would be me.
I remembered that I had purchased the P90X video series prior to one of my surgeries and did a few of the workouts. Never really brought it though. So, I find the DVD’s, blow the dust off them and watch the instructional video. I honestly thought I was going to die. No way I can do this.
Call it whatever you will, but there was finally something inside of me that pushed me to start. I would think of my family and how they deserved better. Just try. So, I started. It sucked. I was in worse shape than I thought. Now don’t get it wrong, P90x is an extreme workout and is stupid hard. But I could not even hardly get through the warm ups without having to pause the video. Oh, and don’t even mention the 18 minute ab workout that you are supposed to do every other day! The good thing about this program is that it seems like Tony Horton knew when you were ready to quit. There is always a pause where you are encouraged to just do your best and it will come over time. I decided up front to not use a scale to track my weight. I can remember trying to lose weight before and getting all caught up in the numbers. I would get excited about losing weight only to find it to be water weight and then get discouraged when it didnt read the way I wanted it to. The scale has always been a hindrance to me in my journey. I knew I was going to have to go back to the doctor every 3 months for blood work, so I decided to wait until then to check my progress.
That first month….ugly. I am not even going to lie about it. There were a ton of days that I just didn’t have it in me to work out. I was tired, my body was weary! I allowed myself waaay too many “cheat days”, where I didn’t work out and didn’t eat very “healthy”. It did not take long to see, that approach was not going to work out very well. For every day I was achieving results, I had two days in which I wasted them. The program is designed where you alternate resistance training and cardio plus one day dedicated to yoga for an hour and a half. Um, yeah….I was not doing the cardio nor the yoga. As a result, I could not really tell that I had been working out at all.
So, I made a deal with myself, only one cheat day per week and to at least try and complete each workout every single day. Even the yoga, which turned out to be a game changer. Once I started doing the yoga, my body stopped hurting in places that were once in constant pain. It made a lot of the exercises in the program easier. I became more flexible than I had been in ages. Yoga also taught me how to de-stress, decompress and get out of my own head. I highly recommend incorporating yoga into your exercise routine. I know it seems silly to many, it did for me at first too. But it if you just give it a try it will improve your core strength, flexibility, and make you more durable in anything athletic. Yes, it will be weird and it is going to be uncomfortable at first….but trust me, it is good for you!
Second month…still ugly. I did stick with my plan of at least attempting to finish the workout every day. I could not always finish a workout, but at least I was doing something. These videos are about an hour long each. Some days I could get farther than others, but I was not quitting. That was the key, because lord knows there were more days than not that I just wanted to stop. I had to train myself that if I got tired or spent, learn to press pause and rest…not quit. That second month took everything I had, but you know what…at the end my pants were starting to be just a tad loose.
Third month….not as ugly. Found my grove and accepted my limitations. Built on it from there. Now, there are still a couple workouts that to this day make me want to vomit! But it took until this point to realize that it was working. This is where people started visually noticing a change, albeit small. That is where the motivation really kicks in. You can think and know you are seeing results all day, but when others start to notice it gives you a sense of accomplishment. Although I did not set out to do any of this for anyone but myself and my own well being, everyone enjoys a compliment!
I successfully completed my first round of P90x. I knew that I had lost weight and inches, but still refused to get on a scale. Numbers did not matter, I was going for strong, not skinny. It was time for my blood work, so I did go to the doctor for my check up. After 3 months, I had lost a whopping 20 pounds. You could not really tell it, but as they say…numbers dont lie.
This is when it got fun. I had completed the program to the best of my ability. It would have been easy just to stop there. I challenged myself to go another round because I wanted to get to a point where I could finish all the workouts without stopping…even the stupid ab workout. Before I started the second round, I actually took the time to read the diet guide that accompanied the workouts. That made a ton of difference. It is amazing the results you can achieve just by eating the right things or just eating normal foods but in the right portions. Oh, and drink water people! Coke…bad!
Seeing the fruits of your labor is addictive. With each month that went by, I was seeing more and more results. My clothes were getting too big. My face was beginning to resemble “myself” again. It was not hurting as bad to walk. I had the will power to fight off those bad cravings and to make sure that I just showed up and worked out at least 6 days per week. What had seemed impossible to finish when I started, was now my warm ups. I did not look in the mirror in disgust anymore. Of course, I am positive I had help from the good Lord above because there is no way I could have done this on my own. There were many days I had to say Philippians 4:13 to myself before I started. My family has been awesome and understanding like nobody’s business. Being healthy is important to me now. I have been on the other side and I did not like it. I did not like the person I was.
Fast forward to today. I have completed 5 rounds of P90X as well as the 22 Minute Hard Corps program. I was able to stick with it and achieve my goals of completing the workouts without stopping. I am mindful of what I put in my body and have rarely eaten fast food or pizza. I drink a lot of water and read labels. I started out wearing a size 42 pant and XXL shirts. I am proud to say that now I wear a 36 loosely and a Large shirt. I feel great and have more energy than I have had since college.
I am proof that you don’t have to spend the money to join a gym and stand in line waiting for a machine. Not knocking a gym in any way. They are awesome too. I was just in such as bad spot that I was too ashamed to go to the gym. I do it all from the comfort of my home. Held myself accountable. The only person I would have had to blame would have been myself. I learned to just show up and keep pushing play. Will I ever have the perfect body…no. I spent way too long abusing myself for that. I just try each day to be the best version of me that I can.
I can honestly say that I am in the best shape of my life. I can do things at 40 that I couldn’t do when I was 20. It starts with baby steps and just do the best that you can do every time. When you are home and in your house, you dont have to impress anyone but yourself. If you are a little tired one day and cant complete a workout, so what. Get it next time. That is what I love about Beachbody products. It allows you to get into awesome physical condition and it holds you accountable to you. I used to mope around and get all down about being “loose in the cage”. I am not loose in the cage anymore. For the first time, I can see definition I never thought I could get and even though you may not be able to tell it, I have a strong core and may even have abs under there somewhere!
I say all that to say this…if I can do it, anyone can do it. Is it easy…nope! It is hard and takes every thing you got. My journey into this more healthy lifestyle not only changed my outward appearance, but my inner self as well. Before, I was very cynical and harbored a lot of fat aggression. There were a lot of factors that led to me being so overweight and out of shape. I was in a bad place and this journey helped me find peace. I have said things that have offended a lot of people. If you are reading this and were one of those. I am truly sorry. I can honestly say that I am not the same person I was in any way that I was 2+ years ago.
If my journey can be an inspiration to even just one person out there….awesome. Please feel free to reach out and I will be happy to give you any advice or tips I have picked up along the way. I used every excuse in the book to not take care of myself. Now, I can not imagine any other lifestyle. I started my journey at 282 pounds and as of today I weigh 188 pounds. It has taken me nearly 2 years to get here, but the journey has been so worth it. I can wear clothes that I haven’t been able to wear in forever. I now look forward to being active. In the end, I am not trying to see how much weight I can lose, I am just trying to get healthy and stay healthy. Remember, strong…not skinny. Everything else that comes with it is a bonus.
Dramatic change is possible, y’all. Just be willing to take small steps every day, keep your mind open and attack it with humility and honesty. Once you start seeing results, it gives you the confidence and conviction and most of all faith that real change can happen.
No one particular thing made me how I am today. There is no magic pills, wraps, gym memberships, meals, vitamins, apps, surgery, diets, workouts, waist trainers, books, hypnosis, shakes, powders or any other “snake oil” that will just do it for you. It is all about finding your own way and using the tools that work for you. The hardest part is learning to make healthy choices for your body. In the last 2 years, I’ve made some huge life choices and extreme lifestyle changes, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I still have a long way to go on this journey, and thanks to my family and an incredible support system, I am not giving up. I will see it through.
Here is an “after photo”
I have had a ton of people ask me how I lost so much weight. Here it is and like I said y’all…If I can do it anyone can. It starts with you and I would be happy to answer any questions or give any advice that may help. Thanks for reading!