At over 320lbs, my doctor told me that if I didn’t do something about my weight, I wouldn’t likely live to see my 40th birthday and my little girl would be without a mother. I had been overweight my whole life and since the age of 8, had tried every kind of diet known to man, resulting in a devastating yo-yo effect that left me squeezing out of a plus size 28.
I was terrified to go on yet another diet because I knew that it was the dieting itself that had contributed to my ballooning so I had to try something completely different. I had to drive to pick up my mail (only 3 blocks away) because it was too much for me to walk that distance without having to take breaks to catch my breath. So when my friend asked me if I wanted to join GoodLife with her, even though it seemed daunting, I decided to give it a try since I had tried everything else.
I hated exercise
The problem was that I HATED exercise because it was painful, boring, and exhausting. I forced myself to go twice a week and felt better that I was actually doing something active.
One day, I nervously skulked into a BODYJAM class and hid in the back corner of the room. I was terrified because I felt so out of place since I was twice the size of everyone else, but I quickly realized that I was the only one who was judging me. The instructor (Stephanie) was warm, genuine and inviting and she actually looked me in the eye, making me feel like any other person there and before I knew it, I felt comfortable and was swept away in the most fun and exciting hour I could ever imagine.
I actually cried through much of the class because I realized that I had finally found something I truly enjoyed and could do at my own level. I had to have more! I found out where I could do more of these classes throughout the city and ended up hopping from one club to another to get to as many as possible because it satisfied something inside me that had been missing most of my life. I felt included. And this strange side effect started happening to me; since I felt so good I was eating better and the weight was falling off.
A year later
A year later I was auditioning to become a BODYJAM instructor and during my training I broke my 100lb weight loss milestone.
I also discovered I was pregnant, which was thrilling but scary at the same time because even though I wanted a second child, I was so afraid that this momentum would be lost, or worse, that I’d end up back to where I started. Despite my new lifestyle, 6 months into the pregnancy, I developed complications to the point that I was basically on bed rest. I ended up with a c-section, so it was another 6 weeks before I could start coming back to the gym. Naturally, after almost 5 months of being sedentary, some damage was done and by the time I returned to the gym, I had to overcome a 40 pound weight gain.
Getting back on track after my pregnancy
It was hard for me to get to the gym beyond my scheduled classes with a little one in tow and I was so tired because the baby didn’t start sleeping through the night until she was well over a year old. I was not committing to the gym the way I needed to see results, so I decided to hire a Personal Trainer. This made all the difference! Since I had appointments booked, I was committed to go and I quickly discovered that no matter how tired I was, my trainer (Chris) made it the perfect balance between fun and challenging. As before, since I was feeling better about myself I was eating well again and lost the 40lbs I had gained in pregnancy and have since lost an additional 35lbs.
Where I am now
This means that between Group EXercise and Personal Training, I’ve lost 135 lbs, gone from a size 30 to a 10 and I feel like a completely new person. I am currently teaching 4 classes a week (BODYJAM and Zumba), training twice a week and try to participate in as many extra classes as I can. It feels amazing to be smaller than I was at age 12 and yet I am so much stronger than I’ve ever been.
My entire family is living a healthier lifestyle now, including my husband who has lost 50lbs and has since become an RPM instructor. I feel like I’m a better role model for my daughters and it feels so good knowing that fitness and health will be a priority in their lives. I never imagined a life like this and it shows you that absolutely anyone can do it!