Sally S., age 24
2007 weight: 285lbs
Present weight: 180 lbs
- Stomach – 14 inches
- Chest – 10 inches
- Thighs – 8 inches
- Calves -4 inches
- Arms – 6 inches
- Neck – 5 inches
What started you on your journey towards weight loss?
I have always treated my weight problem as an addiction; a crutch I refused to admit I needed and a drug I refused to admit I wanted. The best way to describe finally accepting that I needed help is when everyone around me stopped commenting on my weight and asking me if I had tried this diet or that workout. They had accepted, just as I had, that I was going to be big for the rest of my life. My problem was and still is that I am an emotional eater. I eat when I’m happy, when I’m sad, when I’m bored. I eat when I’m full because I want one more taste and I eat when it’s in front of me because it’s there. I had absolutely no self control and I needed help. I need a program that didn’t reprimand my eating habits but understood them. I needed to balance working out, eating healthy, and most of all I needed to see results so that I knew my efforts weren’t wasted.
What is your motivation?
I am a firm believer in the power of denial. I am also a firm believer that a helping hand can change a persons life. My motivation was not just self proclaimed; it was a combination of myself and others around me getting to the bottom of the issue. Using the cardio plan made specially for my body and life style was the first step, understanding my body, what it needed, and what I was doing to it was the second, and believing in my dietitians food control plan was the third. People are free willed by nature, we cannot be forced to fight an addiction, we must choose to do so. In short my motivation from the very beginning until now has remained the same; a simple phrase that I must repeat and whole heartedly believe in. If I don’t care about my health and body, no one else will.
How did you lose the weight and get on the road to healthy living?
I used a combination of personal training plans, dietitian counseling, and yoga. I won’t lie to you, the beginning of my physical training was tough, but I enjoyed the soreness of my muscles. It let me know that I had done something; I had worked out and my body was reacting. I knew what I had to do to an extent… cardio, weight training, etc. I had to eat lean protein, cut out bad carbs, and consume good fat. What I didn’t know was what all of that meant or how to even attempt doing things in the right order or form. I was intimidated by all of the machines, the people who walked around that knew where they were going, and most of all looking like a fool. Admitting my fears out loud to my personal trainer was embarrassing, but I was assured that my feelings were normal and he gave me a workout plan that combined weights with adequate cardio. Essentially, all the guess work was taken out how to exercise efficiently. I just followed his order’s to a T, and saw the progress being made. I didn’t feel like I was at boot camp, I felt like a trusted friend was sharing advice and experiences with me. I started taking yoga classes in addition to my weight and cardio routines. This helped relax me and provided yet another form of exercise. Yoga was also very comforting to my mind and body; something that helped me make great strides. That comfort and stability led me to become more comfortable and stable in other aspects of my life. I realize I don’t have my personal trainer and dietitian holding my hand every step of the way, but what I do have is the life lessons and knowledge they have imparted upon me.
Do you still have work to do to reach your goals? If so, what is your plan?
Everyday is a struggle, just like any addiction, the temptation is everywhere I look and easily accessible. I have to remind myself that everyday is one day closer to my goal of a healthy body. Healthy body, not healthy weight. I don’t use a scale, I can see the difference in my waist line, in how many times I say, “No thanks, I’m full,” and in the extra 5 minutes I put into my work outs each time because I’m not short of breath. I have a great support team that allows me some leeway, forgives my mistakes, and helps me remember that it’s always easier to fall then it is to get back up. At the end of the day, a weight loss program isn’t really program at all, it’s a lifestyle change. Everyday is a battle and everyday there is a chance of surrender. You have to be committed to change your life for the better. Once you make that commitment it all falls into place. I still have a bit more work to do, to reach my goals, but now I KNOW it’s nothing I can’t handle.
Anyone can lose weight. Like Sally says, it’s about making a decision to lose weight on your own. No one can force you to lose the weight and get healthy. Find motivation wherever you look; do it for your spouse, your kids, the ability to walk up a flight of stairs without being winded. Obesity and sedentary lifestyles kill. It is never too late to reverse bad habits and get yourself started on the path to healthy living today.