My fitness journey is a bit different than most. It all started with a photograph on Facebook of a former high school classmate. She had posted a photo of herself in her theme-wear from a fitness competition. I was shocked that someone who had just turned forty could look so amazing. I have always worked out pretty regularly since I was twenty-five. However, working out for me consisted of only cardio activities a few times a week. I had never touched a weight as I found the weight room to be intimidating. I also thought I was eating relatively well but unbeknownst to me, salads loaded with dressing, cheese and other hidden calories, was not eating clean! I had put on a few pounds year after year and topped out at 145 at the age of 41. I had come to accept that the small pooch of a belly came with age. However, after my initial amazement and admiration of my friend’s photo, I thought to myself “Why can’t I look better? I may never get the washboard abs she has but I work out all the time and I enjoy it. Why can’t I look more fit?”
After some investigating on Facebook, I discovered a whole new world of fitness competitors and eating clean. I bought Tosca Reno’s book “The Eat Clean Diet “, and read it cover to cover and realized that I, too, could make better choices both in eating and working out. I later stumbled on an on-line weight loss program that was geared towards fitness competitors but had a program designed for women who were not interested in being a fitness competitor but would like to train and look like one. On this program, I got a monthly on-line training program as well as nutritional advice and weekly check-in’s with fitness coaches. Three months after seeing my friend’s photo, I signed up. It was a little tough eating five times a day and eliminating my every day chocolate treat but after time it became easier because of the new found energy I had. However, dragging myself out of bed and into my cold garage to lift weights was at times challenging. But I immediately saw changes in my abdomen and for the first time ever, muscle definition in my arms. All these changes were truly exciting! When I would hit a low point, I would scour the Internet looking at the “before and after” photos of various women both on-line and in fitness magazines. These women’s photos and stories motivated me and kept me on target. I thank them for having the courage to submit those photos and share their stories!
Six months later, I was down 18 pounds and three pant sizes. I had not been a size six since high school! At this point, I sought out a local personal trainer to push me the rest of the way. I had plateaued on my own, needed someone to motivate me to go a bit further and I was beginning to entertain the idea of one day competing. My trainer was a former fitness competitor and bikini winner. She pushed me hard and I then dropped those last seven pounds, another pant size and weighed in at 120 pounds. A little more than a year after beginning this journey, I became a Certified Personal Trainer. Almost two years later and 3 days shy of my 43rd birthday, I walked the stage in a fitness competition. I may not have been perfect or as fit as some of those other girls, but I am proud of myself for having the courage to step on the stage in a bikini as I have not felt comfortable enough to expose my belly in a bikini at the beach since I was a teenager.
It has truly been an amazing journey. It is really not all about looking good. It is about feeling good. When you push yourself mentally and physically, you realize that there is nothing that you cannot accomplish if you put your mind to it. Being healthy goes much farther than being fit on the outside, it is about being mentally fit on the inside as well!
I hope to help and motivate other women take their own weight loss journey and push themselves to achieve goals they never thought possible!