- What type of change did you make in your life? Or what goal did you set out to achieve?
I was sick of being tired, unenergetic and overweight. I wanted to have more self-esteem and be happy with who I was. I set out to achieve small goals: walking up stairs without being out of breath, losing 5 pounds, having positive thoughts about myself and not being afraid of working out. I have achieved those goals and continue to work on them. I have lost 35 pounds and will continue to work on my weight. I set out a goal to run a 25K (15.5 miles) at Afton State Park in July. It was my second year running the course and I beat my previous time by an hour this year. What a great feeling! Another goal of mine was incorporate weekly workouts to gain confidence and watch what I am eating. I am currently focusing on training for a Marathon (26.2 miles) in October. My main goal is to continue to embrace an ongoing healthy lifestyle!
- What are some challenges you faced that elicited that change or that made you want to go for that goal?
One of the main challenges I have faced is my thought patterns. At times, I can get so down on myself and have negative thoughts: “How can I do that? I’m so slow. I’m too big.” I often forget how far I have come. My weight didn’t come on overnight; it isn’t going to come off overnight. I promised myself that it would be a lifestyle change and not a diet or fad. Previously, I would have a good workout routine for a couple months and then stop. I now realize that a lifestyle change takes consistency and patience.
Another challenge I faced is time. I would make excuses: “I don’t have time for that!” or “I’m too tired.” My husband and I made an achievable workout/running schedule together. Make time and make it a priority to achieve your goals. It is worth it and you will feel amazing after. Sometimes you have to say no to other things or people and make yourself a priority.
- What are some factors that helped you make that change or that helped you achieve your goal?
In 2017, I started off by going to the gym about 3-5 times a week. However, I honestly didn’t know what I was doing. I signed up for a Group Fitness class and some basic classes. It was a great experience to learn what the gym was about. When EX4 started, I signed up with the encouragement of the trainers. I was terrified to try it out. I was constantly comparing myself to others. The trainers were always reminding me how much I have improved and they pushed me to do my best as everyone is at different levels. I have been consistent in going to EX4. I now look forward to these classes and have seen improvement with my form and how much weight I can lift. I eventually got over the fear factor and stopped comparing myself to others. Working out is hard, but so beneficial. I feel refreshed, confident and have better self-esteem when I push myself. My husband has been so supportive during this journey; he reminds me often that I can do it. He would encourage me to go to the gym when I didn’t want to, he took EX4 classes with me and he would go running with me. Find a work out partner, someone who will give you the confidence and someone who believes in you even when you don’t, and don’t compare yourself to others!
I also am watching what goes into my mouth. I thought I was eating healthy until I started writing down everything I ate. Thanks to Weight Watchers I incorporated more fruits, vegetables, protein and water into my diet. I measure the foods I eat, try to cut out sugary foods as much as possible and plan my meals and snacks ahead of time.
- What would you tell or encourage someone with who is in your old shoes and doesn’t know where to start? Anything in particular that inspired you throughout your journey?
Have a positive attitude and take little steps. Be proud of what you can achieve. Try not to compare yourself to others. I am still working on my attitude towards myself. I remind myself of where I use to be and where I want to be!
Use the resources and classes of the DAHLC. Push and challenged yourself. Reach out to family and friends for support and accountability. My family and friends remind me of where I use to be and celebrate where I am today. It is a journey and I feel so supported by the people around me.
Be consistent in achieving your goals. Don’t beat yourself up for a bad day—start over the next day. Life happens and if you keep your goals in mind, you will achieve. Don’t give up: be dedicated and driven. I struggle and you will too. Let’s take it one day at a time and make it a lifestyle! Even if you aren’t where you think you should be yet, remember each amazing accomplishment, no matter how small.
- How does the future look different than it did before?
I have a more positive outlook on life. I have been able to push myself more than ever and have lost 35 pounds with a goal of losing 45 more. I am not afraid of the gym or trying out a new activity or class. I have a better self-esteem; I can do anything I set my mind to do! It is a journey and I look forward to achieving all my goals. I look forward to going to EX4 Classes, going for runs, and eating healthier. Even though there are times I don’t want to persevere, I never regret the workouts or eating healthier. The feeling when I am done is so great! In general, I am a happier, healthier and more positive person!
“Remember: The day you plant the seed is not the day you eat the fruit. Be patient. Be humble. Keep moving forward and know that all this hard work you’re putting in day in and day out will produce the results you’ve been looking for. Your time is coming. Do not give up!”