2016 Spring Weight Loss Winner
*Results not typical
I have been overweight for a long time, but my weight really started spiraling out of control four years ago when my 15 year relationship ended. He left the children and me penniless shortly after I became pregnant with our fourth daughter. Instead of running away or giving up, I pushed forward and overcame the obstacles set before me. Waking my sleeping baby after being up all night, to drive kids to or from school or activities was draining. I filled my time with kids and finding ways to work from home. I kept busy trying not to feel the sting of being and feeling alone. I was a hormonal, heartbroken mess. I always smiled and remained happy on the outside, but I was crying on the inside. I did not think or care about myself. As the weight piled on, so did aches and pains! The bone spurs on my heels made standing unbearable. My energy was gone. This peaked last December when I went to the ER for a bad lung infection and found out I had high blood pressure and weighed 264 pounds. I knew that if I didn’t change something, I would not be around for my children. This was when I saw my friend Sheree, who looked amazing having lost 72 pounds since I saw her the April before. She had cut carbs and calories and started hiking. I realized if she can look this great in such a short time, then I can be 200 poundss by my 40th birthday in June. I prayed to God for strength, and at that moment I became absolutely determined to succeed.
My weight loss journey started on Jan 4 when I downloaded the ‘My Fitness Pal’ app and started tracking what I was eating. I realized I was eating 1000 calories for breakfast and the sodas and sugar drinks added tons of calories. I changed everything I was eating and unlike Oprah ‘I did NOT eat bread’. I stopped all sweets and most carbs, along with all drinks except water and black tea or coffee, and no eating after 6 pm. I ate lean protein and a lot of veggies. I planned my meals and drank over 120-ounces of water a day to help fill me up. Then Sheree told me about a new gym she joined and this 90-Day Challenge. I met with Matt Ropella at the gym and after seeing all the kids’ activities offered, I was excited. He showed me that I could use Life Time BUCK$ to hire a trainer once I joined. I made the best decision of my life that day, to move my fast food budget to my health with a membership at Life Time.
Mike Petrow signed me up for the Challenge and I weighed in at 247 pounds. Mike spent hours talking with me about how to maximize my weight loss. I started personal training three days a week, which is the first and most important step; go to the gym at scheduled times with someone to hold you accountable. I was out of shape from years without exercise, but I started seeing rapid results. As I lost pounds, my feet no longer hurt, my blood pressure became normal and my energy skyrocketed. I started walking everyday with my double jogging stroller, and even started jogging at intervals. I have never felt stronger or better in my life. I joined Mike’s TEAM Weight Loss class, alternating between his night classes and Virginia Crowe’s day classes. I got to meet with Dietitian Kaely McDougall during classes for great diet and nutrition tips. I even tried TEAM Boot Camp with Kamal Bruno and Ryan Belsito and man, that was the hardest class I have ever tried, but I actually loved it!
Today, my end weight is 178.5 pounds. I lost 68.5 pounds during the Challenge, and 85.5 pounds this year! I went from a 3XL top/24w jeans to a med top/size 14 jeans. I will never go back to eating and living the way I was. My cravings for junk food and drinks are gone and replaced with healthy cravings.
What I have learned from this life-changing process and want to pass on to others is this: Getting healthy is not just about cutting calories, losing weight and exercising. It is about transforming your life: cleaning up the inside and outside at the same time. Healing your mind and body, together. It is important to look at your life and understand why you are overeating. If you don’t address the emotional baggage, you will never truly be healthy and free, and statistically it is almost guaranteed that you’ll put the weight back on. This was a huge revelation for me. For the first time I got that I was the only person making me overweight, and the only one responsible for change moving forward.
My new goal is to get to 150 pounds and continue this new healthy way of life. To accomplish this, I plan on being consistent with my lifestyle changes, going to the classes I am attending regularly. Plus, I signed up for the metabolic program to find out how to maximize my workouts and the burning of fat.
I never could have done this without the help of all the trainers and this awesome gym. Not only have I lost weight, I have found my self-esteem and self-worth. I don’t have to pretend to be happy anymore because I truly am. The other day my 14-year-old daughter told me she was really proud of me and that was the best part of this whole experience!