amo.says

my life in my words


12 Comments

Bring Me To Life [Part 1]

Hey folks! It’s me again . . .

 

Oh wait . . . Here I am . . .

*ahem*

What I mean is, HERE I AM!

 

TA DA!!!

Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Squirrels, this is cause for celebration!!

I am finally at my Healthy Goal Weight 

of 165 pounds

 

BOOM Baby!

 

Every Saturday morning, I do a weigh-in to check on my Numbers (weight-loss) Goal. I feel that the once-a-week check-in keeps me well-balanced and helps me make a better assessment of growth and change throughout the week. A couple of months ago, I went in for a check-up with my doctor. I hadn’t been to see her since I first moved to Seattle, 4 years ago. At the time, I was just beginning my weight-loss journey. It was slow and at that check-up, she weighed me in at 245 pounds. So when I checked in a couple of months ago and was around 175 pounds, my doc was incredibly excited and proud of me, and THAT felt AWESOME! My fears of living with diabetes, which runs in my family and has been a major catalyst of death for many of my relatives, were GONE! I was riding Cloud 9! Then I asked her about my BMI and getting to a healthy BMI. I told her that according to the standard chart, it said I would need to weigh-in around 140 pounds to be “average.” That overwhelmed me and I was curious to see what I could do to get there in a healthy way. Well, much to my relief, she set me straight—that goal weight is not healthy for me. She said, “That BMI chart is just a generalization for everyday sedentary people. That chart doesn’t know your build and it doesn’t know that you’re developing lean muscle and living an active lifestyle. Your healthy goal weight should be 165. Any less than that and you will be dipping into an unhealthy weight zone and your body will be disproportionate.” So then I felt a whole lot better—let’s get honest, 140 is a scary number from a far-away land for me! The goal was never to be a skinny model strutting down the runway or to be pencil thin—it was just to be fully HEALTHY. My goal for this year is to DISCOVER who I am, and that includes physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. And this entire weight-loss journey has helped me DISCOVER so much of myself in every one of those aspects.

 

The face of VICTORY!!!

 

One of the biggest victories for me has been that I’ve been able to fight to reach this goal gradually through changing my nutrition to eat clean, consistently enhancing (and sticking to) a fitness regiment, developing accountability, and trusting the process. I haven’t had to use name-brand weight-loss programs, fad diets, or use any weight-loss pills to get here. Yes it’s been a road filled with sheer challenge, discipline, and surrounding myself with some pretty incredible people (who won’t let me settle for less than my best), but it has led me to a place where I can rise out of the ashes, drop my quitter mentality and embrace a fulfilling, healthy lifestyle! Now, I’m looking forward to continuing the healthy lifestyle I’ve developed as I work to maintain my weight (which I’ve read/heard can be super tough, but a challenge I’m ready to rise to) and tone my body to be the most fit it can be, and to encouraging others along the way.

 

It should be noted that I could NOT have done this
without the help of some incredible people in my life.
Therefore, I’d like to take a moment to thank the Academy:

(some of) The BL Crew

 

The BL Crew! The Biggest Loser Crew is basically a bunch of my closest friends who I join up with on Tuesday nights to watch THE BIGGEST LOSER. The Biggest Loser show itself has actually been one of the bigger motivations/confidence boosters along the journey as well. Seeing the hard work that the contestants put in paying off at the Finale each season is incredibly inspiring! Every Tuesday during the season, the BL crew watches the show and we talk about fitness, food, and our personal life/goals. I also consider my amazing mentor/mother/friend, Kathy, as part of the BL crew because every Thursday night, I get to go over to her house for dinner and we talk about the show, food, and fitness and she encourages me just like the Tuesday night crew. She also goes out of her way to pick up specialty health food for me at the stores that I’m unable to go to, due to a hectic schedule and lack of transportation. THANK YOU, Alisa, Cindy B., Cindy J., Deb, Jodi, Susan, Korin, Kristi Lyn, Heather J., and Kathy for being such a great team of friends and helping me out so much along the way! 

 

 

My Accountability Partners, Heather and Maggie!

 

My Accountability Partners! My best friend and main accountability partner, Heather J., works out with me 2x a week. Together, we are in the gym taking classes (TurboKick, Body Pump, Boot Camp, Aqua) or doing circuit training and challenging each other to be better. After we work out, we go grab coffee at our favorite cafe and we talk about life and fitness goals, and we check in with each other to see how we’re doing spiritually and emotionally as well. We encourage each other, have “Real Talk” honesty moments with each other, and laugh up a storm. She’s helped me through some of my lowest moments along the way and has made sure that I take time to CELEBRATE each victory along the way. That is actually something I struggle with a lot and will be posting more about tomorrow. My best friend, Maggie, is my Food Accountability partner. We go to Zumba class on Mondays together and afterward, we talk about my eating habits and she takes a look at my food log. My food log is actually something that my trainer, Josh, got me started on. I started logging my food (what I ate, how much I ate, and what time I ate) when I started training with Josh and when I took my first short break from training, I knew it was something I would need and want to keep up with. So I asked Maggie to help me out. She was someone who I knew consistently made healthy eating and fitness choices and I wanted to develop a deeper, more honest, challenging, and encouraging friendship with her. So I knew it would be a win-win situation! We have been meeting ever since and she’s helped me realize so much about why I eat what I eat, how to analyze and adjust my eating patterns for the better, how to make wiser food choices, how to develop self-control, and how to fail forward . . . along with a slew of other nuggets of wisdom along the way!  THANK YOU, Heather J. and Maggie—you are my Superheroes and I cannot even begin to express how much I value your friendship, care, and concern for me! 

 

 

My trainer, Josh!

My Personal Trainer, Josh! I honestly don’t even know that there are enough words to convey just how much of an impact this rad guy has made in my life! I will say that hiring Josh to work with me on my Fit Life has been hands down, one of the BEST investments of my life. I’m really thankful that my gym, 24 Hour Fitness, offered a Personal Training special that allowed me to make that initial investment in working with Josh. I started working with him in mid-December 2011, and under his training expertise/assistance, I have gone from 222 to 165 pounds! I had worked with other trainers before, but they just weren’t a good fit for my personality and my level of inexperience when it came to fitness. From day one of working with him, I could tell it was going to be different. Aside from getting me started on the food log, he also helped me understand a lot more about the basics and benefits of working out and developing a healthy fitness plan, how the body/muscles work in a fitness regiment, and most importantly, how to set practical and challenging life goals (which I still do). When we work out, he doesn’t just tell me to do something, then sit back and watch me fail—he explains it to me, shows me, and then does the exercise with me and always asks if I need help breaking it down more or if I have any questions. He has great rapport and while he is stern, he’s definitely not rough, tough, overbearing or mean! He never yells at me or talks down to me, but instead, challenges and encourages, and sometimes even cracks jokes with me. Also, he sings along as we work out, which may seem out of the ordinary for some, but being a lover of all things music it makes me enjoy the workout more. He has been such an incredible resource to me and has consistently taught me so many life-changing/enhancing skills along the way which has helped me to feel more confident about nutrition, and fitness and working out inside/outside of the gym. In fact, if it weren’t for his guidance and encouragement, I wouldn’t be dedicated to well-balanced nutrition and I most certainly wouldn’t be cooking so many yummy things in my kitchen!   THANK YOU, Josh—for seeing the potential in me and pushing me to be the best version of myself inside and outside of the gym! 

 

 

 

The 24 Hour Fitness Northgate Family! I know how intimidating it can be to walk into a gym and feel overwhelmed by the look, feel, and overall atmosphere of the staff/structure. Thankfully, the gym I work out at is dedicated to creating an environment filled with friendly assistance and a fun, knowledgable staff. I think the fact that I’m able to be friends (both on and offline) with so many people there—front desk associates, class instructors, and trainers, says A LOT. When I first joined 24 Hour, I was going once a week and spending about 30 minutes total on the treadmill before quite literally throwing in the towel. Now, I work out there about 4-5 times a week and I’m always greeted with a big smile and I get to shoot the breeze with some of my friends at the front desk before heading into my workout. That helps a WHOLE lot on those days I’m totally not motivated to work out . . . which is very often. 😉 I also attend classes 2x a week. I’m so thankful for all the incredible instructors who help me have fun while getting fit! They always make themselves available for a quick chat and are quick to encourage, educate, and equip me with whatever I need to see my fitness goals become a reality! These classes and their instructors have been such a huge help to me along the way and I’m looking forward to even more fun and fitness at 24 Hour!

  • Stefan and Dom lead our Boot Camp class, which combines intervals of cardio drills and muscle conditioning exercises for an intense circuit workout that leaves me feeling equal parts wiped out, energized, and strong!
  • Shannon leads Saturday morning Turbo Kick, which incorporates kickboxing skills choreographed to energizing music. One of my favorite things about Shannon is her ability to make class a dance party and her friendly reminders to keep moving and to not take ourselves too seriously—just have fun! She also teaches Saturday morning Body Pump, which I would seriously NEVER take, if it wasn’t for the high-energy, fun attitude she brings to the class. It keeps me motivated and coming back!
  • Rob leads our Tuesday/Thursday night Turbo Kick class, and I love it because he is also fun and high-energy and he gets creative with the class. He makes it a point to create an environment of fun and ease, while helping us get the most out of the workout with more techniques & options to the moves that allow us to challenge ourselves to the next level!
  • Daniel (not pictured) leads our Zumba class, which fuses Latin dance rhythms with easy to follow dance moves. Every Monday night is a mix of dance party and “Oh my God I didn’t know I could sweat so much and why are my muscles so sore from this?!?” Daniel doesn’t say much in class, since we mainly just follow his moves as the music blares, but the work he does is incredible! . . . and I’m not gonna lie, I secretly spaz out like a giddy kid in a candy shop when he randomly throws in a dance-off at the end of class. There, I said it, okay. It’s true! 😉
  • Siri (not pictured) leads our Aqua class, which is a water aerobics class that focuses on both cardiovascular and strength benefits. When Heather first talked me into going to Aqua, I was skeptical, but hot dang y’all—this class is a workout and a half! And aside from having a rad name, Siri makes the class fun and challenging for everyone!

THANK YOU, 24 Hour Fitness Northgate—for creating such an excellent body-positive environment with a helpful staff, dedicated to helping me make my fitness & lifestyle goals become a reality! 

 

Well, those are my thank you’s and they are all VERY MUCH deserved!! I also must say thank you to anyone and everyone who has encouraged and supported me along the way in my everyday life. I could not stand here, feeling and looking my best without you and your sweet words of encouragement both on and offline!  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again,

 

“It’s taken a village to raise me

on this health journey,

but thankfully,

I’ve got the BEST village ever!”

 

I’ll post tomorrow about exactly how I celebrated my special Healthy Goal Weight Day—complete with jokes, photos, and some tidbits of wisdom I’ve learned along the way—so stay tuned for that!

 

Advertisements


15 Comments

Your Body Is A Wonderland

Ladies and gentlemen, let the party begin…

I am officially in OneDerland!!

For those who aren’t familiar with the term, that’s when you weigh under 200 lbs. This morning was the first time in a long time that I’ve seen a one at the beginning of my weight reading. It has been a long, disciplined, hard road, but I’m here and I’m determined not to go back!

Remember this girl?

 

Me in 2007

Yeah, she’s changed:


Me in 2011

Texans boast that everything is “Bigger in Texas” and for me it was true. I’m not saying that Texas is bad, but a lot of the choices I made concerning my health while I lived there were not the healthiest. I was constantly eating out at restaurants and fast food chains which meant I was surrounded by mass portions of food. Since the metro system wasn’t very reliable and it was easier not to use it, I either rode around in cars or I drove. I had no motivation to lose weight and no one around me ever asked me about it. When I left Texas to move to Seattle, I weighed in at almost 250 pounds. I had been eating all the wrong foods, avoiding exercise like the plague, and was dealing with a lot of emotional damage that made it easier for me to find comfort in food and being a bigger girl.

Please, let's ignore the scarf thing going on there. 😉

 

Even when I first moved, I didn’t have a lot of money so I still relied on my old way of living and maxed out on boxed macaroni and cheap fast food. It wasn’t until about a year later that I got the motivation to make a change. At that point, I started making some minimal changes, and realized that I might actually be able to win the battle of the bulge. Thanks to an amazing group of friends here in Seattle, I’ve been able to make a lot of positive changes and learn to feel good by eating well and taking care of myself physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. It’s not about being a model for me, it’s about being healthy and beating diabetes and other diseases that run in my family. I am still young and I have a lot of live to live, and I want to get as much living done as I can! Now that I’m under the 200’s, I have even more motivation to reach my goal weight recommended by my gym trainer so that I can be in my best health. My friends have been so supportive of me, listening to my stories and helping me move beyond the mindsets that kept me bound in that shell for so long. They’ve held me through tears, pushed me in the gym, and have celebrated every pound lost with me! I seriously could not have done this without them. One of the other things that helped a lot was doing 2 rounds of The Game On Diet—a fun health challenge that’s more about making wise choices than it is about being skinny. I developed good habits and was able to learn my triggers and be held accountable with my goals.

 

 

I'm actually happy to try on clothes now!

 

 

The friends who have walked with me through it the most is the Biggest Loser crew. Every Tuesday night, I meet up with Heather J. to work out at the gym (she pushes me hard to kick my butt into gear when I just want to give up) and together we do a variety of workouts (We also go to kickboxing class on Saturdays together) before heading over to “The Siers Ranch” for Biggest Loser night where a group of our friends get together to watch the show. That show has also been a huge part of encouraging me to be healthy and knowing I can do it! We laugh, we cry, some do exercises during commercial breaks, and we talk about how it all relates to our lives.

 

Biggest Loser nights at the Siers Ranch are NEVER boring!

They’re all about encouragement and fun . . . well, encouragement, except when it comes to my celebrity crush on Bob Harper! They keep pointing out that they’re sure he’s homosexual and also like to mention that he’s a vegetarian (which is a non-negotiable in my book—I heart meat!).

 

Taking advantage of a screen still and giving Bob smooches

It’s AMAZING to be in OneDerland, and I can’t help but be thankful for the amazing people who have been a part of me getting here. Even when I went to visit my friend Kelley in Dallas, she adjusted her meals to go along with my changed eating habits and accommodated me so that I wouldn’t stray and just give myself extra excuses to eat all the stuff that led to me being so big. I’ve gotten so much encouragement from my family and my friends and it makes this landmark in my life such a BIG deal for me! I haven’t been under 200 pounds since my freshman year of High School, and now I feel like a new person. My outlook on life has changed. God has used these friends of mine to heal so much damage from my past. My friends are more encouraging than ever and I know they’re in this with me for the long haul! Sometimes being the biggest loser just makes you feel like the biggest winner!

 

The BL Crew watching the SNL "Surprise Party" skit after the show was over