I keep reading headlines like this, Overweight and unhealthy from a young age, my confidence and quality of life were severely affected, when looking at inspirational ‘before and after’ stories. That wasn’t me, at a young age I was average weight, healthy and confident. It was with age that came the downward spiral of unhealthy weight gain and lack of confidence – things I didn’t think would ever happen to me. I knew what it felt like to be healthy and proud of my body, and yet I found it extremely difficult to get back to that point. A weight-loss challenge here and crash diet there got me close to where my weight needed to be, but I was always unable to maintain that immediate success for the long haul. As a matter of fact, I’d always end up with more weight on me than I started with. All of a sudden I was the heaviest and unhealthiest I’d ever been.
MY TURNING POINT
This picture on the left was my turning point. My girlfriend shared photos of us enjoying our weekend up at her cottage and I couldn’t believe what I saw. It was me eating chips while the rest of my family went swimming enjoying their time in the lake. I didn’t go with them because I couldn’t muster up the energy or motivation to pull myself out of the comfy deck chair (except to grab chips apparently). I was sad looking at this picture. It was me but wasn’t me.
I knew what I had to do to get back to the real me, to the me that my family needed me to be. Eat well, exercise often and enjoy life – the not so elusive secrets to a healthy lifestyle. I was nervous but I joined a fitness club anyway. Day 1 when I walked in the door I was told that I needed to find the type of exercise that I would enjoy and continue doing – the suggestion was Zumba. I laughed and laughed and laughed. I was a martial artist, not a dancer – but I went for one class. I tried and failed, I’m really not very coordinated, but was encouraged to stay and try it again. I truly wasn’t good but realized no one was judging me. As a matter of fact, everyone was too busy enjoying themselves to care about what I looked like. It was a great workout, once I got the steps (a few weeks of class and you get the moves) I didn’t want to miss because I was having fun. Then a few weeks later I noticed a change in the way my clothes fit. I was transforming the way I looked while hanging out with awesome people and having fun. 1 year later I’m 65lbs lighter.
This is a journey, not a race. It’s a lifestyle change, not a 60-day challenge. I choose healthy foods because I want to, not because someone is telling me I have to. I’m exercising because I love doing it. I’m making time for myself because I need to. I’m working towards strength rather than weight loss now. I believe in the person I want to become.
Zumba and Strong classes are helping me get stronger, if you want to give it a try we do have a Groupon