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Friday, January 8, 2010

Reflections of a Fat Girl Getting Slim - Project Me

I haven't always been fat. For most of my life I've been a curvy chick by the time I was 14, my measurements were 36-26-36. As I got older I maintained a coke bottle shape and my healthy weight was around 150 pounds. During high school I stayed active and played sports in addition to my more "academic" extracurricular activities because I knew that exercise was important for me. I also had a great aunt that was heavy and since I inherited her curves, I was constantly reminded by my mother and her sister that I could one day look like Aunt Helen if I wasn't careful.

In college I was not as active but stayed within 10 pounds of my healthy weight. Senior year I saw my body changing and I took a swim class to stay in shape. It wasn't until I graduated from college that I took a careful look at myself and decided that I needed to be consistent with my diet and exercise. I was introduced to step aerobics and never looked back. Initially I worked out at home but as much as I loved Jane Fonda, doing the same routine because boring after a month. I started attending classes during grad school and eventually worked out twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. I cleansed my system by fasting and soon I became a fitness maven. I joined a classic gym, started working out there and because fitness was my life asked to become an instructor. I soon taught classes 3 times a week and was paid for doing the thing that I loved.

Once I completed my Master's program and life became hectic I would cycle between going to the gym and taking time off but I was always careful not to get too big before doing something about my weight. When I moved to South Africa it became clear that I was noticeably heavier than most of my friends and as soon as I able to I joined a gym and began exercising. As is often the case when one moves to a foreign country my diet changed (I ate great food but in considerably smaller portions than we eat here in the US) and the pounds started falling off. All of my friends wanted to know my secret but it was simple - eating good food and exercise.

After two years, I returned to the States, lived the single life and again vacillated between exercise and months of laziness. When I my husband and I decided to marry I hit the gym to look great in my wedding dress and settled into married life. Cooking, eating and romance during that first year led to a 35 pound weight gain. My husband didn't mind and I soon was pregnant so dieting was not on the agenda. After the birth of my son I quickly lost the pregnancy weight but was still 35 pounds overweight. I continued to eat and soon I gained back all of the weight I lost. And I remained that way for about a year.

At the beginning of 2008 I decided to do something and get back in the saddle and exercise. I joined a gym, starting taking spinning classes and loved it. However, an injury prevented me from continuing to spin and rather than find something else to do I just lazed around and didn't do anything. At the end of 2008, I had enough and decided to do something. I partnered with Modern Mom and led the Modern Mom Challenge for 12 weeks. Although I was motivated (kinda), I still did not have the fire that I needed to consistently exercise. At the end of the challenge I was not lighter but I was more aware. I like to think of this period as the "preparation" stage. Soon after the end of the Challenge I was asked to participate in the EA SPORTS Active Challenge, here was a chance to redeem myself! I did the 30 days, lost 10 pounds and was ecstatic. But when sickness hit and I couldn't exercise for a month my routine was broken. For four or five months I was inactive and being sedentary, eating ice cream and rich treats I gained back the 10 pounds I lost, plus 2 more.

Luckily, I was asked to participated in the EA SPORTS Active More Workouts 6 Week Challenge and I accepted. But this time something inside of me clicked. I am nearing forty and I know that my maintaining my health is vital, not only for me but for my family. I also realized that although I was "comfortable" at 200 pounds, I wasn't myself but had become complacent about my situation. This time around I attacked my workouts with vigor, adding 30 minutes of step to my challenge workouts and even working out on rest days amped things up !

My success over the past six weeks (CLICK HERE TO SEE MY BEFORE AND AFTER) has been about a change in my mindset - it took me almost two years to leave the "preparation" stage but now that I have taken "action" I will no longer look back. Failure is not an option. 2010 is the year that I will be fit and fabulous. I have 30 more pounds or so until I reach my goal, I hope you are ready to take this ride with me
Rethink Your Shrink!

27 comments:

*Lissa* said...

I like hearing your story! I think maybe I have become a bit complacent in my situation also, but after reading this, I am hitting my "action" button, RIGHT NOW!

Jess B said...

That's awesome. You are so well on your way and truly an inspiration! Thanks!

La'Tonya Richardson said...

Okay, Renee, I hopping on! I've been talking about it, and not made a move yet. It's now day 8 of the new year, and if I don't do something NOW, I'll still be talking about it two months from now. I went to shrinkingjeans.com, and I'm going to start with the Monday project.

I'm in it to win it!

Brooke said...

i struggle with the line with being content with who i am and being complacent with my body.

you've got an incredible story - and the ending is going to be the best part!!

Karena said...

Thanks for sharing your story with us! So motivational. Complacency has been a big issue for me over the last few years. Glad your prep time is behind you and you are focused on and striving toward your goal!

Mommy Mo said...

Complacency is the devil, isn't it? You are doing a fantastic job Renee.

Ms. Bar B: said...

"I haven't always been fat." I had to laugh when I read that because I think that is the daily line that I repeat in my head. All of my new friends only know "this" Barbara, they have never met the real Barbara, lol. I am hoping to be able to introduce her to everyone soon =).

So proud of you Renee, can't say that enough!! I am enjoying being along for the ride on your weight loss journey.

Christie O. said...

there is so much about your story that reminds me of mine! becoming complacent was a big one! then something just lights your fire and that's it! the pounds just come off! Congratulations for all your hard work, you ARE fabulous!!

Krystal Grant said...

Keep It Up Renee! You're almost there.

Mom of 3 boys said...

Thanks for sharing your story. It is great when you can finally get past that mental block, isn't it? Good job.

the lewis 4 said...

I love your story. You are so inspiring. And you're right---failure is not an option! :)

AnnG said...

You have done an amazing job so far! You can do it!! Having the support helps too!! Failure is not an option!! AMEN!!

Naomi said...

Definitely breaking through the complacency is such a big deal! I'll be 40 in November and I'd like to be fitter and happier with the way I look and feel by then.

You look great but the fact that you feel great is even better!

Petula said...

I've been really enjoying following your journey and it's great how you've been making progress. Good luck and I look forward to seeing the final after picture.

Maricris Zen Mama said...

You're wonderful Renee! I'm still waiting for the right fire to get me motivated to take the path you're taking. Wish you the best!!!

runninginagirlsworld said...

What a great story you have! I'm so glad that you have moved passed the complacent stage. It's a hard stage to be in, but once your mindset changes, there is no holding you back. You look great!

Trish said...

You are such an inspiration Renee! Keep it going!!

Daenel said...

Congratulations, Renee! Way to go. I'm so proud of you and inspired by you to keep moving.

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~Mendie~ said...

You are soo motivating, even with the backslides seeing how happy you feel now that you are back on track and feeling great, makes me want to stay on track! Good luck continuing your journey!

Stesha said...

Renee, you story has truly inspired the FIRE inside of me. I'm tired of talking about it. I need to put my words into action!

We can ride together, my friend!

Hugs and Mocha,
Stesha

Heather D said...

Truly awesome!

BTW, just saw you in Parents magazine...woot! How cool is that?

strokeofliving said...

First I sad that we missed each other in LA. I understand you are a crazy busy lady.

Second, your weight loss is looking great, but you looked good before to me.

Keep it up. Stay healthy and happy.

African American Mom said...

I was on a workout kick and fell off but now I am on. You have motivated another sista!

Christie-The ChatterBox said...

Boy this had me reflecting on my own 12 year battle. Good for you for pressing on and you are truly inspiring others! You will reach all of your goals...I know it!

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