Friday, January 8, 2010
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
Labels: shrinking jeans