Weight gain and loss have been something that I have struggled with since I was a preteen. I went from being a normal sized little girl to a chubby adolescent, and I can honestly say that I have never been happy with the size that I am. Because I was a country school kid, I didn’t really worry about my weight until I hit high school, and I realized that I was bigger than everyone. I slowly, but surely, gained weight all through high school, and then continued on that gaining path throughout college.
At the beginning of my Junior year of college 2003, I joined WeightWatchers and slowly, but steadily, lost thirty-two pounds to get down to my lowest adult weight of 202 lbs at the age of 21. I was ecstatic, felt good, and thought that I didn’t need to follow a food plan again. Within a year and a half I had gained 50+ lbs. I went back on WW and got down to the 220s and felt pretty good about myself and maintained for a couple of years.
After moving to Eagle Butte and teaching for five years, I continued on a constant cycle of gaining and losing. It was disheartening, and each time I gained, I would surpass my previously highest weight. In August 2011, I tipped the scales at 274 pounds. I won’t lie here; I sat down and bawled. I couldn’t believe that over the course of 7 years, I have gained (with periodic losses) 70 pounds. I guess I just kept lying to myself about where I was at physically because no one ever guessed my actual weight so it wasn’t that bad, right?
I rejoined WW and did it halfheartedly so I didn’t really make any strides. It was during Christmas 2011 break that I went to the doctor and got the wake-up call that I didn’t want. I was there because the past two times I had had my blood pressure checked had indicated that my BP was way too high. I got the hard reality slap in the face when my doctor put me on BP medicine at the age of 28. How did I let myself get that far? I was too young to be on those kinds of meds.
In the middle of January 2012, I joined a weight loss challenge at the local Fitness Center, and for the first time in my life I found a workout routine that I was sure I was willing to stick with…Zumba. I have always had natural rhythm, and I love to dance. During my first class, I twisted my knee and had to start out by taking a week off. I was not deterred, however, and went back to class as soon as I felt my knee could take it.
I stuck with Zumba even when all of my friends quit going, and I could see drastic changes in my body. I was back on WW and working out regularly. I could feel it. This was the last time I was starting a weight loss program. Zumba didn’t feel like a workout to me, which is a good thing because I detest going to gyms and going nowhere on treadmills and EFX machines. I lost about 25 lbs and felt amazing, and then….
Life intervened again. I got sick, and then I was traveling for my cousin’s wedding. I had to supervise the week that my Junior class was decorating for Prom. I had accepted a new job and had to find a place to live in a different state. I had to teach Summer School. I had to pack my old apartment and move. Like I said, life intervened, and I quit Zumba and quit following the WW program.
I moved to Wyoming at the end of June and spent part of the month of July home at my parents’ in the hayfield. When I finally got home, my new driver’s license had arrived, and I sat down and cried again. I thought I looked like a fat, Asian person. So of course I went on food bender. If I was going to be fat, I might as well get as fat as possible.
Then for some reason on August 1, 2012, I stepped on the scale and weighed in at 266.4 lbs. I was 7.6 lbs away from my highest weight, and I realized that I didn’t want to go there again. If I had eaten myself fat, I could eat myself thin too. I didn’t want to pay for WW again so I joined MyFitnessPal.com (MFP). It was free and had an app I could use on my iPhone and my iPad. What did I have to lose? I started walking around town a couple times a week, and the weight slowly started to come off. I lost 25 lbs in 5 months.
For Christmas 2012, my brother gave me a trip to Washington, D.C. for June 2013. I knew I wanted to lose more weight before then so I figured I would have to up my exercise from occasional to scheduled. I knew I needed to start with something that I’d enjoy, and since I already owned Hip Hop Abs, I figured it would be dance-y enough for me. I followed the 4 week calendar, had great results, and decided to move on to Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred (since I already owned that one too!). By that point, I started to like what was happening to my body so I moved on to JM’s Ripped in 30 Challenge. After completing that, I moved on to a hybrid of JM’s Killer Buns & Thighs, Extreme Shed & Shred, and Kickbox FastFix. In June 2013 after getting back from D.C., I started JM’s 90-day Body Revolution program. Once that one was done, I moved on to Insanity. I HATED every minute of Insanity, but I loved what it did for my body so I kept at it. I finished Insanity at the end of November and took the month of December off for personal reasons.
From January through May 2012 I continued with my 3-4 weekly walks and did at least 2 Fluidity workouts (www.fluidity.com) a week as well. In May I started the C25K program, and my walks shifted into walk/jogs to full blown jogging (I run so slow I’m not sure if it counts as running). I completed 2 5Ks last fall and ran a 10K on my own just to see if I could do it. I could!!! I also got a bike for my birthday in June and tried to get in at least 20 miles a week.
From August 1, 2012 – January 2, 2013 I lost 25 lbs. From January 2, 2013 to July 25, 2013, I lost an additional 55 lbs. I lost 80 lbs in just under a year. I was 6.6 lbs away from my ultimate goal, and I was unstoppable. Well….I thought I was until I hit my plateau. I spent the following 5 months gaining and losing the same 10 lbs.
Like I said, in December 2013 my personal life went through a really rough patch and then I got the stomach flu! I hit my ultimate goal and then some, but it was a hollow victory. I instantly changed my final goal so that my total loss would be 101.6 lbs. Life and depression hit me hard, and I fell back into old habits of emotional eating. I hadn’t worked out in over a month, and I was gaining FAST!
For Christmas I was given T25, ChaLEAN Extreme, and new running shoes because I had told my mom I wanted to train for a 10K and/or half marathon sometime in Summer 2014. The problem was that I had lost all motivation to work out and to eat right. Thank God, I told my friend about T25. She is getting married this summer and wanted to do it with me. She pushed me to do the workouts the first part of January when I wanted to quit.
I bought a treadmill so that I could start my training runs, but I didn’t want to use it. Treadmill running is BORING. When I started Insanity, I stopped running. I found myself missing that “me-time” in my schedule where I could let my music blast and pound out my problems. Then the advice from one of my good friends popped into my head….sign up for a real race/run so I HAD to train. My hometown hosts a ridiculously reasonably priced half marathon Memorial Day weekend. Then Active.com sent me a COUPON! It was fate’s way of telling me it was time to get serious. I signed up for the race and paid. It is a reality now. I sat down and wrote out a workout schedule for the first time since October. I made a plan. I felt like me again. Now I’m loving my training runs; I combat the boredom by watching Netflix on my iPad.
I’m not perfect. I have fallen off the wagon and have wanted to quit a million times, but I keep pushing. I have accomplished something that I’ve very proud of, and I don’t ever want to have to go back. I am amazed when people say I’m inspirational. How am I inspirational? I allowed myself to become morbidly obese according to the BMI chart. I’m still overweight based on that damn thing! But I do know real struggles! I do know what it is like to cry in a dressing room. I do know what it is like to be the “fat” friend. And I do know that if I can lose weight, anyone can!
My goal is to post here about once a week. Topics will range from workouts to recipes to mental roadblocks. I can promise no other post will be this long! Thanks for reading!