I woke up to Wednesday morning. But I knew that this day was going to be different. A day that would change the rest of my life if I allowed it. You see, that morning I woke up knowing I weighed almost 350 pounds. The day before, I had finally worked up the guts to get on the scale. That was something I had been avoiding for far too long. I hadn’t always been that heavy. True, I had struggled with my weight from the time I was a teen, but it didn’t get out of control until I started having children. Through the previous ten plus years, I had tried off and on to lose weight, promising myself each time that this time was going to be different. I always started off strong, but each attempt ended in tears of discouragement and a pan of brownies.
This time really would be different, I told myself. This time I had hit bottom. This time I wasn’t doing it so that my kids wouldn’t be embarrassed of me, or because I overheard a hurtful comment passing by someone in a store, or to buy a smaller dress size, or to feel pretty again. This time it was for ME.
I had driven down to the local gym and signed up for an annual pass. I remember it so clearly. Just to get the courage up to walk into the gym took me almost ten minutes. Walking in to the gym, my heart was racing. I remember thinking, “People are judging me right this minute. They are thinking, ‘Well it’s about time she found her way to the gym. I wonder what took her so long!’” I had to push all of that out of my head and focus on why I was there. I wasn’t there for them. I was there for me.
In the beginning, I did cardio for 20 minutes a day, six times a week. The pounds started to come off! I was so excited. It was really happening! And then after four months or so, I hit a plateau. I tried everything I could think, and I couldn’t get past it. A couple of months passed. I was talking with a friend one day, and she mentioned that I should try out the weight equipment. Well that was certainly a SCARY thought! That area of the gym was just intimidating! That was where the big, muscle bound men were. I didn’t know how to use those machines, and I certainly didn’t want to hurt myself or look stupid by doing it wrong. What to do? I hired a personal trainer.
In the following months, as she taught me how to properly use the machines and perform exercises effectively, I began losing body fat, building lean muscle and gaining self confidence. I became very passionate about health, nutrition and how the human body works and moves. I had found something I loved and I wanted to share it with everyone who would listen.
After much research, I enrolled in school to get my certification to become a personal trainer. I chose to certify with The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). It is one of the top three certifications in the nation. For me, NSCA made sense because I am a “why?” person. I want to know why I am doing a certain exercise.. What muscle does it effect? What are the benefits of doing it a particular way? With the program I went through for my certification, I was able to get more information and explanation than the other certifications provided.
It was a perfect fit for me.
In the years that have passed since that Monday morning in November, I am amazed at the transformation my life has undergone. To date, I have lost 190 pounds of that gal I used to be. I have lost countless inches and have gone down more than 12 dress sizes. I work out now because I love it. I love feeling healthy. I love feeling strong. I love that my kids aren’t embarrassed of me. I love that I overhear pleasant comments in the store, and get double takes. I love that I can buy a much smaller dress size. I love that I do feel pretty again. I love that I get to help people change their lives and give them hope every day. I love that I am one of the lucky few who loves what they do for a living. But most of all, I love that I DID IT.