Although fit much of my life, I hit an off/on/try/too busy phase of life that had become characteristic, battling 15 lbs up and down since college. I love to eat, love to bake and could never really 'stay the course' of wellness beyond the motivation to lose weight for an outfit or event. I was challenged with emotional eating. A year after grieving the loss of my late husband to ALS at age 40, I felt more sad than ever; To get emotionally healthy, I knew the only other thing to submit to was creating a lifestyle of eating clean and exercising. So when I told Angie on 12/27/07 what I had concluded, she immediately said, "I'll do it with you"! (a real friend!) I knew she didn't know what I meant by eating clean,TRACKING, or what workouts I had in mind, (or she probably wouldn't have agreed) but this began our wellness journey together. I committed to daily accountability with her for the BIG 5 (every bite) and my workout. This also started my 120 day fast from refined sugar. (THAT is another success story). Because I have always been interested in holistic health, I thought I already knew 'it all', but with increased research on foods, nutrition and exercise, and experimentation, we both have learned so much since 2007.
My first workouts- I couldn’t finish a 20 minute ‘stroll’ on the treadmill. I couldn’t do one ‘real’ (off the knee) push-up. But I pressed through until I was enjoying a 20 minute interval cardio. I then added 9 ‘knee’ pushups + 1 ‘real’ one + 20 crunches (painful)! I persevered until I could easily do 10 ‘real’ pushups (after my treadmill workout) and 25 crunches. Then, I created a little game: whenever I got hungry if it was before 2.5-3 hours since my last meal, I’d drop to do 10 pushups and 25 sit-ups. Gradually, I added some free weights-just bi-cep curls, tri-cep pushes with lunges. I recalled some dvd’s I had enjoyed when losing 'baby' weight and got one out. IT was too advanced [David Kirsch-Ultimate NY City Body Plan]. Instead of beating myself up, I started blending in Denise Austin yoga. Angie and I together started the Celebrity Fitness workout. I was shaking up my workout routine, (to avoid boredom) and I was getting results. I added some other DVD’s listed on our FITNESS tab throughout this time. Then in the spring of 2009 after watching an informercial, I felt a strong desire to REALLY challenge myself! On April 21, I began P90X and faithfully completed the 90 days and saw my body take a transforming turn--all the while, remaining DAILY "Big 5"-workout accountable with Angie. The real benefit to P90X, is the muscle confusion theory—variety and rotation of which muscles and body parts get worked out, interval cardio, and rest! I was HOOKED!
I went from being `a VERY FIT person who played tournament racquetball and taught 3 aerobic classes a week to a very busy divorced single mom, and entrepreneur who developed sloppy eating habits with non-existent exercise patterns. Over the years I gained 80lbs and started noticing aches and pains I was too young to be experiencing. I bought several exercise DVD's and pieces of equipment always excited to START………..but many remained unopened! I couldn’t get a grip and kept using 'lack of time' as my excuse to not get back on track.
I finally hit bottom when I began having health issues and started to think “I'm too young for this", forming a picture in my mind forward 10 years of what that could look like if I didn’t get a grip. Both of my parents and 2 of 3 sisters are diabetic, and I knew that if I didn’t clean it up fast I was headed down that path. That was the push I needed to search for ways to clean it up while I still could. I'm happy to report that I am in perfect health now, and each year I look forward to going for blood work to hear my Doctor say: "Your health is perfect...even better than last year."
On December 27th when Pam and I committed to be daily food and exercise accountable I realized then it wasn't just about me and my lack of motivation, but that there was another person depending on me as well. She was depending on me, and I needed to show up with the same amount of effort. She is 1000% right that I had NO CLUE what I had committed, but I can honestly tell you that this journey has been one that continues to change my life and my goal is to pass it on by my example. I sincerely believe that accountability is a major key in losing weight or changing any behavior. When you have to report to someone else, and you feel a level of pressure it will change how you think and act. Also writing down what you eat, which we have done daily for over 4 years, is a second layer of accountability. Both are powerful tools that we have based our success on!
I remember Day one of getting on the treadmill and only being able to go 12minutes. 12 minutes!!!! Couldn't do 1 push up because I was too heavy (over 215lbs) I resisted big time in the beginning saying "I'll start working out when I get to a weight I want....I don't want to build muscle until I lose the fat....It's easier for you", etc.-- because it was so hard!! Thank goodness Pam was patient encouraging me from where I was. I AM CERTAIN that without her daily accountability and our daily tracking together, I would have quit. WHY? Because no one was watching!
It was important for me to find workouts that were fun because the jumping jacks/jog in place/walk on the treadmill beginning workouts I had were not getting it! I got a Chalene Turbo Jam workout from Beachbody and LOVED IT because it was fast and not boring. From that I moved on to Chalene Turbo Fire and Chalene Xtreme workouts to shake it up which are also from Beachbody.
Today, I am down 60lbs that I have kept off. I CAN DO push-ups, walk/run on the treadmill easily (although still not my favorite) and get through hard workouts that leave my friends amazed! It is still a daily re-commitment…but I do it because it matters, always remembering that ANYTHING worth having takes work.