For most of my life I've struggled with my weight. I can recall years of going to the doctor and being told I need to shed some weight, years that I was picked on in school and called a whale, times that no matter what anyone told me I just couldn't believe that I was pretty. Over the years I tried different diets, even had a personal trainer for a brief stint, but nothing seemed to stick. I'd lose weight only to gain it back plus some. Eventually it seemed easier to just not care. I just wasn't made to be average sized.
I held tight that attitude for 6 years. I thought if I kept telling myself I didn't care that I eventually wouldn't. But it just Did. Not. Work. Deep down I wanted to feel attractive; I wanted to be noticed in a positive way; I wanted to have the energy to run around with my daughter.
The harder I tried to ignore those inner thoughts, the louder they became until nearly two years they just couldn't be ignored any longer. I was recently single and decided that for the first time in six years I was going to be single and spend some time bettering myself. I was already back in school to get my bachelor's, and I threw myself into my schoolwork. I stopped eating out most of the week and started cooking at home again. That alone caused me to drop a good bit of extra weight, about 30 pounds over the course of a year.
Eventually I plateaued and needed to put in a bit more effort into loosing weight. I started with baby steps that didn't seem too scary. I made more poultry dishes frequently by buying ground turkey or turkey sausage and putting them into favorite dishes like tacos; I stopped drinking cow milk and drank almond milk instead; I stopped buying as much junk food and found healthier snacks; I started drinking more water. I started slowly losing weight again. Another 20 pounds gone and I didn't feel like I was suffering this time around. Weight loss finally felt possible!
As school ended and graduation was in my future I thought about what was next for me. I had hit another weight loss barrier and this time I didn't feel like my journey had to be over, I just had to shake it up again. I was already a member at a local gym, I just never went because I hated the thought of going alone. I knew I'd never find that motivation within myself to awkwardly work out alone even once a week. I didn't even know what I would have to do to achieve the results I wanted.
After much inner turmoil I forced myself to just try the gym alone. I hated it every bit as much as I thought I would. I didn't know how to use most of the machines and was far too intimidated to ask for help. I hid myself away in the movie room and used the elliptical machine for almost 45 mins. Just long enough that I figured people wouldn't judge me as I walked out to my car. As I tried to slink out the door a sign caught my eye: Personal Training 50% Off! I continued on my way out the door as it seemed awkward to head back into the gym that I was obviously trying to get away from, and I wasn't sure I wanted a trainer again anyway. The last one was effective but as an overweight, shy, ungraceful teen girl it was hard for me to workout and be judged by an attractive, fit, only slightly older male.
Weeks went by and I failed to return to the gym. I couldn't do it. I could not put myself through that alone again. But the idea of a trainer wouldn't go away. The more I thought about it the more I liked the idea. This time would be different I told myself. So with much trepidation I went back to the gym to get a trainer. I almost didn't do it. I walked past the desk and hid away in the movie room again. Another 30 minutes on the elliptical alone and feeling like nothing was going to get accomplished.
I internally cursed at myself for being a wuss. I wanted a trainer didn't I? So just go to the desk and get one! But the guy working the desk is so in shape! He's going to make fun of me! No he won't... you're being silly. But.. But... But... Oh FINE! I swallowed my fears and approached the training manager. He was a decent guy and after some paperwork I was set up to train once a week with Mary. I was worried and nervous, but the money was going to be taken out of my account every month so I better make the most of it.
Some of the best money I've ever spent! With further diet changes (bye bye daily bagels, hello yogurt and granola) and working out once a week with Mary I've lost another 30 pounds so far. As well as 2 pants sizes, 3 shirt sizes, a bunch of inches, and for the first time in maybe my life I'm at a healthy body fat percent and BMI. Admittedly the high end of healthy, but still healthy!
As the new year begins I'm getting to the point I need to adjust my lifestyle again if I want to loose those final pounds and inches. I'm now working out with Mary twice a week and I'm making a huge and somewhat scary step in my diet... I'm going to try and eat vegetarian at least two days a week.
It won't always be easy considering that I also have to get these meals past a discerning 7 year old palate. I'm sure there will be days where I wonder "What was I THINKING?", flopped meals, and bargains made. But there will also (hopefully!) be days where new favorites are discovered, vegetarian meals aren't a chore, and my daughter gives me a thumbs up for a job well done. We'll see about that last one...