My weight loss journey has not been an easy one. It has been full of twists and turns with several bumps in the road. I’ve climbed hills and mountains, and I had stumbled along the way. However, as I look back over the last few years, I would do it all over again.
I have always been overweight, even as a child. I grew up in the south, where the fried food is abundant and we celebrate everything with casseroles and apple pies. When I graduated from high school, I took a job as a receptionist where I worked long twelve-hour weekend shifts. Most of the time, we would grab pizza and soft drinks to get us through these days. At the same time, I was in college studying for my accounting degree, so every moment I wasn’t at work, I was busy working hard on papers and studying for final exams. I was exhausted, running on very little sleep, and fueling my body with junk food and “emotional” eating. I realized that my clothes were beginning to get snug and I had to go up a few sizes when I went shopping for clothes, but my mind still did not seem to notice that my body had a problem.
One day, I went in for a routine exam at my doctor’s office. She took my blood pressure and noticed that it was elevated. She asked if I had been experiencing any problems, and I told her about the constant headaches I had been having, but always assumed were due to the stress of my college career. She then proceeded to tell me – at the young age of 21 – that I had hypertension and would need to begin taking blood pressure medication. My doctor told me it could be genetics, but this was not acceptable to me. After further research, I discovered that my issues were most likely due to being overweight. 21 years old and already on medication for life? A daily reminder of my bad choices? That was the breaking point when I made the decision to take back control of my life before it got completely out of hand.
I started my weight loss journey by going down the same roads I had tried in the past: counting calories, low carb diets, wraps, diet pills, cleanses, fad diets…and again, I was left frustrated. One day, a Facebook friend posted about a challenge group she was offering that provided accountability and support, and I was very intrigued. I contacted her, and she began to tell me how she had partnered as a coach with Beachbody (the creator of programs like P90X and Insanity) and how these programs had worked for her. I purchased T25 shortly after, and honestly, had low expectations. However, I quickly fell in love with the program. I began to learn about clean eating and how to fuel my body with whole foods. I stopped eating “low fat” and “low carb” and just ate more lean protein, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. I also cut our processed foods and artificial sweeteners. I learned how to prep my meals in advance so I would not be tempted to grab fast food in a time crunch. I also learned how to portion my food so that I was not overeating. The community aspect of the group was great because I knew I had other ladies I could depend on to hold me accountable to make good choices. They would check in on me to make sure I made my workouts a priority. I began to realize that before I joined the group, I had not been treating my body as the temple the Lord had given me.
A few months later, I decided to become a coach myself so that I could help others overcome the same hurdles and struggles that I had faced. I am happy to say that I am now down 45 pounds and at a healthy weight. I no longer need blood pressure medicine (or any medication at all). I am so glad thankful for this journey, and I am grateful that the Lord used it to help me discover my true calling – to encourage and support others along their faith and fitness journey. My “why” is about so much more than a number on the scale. It is about my relationship with the Lord – taking care of the precious gift He has given me while using it for His glory. Yes, my journey resulted in a physical transformation, but more importantly, it resulted in a transformation of the heart.
If your story is anything like mine, I would encourage you to really search for your own “why.” Get connected with like-minded individuals that will help you grow and hold you accountable.
If you need help, please contact me about upcoming programs. I would be honored to run the faith race with you!