I’ve been a part of a weight loss group for few years now. I’ve been going to the gym for a few years now. You’d never know it by looking at me, but I really have been. At one point, I had lost about 30 pounds. I was looking and feeling better. I was down a size. I’d even given away the clothes that had become too big for me. You’d think I was on a roll and doing great. And I was.
What happened? I have no idea. Maybe I got overconfident that the weight was coming off and would just continue to fall off. Maybe I got lazy. Maybe it was a little of both. I stopped going to the gym. I quit running. I quit watching what I ate. This didn’t all happen at the same time. But gradually, it happened. So that 30 pounds I had lost turned into a 45 pound gain. Yes, you read that right. I gained it all back, plus about 15 more pounds.
Maybe it’s about here you are wondering why in the world I titled this “Inspiration.” Well, this really is about inspiration. Read on.
I started back going to the gym in December. It was in December that I received an email about the Gold’s Gym Challenge. I’m not super competitive, but I thought maybe a challenge is exactly what I needed to get myself back on track. Not really knowing what I was getting myself into, I decided I’d do it. I knew they’d have me come in for pictures, to get my weight, and take my measurements. Getting to the point where I’d let someone take those (picture, weight, measurements) was a huge step for me. I think I had kidded myself into thinking that others didn’t see me as fat as I saw myself. But by getting on those scales and letting them get those measurements, I couldn’t kid myself anymore. I’m doing this 12-week challenge – not because I want to win their big prize, but because this summer I want to look back at January and know I did something good for me. January 2012 I want to look back at January 2011 and know that I’m a healthier mom/wife/daughter/person. It’s not about looking fabulous, though that is a nice bonus. It’s about my own quality of life.
So, let’s get to the inspiration part. I promised this was about inspiration.
I’m not so sure I’d have had the courage to join this challenge if it weren’t for a friend of mine. I haven’t seen Lucy since Labor Day weekend. Before that, I honestly couldn’t tell you when I last saw her. What I can tell you, is Lucy looks amazing. Lucy started her weight loss journey in January 2010. She joined a gym. She joined a challenge at her gym. She started going to group fitness classes. She found she loves Zumba. She started running. She became a Zumba instructor. In one year, Lucy lost over 200 pounds. That’s not a typo. She’s so much healthier now. And while Lucy has always been beautiful, you can just see this new glow about her in her “after” photo.
You can see Lucy’s progress here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzwmhsq8GMA. She also has a blog http://runchunkyrun.blogspot.com/.
I also have to tell you about my friend Jennifer. I remember a conversation she and I had sitting in the sanctuary at church about how hard it was to lose weight. Neither of us was active at the time. Life was just kind of in the way. I see Jen at least twice a week, and at first I didn’t realize there was anything different. Then one day, I looked at her and realized she was losing weight. I remembered when she weighed more than me, and here she was right at the same weight as me. Then I started gaining again, but she kept losing. What I learned from Jen was that you have to make exercise a priority. I have no idea what Jen eats, but I know what Jen does! She goes to the gym almost every day, if not every day. And I do not mean she goes for 30 minutes. She’s there for 1-3 hours a day. She’s taking classes. She’s working on weights. She’s doing the machines. Not only is she at the gym, but she’s out being active. She goes to the park and runs/walks. She plays soccer.
My goal is to one day love being active like my friends Lucy and Jen. I don’t think they started out loving the gym (or maybe they did), but they recognized that in order to reach their goals they were going to need the gym. Somewhere along the way, they learned to love it and what going there does for them. Somewhere along the way, they learned that being active is fun. Somewhere along the way, they learned that being active is rewarding.
Lucy and Jen are my inspiration.