Three months ago I started my own “Biggest Loser” journey. I have watched that television series since the first season, and was inspired!… to sit on my butt and watch more episodes. No. Honestly I was inspired. I learned from watching it that it doesn’t matter how old you are, what extenuating health problems you have, how long you’ve been overweight, or whether you’re a male or female. You can still DO something about being overweight/obese and improve your health. I have seriously considered trying out for the show. But I got as far in that process as I did in my own weight-loss efforts…not very.
I’ll be honest. I hate to exercise. I believed that I could lose weight by dieting alone. In my past, when my children and I were younger and I was not so sedentary, it sort of worked (not really, I was still overweight, just not as much). But then the babies grew up, I got older, and I spend too much time sitting. My body was just not responding like I wanted to my dieting efforts. Not that I was trying too hard. I have decades of habits which I guess I thought would be easily broken when I got to this point. Wrong! And my health was starting to suffer. My blood pressure was climbing. My lower legs would swell. It felt sometimes like my heart was skipping a beat. I would get out of breath walking from one room to another to answer the phone. I got tired of people asking me, “Why are you breathing hard?” I would see photos of myself and think, “When did I become the old, fat lady?” And you know I was feeling low emotionally. The final straw came when I had to walk up 4 flights of stairs with people from work. Nobody else had to stop in the middle of the 3rd flight to catch their breath. When I got to the top where everyone was waiting for me (embarrassing!), I was red-faced, out of breath, and couldn’t even talk! I got tired of always feeling like I couldn’t keep up.
Drastic times call for drastic measures. I joined a gym and (gasp!) got a personal trainer. (Shout out to Anthony Bright of Brighter Day Fitness). During our first workout, I felt like I was going to puke or pass-out…no lie. I left the gym and immediately called my doctor for a physical to make sure this process wasn’t going to kill me. I used to think all those warnings to seek a physician’s advice before starting a weight-loss program were stupid. Not so much anymore.
Good news! I didn’t die! Well, my trainer and I joke that we’re killing the old me and bringing to life a new me. (That’s his response to me in the middle of some torturous exercise when I complain that he’s killing me.) In three months I have lost 25.6 pounds and 18 inches! My body fat percentage has decreased almost 2 points. I am seeing muscle lines I haven’t seen in decades. I have more energy and stamina. And my mood is better… most of the time. I didn’t quite make my goal of 30 pounds in 3 months. It’s just not as easy to lose as it was 10 years ago (and it wasn’t “easy” then!). But I am on the right track and I am extremely grateful. I’m not quitting now. I’m just getting started! (And a secret thank you to the one who helped me get on this track… you know who you are 🙂 ).