Wednesday, February 18, 2015

It's about more than just weight loss

In January, 2014, I began my journey to a new me.  I was very obese (nearly morbidly obese), with 40.8% body fat, and well on my way to developing serious health issues.  Food was an emotional crutch.  I ate when I was sad, stressed, anxious, and even when I was happy.  "Let's celebrate with a hot fudge sundae!"  I was tired all the time and felt like my world was out of control.  Fast forward to February, 2015 and I have made significant progress towards a healthier new me.  I have lost over 50 lbs. and am down to 28.6% body fat.  I still have a ways to go, but I realize it is not just about losing weight.  It is so much more.

This is me in July, 2013.  
After this picture was taken, I gained another 15 lbs.

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?"
Matthew 6:25 ESV

The purpose of this blog is to share with you pieces of my journey, to help motivate you and to answer some of the questions people ask me when they see me.

The key has been to set small goals and work to accomplish them along the way.  When I first met Ashley, the Fitness Director at Best Fitness Springfield, she asked me what my goals are.  I told her, "To lose weight and to not further injure my knee."  (My knee is a story of it's own, for a later blog.)  These two goals are overarching goals which guide me on my journey.  However, I need more attainable goals along the journey. These are what drive me.  Focusing on "losing weight," is not going to get me to my goal.  

"But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded."
2 Chronicles 15:7

My first goal was to do the Rugged Maniac, a 5K obstacle course through rugged and muddy terrain.  It was a long term goal which required me to push myself physically.  When I signed up to do this race with my husband, he did not have faith in me.  In July, he got on my case about it and said, "You are not going to be able to do that race sitting here on the couch."  Well, that really made me mad.  Of course he was right, but how dare he point it out to me!!!  That really changed everything for me.  His telling me I wasn't going to be able to do it put me into overdrive.  I got a new trainer who pushed me past my limits, gave me a strenuous routine to follow on my own and instilled in me a confidence that I did not have.  Mike was an inspiration.

In September, I did the Rugged Maniac and kicked butt.  Due to my knee, I can't run without sustaining serious setbacks, so it took us a while.  But I was able to complete every obstacle!!!!  The best part was, I showed my husband that I had it in me.  

After completing the Rugged Maniac, September 27, 2014.

"But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."
Isaiah 40:31

After the Rugged Maniac, I didn't know what I wanted my next goal to be.  Obviously weight loss was still important to me, but I was missing short term goals.  Mike asked me what the next race was going to be.  Since I can't run, I told him I was thinking about doing the Ride-to-Remember, a 100 mile bike ride that brings awareness to the “Massachusetts Fallen Officers Memorial” located at the State House in Boston, MA. I did not know if I could do it with my knee the way it is.

Ride to Remember, 2013

In December, I had to get a new trainer.  (This is a very painful part of my journey, which I'll talk about in a future blog,)  At my first session with Dmitriy, he asked me, "So what are your goals from training?"  I was like, " lose weight!"  But I realized that I needed more than that, so I told him, "I really want to do the Ride-to-Remember, but I don't think I can with my knee. And I want to be able to do push ups."  There.  I said it out loud.  Now it is a promise.

The push ups are to prove something to Mike.  He used to make me do modified push ups, first on a bar, then on a box, then on bench and then a Bosu ball.  I hated them so much!!!  But I want to accomplish "real" push ups to make Mike proud of me.  Right now I can do two "real" push ups, but the goal is to do three sets of ten.  I am working towards this.  I will make it happen.

The ride is a pretty huge goal.  How does someone with chronic knee pain do a 100 mile bide ride (and at a fast pace)?  I had no idea what I need to do to accomplish this.  Dmitriy gave me some stretches and rigorous leg exercises specifically designed to improve flexibility and to strengthen the muscles in my legs.  Since Christmas, I have had minimal pain, and even cancelled arthroscopic surgery, which was scheduled as a diagnostic procedure to see what else might be wrong.  Registration is now open for the ride and I will be signing up shortly.  This is a big step for me!!!

You have probably noticed the scriptures I include here.  My walk with the Lord is key to everything.  He is my guiding light, the source of my inner strength.  My weight-loss journey  has taught me a lot about myself and brought me closer to Him.

"Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans."
Proverbs 16:3

It is my hope, wherever you are on your journey to fitness, that you will be inspired and find some value from what I have learned along the way.  I am still on the journey.  It is never too late to start!!!  Do not give up on yourself!!!  Stay tuned.

Have a blessed day!

In 2014, I was wearing size 18's.  Fifty-seven lbs. later and I'm in a size 12.