I had always been overweight. I was over 200lbs by the time I started high school and I’m sad to say that, that was probably the “healthiest” I was my entire adult life, until now. After I stopped playing sports in high school, and got a car my weight began to spiral even more out of control. A lot of people, friends and family included, didn’t know how I had gotten so big to begin with. When I was with them they would see me eat, but not enough that I should weigh 400lbs.
I was a secret binge eater. I would buy groceries for a week and come home and cook a week’s worth of groceries in 1 day. I would eat a meal while my next meal was cooking and continue that until everything I bought for the whole week was gone and I was in so much pain I could do nothing but lay down with an ice pack on my stomach. I was out of control and had gotten to a size where I could no longer fit into the largest clothes at plus size store.
I stopped wearing regular jeans and pants when I got to a size 28 and couldn’t fit into them anymore and I was wearing a size 4X top. I knew that I was overweight but I didn’t realize I had let myself get to the point where I was morbidly obese. I bought a scale that went up to 400lbs and for the first couple months I couldn’t even get a reading. Eventually after a little bit of time my first official starting weight on my new scale was 396lbs.
I started small. I didn’t eat healthier, but I started eating smaller portions. I would go grocery shopping daily and only buy what I needed for each day. I also started walking to and from work, and doing low impact exercises like water aerobics. After I lost a bit of weight I added in extra things like zumba classes, doing the stairs in my city. I stuck purely with cardio exercises, but I was not fast and needed to rely on my strength instead of speed to do cardio that still got my heart rate up and burned calories.
Before I knew it I had lost 100lbs in about a year. Then I hit a plateau and felt myself slipping back into old habits. I decided I needed to get more serious about my weight loss. I cleaned up my eating, discovered Quest Bars and became obsessed with them and changed my workout regime significantly, focusing more on weights and strength training and less on cardio.
The best decision I made came when I decided to switch gyms. I started going 6 days a week before and after work. I immediately fell in love with this gym and the spin, trx and bootcamp classes provided. I found them so helpful that I hired the instructor, Mike Dellavalle, from the classes to be my personal trainer and help me push past my plateau. In the time I trained with him my body fat % went from 56% to 34.6% in about 6 months. Mike was, and still is a constant source of support and motivation to keep going. Since taking his classes and training with him twice a week I have lost an additional 115lbs for a total of 215lbs. In the last 2 years with the help and support of my family, close friends, my gym, and especially my trainer I have gone from a size 4x top to a medium and larger than a size 28 pant to a size 10.
I have a confidence now that I never had before. I will be participating in my first half marathon this summer in Buffalo NY, something I never would have ever considered in the past. I have a long way to go still but with the encouragement and support I have received from everyone who has been a part of this journey, and the strength and confidence I have built for myself I have no doubt that I will reach all of the goals I set for myself.