Unlike most people who gain weight as they get older – I was overweight my entire life. I can remember being in plus size clothing in Junior High School, weighing over 200 lbs – and then later on in adulthood, my weight ballooned up to 381 lbs.
As a teenager I was smoking & drinking – along with eating habits that were horrible – at times, I would eat fast food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. At the age of 16, I was hospitalized with a blood clot in my right leg – but as a teenager, this didn’t scare me.
And despite being on three different blood pressure medications and an antidepressant, I didn’t notice exactly how bad my weight and health had gotten until I was invited to do my first 5K in May 2011. My mother-in-law asked me at the start of the race how long it would take us to finish it – and not really knowing exactly what or how many miles a 5K was, I said “30mins?”. Boy, I could not have been more wrong.
It felt like a never-ending 5K that took me one hour and 14 minutes to finish. I was hurting all over, and never thought I’d finish that race – but I did. I came in last, but I finished. It was after this that I told myself it was time to change. I actually started working out at home to workout DVDs and doing the elliptical at least four days a week.
At that point though, I honestly thought I wouldn’t succeed in my weight loss. I had tried so many things in my past – from fad diets, diet pills, no carbs, and nothing ever worked. So the journey began, and if I could do at least 30 minutes to my video, or on the elliptical, I would do it even if I was exhausted.
I lost 11 pounds my first week of working out and something about that first 11 pounds set me on fire. I was more ready than I had ever been to get fit. It wasn’t about weight loss, it was the fact I wanted to do a 5K again.
I started doing more and more exercise, still at home to my workout videos, and I also started to post about my workouts on Facebook every day. As I started to lose the pounds, I really started to pay attention to what I was eating. This happened very slowly, by watching my portion sizes first, then making simple swaps – like eating salad instead of fries. In the first 6 months I lost over 50 lbs, and being so close to getting under 300 lbs, I finally thought that I could pull this off.
In 2012, I got even more serious about nutrition and started “clean eating” – really learning what was in the foods I was eating. I lost a total of 112 lbs walking and training at home – and this put me at a total weight loss of 162 lbs. I thought I had what it took to really succeed at this point, so it was time to start running.
In 2013, I added running to my routine, promising to myself that I would do 13 races in 2013… and that’s exactly what I did! I completed 10 5Ks, 2 10Ks, and rounded out my race goal in Saint Louis with my very first Half Marathon, 13.1 miles.
I also decided it would be nice to re-visit that spot where I first walked a 5K that about killed me. I proudly finished my run in 34:55 minutes, crying in parts of it where I remembered the pain I was going through two years prior.
Right now my current total weight loss is 216 lbs. My life has changed dramatically – I am now a group fitness instructor and help women who are in the same place I was to feel confident, so they can lose the weight I did naturally.
Throughout my journey I started following others on Instagram who were on the same journey as I was or who were into fitness and health. Learning how to eat healthy was a struggle when it came to creative ideas to curb my sweet tooth. This is how I found Quest Bars! Others were baking them into cookies or other tasty creations. So in the spring of 2013 I did some research and decided I would buy a sample box online. I was surprised of all the tasty flavors and quickly found my favorites. My favorites include Peanut Butter & Jelly, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Cookies & Cream, Cinnamon Roll, and Banana Nut Muffin. Now when I have sweet tooth I don’t feel guilty grabbing one of these bars!!
I went from weighing 381 lbs to 165 lbs, and there is nothing stopping my determination to succeed in fitness.
Follow Rebecca on Instagram here, and click here to read the 5 things Rebecca learned from her experience!