I feel like I’ve been “big” all of my life. Since I can remember I was always bigger than most of my friends. My dear aunt nicknamed me “Munchie” for obvious reasons. It was cute, even endearing, but when I started school I was mercilessly teased. It was awful! No one at home seemed to mind my body so why did everyone else? Cue my poor mother packing me lunch with cans of Slim Fast in 5th grade…
I remember long summer nights on the lake (I’m from right outside Detroit, MI) — I would look up at the stars, hoping to see one fall and wish I was skinny. That’s all I wanted. I didn’t want a pony or a million dollars, just to be skinny. Because quite frankly, short of wishing on a star nothing seemed to work.
Fast forward to 30. Not much had changed. I’d go on yo-yo diets with little to no results. I became heavier and heavier every year. I was a truck driver for 10 years, an incredibly physical job, but the weight wouldn’t come off. I chalked it up to being diagnosed with PCOS (poly cystic ovarian syndrome), was borderline diabetic, and accepted weight loss as something simply unattainable because of my illness. At a whopping 336 lbs my knees began to give out. Up until that point my body seemed to hold up to the strain, but I found myself struggling to walk, let alone exercise. The very thought of being wheelchair bound because of my weight was horrifying. What was I doing to myself? My doctor put me on meloxicam for my knees and told me it was crucial for me to lose weight. My work was suffering, my social life wasn’t going any better and most importantly, my health was suffering. I needed to change before it changed me forever!
I read everything I could find on clean eating. I researched everything. I saw a nutritionist. I saw a trainer. I joined a gym near work and one at home. I made crossfit equipment for my backyard. I included friends and co-workers to go workout every day and to hold me accountable. That way no matter where I was during my day, I had no excuse to not work out. I found oodles of meal prepping recipes. I bought supplements and protein. I fell in love with S’mores and Peanut Butter and Jelly Quest Bars. I joined forums and followed IG accounts with anything to do with healthy cooking and fitness. I surrounded myself with positive images and people. I got in touch with clean, whole foods and fell in love with cooking. I reserved Sundays for meal prepping…which turned out crucial in my journey. I always had clean, healthy food with me and any time I wanted fast food, I was reasonable with myself. If I could eat a clean meal and still want that burger, I would “reward” myself with it. Although, 9 times of of 10, I wouldn’t end up getting the fast food. Allowing myself a cheat meal and some reasonable rewards were nice but, I was finally in control of my food… not the other way around.
I started showing up to the gym 5 times a week, no excuses. My deal with myself was as long as I get up, show up, and walk through the door of the gym, I can turn right back around and go home if I want. Just show up. Thankfully, I never went back home once I arrived at the gym.
And the weight fell off.
I started crossfit, hiking, swimming, walking my dogs – anything that would bring me closer to nature and closer to myself and my goals. I suddenly realized I wasn’t wishing to be skinny anymore, I was working towards being healthy — and I got there faster than I ever thought possible. I had weak moments and slip-ups, but never gave up. The key was to get up and try again.
My continued hard work is attributed to staying excited about fitness. Personally, there’s nothing exciting about 45 mins on an elliptical. It feels more like a chore to me. And for various reasons, for myself and my goals, I’m not going to get what I want out of that workout. I’m a truck driver am out of my truck 80% of the day, whether unloading gear or using a pallet jack to move around heavy freight. I’m physically conditioned to move like that all day, so I need more high intensity training. I’ll maximize my work conditions by wearing ankle weights all day. I keep free weights in my truck for time delays and my lunch break. I jump rope in my trailer and use resistance bands in my downtime since they’re lightweight and portable. I constantly search YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram for new workouts and techniques. It’s like a treasure hunt! I have everything I need right at home.
Here I stand, after losing 170 lbs — almost half my weight! I’ve never been this size in my adult life. Even as a teenager this is the first time I can shop at “normal” clothing stores. I don’t constantly sweat, worry about breaking chairs, not fitting in booths at restaurants, or being unable to fit on rides at amusement parks. Now that I’ve lost the bulk of my weight, I’m still not stopping! I’m finally comfortable in my own skin. This is who I’m supposed to be.
My 5 Tips:
1. Get in the kitchen. Learn to make food with love and nourish your body and mind.
2. Ask for help. Ask friends and family to hold you accountable.
3. Cry, fight, stomp and throw your tantrum. But get it out and keep moving forward.
4. Get out of the gym! Get outside. Explore other forms of exercise and keep it fresh and fun.
5. Learn to love yourself and know that you are worth a long, healthy life.
Team Quest – We are here for you! Share your transformations and triumphs with us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or email them to us at [email protected]. Remember that these transformations took hard work, discipline and a plan. Quest products are a delicious component of, and not a substitute for, an exercise regimen and effective diet. The Quest Community is always there for you if you need help, inspiration or motivation!