My personal fitness journey was a long time coming. I was never skinny growing up nor was I ever what I would consider “obese.” I was a “chubby” girl and I accepted it.
After having three kids, living a stagnant lifestyle, and making poor food choices for 10 years, I had packed on close to 100 pounds. I was at a point where I was constantly having pain in my foot due to plantar fasciitis. There were some days where I couldn’t even walk. I always felt tired no matter how much sleep I seemed to get.
My husband is a type 2 diabetic. He was already on extreme amounts of medication daily, and yet it seemed like he was unable to manage his disease. His doctor got to the point of pressuring him into turning to weight loss surgery to “fix the problem.” I objected repeatedly. I sincerely felt like this was not the answer. I felt that if my husband did not address his lack of exercise and poor diet, nothing in the end would really change. Yes, he may lose some weight because of the surgery, but his habits would not have changed.
This was the turning point for me. I realized I was doing nothing more than pointing the finger. I had no right to say these things when I had let my own health deteriorate so far. Realizing this made me feel terrible. I felt even more disgusted with myself when I realized what a poor role model I was being to the most important people in my life – my children.
I have always been a strong minded and willed individual; I thank my father for those genes! But suddenly I felt helpless and lost. I realized I felt out of control of the one thing in my life I am the sole pilot of: my own body. My own poor choices lead to my state of morbid obesity and I was ready to take control, take ownership of this, and most of all – take my body back.
At the beginning of 2010 I began my course towards better health. I knew it wasn’t a short fix, and there would be stumbles along the way – but I was ready to make the change. I did not start with a goal weight in mind. All I knew was that it was a necessity for me and my family to be in better health.
My main source of exercise from the start was cardio – and I started my journey the way a lot of people do, I bought a treadmill. I aimed to walk on it at least 3x a week. Soon after, I purchased some light dumbbells and some exercise DVDs. Since I’m a work at home graphic designer and a busy mom, all my workouts were done from home. Some days I wouldn’t even get my workout in until 11 p.m., but I didn’t let this stop me. I made sure I still got them in.
It wasn’t easy of course, especially in the beginning. My morbidly obese body could not do a lot of the movements I wanted it to. But I modified everything to suit me and knew that as long as I was moving – I was doing something good for my body. I adopted the personal mantra of “Today I will do what I can.” Some days it was more than others, some days I couldn’t even move because I was so sore, yet I persisted.
I found my motivation in the form of my family. I was making this change to be better for my children. I was making this change to show my husband that he could take control of his body. We own these bodies, they are ours. No one is responsible for your body but you. As for my inspiration, I didn’t have to look any further than my own Father. As a 22-year Marine Corps Vet, former director at the YMCA, and a Deputy Sherriff, he was always someone who was in good physical health. Someone I respect, admire, and he was always there to cheer me on along the way.
Slowly I started to change the way I ate. I began to read the back of packages and learn what the labels actually meant. I started replacing regular sodas with diet soda, and eventually cut them out altogether. I knew from the start that I did not want to live a life of counting calories, so my approach was to just be mindful of what I was eating yet never deprive myself.
As I started losing weight I began to realize how much I enjoyed circuit training activities and weight lifting. I truly believe I forever changed my own metabolism with the addition of lifting heavier weights.
In a little over two years, I found myself 130+ pounds down and completely transformed. The transformation was not just in my drop in 10 dress sizes, I had become a different girl inside and out. It’s not just about the weight for me, I am stronger, healthier, and a better role model to my children.
I was never a fan of protein bars because they always seemed to be nothing more than a glorified candy bar in hiding. I discovered Quest Bars and fell in love! They certainly help with my “not depriving myself” mindset that has taken me so far. I’ve passed the love of them onto many friends and family – and love sharing them with just about anyone who’s willing to try one out!
While Quest Bars hold a special place in my heart because they have become such a part of my daily life, so has encouraging other people (especially busy moms!) who think they simply “can’t” change their lives. I’m here to say, YOU can! Decide to make the change and watch yourself be forever transformed.
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