By Bethany Miller, Copyright 2010
I was always the "fat" kid, the pudgy teen, the one described as the "funny, cute but heavy" girl. The "pretty face" girl. Don't you hate it when people say that? I was overweight my whole life, but I got to my highest weight at the age off 33.
Let me back up a bit...in 2000, I met my soul mate and best friend, Paul. He never saw me for what I weighed. He saw me for ME. He is incredible. Just sayin'. Eventually we married and had two amazing little boys. Although I love my boys, I didn't so much care for the weight gain that came with back to back pregnancies.
In 2005, I ended up dropping some weight and got certified as an aerobics teacher. I loved working at the gym, but I was still overweight. I always felt like I was "faking" it and that I wasn't being true to my classes by teaching them,while still having a good amount of weight to lose.
After some difficult times and after, sadly, losing a baby along the way, I left my job and ended up regaining everything I had lost. Talk about feeling like a total failure. I hated facing people in the grocery store cause many times, I used to teach workouts to them at the gym.
Now here I was, no longer teaching aerobics and getting heavier by the week. They knew I'd fallen off the wagon, again. They say if people have a drug problem or an alcohol problem, you don't always know. If people have a weight problem, you know! I was so embarrassed.
I spent the next few years just not really caring anymore. I got up to my all time heaviest weight after the birth of our 3rd son in Dec. 2009. I weighed over 265 pounds, which is great if you're linebacker, not so great if you're a five-foot-five stay at home mom. I was double what I should weigh for my height.
I knew. I knew that I was slowly killing myself. I could feel it. My body hurt when I woke up in the morning. My feet would ache as I'd walk in the store. If we went out to eat, I would always carefully choose a table, because I couldn't fit easily in the booth. My chest always had aches and pains and I was terrified that I would have a heart attack.
Finally in Sept. 2010, something changed.
I was watching the Dr. Oz show and he was talking about the "Just 10" challenge. It was a challenge by him, to lose just 10 pounds. That was it. I thought, I can do that. The "rules" were easy. No tricks or gimmicks, just exercise, portion control and no eating 3 hours before bed. I could try it at least, so I did. Two months later, I had lost 25 pounds!
The producers from Dr. Oz called me and I did a video that aired on the show Dec. 10th. I was so excited but now that it was "public", I knew I had to keep going. hahaI started to post my workouts and before pictures on my Facebook page. People asked me what I was doing, what pill was I taking, what shake was I drinking, but honestly...it was working out one hour a day (by walking 3-4 miles), and changing what I ate to whole grains and healthier choices. That was it! No secret pills or potions, just old fashioned diet and exercise.
Later on, I began adding weight lifting to my workout routine, 2-3 times a week. After a few months, my weight loss began stalling, so I hired a trainer at the gym when I work, and he has been a huge help to me. The pounds started coming off again.
The support and motivation that I received from my friends was unreal. I honestly can't ever express to them how much they mean to me or how much they have helped me. Making it public was probably one of my best decisions, because it made me accountable. It made me feel encouraged and it kept me going day by day. I also began a new "mantra" for myself; "just today." On days when I didn't feel like working out or eating healthy, I'd tell myself, Okay, just today. Do it just for today.
Before I knew it, the todays were yesterdays and the pounds were coming off. As of today, I have officially lost over 106 pounds. I was hired by another local gym, got re-certified and am currently back to teaching water and land aerobics again! It has been such a huge blessing!
This is the healthiest I have ever been and for once, I finally don't feel like I'm "faking" it. I still have a few more pounds to go, before I'm at my "goal", but I know I will get there. I am seeing now how much of a difference it makes in your life, when you take that step and don't look back. My advice to anyone ready to lose weight and get healthy is to be prepared.You may lose a few friends along the way, and if you do, then they weren't friends to begin with.
It's amazing the things that happen when you change your life for you, but sometimes people aren't who they appeared to be and that's ok...just let them go and keep moving. Keep in mind you're doing this for you.
This new way of living does take some getting used to, and you'll see what I mean. Sometimes you'll still feel like that "pudgy kid." You will have set backs and you will make mistakes, but don't let that stop you from pushing forward. Get up, dust yourself off and keep walking. You are changing your life by losing weight and gaining control.
A whole new world is there for the taking! Go get it done and remember. Just today. ;-)