First off I would like to say that "Before and After" photos (when they are of yourself) suck! I know, it seems so cool and everyone likes to see them... of other people. But, for me, it kind of feels like I'm hating on that "before" girl. But for me, she's the reason I'm here. She's the reason I get to live in "after" right now. It's hard though looking through old pics... like really hard. Because I am seeing her, myself, in a whole new way. Fresh eyes. I can see just how big I was. I see myself BURIED! AHHH! It's scary and real and so very sad. It's sad because I think of all the amazing memories I had as that girl and I feel like maybe now they are some how tainted. I'm trying to remember these events as I saw and felt them then and not how I see them now in pictures. Does that make sense? College was awesome... I LOVED it. I met the most amazing people there and have the best friendships because of it but, I look back at pictures and I just want to start crying. Ugh, I am such a crier... not really... well kind of. I have toyed with the idea of just wiping out my facebook and starting fresh. Getting rid of all the old pictures of me that I have up and that I'm tagged in since I don't look like that any more... but then it's like... just because I don't look like that doesn't mean that isn't me. That is me. That is my life. My experiences and I want to keep them... so they stay. But, I can't really look through them right now. Unless I am forced and recently I was forced to look through and pick one to be my "Before" photo.
My trainer at 24 asked if they could put my story on the Success board a the gym... and I agreed. What can I say, he's done so much for me I couldn't say no. He did ask for me to find my worst before photo.. I did not do this. I hate those before pictures where they show some poor girl from the side view sitting down, bending over a plate, eating like a loaded taco or something... really? It's like, I'm fat, do I really need any more help looking fat... no. So, I chose this photo to be my "before" because that was the best I was going to look at that size. Still fat but not a total slob. It worked out that the weekend before needing to get this to him I wore a red dress for my bestie's graduation and got a full body of myself in a similar pose and direction.
I wasn't planning on sharing this on my blog because I feel like I am always posting about my fitness journey recently (sorry about that). Pretty much it has consumed my life and is what I am really passionate about right now and I write better when it's something I'm passionate about. Anywho, a couple days ago a friend of mine said that someone had shared a link with her asking if this success story on the 24 Hour Fitness for Gladstone, MO was her friend (me) and it was. I didn't even know they had put it on the interweb. Checked it out and sure enough there I was. So, I thought I would go ahead and post my "Before and After" pics and the story I wrote for them. Please enjoy.
Recently I’ve had a lot of people who used to know me come up and tell me that they didn’t even recognize me at first. It took me a bit to digest this because for the first time I finally recognize myself. I am becoming the person I always knew I could and so badly wanted to be. I had to find my fighter who was buried under fear and doubt and let her out.
265 lbs. That was my starting line, but the thing about this journey is there is no finish line. When I started on this path I wasn’t starting a “diet,” I was changing my life forever. Yes, I have weight loss goals, but it’s not just about the weight, it’s about living a full and healthy life. It’s about being able to look back without regrets. I knew it wouldn’t be an easy road; I didn’t want it to be, but it would be worth every moment. First, I had to educate myself on nutrition and better understand my body and how it works. I picked up the book, “This is why you’re fat (and how to get thin forever)” by Jackie Warner and things started to make sense. As a self-proclaimed vegetable-hater I had to give them another chance and find out what worked for me. I made a plan and started cooking my own meals. Second, I began moving. I started out walking and doing some resistance training with videos and as I got stronger I pushed up the intensity and added more in. Thirdly, I continued to remind myself that this was a forever life change and so even when I slipped up and ate something I shouldn’t have or went without working out I had to give myself grace and keep going. Quitting has NEVER been an option or even a thought in my mind. Mess up? Dust it off and keep going.
24 Hour Fitness became a part of my journey at the beginning of 2012. In a little under a year I had lost 60 lbs all on my own but after starting a new job at the end of 2011 I was finding way too many excuses not to work out. I decided to join 24 Hour so that I could hit the gym after work and before I got home. It was also time for me to take things to the next level and I knew to get the results I wanted, I needed some help. I signed up for a personal trainer and it was the best decision I could have made. Suddenly, I was working out at least 2 hours a day, 6 days a week and I discovered I loved it! Working out has become the highlight of my day. Mixing it up with different workouts such as Zumba, Kickboxing, Running, Lifting, and Resistance Training makes me so much more versatile. I also got set up with the BodyBugg so I can monitor how many calories I burn and I log my food every day. I am so thankful to my trainer, Trey, who revealed the athlete inside of me. He’s gone above and beyond to help with my success. 24 Hour is where I became addicted to working out; I’ve lost 20+ lbs since being at 24 Hour and I feel so strong.
For as long as I can remember I have been the pretty fat girl. Now I get to be so much more than that. I’ve lost 80+ lbs so far. I went from a size 18-20 to a size 8-10. There are no special tricks or gimmicks, just hard work and a lot of dedication. It hasn’t happened over night and I still have a ways to go but I’m ready.
So there you have it. My brother asked me if I cared that they were kind of taking credit for the 60lbs I lost on my own before joining 24 Hour and I told him no. And this is why, my tainer, Trey. I am so proud of what I did on my own before 24 Hour and I know I would have stuck with it on my own and I know that when I am back on my own I will be okay... but before Trey working out was a means to an end. I didn't love it. After Trey, I am obsessed. He made it "fun." It's my way of living. It's the best part of my day. I get cranky and mad if I don't get to work out. I'd do it all day if I could. I've gained so much muscle and lost a lot of body fat and inches that my 60 on my own to the 25 at the gym really starts to even out.