A colleague of mine shared a personal story with me recently. As she approached 40 and saw where she was in her life she knew she had to do something about her weight. But, what she did, changed more than just her dress size.
Here is her story in her own words:
This year I turn 40, and somewhere in my head a recurring thought was happening. I refused to be fat at 40. So in the past 12 months, I lost 60 lbs, several inches, and 6 dress sizes. And while I am thrilled and relieved at the same time, I’ve also come to understand that the road I am on has done more then move the numbers on the scale, it has changed my outlook.
I have a personal belief that our bodies and physical health are connected to our mental health and therefore impacts each of the roles in our lives. A few of my roles are as a mom, wife, daughter, sister, sales, executive, coach, writer, gardener, advocate. Taking control of my health and choosing to make the lifestyle changes impacted each of those roles. As I have gained more energy, I have become more aware, alert, empathetic, disciplined, and less stressed, frustrated, anxious and guilty. My relationships with those I care about, and even with myself has become more positive. I sleep better, and generally feel more in control of my own self.
Another thing I have noticed is how my personal fitness goals have motivated those around me. My husband is now more active with me on walks and kayaks rides. My son has started running with me (he still beats me every time- he is like a gazelle!). Even my neighbor has been inspired and has lost 110 lbs! (I am a little jealous!)
I needed to make lifestyle changes, not try a fast fad diet. Unlike many, I have not tried a lot. It seemed like a waste of time and time was key for me. I didn’t always have an hour a day to work out, or more hours to cook and shop for speciality items. If it wasn’t easily available on the grocery store on the way home, it ain’t happening. So I made some changes, and as those small changes became habits, I added more small changes.
First thing I did was start keeping track. It is so easy to assume we are eating right. But to keep myself accountable I used an app on my smartphone called MyFitnessPal. As the pounds started to come off and my energy picked up, I added some exercise to my daily routine. 20 min a day to start. Then as I started sleeping better, I was able to get up earlier and do 30 min of exercise. Then I did things to change my diet like cutting out pasta whenever possible. Before I knew it, people were starting to notice. And that only encouraged me to keep going.
But now, I have hit a wall. I made all those changes myself with the encouragement of my friends and family and the pounds came off easily. Now the dial seems stuck, and I need to get those last 40 pounds off. So I put my stubbornness and DIY nature aside and went to see my doctor. They are doing some blood work and analysis of my nutritional needs and giving me the coaching and recommendations I need to keep going. And I know I can do it. If I can lose 60, I can certainly lose 40 with some expert help. And the best part is that my insurance pays for it!
Actually no, the best part is that I can be an example for my kids and those I care about. Losing the weight and getting fit didn’t just change my dress size, it changed me. It made me realize that the only thing that holds me back is my own self and the choices I make. That brings a certain sense of freedom that no one else can give you.
I hope her story touched you as it did me. Please, share your story too in the comment box below.