My weight fluctuated for most of my life, but I hovered somewhere around 150 pounds, which wasn't ideal for my height, 5' 2".
About three years ago, after giving birth to my son, a few people in my family faced serious health problems. I found myself turning to food to deal with stress and family issues. We always had snack foods like chips around, and I would wander into the kitchen whenever I was upset. Salty foods, sweet foods—I had to have both.
When I felt bad about my weight, I just ate more.
When I started a new job about a year ago, my coworkers suggested we try out a gym called 9Round just across from our office. After dealing with my family's health issues, I decided that I would do anything I could to be here with my children for as long as possible. So I went to work out with my coworkers on our lunch break.
The 30-minute circuit workout included rounds of moves like planks and tire flips, and high-intensity cardio. I left wiped out. I hadn’t exercised hard in years, but everyone at 9Round welcomed and encouraged me, so I continued to go two or three times a week with a coworker.
After I started exercising regularly, I weighed in with my husband on Sundays, but he wouldn’t tell me my actual weight. Instead he just told me how many pounds I’d lost. After the first month I’d lost 10 pounds, and I thought, “Imagine how much progress I’d make if I cleaned up my diet!”
I cut out fast food, processed snack foods, and focused on eating whole grains, nuts, fruits, and lean protein, like chicken and turkey. (If you're ready to start your weight-loss journey with a kickass exercise routine, check out Women's Health's Ignite workouts.)
The more I worked out and ate healthy foods, the more energy I had. I used to drink more than four cups of coffee a day, but as I lost weight and got in shape, I stopped needing coffee altogether.
When I was tempted to stress eat, I paused and reminded myself that those Doritos wouldn’t change the situation or fix anything. They became less and less difficult to resist.
After 11 months of exercising and clean eating (and not knowing my weight!), my husband told me that I’d hit 130 pounds. We both cried.
My transformation blows my mind! I feel so strong and full of energy now. But the mental and emotional changes I underwent are what I’m most proud of. Now that I feel confident and know that I am capable of anything I set my mind to, my personal relationships and professional performance are so much stronger.
Don’t let your mind get in the way. When we tell ourselves we can’t do something, we get stuck in such a negative way of thinking. One of my greatest struggles was the voice of doubt in my head, but by sticking with my routine, I overcame it.
Take it one day at a time. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you want to lose a lot of weight or make a huge change in your life. Focusing on one step at a time makes it easier to stay positive.
Make time for yourself. So many of us tell ourselves that we’re selfish if we make time for ourselves, especially if we care for families. But the 30 minutes a day I made for myself has led to me playing outside more with my kids, and being a more confident mom! You deserve the time to take care of yourself.
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