Sometimes I feel like I’ve been on this weight loss journey my entire life.
Well, honestly, it HAS been.
As many of you have learned already, I have been “overweight” as long as I can remember.
Being heavier than the average child, teenager, and young adult had far more disadvantages than the health concerns carrying extra weight brings. As most of the world knows, there is a certain stigma attached to the overweight. And because of that, I never really had a lot of friends as a child. Being overweight made me VERY shy, and embarrassed, and so I just kept to myself. I opened up a bit more in Junior High and High School, and although I was able to grow my circle of friends, as people began to date and pair off, I never even went on so much as a date in high school.
By the time I entered college, my weight had begun to really lose control. And by 2010 I was tipping the scales at almost 380lbs. I remember going to the doctor’s office for a check-up and getting the “talk” from my primary care physician.
“Stephanie, you know you’re only a few pounds away from reaching 400lbs”.
“Stephanie, you know it will be easier to lose weight while you’re still young.”
“Stephanie, do it for your health. I don’t want to see you become sick or injured.”
Funny thing is, I had been hearing the last two comments most of my life, but it would take a 400lb reality check that would put me into total freak out mode. And so I decided that enough was enough.
I started walking at first, and attempted to eat better, which is what led me to start cooking and creating recipes.
I completed a few 5ks and noticed that the pounds started to fall off.
I got into swimming, biking, and eventually went on to complete two sprint triathlons.
I wanted more of a challenge so I crossed the finish line of a 15k.
I decided that I needed even stronger of a push, so I joined Orangetheory Fitness.
I started to cut grains and sugars and focused on eating clean.
I passed by the 300lb mark and vowed to never see that “3” again!
And over the past 4 years, what has become most important of all, is the realization of how strong and capable I am. I’ve learned to recognize my successes, be proud of my curvy body, and above all else, learn what it feels like to be confident.
I may have been working on this for a long time, but who cares. It’s my journey, and I’m enjoying every second. I have never resorted to using drastic or dangerous methods for losing this weight and getting my body to be it’s healthiest. The reality is, there is no permanent quick fix. Weight loss is hard. It takes time. It’s a complete lifestyle change. It takes effort and a desire to want to push yourself to be your best YOU.
My journey is not over, in fact, in a way it’s just beginning. Each and every day I set new goals for myself, and challenge myself to try new things and push my body out of it’s comfort zone. Each day is a new day to go for something that will benefit my health, and help create a better version of my past self. Are there times when I’m scared? Absolutely. Do I get frustrated? You bet. But living a healthy life is about feeling that fear, acknowledging those frustrations, and continuing on regardless of those pesky emotions.
Above all else, always #BeBrave.
While I’ll be continuing my hard work at Orangetheory Fitness, I’ll also be adding something new to help me along my fitness journey. Orangetheory has changed me (big time!), but I’m finding that I need something extra to help me with balance, mobility and flexibility. For a long time now I have had some conversations with myself about starting yoga classes. As I was researching local studios and offerings, I was introduced to something that would be the perfect solution: PiYo.
PiYo combines muscle-sculpting, core-strengthening benefits of Pilates with the strength and flexibility advantages of yoga. It’s an awesome low impact workout that is easy on the joints! It’s a workout for people of all ages, fitness levels and body types. There’s a modifier to follow in every workout move so you can focus on form and work at your own pace!
The thought of taking a yoga class made me a bit nervous. As I said before, flexibility, balance and mobility are not my strengths, so I was a bit anxious about being in a class and possibly falling on my face! (there’s that fear!). When I heard about PiYo, I knew this would be right up my alley for the main fact that I would be able to do this in the comfort of my own home, where I would be able to make mistakes and practice at my own pace.
It didn’t take much to sell me! My DVD set arrived last Friday and I’ll be trying out my first session tomorrow. I have quite a few friends who have been doing PiYo since it was released last summer and have seen some amazing results. I’m hoping that a month from now I will be able to post a follow-up sharing some of my successes with this program. In addition to Orangetheory Fitness, clean eating, 5k races (I have 5 coming up!) and PiYo, I will also continue my journey by nourishing my body with Shakeology.
For the past month I have replaced my breakfasts with a daily glass of Shakeology. If you’re on social media in any aspect, I’m sure you’ve heard of Shakeology at some point. So what IS it?
Shakeology is a nutrient-dense drink with over 70 super nutritious ingredients including proteins, fruits and vegetables, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, prebiotics, probiotics, fiber and digestive enzymes! It can be used as a meal replacement (if you’re looking to lose some weight) or as a supplement in addition to your daily meals. Shakeology has helped me lose weight (7lbs during my first month!), has reduced my junk food and sugary cravings, has increased my energy and has helped improved my…well let’s just say I’ve noticed a significant change in my “digestion.”
Shakeology comes in a variety of flavors, and REALLY does taste delicious! It is not your typical grainy, overly sweet, or stomach-turning shake. I mix mine with unsweetened almond milk, and everything from frozen fruit (think Vanilla Shakeology, frozen cherries, almond extract and almond milk) to peanut butter (think Chocolate Shakeology, peanut butter, almond milk)! The combinations are endless, making it hard to burn out on the same ol’ same ol’ every day.
Now here’s the part I really need you to listen to. Pull up a seat and pay close attention. Are you here? Are you listening? OK, good.
It’s not too late to begin your own journey to health. Whether you’re 25 or 55, it’s time.
It’s time to feel better about yourself in clothing and pictures.
It’s time to prevent disease and premature aging.
It’s time for your joints to feel normal again.
It’s time for you to learn to love yourself and enjoy life.
It’s time for you to feel the accomplishment and pride that comes along with knocking the crap out of your goals.
It’s time for you to DO THIS.
And I want you to know that I am here to help motivate you, keep you accountable, and be your own personal cheerleader. If you think you’re ready to make those healthy changes in your life, I’d love to connect with you. We can chat about options for meal planning, workouts that would fit into your life, questions or doubts you might have, options for accountability groups I’ll be starting up that you can join and so much more. Oh and remember that giveaway I mentioned? Comment on this post (about anything you want!) and you’ll be entered to win a beautiful hand stamped #BeBrave bracelet, and a prize pack of goodies that celebrate all things healthy and beautiful.
I want you to succeed. Life is special. YOU are special. Feeling good is important. Being your best self is your priority.
Let’s #BeBrave together.