There are those who say they have been struggling with weight their whole life...as a kid, teen and young adult. I can't really say the same thing...you see it wasn't a struggle for me. I was fat, cute and didn't really care what others thought! So I just kept living, as the old folks advised, and never really gave MUCH thought to losing weight. I had convinced myself that all 5'4.5\\\" (yes the half means something) 298 pounds of me was just - - thick, big boned, healthy, etc. I mean, I tried occasional fad diets (remember the cabbage soup diet - YUCK! and the Lemonade one - uhh, yeah, someone should have told me don't ADD SUGAR!) and I would walk about a block before feeling like I was gonna DIE ANY SECOND! I can't even begin to tell you the number of gyms I joined and went HARD for about one week before finding some reason to quit! But, none of it ever lasted. The effort wasn't there. I really truly just didn't care. It didn't help that medically I was healthy...all my numbers were either normal or below normal and I felt fine. It also didn't help that socially I had never had the whole \\\"can't find a man\\\" thing....uhh, until now! LOL! I dated, got married, divorced and dated some more...so what was the problem really?
Early in 2011 I saw the below picture...I was absolutely horrified! I mean...really? Who lets themselves get this big and can still look in the mirror and say I LOVE YOU! You can't! As much as I thought I was in control...I wasn't - CLEARLY! Food had become my boss, my teacher, my comforter, my everything....I was losing control over my life to the power of food! Once the realization of that hit me....I became afraid. Yep, really scared! I thought, if I don't regain control over this area of my life...I'm going to die! I needed to figure this thing out quickly before it was too late! So I prayed and took a good long hard honest look at who I was. If you ever want to change your life for the better....ask God to show you who you REALLY are. It's not always pretty and can be painful, but it is necessary for change! I was hiding from some very painful facts of my life.
However, as a Life Coach and Christian counselor, I realized I was asking and telling others to be transparent with me...yet, not willing to be transparent with myself! I was a HOT MESS! I had done what I counseled others against...using anything (food, drugs, sex and people) as a crutch or comforter for the pain I was feeling. Enough was enough! I had to face some very real demons from my past and let them know...YOU ARE NO LONGER WELCOME IN MY LIFE! I had to forgive some people...mainly myself....and let some old hurts go. What a freeing experience! What a feeling of deliverance! Whew!
Finally, I had to have a MADE UP MIND and that is where I am today! I am determined to get this weight off me....and get healthy for good! I am determined to not only continue to change my mind...it really was the one thing that was keeping me unhealthy...but, I am determined to CHANGE MY LIFE! I am making HEALTHY and WISE choices about food and exercise so that I may continue to live this life as it was meant to be lived....FANTABULOUSLY!
A good friend of mine told me recently...YOUR BODY WILL DO WHAT YOU FORCE IT TO DO! So, failing is not an option...neither is giving up or quitting! This is my life now....and I'm LOVING IT! What do you want for your life right now? GO GET IT! CHANGE YOUR THINKING AND CHANGE YOUR VERY LIFE!
The journey by far isn't over....I've lost 72 pounds and have another 50 or so to go....but, I'm looking forward to my continued success! ~ Kelly J. Joyner
I've been overweight almost my whole life.. That's a long time since I just turned 43 (this past March). I've done it all...tried alot of different diets....joined gyms quit gyms....lost weight regained it.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
In 2011 I finally got fed up. I was at my heaviest ever~328 lbs!! Whoa! When did this happen? Overtime is when. Times of eating too much, eating the wrong foods, not exercising. Just not taking care of myself.
I started on my weight loss journey July 3 2011 and haven't looked back. I got sick and tired of being sick and tired. I got fed up with how I looked and how I felt. I want to be around for my kids and not just watch from the sidelines anymore. I don't want to die young due to something I could have prevented.
Brief history: My youngest son will be turning 5 in May and back when he was about a year old I remember going to a doctor to start on the process of having lap band surgery. I decided against it and that it wasn't for me. The doctor told me the way that I ate when I would lose weight is the right way to eat once I had surgery (smaller portions no carbs). The surgery wasn't a guarantee that I would lose weight. I decided not to go thru with it because I didn't want to go thru the whole process just for it not to work. Time went on and so did more weight.
Back to July 3 2011. I started making changes. I was watching portions, cutting back carbs, & slowing adding in cardio. All of a sudden I'm starting to realize that weight was starting to come off. That in of itself was motivation. I stuck with it. I was determined to stay determined and not go back to where I was before July 3 2011. I was making small realistic goals that were attainable and nothing unrealistic. Every time I reached 1 it was motivating. I learned not to set any goals that I knew to be unrealistic because that can get someone depressed when you don't reach them. This is something I still do.
Fast forward to today~April 29 2012~I HAVE LOST 132 lbs!! I am in Onederland! I still have a long way to go but I am definitely a new person. I can tell my confidence has increased. I look better and feel better ( I can't remember when I last had an issue with my asthma). I love clothes shopping now. Who wouldn't when you're able to buy clothes in \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"regular\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\" clothes stores. I move around better. People around me even say I seem different~more alive more vibrant. I continue to do cardio (Richard Simmons is my fav) and I belong to a gym. I do what I can when I can. I learned not to beat myself if I miss a workout or a day at the gym or if I ate wrong. What I'm doing I have to do for the rest of my life. It's something I have to live with. I try to go by this saying that I heard \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"Ask yourself if what you're doing today is bringing you closer to where you want to be tomorrow\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\". We seem to focus too much on how far we have to go instead of celebrating how far we have come.
I lost this 132 lbs WITHOUT surgery (since July 3 2011). I did it with pure want power & focus & determination. I have had setbacks and there maybe more in the future. Who knows? But, if there are then I will deal with it and move on. Regardless of how many setbacks or roadbumps there maybe on this path I'm on, it will NEVER make me change focus and direction and move backwards. I will keep moving forward. It's the only way I know now. I am stronger than I was back then both mentally & physically & emotionally.
Today at the park with my kids I was able to go down a kid's slide. Some people may think that's silly but for someone like me (when I weighed 328 lbs was usually 9 out of 10 times the heaviest person everywhere I went) to be able to fit on a kid's slide is an accomplishment. I was able to climb around on the playground equipment with my son and the smile on his face to see his mom playing with him instead of watching him from the bench is one of the reasons why I did what I did and will do what I'm gonna do.
The only thing I'm sad about is that my mom & dad aren't around for this. I know they wanted me to lose weight. I know, too, they are watching over me and are proud. I mean, heck, I'm proud.
I really don't want to come across conceited but I am really really proud of how far I've come. There are so many out there that are struggling with their weight whether it's 20 lbs to lose or as much as I had to lose or more. We, as humans, have to learn to think more of ourselves and love ourselves more and realize WE ARE WORTH IT!! We are worth being healthy, we are worth looking good, & we are worth BEING HAPPY! We are worth all this & much more! We deserve this!! . Focus on your failures/setbacks and your destined to repeat them. Learn from it. Forgive yourself because you love yourself & move forward to a new you.
Celebrate all that you have achieved & more will come your way.
Each day is a new day to create a new you!
~ Jacqueline Rocco
I began my weight loss journey 23 months ago. I began eating healthy, using portion control and exercising. I have now lost 139 lbs. and am 11 lbs. from goal. I just recently discovered the Shapely Girl dvd's and love them! Debra is very motivating and down to earth. I love all the women who walk with her. I want others to know that your goals are obtainable. Take it one day a time, one step at a time. Healthy feels SO good!! =) ~ Lori
I began my journey two (2) years ago at age 50 when I tipped the scale at 200lbs. My doctor put me on medication for high cholesterol. At this point, I realized that I needed to make some positive changes if I wanted to see my grandchildren grow up. I added more fruits and vegetables to my diet, and started moving around to get exercise. When I discovered Shapely Girl DVDs, I fell in love. I began with the Get Moving DVD and moved on to the Weights and Step Aerobics. I've since lost 50 pounds and my doctor took me off my medication. My grandchildren are such a huge part of my life and I want to be able to keep up with them into my 60s and beyond.
Thanks, Deb! ~ Karen DeSchepper
My daughter, Jean, and I came to the ShapelyGirl Fitness program in February 2010. We joined the weight loss support group which met on Tuesdays. We worked as a team and supported each other in this challenge when we were not able to attend class. Jean and I joined the group because we were battling health issues and needed to get them in check before they spiraled out of control. I have diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol and osteoporosis. I have a few weaknesses when it comes to eating. I am not an emotional eater, but I indulge in foods that I really like, which are fried foods and sandwiches on fresh white bread.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
With the help of my awesome instructor, Debra, and perseverance, I was able to overcome some obstacles when it came to making food choices for myself. After a while we were unable to attend class due to Jean's hectic schedule so we tried to work with managing things on our own. As with many things in life, we would have some good days and we would have some bad days. The thing that got me through was that I kept in mind that Debra told me that every day was not going to be a good day, but to make sure the good days out weighed the bad.
We all make New Year's resolutions that we are going to lose weight. Jean and I went back and rejoined the fitness center in the personal training capacity. I was fortunate to get Debra as my personal trainer. Before we got started, she asked me what exactly it was I expected to accomplish from the sessions. I told her I was not there to worry about how many pounds I could drop. My primary goals were to: 1) feel better health-wise 2) have more flexibility in body movement and 3) to decrease the amount of medication I am taking.
I just want you to know that what I came to ShapelyGirl Fitness Center to do I have accomplished. With perseverance, motivation and the right attitude nothing is impossible. I am a winner and a star! I want to thank my daughter, Jean, for taking the time from her busy schedule to get me to my sessions every week, my personal trainer, Deb, who works diligently with me, her staff and all the beautiful friendships I have gained since I have joined the center. That's my story as a Shapely Girl! ~ Ivy Jean Evans
I have always been a proud PLUS SIZE woman. I am very confident in myself and my appearance. In April 2010, I came back from a vacation in Mexico.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
When I stepped off the plane, I began thinking about the issues I had just experienced with getting my seat belt around me. I realized that I HAD to do something NOW before I developed health issues.
Up to this point, my blood pressure and lab results have always been good, but I knew that would not last if I continued to live the life I was living. I started my dieting process by putting myself on a pretty tough and strict very low calorie diet. I lost 40 lbs, but realized that I could never live my life eating cabbage and baked beans alone. It was just not realistic.
I began to incorporate different foods back into my diet. My weight loss did slow down and I realized that with proper dieting and exercising, I could begin to feel better about myself. I began walking on the weekends and taking Zumba classes 5 days a week. I have always hated exercising but Zumba is more like dancing. Walking on the treadmill could get very boring, but Zumba is fun and it makes me feel like I am getting a great workout since I burn a lot of calories and sweat! I have never been thin and I'm not trying to be thin. I just want to be happy and healthy!
I am a curvy girl and very proud of it. I am not at my final goal yet, but I know with the proper diet and daily exercising, I will make it there! I thank God every day for how far I have come and for how far I am going to go. Thank you for letting me share my story. ~ Natasha Coleman
Well, I really haven't done any of your videos yet, although I believe my story will win your contest. My story started in May 2010. I ended up in the hospital and was not myself at all. While there, a female doctor made me feel worthless and ashamed of being obese and putting my son through this ordeal. She stated that I was literally killing myself and she was right. I was smoking and had just been diagnosed with diabetes about two weeks before. I was having issues with my breathing the past two months. I was obese and had become very sedentary the past 4 years. After being stuck in the hospital, being poked at and having to go through two surgeries to see if I had clogged arteries and Heart disease, I decided I would do something about it. When I got out of the hospital, I could not walk to the bathroom and back without getting out of breath. I became very depressed and was crying a lot. I didn't want my six year old son sad and think I was going to die. On May 28, 2010, I joined Weight Watchers and began to take charge of my life. At that time, I began to walk. I could not walk half a block without losing my breath and having to take a break, but did not give up. I started going to the YMCA, but I had a lot of difficulty and couldn't do the treadmill, eliptical or bike at that time. I began to strengthen my muscles with weight lifting and swimming. I was losing weight and feeling better. I quit smoking, got off some of my medications for depression and I began to feel better about myself. I then took it upon myself one day to get on the treadmill and for the first time I did 5 minutes. The next day I was able to do ten minutes and before you know it, I was doing 40 minutes and losing a lot of weight. I began to have some pain in my feet and was told by my foot doctor I had developed tendonitis and was restricted from using the eliptical and treadmill. My weight loss stopped for a while and I hit a plataeu. I then was challenged in November 2010 to do the turkey trot for Christmas. I had to do 100 miles by 12/23/2010. I took the challenge and did it. I could not do ten minutes on the bike, but pushed myself to do 15 miles on the bike and completed the turkey trot. I was ecstatic with my determination. I continue to go to the YMCA. I now have a trainer and I am waiting for my restrictions of using the treadmill and eliptical to be lifted, but I do what I can every day. Two women and I began walking the mall for additional exercise. I began this journey as a size 28 and I am now a size 18. I began at 297 pounds at the hospital and I am now 252 as of last Friday at a Weight Watchers meeting. My goal is to become 135 pounds and a size 12. I know this is a long process and that it will take time to adapt to my new lifestyle, but I am motivated to do this and for the first time I want to complete this journey. ~ Demme Matheos