My story

It seems like it wasn't all that long ago that I was just another couch potato who had no idea what she was shoveling in to her mouth out of boredom or stress. That was probably just what I was doing the night I realized it was time for a change. Flipping through the channels on my television, I came across one of MTV's newest shows called I Used to be Fat. I was hooked from that moment on. Seeing this young girl, Gabby, struggling with weight problems most of her life and then finally taking charge of herself and pushing every day to eat healthy and exercise as much as possible was just so inspiring to me. Every little thing she said and did was something I too had felt in my life at some point. Right on down to constantly butting heads with her mother! lol. Seeing how much success she had by the end of the episode I was so pumped! Then right after that I saw Marci's journey and could relate similarly to her in all the same aspects of how hard it is to just say no to eating all the wrong things when they taste so delicious and give you that instant gratification you so desperately desire, especially when you feel neglected in certain parts of your life. These 2 episodes were reruns that I happened to catch on a Friday night while at home having no social life whatsoever and buried in food on my parent's recliner. I immediately went to set the DVR to record all the new episodes after these finished because I knew this is what was going to help me change my life forever. I knew that they had the help of personal trainers and that roughly 100 days or just one summer was not going to be idealistic for me personally, but I thought that if these kids could lose around 90 lbs give or take in just 3 months without having surgery or doing crazy crash diets, then I could probably do the same in 1 year's time if I spent my energy doing the research and putting in the hours of sweating it out! I was so excited thinking about it that I was up jumping around doing jumping jacks when I saw them do them on the show and yelling out of pure happiness shouting out "YOU GO GIRL!" or other really dorky things to my tv when I saw them doing well and accomplishing what they set out to do. lol. I have wanted to lose weight for myself and for my son and for so many other great and necessary reasons before and I cannot really put a finger on why this time I was more commited and successful. I just know that I am determined to change my entire life for good.

That next day I took some before pictures of myself, because I knew that someday I would be able to look back and say hey... I can't believe that used to be me! I still cringe looking at those pictures today, and don't think I look all that much smaller just yet. I do feel a lot smaller though. I can breathe easier and can run around with my 3 year old who is in to everything these days! I used to get winded just walking up the 4 porch steps to my house. Seriously? Yeah... that was bad. I can do those like nothing now of course, lol. But I notice all the time new things that I can do that I could not for the longest time. I am constantly finding myself competing with my friends and family in my head. I think oooh I bet I can beat them up the stairs or I can swim over there faster or I can run and go do this or that without getting winded while I hear them grunting and panting about it.  I jump for joy and smile my head off thinking how this time last year I would have been panting and groaning like that, too!

I have learned so many things over the past few months now. It's hard to sum it all up and say this one thing works or that one thing is better than this one thing. In reality, there is no fast track to success. You have to put in the work. You get what you give! Eat less and move more! You have to eat well and you have to exercise. Doing one or the other may help you a little bit, but doing both is what's going to give you the most results. If you really want to lose the weight and keep it off then you have to commit yourself to making this a lifestyle change. I don't refer to myself as being on a diet simply because I feel like a diet is something that ends. This is not going to end for me. I quit drinking soda, and whenever I lose all the weight I want to lose, I will not just start drinking soda again! Sure I may have one like once in a blue moon because I feel to deny yourself something you crave will only set you up to binge on it later, but I promise you I will not allow myself to become a soda drinker again in my lifetime! And the me from last year is saying WHAT?! lol. She was addicted to Dr Pepper since the time she was 2 years old... My son just turned 3. I am so glad I've made the decision to start changing things now so that I can learn how to help him make all the right choices from a much younger age than I did. He is a huge part of the reason I am on this journey. The only other important part of how I got to where I am now is that you have to have support. I am a single mom and don't really have a great close relationship with my family and my friends live pretty far away so I am alone a lot on this journey but I do make it a point to get online and talk to like minded individuals! I have found all the IUTBF kids on facebook and chat with them there. Some even on video chat. They have offered some really wonderful advice and words of encouragement to me. I am on several different forums and groups where I talk about my journey everyday. We share what kind of workouts we are doing or what we are eating, etc. Just how our day is going, good or bad, it helps to talk about it and always keep it on your mind. I think the best part about talking to others about my journey though is when I have the chance to offer up words of encouragement or advice to someone who needs it. It's wonderful getting help from my new fitness friends, but its even more rewarding to give back that help.

*Update: January 2013*
I am no longer a single mom, I'm actually engaged to a wonderful man who is super supportive and we just had a beautiful baby girl together. My son is now 4 and my fiance also has a 3 year old son. I had to put my weightloss on hold while pregnant most of this 2012, but I am so ready to get back on track and finish meeting my goals and continuing to live as healthy as I can. :)

**Update January 2017**
So much has happened in the last 4 years... life is crazy wonderful and unexpected. I went from being engaged and without work to being single and holding down 2 jobs with hardly any time for myself. Eventually my fiance realized all he was missing out on with his family that he came back and we have been happily married for almost 8 months now. Last year had it's struggles but overall was a pretty good year for our family. I also went back to college in the last few years and have been doing my best to earn some sort of degree. As you can imagine that leaves almost no time for myself. Now it's a whole new year and I am ready to cast all excuses aside and get my health back. I gained back all of the weight I originally lost and even more on top of that. I am so ready to let go of stress and take control back.