Today, when I look in the mirror, I see a better me. I see health, happiness, and potential. Today I have confidence and I know that I am capable of accomplishing anything. Transforming my body from a size 26, weighing 245 pounds to a healthier 168 was a life-changing journey. Looking back, ten months later, 77 pounds lighter and 14 sizes smaller, I know it was worth it.
In my past, I had constantly been overweight. I had the obvious health risks, but I also had other things that bothered me. I couldn’t wrap a towel around myself or even wear calf-high boots. My thighs would rub and the weight of my body was more than my 5’2 frame could comfortably support. I wanted to dance and hike and date and inspire people. The problem was, I hadn’t made the mental shift to change.
On October 3rd, the day before my 24th birthday, my step-father asked me to watch Sick, Fat, and Nearly Dead. (Ironically, while I watched this show, I ate an entire Tostino’s pizza. Obviously there was something wrong.) We decided that he, my mother, and I would try getting healthy. Starting October 5th, 2011, I began juicing and looking into gym memberships. When I was exploring Club NW, I was shown to the new well. There, I was introduced to a balanced diet, complete with exercise, stress reduction, and a coach to council me through the process.
At first, I was apprehensive. I had tried losing weight in the past, only to go back to old habits. I wasn’t ready to make an investment in myself because I didn’t believe I could achieve success and happiness. It took me a whole month of researching and soul searching to finally make the decision. A wonderful person, Crystal was signing up for the new well. We worked for the same company and had talked briefly. She was looking for a workout buddy and it was that accountability that I needed. I joined the program and the two of us became fast friends. We snacked together on breaks and committed to an exercise schedule. We inspired and counseled each other all along the way. Today, we have both achieved our 100%.
Over these past ten months, a lot has changed. After the first two months, my step-father past away due to health complications associated with lack of exercise and diabetes. He started me on this journey and continues to motivate me to seek health. I have also become closer to my best friend, River Painter, who has taught me about healthy lifestyle choices and has often packed meals with me so we can eat healthy on group outings. We also started learning Argentine tango and have constantly been taking lessons and going to events. This has also inspired me to learn salsa, east-coast swing, and various ballroom dances.
I have met many new people because of my activities. I go to dances, festivals, yoga events, outdoors, and to the gym. I feel full of energy and I believe that I inspire those around me. My mother started volunteering and going to Club NW and she has altered her cooking habits. My sister partnered with me for The Biggest Loser at work and we placed 2nd. The money was exactly the cost of a pair of black and pink Nikes that I had picked out for my 100% reward back when I first started the new well Program.
I constantly have people compliment me, ask me questions, and allow me the opportunity to share my story with them. I feel wonderful and I have so many new goals. I want to get certified as a Zumba and a Body Flow instructor, dance at a tango festival, and experience a large-scale yoga retreat. I would also like to pursue a job in the health industry so I could help people on a larger scale.
So today, when I look in the mirror, I see myself as a strong, beautiful woman who has worked hard and has finally made an investment in herself. I plan on continuing my journey and eventually reaching (and maintaining) my feel-great weight, whatever that number may be. This is my new life, my new mentality, and my new well.