Tell us about your life before you started the program. How did you feel about yourself and your body?
I have struggled with weight issues and body image since my teen years (I’m 49). After a bout in college with anorexia and bulimia, I found a healthy balance in eating and fitness when pregnant with my oldest son. I maintained that balance until about 12 years ago. After losing my only brother to suicide in 2004, I turned to food to cope and numb the feelings of grief and my weight began to creep up. My unhealthy coping skills continued as I dealt with the stress of starting a financial planning and tax business, supporting my husband through Cancer, and caring for my daughter who was bedridden on-and-off for 6 years with a chronic illness. I often joked that the first 5 cookies didn’t help, but I was sure the next 5 would. As my weight ballooned, my confidence plummeted. I was self conscious and missed out on many opportunities because I was too embarrassed to be seen. I felt weighed down, both physically and emotionally.
What inspired you to change your life and begin your transformation journey?
Over the years, I tried so many times to diet and lose the weight. Most of the time I couldn’t even get going, but the times I did I was quickly derailed by the new crisis of the week. I finally resigned myself that this is who I was now. In the beginning of 2015, some things happened to convince me to give it one more try. My doctor got my long standing sleep issues under control, giving me more energy than I had in years. A friend saw a picture of me and my grandson from two years past and asked who that was, because he didn’t recognize me. I was so embarrassed. I watched another friend (a Beachbody Coach) as she shared her weight loss journey. I knew her life was super busy, and was intrigued by how she managed it. My son’s August wedding was quickly approaching as well. Staring down another stressful year, I knew I had a choice to make. I could continue down the same road and gain even more weight, or I could do something different and lose it instead.
What is the greatest challenge you faced before beginning the program? How did the program and Beachbody® help you overcome that challenge?
After eating whatever I wanted whenever I wanted for so many years, I had lost all perspective on what normal eating was. I knew that a “diet” was not going to work for me, that if this was going to be successful it had to be a lifestyle change. I decided that would come only by eating like I did when I was thin- but the question remained, how? My friend shared with me that her success came from the 21 Day Fix and how it fit right into real life. When my containers arrived and I read the plan, I knew she was right. The containers helped me to relearn portion sizes and an appropriate amount of food to eat in a day. I couldn’t believe how little cheese was allowed; I had been eating about a dozen times that before starting the plan! It was simple to understand and put into practice, both at home and when eating out. I was not hungry a bit, and knew this was a lifestyle I could keep. Not once did I feel like I couldn’t wait to be done so I could go back to eating like before.
What in particular did you like about the program you chose?
I loved the containers with the 21 Day Fix as I mentioned, but I also appreciated that the workouts were only 30 minutes long. I started in February, in the height of my busy tax season at work but still was able to find that 30 minutes every day. Autumn is encouraging and motivating, and I hear her voice in my head even when I’m not doing the workouts (nobody quits! you can do anything for 60 seconds! be better than you were yesterday!). I loved that I could see changes in my body so quickly; it helped motivate me to keep it going. Having a plan for what workout to do each day was invaluable, and I enjoyed seeing my progress in the workouts as they cycled back around again the following week. After several months of the 21 Day Fix, I felt comfortable with heavy weights and no modifications, so I moved up to 21 Day Fix EXTREME in October. My muscle growth and weight loss exploded with that program. The progress was incredible and I love how Autumn pushes even more in EXTREME.
Describe the results you achieved with your Beachbody program. Which achievements are you proud of?
When I started my journey, I wore an XX-L and likely was in a size 20. I refused to buy new clothes and I was wearing two pairs of very seriously stretched out size 16 pants. I have lost 85 pounds and 66 inches and am in a size 4! More than that, I am happy to be strong and healthy. A year ago I could barely get up the stairs at home without being short of breath and pains in my knees and feet. Now I bound up those stairs! At 50 lbs lost in October, I wanted to run a lap just to see if I could. I’ve been running regularly since, now over 20 miles a week . The friend who didn’t recognize me in the picture challenged me to run 3 miles in under 30 minutes, and on January 2, we went to the track and I did it! I’m proudest though that for the first time in my life I have a healthy relationship with food. I found better ways to handle stress, I express my feelings instead of numbing them, and reward myself with positive things for my health rather than food.
How has your life changed since completing your Beachbody program?
If you said to me a year ago that i would own running shoes, workout clothes, a treadmill, or dumbbells I would have thought you were crazy! But here I am, working out just about every day and loving it. On the eating side of things, I see food as fuel now, and make choices in what I eat based on how it will make my body feel, not what will satisfy my sugar cravings. I can look at a piece of cake and willingly without regret pass on it, or even have a piece if I want it- but it doesn’t set me off on a junk food binge anymore. I’m healthy, energetic, and happy. I no longer dread getting dressed in the morning because of how my clothes fit, because they all look great! My increased confidence has been great for me professionally too; I am more outgoing and don’t want to hide. My daughter is eating better and exercising too, which has improved her illness as well. The positive change in me is apparent to my family and friends, and more than once I’ve even been told I’m glowing.
How did participating in a Challenge Group help you reach your goals? How did your group support you and keep you accountable?
I knew for quite some time that my weight was a health and quality of life issue, but had a hard time getting motivated to stick with a plan for more than a few days, or get started at all. Being in the group gave me the structure I needed to start, and the encouragement of the group helped me continue. I knew each day we would be facing the same challenges and doing the same workouts, and that the group would be looking for me to report in. I didn’t want to disappoint my fellow challengers!
How did your Team Beachbody® Coach support you on your journey?
I’ve known my Coach Meg Watt for a number of years, and when she started her weight loss journey I watched with interest. I knew she had an incredibly busy life, and if the plan fit into her life, it could fit into mine. She encouraged me that the plan was workable with real life, and invited me to join the group. She helped me figure out 21 Day Fix and checked in with me periodically to see my progress. Meg was ever encouraging and cheered me on.
You can change your life, too. Take the Beachbody Challenge for the tools you need to Decide, Commit, and Succeed! Complete any Beachbody program, and enter your results for a free gift and a chance to win cash and prizes.
†Results vary depending on starting point, goals, and effort.