“I was recently asked by a friend to write about my story of weight loss and my journey to a healthy life. I didn’t know where to start. In 2015, I had just given birth to my second child and my life a bit of a mess. My husband had recently graduated from the police academy and although I was happy for his success, I felt as if my life was going nowhere.
I was a young mother of two and with the long hours my husband worked I often felt as if I were raising them alone. He worked 12-hour shifts and started out on nights. I was left at home with a newborn and a toddler and was more overwhelmed than I ever thought was possible. I went to my doctor to talk about the depression and anxiety I was feeling, needing desperately to know I had options. The only thing she offered was an anti-depressant. I started taking Celexa, thinking my problems were over, I’m on medication I’ll be cured in no time. Unfortunately, it didn’t change. I was still lost, feeling the same overwhelming emotions as before. The only way I knew to cope was to eat. Food has always been and always will be my addiction. I have never known a reasonable way to deal with pain. It has always been food. Anyone dealing with an addiction will tell you how hard it is to resist something you want so badly, something you know will temporarily make you feel better. In my case, it was food.
In February of 2015, I was going through my insurance plan and noticed a Waist Management Program offered by PEIA. I was curious and wanted to know more. What could this program possibly offer me? I was reading through the requirements and it stated you must have a waist circumference of 35 inches or more for a female and a BMI of 25% or higher. I thought, nope, not me, I don’t qualify. I was wrong. I had a waist circumference of 41.5 and my BMI was 35.6. I was speechless. When did this happen? How did this happen? When will this end?
I signed up for the Waist Management Program in March and that’s when I met my trainer, Laura. She helped me see that although I had a long way to go, it was possible. My first weigh in was terrifying. I was unsure of what I weighed, it had been so long since I had the courage to actually step on a scale to find out. I took a deep breath and held my eyes closed tightly as I waited for her to say the dreadful number. 187… that was it. I knew from that point on I would never weigh that much again.
The next few months were the hardest of my life. I came to the gym and it felt as if nothing would change. Nothing I did would make a difference. Why bother. Self-doubt and self-hatred were all I could focus on. But by my fifth month, something happened. I saw a difference, not only in myself but in the way others saw me. I could walk up a flight of stairs without getting winded, heck I could walk five (trust me, I had to.) On my five-month weigh in I stepped on the scale, just as before, every time feeling like the first. Eyes closed, I heard Laura say 167. I knew then that this was worth doing. My hard work was paying off! I felt victorious, unstoppable! I knew then that five months, countless trips to the gym and endless amounts of baked chicken were making a difference.
By that time, I was no longer taking my Celexa, my depression and anxiety were both well under control. I was a size 10 and had successfully ran my first 5k. But in July, I was given bad news. Laura, had taken a new job and would not be able to continue being my trainer. It was hard to deal with. How will I continue without her? She has been one of the reasons I have been so successful. I was told that I would be assigned a new trainer. I had spoken with Sydney several times and requested to work with her. This was one of the best decisions I made since joining the program.
My goals with Sydney quickly changed from the weight on my scale dropping, to the weight on my bar bells going up. I was overjoyed with how much I loved lifting weights. The desire to be skinny was fading as the realization that I was strong came into my mind. Months went by, summer to winter and before I realized, it was March again. March passed, along with April and May. When May’s weigh in came up, I was no longer scared. I stepped on the scale with my head held high. When the numbers 147 flashed on the screen, my heart stopped, I knew I was on the right path.
Seeing myself make the same mistake over and over again was not enough to change. But knowing that I have two little ones who follow in my every footstep made me realize I’m not only changing my life but theirs as well. They are my reason to change, my reason to make a better choice every day. Knowing that they see my habits and knowing one day they will follow in my footsteps, why not make them worth following?
I am more grateful than I can say to the Nautilus gym and to the hardworking trainers who have helped me on this long and tiring journey. This has been one of the most enjoyable, painful experiences I have ever endured. I want to thank Sydney Collier, for not giving up on me when I was at my lowest and wanted to quit. Because of the Waist Management Program, I was given the opportunity to start my life over, giving my children the mother they deserve. The mother who can chase them for hours and swim in the pool without feeling the same overwhelming fear of self-doubt.”