"I know this journey has just begun, and I want to be strong and healthy as I continue into my 40s and on. I WILL NEVER GIVE UP"
As a child, I was an avid athlete and never had any weight problems. My struggle started in college, when I stopped participating in sports and faced the devastating divorce of my parents. I started using food to cope with any difficult or painful situation I faced, and as a result I gained weight. I began having recurring dreams, in which I would be faced with a dangerous situation but was unable to run to safety — I was physically incapable of moving my body because of my weight.
These dreams scared me, and I came to a point where I just couldn’t take them anymore. I knew I needed to make a serious change in my life. I had tried many diets over the years with no success, and I recognized that I needed to find something that would stick. I heard about Jillian’s online program through The Biggest Loser. I've been a loyal fan of Jillian's — I felt drawn to her intense personality and approach to training. She exudes a passion that I wanted for myself.
I started Jillian's program at a weight of 185 pounds. After about four months, I'd lost 50 pounds, but I still wasn’t as fit or healthy as I ultimately desired to be. Then I faced some unpredicted roadblocks that set me back significantly. I was downsized from a job I adored, and my social drinking habit advanced into alcoholism. The rest of that year began to slip away. As the holidays quickly approached, I decided that I needed to get a grip on things. My family had suffered tremendously from my poor decisions, and I realized that I was not the person I wanted to be. I started working out again, and once I reached age 30, I finally decided that THIS IS IT.
I finally developed the dedication and drive that I needed to achieve my goal. I bought Jillian's book Making the Cut and Hot Bod in a Box, her set of training flash cards, and got to work. I found endless support from the Web site and used Jillian’s motivation to propel me through what seemed like a never-ending battle. Whenever I felt as though I was slipping, I would remind myself of the bad dreams that used to haunt me, and I'd look at my “before” picture. The motivational strategy that worked best for me was imagining Jillian's voice yelling at me. I would hear her scolding me when I would try to cheat on meals or snacks, and I would hear her encouraging and pushing me through every workout.
My life today is nothing like it used to be. I went from 185 pounds to 116 pounds, which is less than I weighed in high school! I finally feel worthy of love. I am able to greet challenges with a positive attitude, and I possess a will to succeed that I never had before. I finally feel strong, capable, and comfortable in my own skin. The battles along the way helped me fight even harder for what I wanted — to be fit again, to be an athlete again. And I am! Words just can't describe how amazing that feels.
I know this journey has just begun, and I want to be strong and healthy as I continue into my 40s, 50s, and on. I WILL NEVER GIVE UP.
Best compliment: The most meaningful compliment I received came when I saw a friend for the first time in two years and she didn't recognize me at all. Not even a little bit! I had to introduce myself to her and remind her who I was — of course, after that came a rush of compliments that left me blushing.
Activities now: RUNNING! I have competed in two 5Ks in the last month. I've also begun swimming and can now swim more than a mile without resting.
Advice for others: Get rid of your go-to foods! Identify your triggers and disarm them. If you can get to the bottom of your eating and weight issues, then you can rise to the top a stronger, healthier, thinner person. You have to arm yourself with knowledge about nutrition and exercise and put it into practice every day. It's not a quick fix, but it is a cure. Bad days and slipups happen — just never quit fighting!
*Weight loss varies by individual. You may not achieve similar results.