Today, I’m especially reflective. I’ve ran into some people that I haven’t seen in over 25-30 years this week and I look at how much we’ve changed. The faces stay the same but sometimes we let our lives get in the way of our health. I don’t claim to know how healthy they are, but for me, I had several ailments that forced me to take a close look in the mirror & reevaluate my lifestyle. My arthritis and other joint issues had me struggling to climb stairs, get out of chairs, comb my hair, put my hands in my pocket, ride my motorcycle, sleep on my side…the list is long.
That wasn’t “normal” for someone in their 30’s. In 2009, after another round of physical therapy for my knees, my therapist said, ” if you lost some weight, your knees would feel so much better.”
I joined the gym in 2009 and hit the elliptical a few times a week. I didn’t change my diet much, but I lost a few pounds. My friend, Tracy, recommend a book to me called, “The Eat Clean Diet” that showed me how to rethink what I was eating and make some changes. Some were drastic some seemed doable. From 1/2010 to 4/2010, I lost almost 30lbs. During that time, I started lifting weights. I didn’t know what I was doing, but I fooled around on machines, read a few magazines and kept up the cardio. Then, I happened upon another book called, “The New Rules of Lifting for Women” and that showed me that lifting heavy is OK!
I stayed at it and lost a few more pounds, but I got stronger & stronger. I met a trainer, Dave Miller, on Facebook. He ran a boot camp in the city. He touted lifting heavy, clean eating and staying active. His mantra was just like my own, it was like we were on the same page. In that studio with 15 other people who were working towards the same goals was refreshing. I wasn’t alone. I had my fellow “bombshells” with me every week inspiring me and motivating me to be better.
I hit another wall with my knees and shoulders and had to rehab again. This time, for my knees, my doctor introduced me to Synvisc. I got the injections and slowly but surely, I could move again. Steps were easier, standing was easier and I got back on the elliptical. I was a new person!! I started SPINNING again. The first time I tried it, I hated it. Too fast, too painful and it made my feet and ass hurt like hell. This time, I decided to try it again after the Synvisc & it was better. I actually liked it. So much so, I started teaching it. I get Synvisc injections every 6 months to keep me going and I LOVE it. I couldn’t teach SPINNING, squat, lunge, or run sprints without it. It’s keeping me away from knee replacements and I’m GOOOD with that. However, had it not been for the series of events that lead me to that inventory (and my physical therapist suggesting I lose weight) I’d still be in that body.
I met another amazing trainer, Charlie Biggs, who helped me keep moving around my injuries. He listened to me. That was the most helpful part of our sessions. He respected my desire to go hard, and helped me around my limitations. We trained together for about 2 years and to this day, I still call him my friend. If I ever became a trainer (and I will this year) I’d like to be like him. He cares about people & it shows.
This journey wasn’t an easy one, nor is it over.,I started at 210lbs in 2009 and I’m now 156lbs. I’ve been as low as 148lbs, but after a few surgeries in 2013, I’d gained back 20lbs. I’m still working to get my weight back down (to fit all the clothes I’d bought) but as of 2015, I’m back strength training and down 8-10 lbs. lifting makes me happy. It gives me confidence I didn’t have before.
I’m no longer that “thick” girl, I’m the fit girl & I LOVE it.
My next goal it to help others get fit and healthy. I’ll get ACE certified this year and work on developing my own style of training. I’m a motivator & cheerleader so I hope to bring that to my brand of personal training. The past 6 years have been a roller coaster. I have had so many ups & downs & I’m still on my own journey. What always seems to bring me back to a good place is staying active. I want to help people like me, people who are motivated, but need some guidance and a game plan to get their life to where they’d like to be.
Even in my 40s, I’m still on my journey, but isn’t that what life is all about? The road to where we’re trying to be is filled with highs and lows & I embrace them all. Here’s to the next chapter of my life; fitter, happier, healthier & stronger!