Keep old photos of yourself. When you're feeling discouraged, they'll help you remember what you've accomplished!
In high school, I was overweight, inactive, and spent quite a bit of time eating fast food. These habits continued into my undergraduate years. I lost weight in law school, but gained it all back. I spent years going through different diets and weight–loss plans. I was spending a lot of money on a gym membership, but always finding excuses not to go because I was ashamed and scared. Weighing over 300 pounds, I was having trouble breathing and couldn’t walk a block without getting tired. Diabetes runs in my family, and I didn’t want to develop the disease. I knew I had to do something to lose weight.
One morning, I saw Denise Austin on Lifetime. I started getting up early every morning and working out with her — I felt more comfortable working out in the privacy of my home and couldn’t use any excuses, like bad weather, to avoid it. Right away, I started seeing results and an improvement in my stamina and endurance. I began taping her workouts and set a goal of doing one in the morning before work and then one in the evening when I got home. I also ordered several of Denise’s videos and books, and signed up forher online plan to help me with motivation and meal plans. I liked that Denise had designed a realistic program; she says it’s okay to eat well most of the time and enjoy occasional treats. I really believed this policy and still follow it to this day. You can’t live your life on a diet; you have to learn to make changes in your food choices that you can commit to for a lifetime.
Reaching Her Goals
Since I was not use to exercising at all, my body went into a kind of physical shock and I lost ten pounds right away. Actually, the first 70 pounds seemed to go very quickly. As I started losing weight and gained confidence, I started taking group fitness classes at the community center and boot camp classes at a local gym. I would even bring Denise’s videos with me when I traveled and exercise in my hotel room.
It was not until I was approaching the last 30 pounds of my 120 pound weight loss that losing weight got difficult. One of my biggest challenges was staying motivated when I would hit those plateaus, but I was able to do it – and after a little over a year, I was down to a healthy weight. I’ve now maintained that loss for over three years.
I’ve reached so many of my goals — I’m now a nationally certified aerobics instructor and teach classes all over Atlanta! I have more confidence, I have an abundance of energy and I’m in the best physical shape of my life. But my journey is not over. I stay active by teaching aerobic classes, and also like to participate in 5K events and take dance classes. I keep striving to find new challenges and goals to reach.