Eating right and being active is a lifelong commitment that's well worth it. Being healthier makes you sexier!
Because I grew up in a family that was overweight and have a lung condition that gave me an excuse to avoid physical activity, I decided as a child that I was simply meant to be a little bigger — in other words, I was fat and pretending to be happy about it. I went on that way until 2005, when my whole world crashed: My mother died at the age of 50 from congestive heart failure combined with decades of severe depression. I was completely devastated. I would hide on the couch, tucked under her old blankets, and cry over the shows we used to watch together while indulging in “comfort” foods. I knew the pounds were stacking up. I was also diagnosed with chondromalacia patella, a painful and hereditary knee condition that was exacerbated by my size. I also discovered a family history of diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, Alzheimer’s, cancer, heart attacks, and congestive heart failure.
Enough was enough! I didn’t want to die at a young age from conditions that were preventable. I was finally ready to free myself of my inner turmoil and become a happier, healthier me because, as Denise says, “I’m worth it!” I enrolled in a wellness program at work and committed to doing Denise’s Pilates for Every Body DVD several times a week. I started watching what I ate and gave up fast food and fried food. This was NOT a diet; it was a promise to myself to change my life for the better, to be healthier, and to live longer!
Denise’s program became a stress-relieving, depression-alleviating, challenging outlet for me, and the weight and burdens began to melt away. My clothes were a little looser, and I saw a major difference in my face, waistline, and thighs. By graduation, I was able to fit into a beautiful dress for graduation that was three sizes smaller than my usual size.
I now set mini goals and reward myself with new workout equipment or outfits, and I order new Denise workout DVDs whenever I reach a plateau (I now own 15!). I converted a room in my apartment into a personal gym, with plenty of space to exercise with my friends. Denise’s Daily Dozen remains one of my absolute favorite DVDs — the simple 12-minute workouts offer an assortment of challenges, from kickboxing to toning to relaxing yoga stretches. Her daily Morning Stretch newsletters keep me motivated with amazing recipes, fun Deniseologies, and advice.
I’m proud to say that with the help of Denise Austin, I’ve been able to beat depression, truly “commit to being fit,” and lose 75 pounds! I’ve dropped eight pants sizes, and my BMI is down to a healthy range. My knee pain is completely gone. I’m very active and love working out for at least an hour every day. The most amazing compliment I’ve received was from my family and closest friends who were with me every step of the way — they told me how proud my mom would be. That means more to me than any number on a scale! To me, it’s a second chance at a more fulfilling life and promising future.