One year ago, I took a major step to take care of me when I joined Fit Body Boot Camp in Napa, California. During the past year, people have asked me, “Why now?”, what drove me to finally take this step to improve the quality of my life. I read through my previous posts and realized I had not answered this question in detail. I think my one-year anniversary is a great time to share some of the steps that led me to where I am, now 80 pounds lighter, with 20% less body fat, and the best health of my life.
I used to love buying clothes until I gained weight. For the past ten or so years, I grew to despise clothes shopping. I would take lots of items into the dressing room. Usually most everything didn’t fit and what few things did fit were things that I bought to hide the fact that I was fat. I would stand and look in the mirror and cry. However, I still couldn’t admit to myself that I didn’t just look fat in most everything I tried on, I was fat.
In June 2016, I experienced not one, but two periods of stomach illness. I started thinking more about what I was eating. I tried probiotics and I eliminated most dairy from my diet, but it wasn’t enough. I usually felt lethargic or ill after eating. I now look back on old meal photos on social media and am shocked at both what and how much I was eating. I was also drinking wine most days, which I have now removed from my diet except for special occasions. I was endangering my health if I continued overeating and eating poorly.
In August 2016, I attended the Wine Bloggers Conference in Lodi, California. One day, a group of us walked downtown for lunch. It was all I could do to make the walk in the 100+ degree heat. When we arrived at the restaurant, I was miserable – hot, sweaty, and winded – while none of my friends were. I went to the bathroom to wipe off the sweat and I cried. That moment was a major turning point for me. I realized I was in terrible physical shape.
Finally, during Labor Day weekend 2016, I was in my hometown. There was one day where I had the day to myself. It was warm and humid, but I decided to venture out of my hotel room to walk around downtown. Again, I felt horrible. I returned to my hotel room to cool off and sit in front of my laptop. That night, I went out again for dinner and had this incredible pasta meal, but it left me feeling like crap.
I realized that this is what my life had become. I was spending most days inside, in front of my laptop, where no one judged me, eating and drinking, because I was afraid of two things: not being able to keep up with my friends who were in better shape and fear of face-to-face rejection from being overweight and unattractive. I had tucked myself away from the real world, away from meeting new people, dating, and having any kind of social life. The next day, Sunday morning, while browsing Facebook, I stumbled upon Fit Body Boot Camp’s 28-Day Little Black Dress Challenge.
I decided to go for it. I had my initial consultation with Coach Laura. I learned that I weighed 209 pounds and was carrying 40% body fat. I was not only overweight, I was officially, clinically obese. Talk about a wake-up call. I had to do something as I was literally killing myself if I stayed on the same track. The following week, Monday, September 12, 2016, I began the challenge. I had already set up an account with MyFitnessPal to log my food intake and I had owned a Fitbit since 2014, which I upgraded earlier this year, to track my exercise. I tried to go to the gym after work starting that Tuesday. I immediately realized that I was going to fail because I never knew when I could leave work, I had to deal with questionable traffic driving from work to Napa, I had to remember to pack workout clothes, etc. However, I had an ah-ha moment after one of the evening classes that first week with Coach Jeff, I literally felt like I was going to die. I must have looked like I was going to die because Jeff looked at me and said, “Are you coming back?” And I replied without hesitation, “Yes, I’m not a quitter.”
I had just made the best promise to myself that I ever could have made. I decided to attend workouts first thing in the morning instead, before everything else, and I’ve been attending five to six days per week ever since. I followed the recommended meal plan outline and I have logged everything I’ve put into my body for over a year. My original goal was to lose 40 pounds and 10% body fat. However, I felt so amazing that I kept going. On June 16, 2017, nine months into this transformation, I reached 75 pounds and 20% body fat lost. I admit, I really wanted that 75-pound loser jacket and makeover that Fit Body Boot Camp gave me as my reward for achieving this goal. Ten months in, I reached 80 pounds lost. Labor Day weekend this year, I wore my first swimsuit in years. For the past two months, I have maintained 75-80 pounds lost. At the time of writing this, I weigh 128.6 pounds, 80.4 pounds gone.
I know that my weight will fluctuate and I am still learning to eat to maintain, not to lose. However, I cannot express how happy I am and how great I feel. I love working out more than unhealthy food and sipping wine. I just renewed my gym membership for another year. I am so grateful that I found Fit Body Boot Camp Napa. The coaches and my classmates are an integral part of my success. As long as I am healthy, I will continue living this lifestyle. Every day I am thankful for this second chance to live my best and healthiest life.