Wednesday, November 8, 2017

My Journey into Fitness


I remember literally crying to my friends at a party just after high school ended,  "This is what 130 lbs *really* looks like!" as I pouched out my stomach, and felt depressed about myself (while drinking another beer).

I remember wishing I could be 130lbs again, knowing that I would feel so much better about it.

I remember quitting smoking a few years later, giving myself permission to gain weight. 40lbs later,

I was done smoking- for me 180lbs was equivalent to a size 15/16. Not what I was used to seeing in the mirror!

I remember having non stop headaches, and no sleep due to sleep apnea.

I remember wanting to get to a healthier place, and not knowing how.



About 4 years ago, I had a few health issues - mainly recurring headaches and migraines, but also very low energy and a lacking ability to get good sleep. I wanted to get to a healthier place so that I could have a baby. I have written about my experience trying to get pregnant. That is really where it all started.

I had a phone appointment with my doctor to discuss what I needed to do to be healthy enough to have a baby. I brought up my health concerns, and asked if I should be tested for allergies. 

Instead I was told to lose 40lbs minimum to be at 140, and get tested for sleep apnea. It turns out that was one of the root causes of most of my health issues. Later I found that I also have hypothyroidism, which also leads in to easier weight gain.

Shortly after the doctor appointment I was invited by my best friend Noella to get a smoothie following a workout we had just done. 



We went to Live it up Wellness, which is an Herbalife nutrition club in Santa Rosa, CA. They gave me aloe, tea and a shake that tasted like mint chocolate chip ice cream. They explained to me about how all the shakes are 200 calories or less, have all the nutrition my body needs, and will help me to lose weight, and gain energy.

They were right. It literally changed my life.



The club hosted a free 4 week boot camp exercise classes that I decided to join. I had so much fun exercising, and getting stronger!

When I went to sign up for the second session of boot camp, I became a coach, and an Herbalife distributor. I wanted a discount on the shakes, and I wanted to help others to feel the way I did.

I was having so much fun and seeing consistent positive results - losing inches, and weight! I was drinking  2 shakes a day, having 1 colorful meal and snacking on almonds and Bev Mix, instead of Oreos.

At first, the hardest part for me was seeing what my body thought.

I received a wellness profile that told me my body thought I was a healthy 78 year old, due to my body fat percentage, visceral fat, and low bone density. 

When I asked what it would take to change the scale, my coach Kari told me I would have to eat more. 

That was the second hardest thing to learn, and adhere to. Eat MORE!?

I was so calorie conscious, eating maybe 1200 per day, or less. That is what popular media told me would help me to lose weight - caloric deficit mattered more than nutrition.

I learned you are what you absorb!

Before I knew better,I would skip breakfast, feeling like I wasn’t hungry anyway!

I would have  a 50 cent, 6 pack of Oreos from the vending machine at work for lunch, and eat dinner with my husband: usually chicken or turkey with boxed rice, or pasta, bread, and a huge bowl of ice cream for dessert.

I deserved the ice cream, I'd tell myself - it was my right as an adult! And look how much I didn't eat all day?

I would eat breakfast if we went out, and it was always Eggs Benedict with extra Hollandaise.

Now I know that by not eating breakfast every morning, I was telling my metabolism "I don’t need you!" And that eating the Oreos because they didn't have too many calories was not the nutritious thing to do - sugar and fat are not what my body was craving!

The boxed carbs I was consuming in large quantities were full of chemicals that were feeding into my headaches.

I had no idea. I really just had no idea how to eat!

With the shakes and exercise, I lost the 40lbs I was looking to lose in about 4 months. I was so motivated by the success of myself, and others.  Doing the boot camps, I really enjoyed celebrating the success of the campers! My results were and inspiration, and by helping others to lose weight, I stayed motivated to maintain my results.



I taught myself how to eat again - to eat what my body was craving (and learning how to interpret those cravings), and by doing so and losing weight, I am able to sleep through the whole night. My sleep apnea is gone, as there is less weight on my lungs, and throat so I can breathe properly.

This, along with eating clean has lessened the amount of headaches I experience. Now I only get them monthly, as an early warning system that my cycle is coming.



I have so much more energy, specifically in the mornings, and feel better all around.

I also noticed that my goals are ever evolving. I have always been competitive, and motivated by growth, and in this area of my life that holds fast!

My goal was to lose 40lbs. I have since lost over 50.

In the beginning, I wanted to see a specific number on the scale. That number still has significance, but is not as important to me anymore.

I want to feel awesome. I want to be active, and workout, I want to push further, harder, and faster.

I have looked at myself and very proudly said: "This is what 130lbs looks like!"(In the week since starting to write this, I have lost 2lbs.)

I remember what it felt like to go to the mall, and know that I couldn’t fit into the clothes in many of the stores.

I remember looking at "skinny" girls, and feeling jealous that they didn't have to readjust, and pull on their clothing constantly to ensure it laid just right to cover a bulge, ever self conscious.

I remember editing every picture before I posted it to social media, blurring my stomach, or side of my arm, or bringing in my jaw line, and cheek bone.

It is hard for me to look through my old photos and find a true "before" picture, because all that I posted are edited. I have to find pictures that were posted by others, that I untagged myself out of embarrassment.



Years ago I was 180 pounds, and my goal was a number on a scale: get to 140.

Now I am 128, and my most recent goal has been to compete in a fitness competition October 28th, to be lean and toned, and maintain my health.



I will write about my journey in preparing for the competition soon. It has been a whole new level of meal planning, exercise routines, and a lifestyle I never thought I would have.



For me, Herbalife and the support I received learning to eat and exercise made all the difference. For anyone interested in learning more about Herbalife, weight loss, and gaining energy, feel free to visit my website.



9 comments:

  1. Good for you! What an accomplishment. I never skip breakfast or I find myself craving all day. Thanks for sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

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  2. My family is also into Herbal life products. Not mainly for weight loss but for maintaining general health. Glad it worked out for you.
    May I please request you to update your post and link it to Fiesta Friday (http://fiestafriday.net/2017/11/10/fiesta-friday-197)and the co-hosts Laurena @ Life Diet Health ((https://lifediethealth.wordpress.com)and Trupti @ My Culinary Saga (https://myculinarysaga.com/)

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  3. Jennifer what a wonderful accomplishment, you look awesome.

    All the best, keep at it.
    Kathleen
    Blogger's Pit Stop

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  4. Your post is awesome and thanks so much for sharing it with us at Full Plate Thursday. Hope you have a great week and come back to see us real soon!
    Miz Helen

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  5. What a fantastic story - you have achieved so much and should be really proud of yourself. I look forward to seeing how you progress from here - the world is your oyster isn't it?

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  6. This is awesome! Love it! Thanks for sharing at Friday Frenzy Link Party :) XOXO

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  7. Congratulations!
    Your post is featured on Full Plate Thursday this week. Thanks so much for sharing your post with us, we have pinned it to our Featured Board. Enjoy your new Red Plate and have a great week!
    Miz Helen

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  8. Congratulations! Your story is inspirational. I was just thinking how I just didn't feel good anymore. Always tired and not being to keep up with things around the house. I would love to know about your journey. Thanks for sharing on Sunday's best.

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  9. Good luck to you Jennifer. You should be proud of yourself for sticking to your plan and achieving it. And most important to realize that what you were doing along the way was not healthy.

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