Wow! I honestly can’t believe its been a few months since I posted. I got lost in trying to keep on with my journey and work that I sort of just let time pass. (my apologies).
With that being said. So what did happen once I moved to Iowa? Well, you know how some jobs require you to do a health screening and typically its not anything too serious. I’ve been to some where you just do a few movements and pass. Well…. NOT IN IOWA. This health screen was one of the most comprehensive ones I had experienced. I remember going in and being so afraid of the number on the scale and what my blood pressure was going to be. All I remember is hesitating to step on the scale when the nurse instructed me to. In my head, I’m like… my weight has nothing to do with my ability to perform my job, when in reality it really did. My body is an example. Anyway, I remember the scale being set to kilograms. When I stepped on the scale all I could see was the fact that my weight was THREE DIGITS…. In KILOGRAMS… which meant I had to multiply that number by 2.2 in order to get pounds. I couldn’t even. The shame, guilt, depression, anxiety I felt all at once. It was like hitting rock bottom and trying my hardest to maintain my composure.
When I left to Iowa I had told myself that I would change my lifestyle and that I would use this opportunity to grow in my faith and in my personal life. I thought I was ready. I wasn’t ready to face the scale and see such a large number. When I finally made it home to sit down and multiply the number I had seen I couldn’t even fathom saying it out loud, nor setting a goal. I was crushed. I couldn’t believe I had let myself go and gain so much weight. I couldn’t believe the lost of self-esteem that I had, and the fact that I had let myself gain a total of over 100 pounds in a matter of years. I weight 275 pounds at 26 years old.
It dawned on me for the first time that all the minor health problems I was developing could soon turn into major issues. I had started developing mild numbness in the tips of my fingers every now and then. My periods were of course irregular and many times I missed cycles. I suffered from acne. I was constantly tired and hungry. I could not stay asleep during the night. My thoughts were foggy. The list goes on and on. I was never diagnosed with any medical illnesses besides PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), which runs in my family. It was honestly too much for me to take in all at once. So, I told myself I was going to take it one week at a time and make small goals. I wanted this time to be different.
As I’ve previously said, I had always tried to lose weight. I was always “wanting” to be skinnier, but I never really did much about it. I always started strong, but the minute something stressful happened, I fell off the bandwagon. So, I decided this time would be different and that no matter what I would not quit. No matter if I stumbled, I would not quit. I sat down and began praying and digging to figure out why had I always failed at losing weight. Why was I never consistent? Why was I able to accomplish most if not all of my other goals in life, but this one was the one that always got me. The answer was FEAR.
I was fearful. I couldn’t fathom the thought of trying to lose weight again for what seemed like the millionth time and my biggest fear had become that I would never be able to lose the weight. It was something I had prayed about before, but this time I felt it in my spirit. It would be different. This time I was going to do it. This time I would stick to it and I would change my life.
Moving to Iowa for a contract, during the winter time was honestly one of the best things that happened to me. I am so thankful for that opportunity and the doors God opened. As I said, I began with small goals. I am very type A and I am an ALL or NOTHING kind of gal. This time I told myself I would be different.
So, I made my first goal, simply 10 pounds. I don’t remember placing a deadline. I looked up some youtube videos on how to get started on a weight loss journey. My long term goal was to lose 100 pounds, but I was not really thinking about that at this point. I was thinking, 10 pounds. Then I downloaded the app MyFitnessPal (note: I am not being sponsored or anything). I simply put my stats and that my goal was to lose weight. My last two goals were to drink, half my body weight in ounces and to walk for at least 30 minutes 5/days a week. I simply meant walking. I was not going to stress over, jogging, running, or anything like that.
I kept it simple. Five days a week I was extremely strict with what I ate. I watched my calories, I drank my water, and I went for my walk. During the weekend I allowed myself one cheat meal on Saturday, and one on Sunday. The rule was I could not bring home any leftovers, and I would stop eating once I was full.
It was to my surprise that I began to see amazing changes. The scale dropped like 6 pounds in the first week. This was so motivating because I thought I could not do it. I also set goals on my apple watch and my goal was to complete the circles each day.
In the beginning I could not even walk the 30 minutes I had set as a goal and I would get so winded. I began doing 15-20 for the first week. I loved the Luna bars (esp. the peppermint chocolate chip). Remember, this was before I knew anything about macro counting or anything. I was simply counting calories. I used to use these bars as a treat for working out.
As the weeks progressed I kept feeling better and I began to have more energy. I decided to add youtube videos and music videos to my workout after walking. I would walk for 30-45 minutes and then do a youtube video on abs/cardio/zumba in addition to my walk.
It was to my surprise that I set a goal to lose 30 pounds in 3 months and I accomplished it. I couldn’t believe that I stuck with this plan and was so excited to continue on my journey.
My time in Iowa was almost finished, and I learned so much about myself. I learned what made me want to workout. I learned that a positive mind is essential when trying to lose weight, but one of the most important things I learned in these three months was to have a support group.
I did not seek support much from family members as I did friends. I think they had seen me fail so many times that the thought of me being successful on this journey was almost impossible for them to believe. I found a group of amazing women which I’ll give a shoutout to (Nina, Tasha, Sakshi, Terry, Trisha, Tracy, Esther, Annaleen and now Amanda). Had it not been for these amazing ladies there were many times I would’ve given up. The funny thing is I’ve yet to meet them in person, but speak with them on a daily basis. They are my rock! They know what its like to struggle with binging, they know what its like to need someone to uplift you even when you think you have messed up and there is no going back.
I will never forget my time in Iowa. It was there where my journey began and it was there where the new me began to emerge. I left with much more confidence in myself, with more faith that God has indeed made me special, and with more certainty that this time it was going to be different. I was going to be different, and the journey would not stop.