Friday, February 1, 2013

Fitness Story: Amy

Happy February!  Today is weigh-in day.  I didn't lose anything and I did everything right.  Boo.  This nursing thing is not conducive to my poundage goals.  But it's not always about losing pounds.  I wore a pair of size 8 pants and it didn't look like I shouldn't be in them.  That is progress!  And tomorrow I get to go running with a good friend in town from Idaho.  Cannot. Wait.

Today I have a guest with a story for you.  Amy is in the middle of her weight-loss process and is going strong.  She's proving that it's not about dieting, it's about changing your habits.  She also has a blog, Half the Woman I Was, and Facebook page.  Head over and say hi, especially if you need some motivation!

If you're visiting from Amy's blog, thanks for coming!  You can like my Facebook page and follow me on Pinterest.  I'd love to have you.  :)

Here she is:

My name is Amy, and I'm a recovering junkfood-a-holic. My past is my past and I can't change it ... but I can definitely decide my future. You know?? Here is just a little bit about me and my journey. Like my blog says in the intro, the day I gave birth to my third baby I weighed 299 pounds.

Ouch. I can give you a lot of reasons why I got to that point, but that won't do a lot of good. Let me just say it was a combination of pure exhaustion, stress, poor eating habits, and life in general. I managed to get down to about 270 on my own, but it kept going up and down, up and down. The proverbial roller coaster. I was frustrated. Then something finally changed. Everyone has that one thing that finally makes them decide "enough is enough." Mine is is probably a little different than most though. See ... I moved to China.

Chinese people believe it is their duty to find things that people are doing wrong and encourage them to fix them. It's part of the communist system actually. Imperfections are stamped out. Not a day went by where I didn't hear comments about my size. They probably didn't think I could understand because I was a white chick completely out of place. But I know enough Chinese to follow most conversations. The ones that spoke English all mentioned to me that I needed to start eating less and exercising more. Geesh. When we moved back to the US the first thing I realized was that I was surrounded by people my own size and no one was bugging them. It felt amazing. But ... the criticism stuck. I couldn't look at myself anymore without noticing that I had some changing to do. So ... I signed up for Bariatrics surgery. My doctor was happy to recommend me for it. Especially because here in Hawaii the Army has an awesome program for Bariatrics surgery. My husband really didn't want me to get the surgery. He didn't want me to have to do something to permanently change my body like that. But I was determined to change the way I looked. And then a friend of mine offered me the chance to join a Beach Body Challenge Group in November 2011. My husband was deployed and I had already decided to get the surgery while he was gone. I talked with him about it and decided I would give Beach Body a year. If over the first year it didn't work then I would go through with the surgery. I was a doubter. I had tried exercising and eating right before. Lots of times. Too many times. It was NOT working. But, I jumped in, feet first, and gave the Challenge Group my all. At first I was excited, then I hated it. I hated that I had to try and find the time EVERY day to exercise. My muscles were sore for two months straight. Stairs were my enemy. My friend that got me to do the group ... well I cursed her at least 10 times a day. But I did it. I followed the exercise program exactly. And I replaced one meal a day with Shakeology. I refused to weigh in the first month. After all my hard work I really didn't want to be disappointed. But at the end of the second month I jumped on a scale and held my breath. 9 pounds. I had lost 9 pounds. I was ecstatic. It might not seem like a lot, but at least I was finally moving in the right direction.

Something else happened the second month ... one day I realized I didn't hate exercising anymore. In fact, by the end of the 3rd month I looked forward to exercise. I didn't have to force it anymore. I couldn't believe it. I had become one of those crazy people who say stuff like "man, I'm totally stressed out. I need to workout." What? Who SAYS that??? Anyway, by the end of the 90 day Challenge I had lost 16 pounds and 34 inches over-all. And I was terrified. I was terrified that once the Challenge was over I was headed right back to my old habits. SO ... I started my own Challenge Group. I got some friends to join me and we reported in with each other every day on exercise and eating habits. I still started to plateau. I realized it was time to focus more on what I was eating. So, I downloaded My Fitness Pal on my iPhone and I started counting calories. Yuck. I never wanted to be one of THOSE people either. The kind that go to a party and say ... "yeah, I can't have that, I'll just eat the veggies." I didn't want to have to think about every single thing I ate. But I did it anyway. And it worked. By the time my husband completed his 7 month deployment I had lost over 30 pounds.

And then I was terrified again. I was terrified that now that my thin husband was home we would go back to all our old habits. So I got him to join me. We work out together every morning that he is home.
(My hubs is in the Marine Corps so he is in training or deployed about 9 months out of the year. It sucks.) I took all the junk food out of the house, which was the hardest part for my poor man. But I'm a junk-food addict. If it's in the house I'll eventually cave in and eat it. Now we make all our own treats so I can make them Healthy-ER. I'm also slowly adding more "clean" food to our menu every day and taking out the processed food. 1 year after I had started my first Beach Body Challenge Group I had lost 60 pounds. I'm only about half way to my goal of becoming half the woman I was ... but now, for the first time, I believe I can really do it. I KNOW I will. And I'm not in any hurry. I have the love of my life supporting me, my friends and family cheering me on, and now I'm sharing my journey with everyone ... I am IN this. It's still a journey and there are still good days and bad days, but I look back at how far I've come and I can't hardly believe it. I'm still me, I'm still that same person who weighed 299 pounds 3 years ago ... but the things I DO have changed completely. Someone finally handed me a toolbox. Turns out, that's all I needed, the right tools.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Rockstar! This chicky is amazing.

  3. i love this blog entry, amy. you are such an inspiration. i'm gonna do p90x. i'm gonna kick its trash. it's gonna get it! ;)

  4. That's so many of the same feelings I have......hating to exercise, hating to count calories, loving my pop. Good for you.I hope I get to my"someday". I'm 55 raising a 4 yr old grandchild. It's hard to keep up with him. You're awesome!

  5. That's so many of the same feelings I have......hating to exercise, hating to count calories, loving my pop. Good for you.I hope I get to my"someday". I'm 55 raising a 4 yr old grandchild. It's hard to keep up with him. You're awesome!


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