My Story

This is an excerpt from a blog I did for CinWeekly in 2009:

On my 30th birthday in 2006, I woke up alone and not particularly in the mood to celebrate. After a recent break-up with my boyfriend of three years, and mounting health problems due to being overweight--it finally hit me that it was time to make a change.

I wasn't quite sure how I had gotten this way in the first place. In high school I was a gymnast so exercise and conditioning year-round was a way of life. In college I gained my standard freshman 15, but shed that pretty easily with aerobics and weight training at the Beechmont Raquet Club. I gained a few more pounds when I studied abroad in Europe in the summer of 1997, but then took up swing dancing and running shortly thereafter and the weight came off again.

Then, something happened that I wasn't ready for...real life. Between taking a job that was extremely demanding (and that I absolutely hated), and switching to a birth control that made me gain weight like a sumo wrestler, my body ached--all the time. Eventually the aches and pains caused me to give up running all together and I went into swing dancing "management," where I did a lot of teaching and planning dance events, but did very little actual dancing. I was unhappy, and getting fatter.

My mother always told me that God won't give you more than you can handle, and I was at a point in my life where I wasn't sure if that was true anymore. I lost my job and my apartment shortly before 9/11. I was embarrassed to be moving back in with my parents at age 25. Losing my job was at the time absolutely devastating to me, but it turned out they were doing me a huge favor by letting me go. It took a little while, but I found a much, much better job that I am still at (and still loving) eight years later. I moved into a fun new apartment complex and made a lot of great friends there. (A big shout-out to my WP people!) Since I didn't go away to college, that new apartment was like going away to college for me. There was always beer and pizza and way too many excuses not to hit the gym. Not only that, I had a great boyfriend who loved me exactly how I was, expanding waistline and all. So I was finally happy, but still fat and getting fatter.

So when I turned 30, that's when it hit. Newly single and finally ready to transform myself, I got started. I walked a half hour every day on my treadmill and counted calories meticulously. It was difficult. I was hungry all the time. I hated walking because when you are that overweight, parts of you rub together and chafe in not-so-pleasant ways. But I continued to make myself do it. After a few weeks, the exercise became a habit and not only did I want to do it, I needed to do it. I took weekends off of dieting to keep myself sane, but over time found myself generally making better choices even on my "cheat" days. The half-hour of walking quickly turned into an hour. Once my body would let me, I started jogging a few minutes of my walk. I would challenge myself each walk to see how much of it I could run. Eventually, I could run the whole hour and thensome.

In the course of a year and a half, I lost 110 pounds.