I finally decided to start a program called LTL, or Live the Lifestyle. It helped me learn what foods my body needed and craved. I began my LTL journey on July 11. I had watched a friend from work lose a lot of weight on this program, and she and I had discussed it several times before I finally decided to take that first step. Every other time I had talked myself out of it, assuming it would be too hard or I wouldn’t have time for it. This time was different. I would be turning 34 in just a little over two weeks, and I was sick and tired of being sick and tired! I’ve never been a small person-even as a child, I was usually the chubbiest kid on the playground. However I was also always involved in sports or something that kept me active-basketball, softball, marching in the band, etc. I was still the chubby kid, but my weight never really got too out of control. As the years went on and I started high school and then college, I became more focused on my academics and less focused on the extracurricular things that kept me active. The weight started to pile on. Then I started my working career in an office, which meant even more sitting and less physical activity. Here came even more weight. In 2006 I had my first child, and I gained 40 lbs. that I never took off. “One day”, I told myself. Then in 2011, I had my second child, and gained another 40 lbs.
Once again, I never took the weight off. “One day”, I said again. By this point in my life I was so busy with raising two kids and working a full-time office job that I convinced myself I had no time to work out or eat right. And so I continued on this path for several years, gradually getting bigger and bigger, and using a never-ending list of excuses why I was so overweight. I avoided many social situations because I was embarrassed and ashamed of myself. My oldest son started playing basketball in 2012, and I wanted to help him learn a few things. But I couldn’t. Every time we went outside to practice, I would get so winded and tired that I would have to sit down and rest after just a few minutes. It was depressing and humiliating for me to live this way, but I eventually came to a point where I accepted that this was just my life, and I would be fat forever. However this wasn’t really how I felt, this was just the excuse I made to try to justify my weight problem. I had lost myself somewhere along the way amongst all of my weight. This wasn’t the real me. Enough was finally enough, and “one day” was today!! The first week of LTL was rough-it was so different from my current lifestyle that I thought about quitting that week more than once! But every time I had those thoughts, I would ask God to give me strength to push on. Then week 2 came along and it was time to start exercising. The first time I went to the gym I was so embarrassed-I didn’t know how to use any of the equipment, and I was the biggest person there. Once again I had those thoughts of quitting, and once again I asked God to get me through it.
I was also in daily contact with my coach, who encouraged me and pushed me along the way. She refused to let me quit, even though I told her several times I was going to. But she believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. I am so glad I had and still have her support! After the first few weeks I was actually looking forward to exercising and trying new machines and weights that I would have been scared to death of before. The cravings were gone, too-junk food didn’t even look good to me anymore! I would be lying if I didn’t say that there have been several more times along this journey that I wanted to quit, or roadblocks in my way-I don’t have enough time to work out today, I don’t feel well, etc. Sometimes it was just simply that I didn’t want to! But each time I prayed to God to get me through it, and as always He never disappoints! My 12 week totals were 52lbs. and 18 inches! I am now 24 weeks in, and I have lost a total of 87 lbs. and 39.25 inches! On January 9, I hit a major milestone by losing 101 lbs. in only 6 months!! Helping both of my sons with basketball is no longer a problem-in fact, I can give them a run for their money! Outdoor and physical activities I once hated are now things I enjoy and can do with ease! I’ve finally found myself again! And now I can shop the bargain racks because they actually have my size!! My advice to anyone considering this program is-I’ve been right where you are. I’ve felt the shame and guilt and thought of a million reasons why “I just can’t do it!” Let me reassure you-you CAN do it! If I can do it, then YOU can do it! Tell those negative voices to get lost!! Instead of all the reasons why you can’t do it, why not think of all the reasons why you CAN and why YOU are worth it?!