More than a decade ago I decided enough was enough and thus began the journey that would change my life forever. Over the years there have been so many ups and downs that I can’t even recall them all, but here we are, more than 10 years later, and I’m still on this journey. I’ve been fortunate enough to have great support over the years and I’ve worked extremely hard to be successful, but what a lot of people don’t realize is that once the weight is off, you’re not done, you’ve actually only just started!
When talking about my weight loss journey I don’t like to tell people how fast I lost my initial weight because it was pretty extreme, and I lost it very fast. Before I talk about how quickly I lost my first 40 lbs, I make sure that who I’m talking to understands how unhealthy I actually was (you can read the details in my about page) and then explain that I completely changed my life around when I “flicked the switch”. I didn’t slowly change my diet and slowly add exercise to my daily life, that’s not the kind of person I am. Initially in the beginning I went from the worst diet you can imagine, and an extremely sedentary lifestyle, to eating the cleanest of clean diets and working out out 6 days a week. This method doesn’t work for everyone, as it can be completely overwhelming, but for me, this is what I did.
We have a program at our gym called “Life Change” and it is designed to introduce a healthy lifestyle and fitness to complete newbies, and to those who are ready to change their unhealthy lives. We are there to guide them from step one, and be there with them through every step as they go through their journey. When I talk to the group during our first orientation, I share some of my darkest stories from when I was at my lowest with food, (like going into a garbage can after a bag of chips that I had thrown out after feeling guilty on a food bender). I share these stories to make sure that they know that I’ve been down the darkest roads when it comes to food, but I beat it, and I’ve been strong with it for 10 years, and that they can do it too. It’s all about the process and the journey. I know I’ve used that word a lot in just a few paragraphs, but I really do think of it as a journey versus a process, it just seems to fit better.
I believe that after you lose the weight you’re trying to lose, or once you get to the fitness level you want to reach, and you think you’re done working towards changing your life, understanding that that is just the first step of this life long journey, is very important. Once you’ve been successful, you now have the tough task of keeping going, and finding motivation when the progress slows down is the hardest part sometimes. Getting involved in a gym like ours that has support, is the biggest thing I can recommend. The community at our gym is amazing and I know it’s the reason we have so many people that are successful in getting healthy, losing weight, and getting fit! Surrounding yourself with people who have been through what you’ve gone through, and who can relate to the daily struggles of even getting off the couch and getting your ass to the gym is a huge motivation. Also having others who know you should be going to a class, the same class that they’re going to be at, can make you feel accountable, which is a positive thing!
At this point in my life, being healthy is my life. It is second nature to me, and this is largely in part of my buying into Just Fitness almost five years ago and partnering up with my business partner, John. I lost my 100 lbs almost 10 years ago, but starting our Life Change Program at the gym is what helped change me. It’s only been in the last 4 years that I’ve been able to say that this is 100% my lifestyle and that this is my life and that I’m happy with it. It took time, and a lot of help and support to be able to say that and to feel that way, so make sure that if you’re on this journey that you’re not alone. Make sure you are surrounding yourself with people who, can’t necessarily relate to what you’re going through, but who at least understand and support you. If not, you’re setting yourself up for some heartbreak and failure, and you may fall back into old habits, and back down the rabbit hole.
My last piece of advice for those on this life long journey is; You’ve worked too hard, and come too far, to throw it all away by not making this a part of your lifestyle and every day life, so make sure you have the right people in your life along for the journey.