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Why NOT You? 5 Reasons To Lose Weight NOW.

Warning: This is long. It was my first blog and it’s about me and why I know what I’m talking about. I hope you read to the end, because that’s where all the good stuff is.

I’ve heard all of the excuses and used most of them myself, actually.

I have no time to take care of myself. (Read this as: work out, make meals at home, track my food, etc.)

My entire family is overweight. I just have “fat” genes. I’ll never be thin.

It’s too expensive to eat healthy/join a gym/join a weight loss program (insert whatever excuse you personally use here).

My kids are too young.

It’s too hard.

I don’t know where to start.

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. These excuses are all smoke and mirrors. The truth is we (as women mainly, but sometimes men) tend to take care of everyone else except ourselves. There’s always something else to do, someone else to help, something holding us back. We don’t consider ourselves worthy of health, happiness and the American dream. It can always wait until later. We have too much other stuff to do right now. Sounds a lot like simple procrastination doesn’t it?

Until your knees hurt so bad that you can barely walk up the slight incline in the parking garage to your car after work. Until you get breathless just going up a flight of stairs. Until you look in the mirror and realize you are at your heaviest weight and hate what you see there. That was me after having my third child.

I tried to lose weight many times. I did Weight Watchers before my wedding and lost 30 pounds, only to gain it back (and more) when pregnant with my first child. I did Slim Fast after my second child and lost 50 pounds. I started exercising. I felt great! Then I got pregnant with number 3. I did well throughout my pregnancy, working out every day until the last month. Then life happened. My youngest son was born, my daughter (and oldest) went to Kindergarten, and my middle child (another son) begged for attention in between the chaos – and not always in a good way. The weight crept back on and then some, until I weighed in at 233 pounds. That was my heaviest weight ever, and also my starting weight when I joined Weight Watchers at Work. I lost 40 pounds. YAY! The we remodeled our kitchen and gained around 25 back from eating out every night without appliances or a sink.

I started Tae Kwon Do at around 218 pounds with my kids. I decided to do a direct sales business and only stay on as pool at work. Things went well for a while. I was getting fit, but still not losing much weight. I got down to about 190 pounds going back to Weight Watchers when I got my temporary first degree black belt. I was proof that an overweight white woman could be an athlete despite hating exercise for most of my childhood and adult life thus far. I was on top of the world! I thought losing 30 pounds was great! But I really needed to lose another 50. Then I went back to work in a different department, my job changed yet again, and I gained 15 pounds back.

Fast forward to January 1, 2011. I was back in my old department at work, happy with getting my schedule back to normal, and ready to finally take charge of my own health. I had joined a free website called SparkPeople www.sparkpeople.com the previous September at the urging of my sister, but was still paying for online Weight Watchers and didn’t feel like entering nutrition information into another website. It was too much work. But this time I knew something had to change. I started tracking my food on both websites and found out something interesting. I was completely within my points for Weight Watchers but was going over my calories on Spark People! Plus, the tracker was more detailed, giving me more information on what TYPE of food I should be eating. It counted more than just “points.” It counted calories, fat, protein and carbs. With that information I could see what sort of foods I should be eating.

When I started seeing results on the scale, I came to another conclusion. “Why NOT Me?” Why do I feel like I have to be a role model to overweight women that they can do martial arts too? Why CAN’T I be thin? I’m tired of being the “Big Girl!” I DESERVE to be thin! I DESERVE to be healthy! I DESERVE to be the best version of ME I can be! I am worthy too!

That’s when the weight started to melt off. I vowed to work out 7 days a week (a lofty goal, and one I have had to modify several times). But I did it for a while. I lost another 40 pounds. I made the DECISION to be selfish and focus on myself for once. And that one decision payed off in spades. People were asking me how I lost the weight and how they could do it, too, so I went back to school to be a Health Coach. I did two rounds of P90X and got in the best shape of my life. I progressed a few ranks in my black belt training. I trained for a 50 mile, 3 day MS Challenge Walk and did the entire thing. I lost another 17 pounds and was TWO POUNDS away from my goal weight (145) when my Mom got sick.

She died last April. Then I had knee surgery on a torn meniscus. It was supposed to be a simple fix. Apparently my uneven gait from surgery recovery messed up my opposite hip and I started having pain. My knee was stronger, but I went back to Tae Kwon Do too soon and with my hip pain, re-injured my knee by losing focus and trying to do too much. The hip pain lasted until November. I went through endless testing, physical therapy, chiropractic care and a complete halt to exercise before slowly getting better. I gained back 30 pounds. I also graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and started a new job at a medical weight loss clinic. I knew I had to get things under control, and had the tools, so now was the time. I started the program and was down 10 pound in the first four weeks. I’m exercising again, FINALLY without pain, and doing a job I love. My passion is helping people (especially women) realize their own potential, starting with weight loss, and continuing the lifestyle change by guiding them in their own personal journey to health and wellness.

Here are my top 5 reasons why YOU should start your weight loss journey NOW:

1.  Your health and well being DEPEND on it. You can’t help others if you aren’t healthy yourself. Like when you’re on an airplane and the flight attendant instructs you to put your own oxygen mask on first and then help others around you. You can’t put someone else’s mask on if you’re dead. Just like you can’t help your family and be around for them when they need you when you’re dead. A little harsh? Maybe. But sometimes we need a little wake up call before taking action.

2.  Life is SHORT. So many of us get caught up in everyone else’s needs and don’t pay attention to our own. We stay stressed out and unhappy and go through the motions of life instead of really LIVING it. Don’t let life pass you by because tomorrow might never come. Just ask anybody who has suddenly and unexpectedly lost a loved one way before it should be their time.

3.  You are WORTHY. Stop beating yourself up! Especially women. We all have this “ideal” in our heads of what we should look like and what size we should be because Society says we should be that way. We are all different individuals. And we are all beautiful in our own way. You are not SUPPOSED to look like everyone else. That’s what makes you uniquely you. Embrace it and start loving yourself NOW before you get to that phantom “goal weight” that might never come.

4.  You are LOVED. Your family, whether or not they are still on this earth, love you. Your friends love you. Your children love you. Your spouse loves you. GOD loves you. Now you need to start loving yourself.

5.  Money doesn’t matter, YOU DO. There will always be something else to spend your money on. Why not invest in yourself and your own health? By starting on the road to weight loss and ultimate health, you will save money in the long run on doctors, prescriptions and medical procedures that could be avoided if you just spend a little extra now. Like my knee surgery and all the scans and treatments I had trying to fix my hip problem. I could have avoided that if I had taken time for myself sooner. Can’t afford a gym? There are FREE workouts on Sparkpeople.com that are generated for you. And videos you can follow on your computer. Get a few home workouts for some variety. Don’t have weights? Use full water bottles or cans of soup. The sky is the limit. All you need to start is a pair of shoes and some space. Walk to the end of the driveway and back. Something is better than nothing.

Just start somewhere. Anywhere. But do it NOW. There’s no time to waste. Your life truly depends on it.

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