By Alicia Jaimes
It’s August and I am filled with anticipation.
This month marks the beginning of my final year at Ferris State University as well as my final year as the Lifestyles Editor of the Ferris State Torch.Soon I will begin wrapping up everything I’ve been working towards for the past four years. Things are changing, ending, it’s all very exciting, but I think what I’m most excited for is what’s only just begun…
I’ve been meeting with a personal trainer at Newaygo Fitness for the past two months in hopes of losing 60 pounds before I walk in the spring. I haven’t mentioned it before because, honestly, I wasn’t sure I’d make it this far.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve struggled with body image. In grade school I was too tall. In high school I was too fat. I always found a reason to pick myself apart. So, after graduating high school, I decided I was done. For a while, I gave in. I no longer wanted to be thin, I just wanted to be happy. I stopped counting calories, working out, and restricting.. Stopped it all.
Instead, I ate, sat, spent my days on the couch, and it felt good. Sure, my favorite pants no longer fit and my face was breaking out like crazy, but I was happy.
For a while.
Until I noticed some shortness of breath after doing basic activities, being tired all the time and just felt...uncomfortable in my own skin.
And then it hit me.
I went to weigh myself after taking time off, expecting to weigh a few pounds heavier.
I weighed 210 lbs...60 pounds heavier than I was in high school.
The news was shocking, disappointing. I knew I had to make a change. I didn’t want to feel heavy anymore, or short of breath whenever I stood up, I wanted to feel healthy. So, I contacted Newaygo Fitness and asked about starting with a personal trainer.
Of course I could’ve just went to the gym and lost weight on my own except when I gained this weight, I lost my self-discipline. I knew I needed somebody there to rely on and push me if I was going to make this change. This is when I met Taylor.
At first, I was incredibly intimidated to meet with a trainer because I was one of those people who would compare myself to those around me, and here's this girl about my age who's in great shape. My self esteem took a hit the day she showed me an arm workout and made it looks so easy when I couldn't even lift five pounds, but that's a story for another day.
I believe that no problem will be fixed and no goal will be met unless you first recognize there is a problem. This happened before we even began.
Before our first workout session, she wanted to get to know me. She told me some details about herself and then proceeded to ask me about myself. “What do you like to do for fun?” “What do you do in your free time?” I couldn't answer. I had become someone who only sits all day watching television and eating food.
The thought of ca lifestyle change seemed almost impossible and after our first session, I was scared. During the whole workout my body was screaming “stop.” I wanted to cry, I wanted to yell, I wanted to throw myself on the floor and say “I quit.” Walking to my car, my legs felt like jello and I fought the urge to puke. I felt embarrassed and discouraged.
The day after was even worse. I could barely walk and my legs were throbbing in pain. I remember trying to get out of bed one night and wanting to cry because I struggled to stand. How did I let it get this bad?
Finally, one day I sat up and asked myself: Okay, this is challenging. How do you want to handle this situation? Do you want to quit? Or do you want to fight?
If I quit, I don't think I'd try again, so I decided it was time for a change. I could whine about how hard everything is and compare myself to others progress, or I could find excellence in the things I've been doing and take note that I am stronger than I was two months ago.
After making this decision, the ‘after workout pain’ became bearable and I noticed a change in my energy and a genuine desire to workout on the days once spent binging on Netflix.
Now, two months in, I weighed myself to see I've lost 10 pounds since that first day I stepped on the scale. I am filled with pride as I try on my favorite pants that used to be too small and find they fit perfectly. I have many people to thank for my achievements, including my supportive friends and family, pushing me to eat healthier. I also am so thankful to have met such a supportive trainer, without her I don't think I would have made it this far. She has helped me not only with my workouts but with my spirit. I feel mentally stronger due to her positivity and reassurance. It's so important to find a trainer that fits your needs and Taylor is great at pushing me while also understanding my struggles and helps me have realistic goals and expectations. Changes don't happen it just a day. It's a constant journey, a rewarding challenge.
Though I'm glad my body is changing and clothes are starting to fit again, I think the most important change I've noticed is in my mentality. Now, instead of my body and mind screaming “I quit” I find myself saying “one more,” “you got this,” “don't give up.” And let me tell you what--nothing is more rewarding than achieving what you thought you couldn't do.
After two months, I'm happy to report that I will be continuing my journey and continuing to challenge myself physically, nutritionally, and mentally. I know not every day will be perfect, but I know it will all be worth it.