My lightbulb moment was over a year and a half ago when I saw a picture of myself and was like, “is that me?” Even my husband hinted and eventually shared with me that I had definitely gained weight since we had gotten married three years earlier. I was always a curvy girl, but this was not curvaceous, it was just plain fat! I didn’t like my picture at all and stopped taking many pictures. I actually spoke with Kurt of Body Refined a few months after that moment, but thought I could lose my extra weight on my own because I had done it before. I didn’t even think that I had gained that much weight because it crept up on me through the years. I would just buy new clothes if something didn’t fit. I went up two dress sizes, but actually kept thinking that I would be able to lose the weight when I wanted to in the near future. After 6 months of trying it on my own and using a variety of methods, nothing was really helping. I lost a whopping total of 4 or 5 pounds only. I was disgusted and fed up and decided to give Body Refined a call.
There have been moments in my life when I was overweight and I would just change my eating habits and lose weight quickly. In high school I was bigger than several of my friends and would just watch what I would eat during the summer. I have never been skinny. However, at the end of my first year in college I gained a lot of weight and my dad sent me to a weight doctor the summer of 1993. I lost the weight and went back to college much smaller than I had been that previous year. I used to go to the gym and really focus on my weight during college years. After I graduated, I lived with a college roommate who always kept up with her weight and did a variety of workouts. So we had kickboxing class, aerobics, and stayed busy constantly. I noticed though that over the recent years, I didn’t focus on maintaining my weight like I had in the past. I just chalked it up to “well, everyone gains weight as they get older.”
Being overweight does run in my immediate family unfortunately. As a result, it does create health issues like blood pressure problems, heart problems, desire to work out and be healthy, and just the ability to be comfortable as you do daily activities. I didn’t want to get to that level and didn’t want a health problem to be the reason I had to finally lose the excess weight.
My weight journey has been a trek! It has been a long, arduous trip. The reason I say that is because I have always felt like I needed to be smaller, but I didn’t always focus on the health portion of my weight. Health and weight are closely linked together. I realized that in my 30s losing weight didn’t occur as easy or fast as it was in my 20s or teens and just changing a few things in my diet was no longer working. I also joined the gym thinking that working out would solve my weight problem and it didn’t at all. I didn’t want a quick fix because I always realized that I didn’t gain the extra weight quickly. I wanted to really eat better and know what nutrients I was putting in my body. I was focused on how I can keep my body healthy for the next 30 years if possible with my food choices and right exercise.
At this moment I am not completely satisfied with my body yet. I know there are improvements I can still work on. I want to be more toned and firmer. I am short and I like the way I feel physically with the weight off. Losing a few extra pounds would help me maintain my goal weight. I still need to lose a few more pounds and focus on consistent workouts. I also want to narrow in on my food prep planning. I did a solid job this year at work prepping and planning my meals for lunch and want to maintain that this upcoming year. This will really be the test if I keep up my healthful eating patterns and exercise the upcoming year.
The most important lesson I have learned is that 80% of my weight comes from food planning and only 20% is from working out, so I want to focus on eating the right foods. I need to think about what I am putting in my mouth before I eat it. I can eat a cookie or have something sweet if I want it and if I am willing to eat the appropriate serving size. I look at the labels of food which I never really looked at serving size and all of the nutritional details. I couldn’t do that in the beginning because I needed to cut out lots of sugar which I had been accustomed to eating in most of the foods I ate often.
You have to be ready to lose weight. It takes a mindset that you really want to change and develop better eating habits. Most of us are in denial; I was completely in denial, and became comfortable with what I was eating, the size I wore, the way I looked in my pictures, and my health status. However, each person has to come to a personal decision that they are fed up and they want to improve their health and appearance. I would hear people say that and was like “oh, yeah, everyone says that.” I realized that you can’t actually lose weight successfully unless you take control regardless of what program, health coach, trainer, or doctor you decide to work with on your weight journey. No one is going to feed you or force you not to eat bad things. We all do those things on our own and we have to want to take responsibility for those changes.
I feel so much better in so many ways. My knees feel better, I sleep better, I get around quicker, and my most current medical physical was excellent. My doctor was so impressed with my blood pressure and weight until he high fived me in his office. I feel like I received a newer body and don’t want to go back to feeling tired and exhausted like before.
My support has been excellent. I didn’t tell a lot of people I had a health coach because I wanted to see if I would lose weight like the other people on the Body Redefined site. My students have been so supportive and some of my biggest supporters. They have been my personal cheerleaders and impressed with my weight loss, especially since they see me almost every day. They would encourage me to eat any “bad foods” the other teachers had after school and once or twice when I wanted to cheat, my after school kids would say, “do you really want or need that Mrs. LJ?” So they were my nonsolicited food police. My family has been thrilled with my weight loss and have encouraged me to keep it up. They actually encouraged me to lose weight. My friends have been super complimentary and very proud of me for sticking with it. It so much fun to shop for clothes. Even my work colleagues and some parents of my students have been cheering me on and positive about my weight loss. Since I started, I have dropped three to four dress sizes and I like the pictures I am taking now. I don’t have to find outfits that will hide something because some of that extra is gone. The transformation was difficult, but the results have been positive.
As I said earlier, I have always tried something to lose weight and the difference is that as I got older it became harder to lose weight. I knew I had to do something different that was good for my body. This time the focus was on the types of food I was eating, how much I was eating when I was eating, and the nutritional value of the foods I was taking in daily. I never focused on food this much in my life and learned more about how to eat than ever before. It changed how I view food and I see food for the value it has and not just for fun or comfort.
I ended up working with Body Refined because I looked at the Facebook posts and the transformation stories of current clients. Some of their stories sounded just like mine and they were experiencing positive results. After thinking I could do it on my own, making excuses about my work schedule and a workout schedule, and gaining weight while doing it on my own, I decided to follow up with Body Refined. It has been a very good decision. Once I listened, stopped making excuses why I could not eat clean or workout, and followed the plan that was designed for me, I started losing weight. It took me a little longer than some other clients and I will say once again a person’s mindset is very important. Once I followed everything and became more determined, I saw the changes. It hasn’t been easy, but it has been beneficial.
I would recommend people who are really focused on losing weight and at a point where they acknowledge that they need to make health changes. If you just want to lose 10 pounds for an outfit or an event, then Body Refined is not the program for you. It is not a diet plan and includes you following up with the health tips and meal plans that you are given. Kurt can be kind of curt and hard, no pun intended, but often when you start on this journey you need that type of rigor so you don’t feel like it is okay to never lose the weight or just continue with the same old eating habits. If you have the mindset that you are ready to change, then Body Refined is definitely the program you should check out.