I was never really overweight as a child, but I was always bigger and taller than the other girls. My weight crept up during junior high and high school, and by sophomore year I was about 20 pounds overweight. I've lost and gained that 20 pounds many times since then.
My biggest source of weight gain happened when my husband and I decided we wanted to have a baby. I wasn't even sure if I could get pregnant at my age. I was already 25 pounds overweight because an injury from a past marathon kept me from exercising. I couldn't run anymore, so the weight began to pile on. The pregnancy was an IVF, and I had to take a hormone shot every day, which caused added weight gain. I gained a total of 75 pounds during my pregnancy, and by the time my son was born I was at 240 pounds. I had never been so heavy in my life, and I knew I did not want to keep any of the baby weight. I was determined to get back into my PRE-pre-pregnancy clothes.
I decided to pick up Jillian's DVDs and books along with running on my treadmill. I figured Jillian was in the shape she was in because she follows the same eating and exercise program she delivers to her fans. It clearly worked for her, so why not for me? It's definitely healthy eating and the workouts are intense, but they're also fun and energizing. Jillian has been a long-distance mentor and inspiration to me. I followed another diet for a couple months, then started the Making the Cut food and exercise plan, and then I joined the JillianMichaels.com New Year Challenge and used the daily exercises on the site combined with the DVD and cardio workouts.
I had a food journal and wrote down my food every day, which helped me be honest about everything I was putting in my mouth. Did I ever cheat on my food plan? Yes I did, but I wrote it down. I'm not perfect, but if I slip up, I just hop back on the next meal.
Today, at 48 years old, I weigh 138 pounds. Losing the weight and getting into shape allowed me to become a personal trainer and help others achieve their goals just as I have achieved mine. I have more energy and stamina to keep up with my one-year-old son. I have more self-esteem — not only because I look good on the outside, but also because I accomplished really big goals and have been an inspiration to others because of my success story. If I never tuned into The Biggest Loser, I doubt I ever would have achieved what I have so far. Seeing Jillian's commitment to her team members convinced me that she is not only America's toughest trainer, but she is a woman with dignity, grace, and a warm and caring heart. Because of her, I am dedicated to my clients and commit myself to help them achieve their fitness and weight-loss goals.
Best compliment: I've been thin before many times in my life, but I've never been sculpted. I have women telling me all the time they want to have muscles like mine and that if I can do it at my age, there is hope for them too!
Activities now: Running! I was running marathons before I got pregnant. I suffered an injury and my body has never fully recovered from some spine issues, but with determination and persistence I have been able to resume running once again.
Advice for others: Never, never give up on yourself and never settle for less than the very best you can be. Why? Because you are worth it. Being fit and healthy is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself and your loved ones. Also, stop comparing yourself to the women on the covers of fashion magazines. Just do the best with the body God gave you and be proud of who you are.
Yes, I like the way I look. Yes, I like that I can fit into my cute clothes again — but I love that I made a commitment to myself to get into shape and stay there for life. No more yo-yo dieting. I am committed to a healthy lifestyle and that's what I love!