Christina, New York, New York
I was always active growing up and very much a tomboy, playing ice hockey in high school. When I met my husband six years ago, I was in my early thirties and still in shape, but in the years to come I slowly started to gain weight and do my workout routines less and less. Then I had several major medical issues that really sidetracked my health — and my life. Five days after my 35th birthday, I was hospitalized with a blood clot in my lung and was later diagnosed with a genetic blood-clotting disorder. After I recovered from the blood clot, I began experiencing extreme pain and had stomach swelling that was later diagnosed as endometriosis, a condition in which the tissue that normally lines the uterus grows in other areas of the body. To finally relieve the pain, I had an operation and reconstructive surgery on my belly button. I made a promise to myself when I was recovering that I would become healthier. Back then, I had been eating junk food at lunch and ordering take-out dinners four times a week. I didn’t fit into any of my clothes — and my husband was only two pounds heavier than I was. When I had no pain or excuses, it was finally going to be time to get back in shape!
My husband and I always watched the Biggest Loser, and I loved Jillian's approach to fitness. I bought her Making the Cut book and stocked my refrigerator with healthy foods, while setting up my living room to start doing the workouts. I lost more than ten pounds with Jillian’s book and enjoyed the food and routine so much that I also signed up for Jillian's Web site. I have lost 25 pounds* to date. I love to cook and got in the habit of bringing all my meals and snacks to work so I always have healthy food and I never get too hungry.
I have followed the program strictly and incorporated rebounding, a mini-trampoline class at the gym, three days a week into my cardio. After the weight loss, the Web site's workouts have continued to tone and challenge me — so I never have an excuse not to work out. I never thought I could get back into the shape I was in when I was 20 and be healthy inside and out. I just turned 39 and have finally learned how to control my weight and eat healthy while enjoying life. I love my sculpted arms, and my new belly button looks great with my toned abs! Now guys at the gym ask me for advice on toning their abs — which makes me smile.
The scars from my surgery for endometriosis show the journey that my body has been through, and I am very proud of my strong body now. I started wanting to lose only ten pounds, but I have continued this new way of life with Jillian's guidance and have made a total life change. I feel like I can do anything, and I continue to reevaluate my goals every time I meet one. I never thought I could wear short shorts again, but since I lost over six inches from my hips, my legs are looking toned again for the first time in 20 years. I am still realizing that I have changed, and the picture of me in my mind is slowly catching up to my body's real image.
Best compliment: Trainers at the gym, my family, and my coworkers have all been so complimentary of my weight loss, which has kept me going. I received the most meaningful compliments from my coworkers who say I am their inspiration for starting a workout routine again and getting in shape. I did this for myself, and I am in awe of how my journey is starting to help other people realize that it is never too late to get back into shape.
Activities now: I now have the confidence to try new classes and incorporate the strength routines from the Web site into the weight room at the gym. I switch my cardio routine weekly to incorporate a Zumba dance class, rebounder class, cardio sculpt class, and Jukari, a unique class which is inspired by Cirque du Soleil and combines aerobics, strength training, balance exercises, and core training — and gives you a sensation of flying). For my strength training, I use Jillian's online circuits, which always give me the best workout. Now, I am able to lift twice the amount of weight I used to, and I can run for one hour on the treadmill — even after my hour-long cardio class.
Advice for others: If you want to make a change in your life — whether it is losing weight or eating healthy — always set up your environment so you are less likely to fail. Stock your fridge with healthy foods, get a set of weights, remove all toxic chemicals from your home, and get rid of all the processed foods in your fridge and freezer. I cook 90 percent of my meals, and that keeps me healthy and in shape — and saves me money. I love Trader Joe's since it stocks so many organic choices at great prices and snacks (for my husband) without artificial flavors or preservatives. Keep a food journal and be sure to weigh and measure everything so you have a record of how much food you eat — and should be eating. Set small goals for yourself, and, if you have a small setback, get back on track. You will succeed if you put your mind to it.