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My Journey to Health

Body Back seemed intimidating to an out of shape 40+ overweight Momma of two girls. I mean I couldn’t do a burpee and believe me I have witnesses from a class I took… I couldn’t do a push up or hold a plank… Sit ups were only something I remember doing back in high school, and the horrible memory of running a mile to graduate high school was still etched in my head. “I can’t do that,” I thought. I have always been overweight; my boobs have always been gigantic, and I had to wear like 2 sports bras - it was all so uncomfortable. I am not an athlete. I have always been the theatre kid, the band kid… never an athlete. Then one Christmas my husband gave me a boob reduction and lift as a gift… He told me if this will make you happy then you should do it - so I did. That was the beginning for me.

With normal sized boobs - perhaps the world would change for me. But I needed to lose a little bit of my tummy first so the smaller boobs would not then be lost by my big gut - so I started eating a bit better and managed to lose some weight before my surgery. I was a 42G bra size. Now I was going to be a respectable 42C… So they removed almost 4lbs of boob and lifted them.

All was wonderful for quite a while; I mean having smaller boobs was a dream… But then the tummy started to come back… I could not believe it. My boobs had gotten smaller - but my attitude towards food and working out were still the same.

I mean I had a million reasons why I could not make a class… Excuses and reasons why I could not eat better. I didn’t have time - I was soooooo busy. My kids needed me, I had to make one meal and they won’t eat that healthy stuff.

Then one day in 2016, a little lady and her two kiddos came to music class - she took off her jacket and her GUNS were all out - I was like, “How did you get those arms, lady??” Nikki Brown and her two beautiful boys were there. She was fit, calm and said she was a fitness instructor. I wanted those arms, and I immediately just loved her energy. I could say it all began right at that moment but it took me a while to commit to it - I mean really you want me to do what? All the “I cant’s” flooded in my mind again. I would always point out my fat elbows - if only I could get rid of the fat elbows.

I joined a holiday Body Back mini-session just to make sure the fat elbows and my mid-section did not expand any further. When I met with Amy Rosso to determine my level of commitment it was at around 80% to tell you the truth. I mean I’m not giving up wine or the occasional sweet treat. Moderation is what I am talking about. So I committed to do 80%. Well I did get stronger, but the fat elbows were still there after the winter Body Back session, and as far as I could see my Body was not Back yet. I mean Back to what? I was never thin like many of these ladies in class, I was never an athlete - so where are we going really? Back to where? So I kept going at 80%… Then I went away to Portugal in the summer, came back and had gained all my weight back from drinking and eating reckless. I now had small boobs and a big gut. Not cute. Nothing fit and I was not able to enjoy photos of myself at all. I hated them all. We were the cover of Briar Chapel Magazine and I looked at myself and said, “Come on lady - you need to do better.” So I started reading and taking online nutrition courses. I joined all the support groups I could - I mean Body Back, Slimdown Nation (Zumba Weight loss support group) and I submitted my weight and pictures every Monday. I needed all the help - all the support. If something was not working, I would read more and see what I needed to do to make the scale move again. I started following the concept of Never Miss A Monday - and it started to change the course of my week.

This time I committed to Body Back 100%. I gave up the sugar, the wine, the occasional sweet treat. I admitted I was a sugar addict and just like an alcoholic would not be offered a little glass of wine as a treat, you don’t offer a sugar addict a little treat. I went into full detox mode. It was not easy, but after reading that sugar causes Alzheimer’s and Dementia - which many of my family members had died from - I proclaimed “I am no longer about that sugar life”. Once I committed to eating healthier and consistently working out I started to see a big change. Food is 70% and exercise is 30%, but you cannot do one without the other. Believe me I tried. Well heck, if I just eat right I don’t need to exercise…. well that did not work. If I exercise 10 hours, I can eat whatever I want - that didn’t work either.

You have to choose to move to lose, and each day is a choice of what goes in your mouth as well. It’s a constant talk with a little voice in our head, a negotiation. But I choose to eat better and live longer. It’s not that I am giving up anything. I no longer think about what I can’t have but rather all the yummy healthy options I can have. There are so many. I use stevia and make treats - I use the EVOO because healthy fat does not make you fat I learned. I EAT, but not recklessly. When Halloween came I ate my square bars every day instead of candy. When Thanksgiving came I ate the meat and loaded up on the veggies and skipped the sides and the pie (made a yummy Chocolate Cherry Smoothie as dessert). When Christmas came I treated myself to new workout pants instead of all the food. Each time I felt a need to TREAT MYSELF - I bought a little item for myself as reward. Instead of meeting my friends for lunch I set up a Hip Hop Cycle date we could all go to - for my best friend’s birthday we went to Birthday Zumba… You see where this is going? Culture is so caught up in meeting for lunch or dinner…. I now say meet me at Sync Cycle or let’s go to Yoga and have coffee - or let’s go for a walk? Soon my friends were all about it.

I am now for the first time in my life in a Run Club. Who knew that all that strength training makes it easier to run. I actually enjoy being outside. It has only been 3 weeks but the fact that I have run 3 miles straight without stopping is a miracle.

I am now a 40++ fit momma of two beautiful girls who consider their momma one of the most fit moms they know. When my baby put her arms around my middle and said, “Hey Mom, I can hug you all around, and my hands touch.” and my older child said, “I was looking for you all over and did not realize it was you standing right here - you have got a skinny butt now mom” … I mean I am so proud. My husband brags about his fit Zumba-teaching wife now too. He says talk to my wife if you need advice on fitness. So thanks to Nikki Brown, Amy Rosso, FIT4MOM and all the Body Back coaches who are equally amazing - it was a year of I CANNOT DO THAT and now I know I CAN DO ANYTHING. I still complain but I usually do it anyway. I have lost 50 pounds, 52 inches, and wear a 36C bra. MOM STRONG.