Thursday, May 29, 2008

Rachel's Story

Hi everyone! I'm Rachel, one of Kristen's friends, and I'm really excited to participate in this blog. So to start off here's my story. Like a lot of women I've struggled with my body and how I see myself. In college I gained a bunch of weight, and then when serving a mission for my church to Panama I lost 35 lbs. Because I was dying of thirst all the time and with the culture shock I had trouble eating for a few months... plus walking EVERYWHERE for hours a day helped.

When I returned home I gained 5lbs (American food and less exercise) but I was determined to keep the weight off. It felt wonderful being at my ideal weight. I had never felt better about myself before. It was a wonderful year.

Then I got married (unfortunately to an emotionally/mentally abusive man) and after three months was pregnant. My ex pressured me to work out when I was pregnant, to make sure I didn't gain extra weight, which didn't help. He was abusive about my weight and as I was miserable and very unhappy I went back to my old friend- food.

Five and a half years later I left him. Too bad I couldn't leave my extra 40lbs behind when I left, but they were determined to follow me. I went through a huge rebellious stage (along with some depression) and ate SO much junk food for the next 2 years.

As time passed I went through a lot of healing. Then last summer when my mom asked me if I wanted to go walking with her I agreed, although it was after I had said "no" a few times first. It was great and after awhile I started to go bike riding a few times a month too. Three or four months later I was looking at some recent pictures of myself when I realized I'd lost weight without even knowing it. Sure enough when I weighed myself I'd lost 15lbs. Wow, how did that happen? My need for junk food had slowly gone away when I started walking.

Cold weather was upon us and I decided to join a gym. I paid for a personal trainer but that ended up being a waste of money as I only went a few times and hated it. My neighbor was going to the same gym and invited me to come to some classes with her. When I'd joined the gym I hadn't been interested in taking classes as my past experiences with aerobics hadn't been positive, so I was feeling resistant when she asked. Tuesday morning was a step class and Thursday morning was a kick boxing class, so that sounded okay, until I found out they were at 6:00 a.m.! Fortunately I didn't feel that I could say no when I'd just joined the gym. Eight months later I am still going to the early morning classes and LOVE them. It was hard at first, I felt awkward and stupid around the other women who didn't seem to have trouble following the instructor, but after several weeks of perseverance I'm one of the regular students and feel great with my progress. I never would have thought I would be working out so early in the morning but it's actually great as I can come home, shower, and get ready for the day.

As for food I started to count calories last September. I had done Weight Watchers in the past and although I lost weight I hadn't been able to t keep it off, whereas counting calories has really worked for me. (Remind me to upload my spreadsheet of calories to share with any who are interested.) I've been on and off with counting calories but when I've consistently done it I've consistently lost weight. It's slow, but it works.

So after a year of walking, exercising, and counting calories (off and on) I've been able to lose 35lbs. My current goal is to lose another 5lbs by July 4th and after that I'll set another small goal. So, don't give up on your goals! It's hard but it's worth it.

I always thought it was impossible for me to really lose weight but now I know that was a lie. You can do it, just set small goals and then do them. When you achieve your small goal you make another small goal and then do it. For me it started with walking 30 minutes a day, then later eating less junk food, then counting calories, then joining a gym, etc. It can't happen all at once and sometimes it's easy to get discouraged but as you stick to your goals you'll eventually see results and once you see results it will pump you up to keep moving forward. So believe you can do it- because you can!


Rachel said...

Woah, sorry this post was so huge!

Kristen said...

No, it's great, Rachel! Thanks for sharing such an inspiring story. I'm so excited that you're going to be a part of this, I think you'll be a huge help!

Rachel said...

Thanks, Kristen, I hope so! I do know that I really didn't believe I could do it, but now that I have I've come to learn that no matter what others say it really comes down to two things: eat less, move more

Marie said...

Wow, CONGRATULATIONS Rachel, and nice to "meet" you! I'm sure if you're Kristen's friend, you're really cool and maybe I'll get to meet you in person some day :)

I would LOVE to see your calorie conter/tracker thing-a-ma-jig if you get a chance.

Your story really is motivational. You definitely are a strong person if you can make the decisions you have had to make and in the process you even managed to set some goals and you've reached them with a little help from some family and friends. You're inspiring!


Liz said...

that's awesome!!! Hopefully that will be me in a year!

Cheryl said...

You are a true inspiration Rachel. thanks for sharing your story and I will be eager to see your spreadsheet.

Rachel said...

Thank you everyone, for all your kinds words, you're so sweet! This is a great blog and a great idea.

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