Seventeen Years of a Lighter Life

Seventeen years ago this month, something rather mundane and yet earth-shaking, at least for me, happened. That’s the day I decided to adopt a healthier lifestyle for good. You see, I was a trans-fat addict, with an extra fifty pounds on my 5’4” frame to prove it. The average day consisted of Oreo cookies for breakfast, French fries as my primary “vegetable” and multiple vending machine treats preserved to last a couple of decades. Sounds lovely, doesn’t it? Add in an aversion to exercise and it is no wonder the scale topped 175 pounds.

Yes, I tried diets in the past. And that was part of the problem. There was always something to rebel against. I was doing it for everyone else in my life except for the most important person… me. Inevitably, a few pounds would be shed only to return a few weeks later with new friends in tow. Unhappy with my life, I started working with a therapist earlier in 1992. That spawned, after a few months, the desire to treat myself like a friend. It all came to a head on Friday, September 4, 1992. My college friend Leslie came into town for a visit and Samantha, my then and still best friend, decided we would all hit her gym for a step aerobics workout. This was 1992, people…a time of big hair, big shoulder pads and aerobics classes filled with skinny chicks wearing spandex tights. While intimidated, I decided to go. Didn’t have anything remotely appropriate to wear, so I grabbed a big t-shirt and extra large pair of shorts from my-then guy’s dresser drawer and headed out. I was the biggest girl in the class, by far. But I loved it. I loved the music, and feeling like I was dancing, albeit with a four inch high rubber platform. Positive energy filed the room. An hour later, completely exhausted and out of breath, I finished the class. It was an ecstatic moment, and ultimately life changing. I decided to join the gym and the following week began taking classes before heading to work in the morning.

Over the course of fifteen months, I ended up losing the weight. Taking it off slow really made a difference. I methodically focused on eating healthier, began guzzling water like a frat boy inhales a keg of beer, and continued to increase my exercise. That same approach has helped me keep it off for good too. In fact, that is why I started this blog…to share what I’ve learned along the way and the wisdom of others who have embraced a permanently lighter life. Looking forward to sharing with you!