Three years ago today I got on a Wii Fit.
Three years ago today that Wii fit told me I was obese.
Three years ago today I decided I was done being fat. I decided I was done being unhealthy. I decided I was done taking care of everyone but myself. I decided I was done with looking in the mirror and not liking what I saw.
When Josh and I set up the Wii Fit that night (that we had gotten as a Christmas present from his sister) I thought we would play a few games and have a few laughs. In fact, being 100% honest, I was eating Ben and Jerry's from the carton WHILE Josh was setting it up.
But when I stood on it, and it ballooned up the little cartoon version of me, made an embarrassing noise, and announced that I was obese at 208lbs (and 5ft 5inches tall), something inside me clicked. From that moment on, I have worked hard to change my body, my health, my attitude, and my priorities.
I started with baby steps. I didn't want to start anything that I couldn't maintain. I didn't want to go on a short term weight loss/diet plan, and I didn't want to do anything drastic. I started exercising five to six days a week for 30 minutes a day (in the beginning it was almost all on the Wii Fit).
I made baby steps in improving my diet as well. I stopped eating after 7pm. I started watching portion sizes. I added fruits and veggies to my diet (which I was eating almost none of at the time). I cut out soda and almost all liquid calories and started drinking water for the first time. I chewed gum when I was feeding the kids so I didn't pick off of their plates. Baby steps.
And sure enough the weight started coming off. I couldn't believe it at first! I averaged six pounds lost a month. The more weight I lost the more encouraged I was, the better I felt, the more I wanted to keep exercising and eat well, and the more weight I lost.
I did not set a goal weight. I figured I was making life-long changes... I wanted to continue with daily exercise and healthier eating habits... so I planned to keep doing what I was doing and assumed that my weight would level out at a healthy weight for me. In just over eight months I lost 50lbs. I felt like a new person. My weight leveled out at about 155 and I assumed that was my healthy weight, but after 6 months or so of leveling out, I lost another 20+ lbs and now I have been at about 131 lbs for a while (which is down 77lbs from where I started).
On April 25, 2009 I went for my first run. I was sick of the Wii Fit (although grateful for it!), the weather was warming up, and the sunshine beckoned me. A few ladies in my neighborhood had started going on short runs, and I figured if they could do it, so could I.
My first run was a 2.3 mile loop from my house. When I started I was sure I could run the whole thing. I made it almost a mile before walking, and had to walk several more times before I made it home. It was one of the most humbling experiences of my life, and yet again... something inside me clicked. I loved being out in the world. I loved the feeling of my body moving forward (even though I was moving very slowly at that point). I loved the challenge of it. I was hooked. In my heart, that is the day I became a runner.
I had no idea three years ago when I stepped on that Wii Fit that it would be such a life-changing moment. I also had no idea when I went for that first run that it would an equally life-changing moment.
I woke up this morning and thought, "Three years ago today I
weighed 208lbs, and today I am a sponsored runner." I am so grateful.
I know that there are many people out there who need to make a change in their life. They need to be healthier. They need to care for themselves. They need to eat better. They need to get active. They need to make themselves a priority in their own lives.
I know how overwhelming it seems at the beginning. I know how discouraging it is when it is SO HARD to do any little bit of exercise and the weight comes off SO slowly. But I also know how good it feels, inside and out, to make those hard changes. You can do it!
Here are my tips.
- Make baby steps and set small goals. As you make changes and achieve goals, add to them.
- Find an exercise you enjoy. Some people love running. Some like riding a bike. Some like swimming. Some love classes at a gym. Some need to keep it mixed up. Find what you like, because that is what you will stick with.
- Celebrate small achievements!
- Find friends (in "real life" or online) who are making similar changes and can support you and encourage you. Having a friend to exercise with really helps too.
- Believe in yourself. Never doubt how far you can go and how much you can achieve. And believe in your heart that you are worth the effort.