Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Three years ago...

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.

32 comments:

Zaneta said...

wow... what a lifestyle change!! So inspiring!! Thank you for sharing!! :)

Lauren {sweat junkie} said...

Great post! You are truly an inspiration to all of us! Thanks for sharing :)

robinbb said...

Love this post. It is amazing to see how far people have come. So excited to meet you next week.

Jen said...

Great post!!!! Thanks for sharing your journey.

SWMom said...

Love this post!! You're always an encouragement I take to heart on running (and being a Mom!). Thanks!

giraffy said...

LOVE.

Stephanie said...

Thank you for this! This is amazing. I did not even know - this is just, well, still amazing :) Congrats on taking control of your life, health, and future

Stephanie Anne said...

how impressive & inspiring. You are awesome!

running escapades said...

Wow! What an amazing story! You should be proud of yourself for your accomplishment and how you are inspiring others everyday. You are living proof that any of us can make changes in our lives! Thank you for sharing ;)

Katie said...

Great post! You are an inspiration!

ShutUpandRun said...

Amazing and you did it the "right" way. I think with lots of goals, people bite off way more than is manageable, then they quit out of frustration. Baby steps is totally the way to go. Congrats on your incredible progress as an athlete.

Cory Reese said...

This is so awesome! We got a Wii Fit this Christmas and I have seen some family members have the same experience. This post is such a great motivation!

Terzah said...

Really nice post, Erin!

Caroline said...

Erin...you know I love this...I was there...different numbers in height :) but same weight loss well close ..you have 2 extra lbs!!! A few days ago I was looking for a video of my son singing Christmas carols in pre school and I put a tape in that did not have a label..it was from 2007...I saw who I used to be...I cried...my older son came in and looked at the image and said "wow mom you look so different!..like another person!"....indeed

congrats to you my friend

Suz and Allan said...

Wow, amazing how one little thing like stepping on a Wii fit can spark a life change!

Running for the Kitchen said...

you are so amazing. what a great example of small changes adding up and drastically changing your life!

Quiltlady said...

Thank you for sharing! It is very inspiring. Even though I have lost 50 pounds, it is still so inspirational to hear others talk about their story - it keeps me moving in the right direction. Thanks again! PS - You look amazing.

Laura said...

I didn't know this part of your story... that is just amazing. And you obviously had some hidden running talent, you just didn't know it! Thanks so much for sharing your journey!

christa said...

Amazing story!! I lost over 50 lbs about 7 years ago and in the past year about 15 have come back on, mostly since I was in the hospital in August. Your post has motivated me to get back on track! THank you Erin!!

Emz said...

Freaking. Awesome.
Holy
Freaking
Awesome.

You need to write wii fit. Seriously.

{lifeasa}RunningMom said...

I am so glad you got that Wii Fit 3 years ago! You are an amazing and beautiful woman!

Anonymous said...

AMAZING and very motivating story.

Slow and steady wins the race.

I have lost 15 lbs in 5 months from running and eating right (small portions, watching cals). I'm finally in a normal weight range and I feel amazing. It was slow, just losing a pound a week or so, but it was steady and I did it the right way.


Keep up the great work. You have an amazing story!!! Anyone can do it, you just have to have drive and will power.
Kelly

Mary Lou Caskey said...

Way to go, thanks for sharing this!

Adoption Advocates International said...

Yay Erin! You are beautiful, inside and out. Congratulations on all your achievements.

Kevin said...

Wow, just wow!!

misszippy said...

Such a cool story, Erin! Love how something clicked, you followed through, and now look at you! The best.

Mark Matthews said...

Love the story of this post and your whole tone, full of strength, gratitude, and humility. Thanks for being.

Marisa @ The Pace of my Life said...

WoW! So inspiring!
Funny thing...I started out on my journey to becoming "fit" with Wii Fit, too!

Melinda said...

Awesome Erin! I remember when you first posted about working out on the wii. You have inspired many on your journey, including me, while setting such a great example for your kids. Can't wait to see all of your accomplishments in the new year. Keep up the great work, you Rock!!!!

jackie said...

you are an inspiration! i struggle with weight issues, but, reading your post gives me so much hope. thank you.

Shaindel said...

I'm "sort of" new as a runner. My longest run so far has been four miles, and a friend just recommended your blog to me.

This is my first visit to your blog, and I'm hooked. Thank you!

meg said...

You are awesome! Thanks for being an inspiration.