Became a Gym Regular! Inspiring Chicagoan, Stacie

Became a Gym Regular! Inspiring Chicagoan, Stacie

Last year 2011, while I was working out at Zip Fitness, this girl approached me and said her friend told her that I worked out here too. In my mind I was trying to place which person she was referring to and how would I know her. After I realized that it was a mutual friend that was not a stalker or an enemy, I got to know a wonderful and inspiring lady. I had getting back on track with weight in common with her. Through conversation, she had joined Weight Watchers and was attending the same one I went to. Every day I worked out at Zip Fitness, we were together cheering each other on. I was excited to have such a positive and smiling person to talk to at my gym. She is so motivated to push herself harder with mini fitness goals. Alot of times this past year, she would put together a fitness routine. I learned what a blurpee was from her. She offered great insight at Weight Watchers, too. I'm one to share at the WW meetings and now we had that in common too. It gives me great pleasure to have you all meet my friend Stacie. After the YouTube Video on Blurpees, you can read her story in her own words. Feel free to comment below.

The statement, “I have been heavy my entire life” is certainly true in my case. I don’t ever remember a time when I wasn't over weight. My family never ridiculed me about my weight, but they never offered resolutions either. As years went by, my weight and body perception became something I felt like I had to live with. I also said to myself that it was “just me” and nothing I could change. I also felt it was part of my “unfortunate genes” especially being height challenged (I am 5 foot on the dot).
I have many circumstances in my life that fueled my belief that I was not in control on how I looked. I am going to spare you these details since I am trying to come in terms with many of them. However, I will share with you how I came to my breaking point? Picture this… Thanksgiving 2009, 68 people at my Uncle’s house in North Carolina, dinner consisted of 6 turkeys (3 were deep fried), 2 hams and a pork roast (just in case there wasn't enough food), 20 lbs of mashed potatoes, 3 different kinds of stuffing and an assortments of cheese and crackers, breads and dips, and of course tons of desserts! I ate until I couldn't feel anything anymore, my breathing was labored and I just waited for the inevitable stomach pains to start. The pain always started no matter what I ate, so why not go overboard (it was a holiday after all). People were laughing and playing games all around me and I was sitting on the couch just hoping no one would notice that I had just spent a half hour in the bathroom doubled over with stomach pain. The saddest part is that it didn't even phase me as being a problem, this was “just me.” When I returned home from this mini vacation, I was going through my pictures and one in particular stood out to me. There was a picture of me and my brother taken Thanksgiving Day 2009 (date on picture is wrong)
wpid-image006.jpgHere is what I saw… first and most obvious I was NOT the “little sister” anymore. On top of that, I realized that I had my hair pulled back in a tight pony tail (no hair products used), I had on no make-up and I was hiding behind glasses. I thought, “wow, I use to love dressing up for the holidays”, wearing something a little nicer, taking a little extra time on my hair and make-up just to make myself feel good. When did I stop caring? I don’t have the answer to that last question, but that question definitely got to me. It made me realize that I did not like who I had become, inside or out. I would love to tell you that I started the next day on the “new me”, but in reality I still had the “after the holidays” mentality. So, January 2, I became a “gym resolutioner.” This is the term my friends and I give to those who make New Year’s health resolutions and crowd the gyms for the month of January. They also take up the parking spaces, hog the treadmills, and fill up the group classes to the point of annoying the ‘gym regulars”. The “gym regulars” are the ones who faithfully attend classes, run on treadmills, and actually know how to use the weight machines. They do it this day in and day out. My goal was to go from a “gym resolutioner” to a “gym regular”.
January 2010 I weighed 235lbs and wore a size 22 jeans. I walked between 2.5 and 3.0 miles per hour on the treadmill. But I was walking! Eventually I got bored of the walking and the music coming from the dance studios kept peaking my curiosity, so I peeked in. Wow there were all different ages, sizes and yes even deifferent genders in the hip hop class. So I took a deep breath and went in. It was an hour long class, I lasted 30 min. But I went back again and again and again. I can still remember the very first time the instructor said, “ok, time for cool down” and looked behind me at the clock and said “Holy s***, I just did this class for an hour and the time flew by!” I was beaming that day!

From January to October I lost 50lbs and was able to wear a size 16 dress to my cousin’s wedding. This was another accomplishment to check off… I was actually in the Misses department!!!!

wpid-image007.jpgToday, I am down a total of 70lbs, and I wear between size 8 and 10 jeans. I still struggle with my nutrition and my Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) issues, but they do not define me anymore. I am learning that my setbacks are not as important as my accomplishments because my determination and strength will get me through. In 2012, I ran a total of seven 5K’s improving from 42min to 36min. I ran the Warrior Dash and Pretty Muddy, both obstacle course 5K’s in the mud! In 2011, I completed the Warrior Dash in 1:00:02 one year later, my time was 50:25:07 for the Warrior Dash. These are the types of accomplishments I look at and not so much the scale!


wpid-image008.jpgAlthough I may not be “regular” in all aspects of my life, I am confident in defining myself as a “gym regular” … 5 days a week, an hour a day, rain or shine! Are you going to be a “resolutioner” or “regular” this year?

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