So here I am – coming to the end of an incredible experience working with Nikki. It has been a privilege getting to know her on both a personal and professional level. We’ve set and achieved goals that Nikki “thought” were unattainable and out of her reach such as walking a 5K (and even jogging parts!), and limiting her eating on the run. We’ve also battled her lifestyle, identifying negative behavioral patterns and creating healthy habits along the way. We’ve laughed and even cried (or at least she has, lol).
Having said that, I am happy to report Nikki’s weight loss results to date:
· Weight Lost – 45 lbs
· Inches Lost – 22.5 total inches
· Nikki passed the treadmill cardiovascular test
· Nikki participated in a 5k (reaching her goal of less than an hour at 55:11)
· Improved strength, endurance and flexibility
One of my goals during this journey with Nikki was to prove the point that diet and exercise is the most healthy and effective way to lose weight. Yes, it can be a slow process compared to quick fix, gimmicky diets…but it’s what really works to give you lasting weight loss results and to create a healthier you – no magic pill can do that. It’s the choices we make every day that either support us for better health and weight management – or don’t. Remember, “slow and steady wins the race”.
I told Nikki recently that I believe she has what it takes to really transform herself. Due to her motivation & dedication, the Y has decided to support her efforts by allowing us to continue to work together for an additional 6 months focusing on “Lifestyle Change”. We will meet every other week and provide a follow-up blog at the end of the year – hopefully detailing an amazing testimonial. I often like to refer clients to a quote I live by, “Life is a journey, not a destination.” I think Nikki and I are still in our journey together and looking forward to the future – it’s looking bright!
When I was selected for this six month Lifestyle Change program, I was so excited and hopeful. I knew I was ready to address my lifelong weight problem but I didn’t know how to do it right, so it was sustainable. I needed personal guidance to walk me through integrating healthy eating habits and feeling capable in a gym setting. I remember Jodi telling me that she would give me the tools – but you have to be the one to do the work! I suppose I thought she was going to perform a miracle and my life would be changed overnight but now, six months later, I’ve realized this personal, life transformation has really only begun.
We spent the first few weeks getting to know each other and going through the initial testing. It was so difficult for me to face the reality of my health outlook. My entire adult life I’ve ignored these issues and tried to prove that I could be happy/beautiful/likeable/successful despite my weight. So as Jodi and I addressed my starting weight as morbidly obese, my off-the-charts BMI and body measurements, and my failed fitness tests – ugh, I just wanted to run and hide! I knew I had to understand the severity of my situation before we could make any progress, but it was a humbling feat.
Once we knew what we were up against, I felt encouraged to know Jodi was on my team – I didn’t have to do this alone! She slowly introduced me to the gym machines and gave me doable goals to achieve. Jodi helped me stay challenged with varied workouts while gradually gaining confidence in my own abilities. She taught me a different nutrition topic each week and stressed the importance of meal planning. She kept me focused on the big picture of a “healthy lifestyle”. As we built up trust, Jodi was able to push me on my “hot button issues” like eating out too frequently, being sleep-deprived, overscheduled, always running late, and being a people-pleaser at my own expense. I was starting to see just how complex this journey was for me – this was not just about losing weight but getting healthy, and really taking good care of myself. I had to carve out time to exercise (something I had never done regularly, let alone 5-6 times per week), plan family meals using new ingredients, keep a daily food log, write a weekly public blog, and find ways to deal with the many emotional issues we were stirring up – through journaling, talking with loved ones, and establishing new boundaries. It’s been a ton of work, but absolutely worth it!
I am proud to report so many positive changes I’ve experienced thus far. I have lost weight and inches and am fitting into smaller clothes! I am much stronger and have more endurance than I have had in years. I am having conversations about healthy eating with my children and introducing them to new foods regularly (we even planted our first garden!). I am getting more rest and drinking much more water (and much less pop!). Overall, I am so much more aware – of the quality of my food choices (pairing carbs/proteins/vegetables and eating more whole grains), the timing of my meals (eating earlier in the morning and eating every 3-4 hours), and the portion size of what I’m consuming. I have a better attitude about exercise – it’s not the dreaded chore I used to view it as because I know what I’m doing and it feels good to be active. Most importantly, I’m believing in my own abilities and am trying to achieve goals I’ve never dreamed I’d accomplish. I am truly excited about the possibilities of me (and my children’s) future.
We’ve made such great strides toward success, but I still have a long way to go. This program has ignited a fire within me and I fully intend to press onward with this journey. I’m so grateful for Jodi’s continued assistance! She and I are in a good groove – and she is ramping up my workouts now more than ever. I need her pushing me to view myself as that “fitness gal” she claims I’ve become. As my trainer and friend, she is a vital source of accountability and support. Thank you Whitley YMCA for caring about my story – I’m happy to be one small piece of the positive impact the Y has on our community!