I am very humbled by this post today. I've always been reluctant to share where I've been. I still feel the guilt and the shame of letting myself go so horribly. I still carry the physical and emotional scars to this day.
What I've learned over the past 20 years is my story isn't unique. I'm not special. Most of all I know I'm not alone. This is how it all began...this is my story.
It was 1997, I was a new mother and my joy soared when I held my son. But that was the only joy I felt. I was unhappy with myself, I was unhappy with the way I looked, I was always tired, I was insecure in my own skin and I felt very hollow inside. The next few years, thankfully, were filled with raising a newborn. I didn't have time to care about myself.
By 2000 I knew something had to change. It had too, I couldn't live like that anymore. I began searching for anything, anything that could possibly get me out of the rut I was living in. I discovered the YMCA in Barrie and my fitness journey began.
I started by taking a Salsa class once a week, as a trial. With a lot of huffing and puffing and just ten (10) minutes into my first class, I really became aware of how out of shape I was. My next thought was "I need help". As the days and weeks passed I began trying other classes, like Step, Cardio Kickboxing, and Pilates, filling my days with as many classes I could take.
Slowly, over time, I began feeling different. My energy levels increased. I began to feel stronger. In made me want more. The saying "An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion" was a perfect metaphor to how it felt. This, in turn, made me want to try to eat a little better, like add more fruit, veggies and water.
Fast forward six (6) months and I managed to drop 40 pounds on my own, yay! I hit some major plateaus and I eventually hired a trainer to assist me. I was able to drop another 20 pounds, yay x 2! By then, really enjoying what this trainer was doing for me, I decided to pursue my own Personal Trainer Certification to learn more.
What happened next some may call coincidence. I tend to think not so much, but one of the YMCA instructors became very ill during her kickboxing class. She asked me to finish the class…..OMG…I was mortified! Sweat started pouring down my back, doubting myself even before I started, but I jumped in.
My fear changed into a realization that WOW I can do this, and to be honest, I really enjoyed it. Better still was that I was actually good at it. The seeds were planted.
As it approached a full year, I had managed to drop 75lbs, yay x 3! I was asked by the YMCA if I would be interested in volunteering with some children’s programming and teaching some fitness classes. I didn't know it then but had found my place in this world an in my own life.
I became certified to teach a number of classes which led me into Part- Time, Full- Time and then Management positions. I continued to manage my weight and in total to date have lost 122lbs, SUPER YAY!. I was able change my physique through nutrition and exercise and, really, it changed much more than that.
Now 20 years down this path my passion is still to help others through any struggles with eating and exercise and to help them realize, through the strength of my story, that it can be done!