Posts Tagged ‘personal triumph’

Fabulous and Fit

Felicity

Hello, my name is Felicity and I’m about to transition out of my “Dirty 30’s” into the big 31. I still feel as vibrant as I was at 21 though. One thing that will never change is my personality and love for life! I am currently working as a Patient Care Coordinator full time setting up fertility orders for women all over the country who are trying to get pregnant. In the past I have worked as a pharmacy tech and my dream job would be to pursue entrepreneurship and have my own business. Something where I can work when I want, where I want, yet fulfill my creative needs. I am married – we have been together 11 years but married 3. I am a doggy mom of two rascals and I have two stepchildren that we never see. I am a socialite. I feel like I am always on the go. My motto is “I’ll rest when I die”. I’m usually bouncing from work, to the gym, to home, to spontaneous fun with friends. I enjoy talking, listening and just being around other people. My current obligation is first to my health, second to my marriage and third to my friends, family and spending as much time with them as possible. You should never take anything or anyone for granted.

I was a very active child. I cannot remember a time that I was stuck indoors being lazy for a long period of time. I was always out roaming the neighborhood and riding my bike with friends. I grew up with a swimming pool too, so I spent a lot of time pretending I was a mermaid! My mother also put me in jazz and gymnastics early on and I did that for many years. I started with somersaults and hand-stands and ended up doing no-handed cartwheels and front hand springs! I was very good at what I did and very flexible. Although I stayed fairly active – I was always “the bigger girl” around friends or in gym class. I didn’t like sports, mainly because I had stage fright and did not like to be “watched” while performing. So I was more active at home than I was in school. I was just not confident enough, so I shied away from “fitness activities” there.  I grew up on family foods, fast foods and there was no real structure as to what we couldn’t eat. My weight was always brought up during doctor visits and they always tried to give me ideas on how to slim down but I just got bigger over the years. Three years ago I lost 18 lbs and ended up getting pregnant. Unfortunately I miscarried 16 weeks in and haven’t been able to get pregnant since.  I really think that the way I changed my eating habits at that time played a major role in my being able to conceive and so I started my journey to fitness. Initially I wanted to get healthy and become pregnant again. It was only 10 months ago that I finally committed 100% and I am determined to stick it out.

I have never admitted that my weight has held me back in life – but now that I have lost some weight, I find that I have more energy and I’m feeling better about myself; I can finally admit to that. It did hold me back from doing things I have never done before; hiking, canoeing and other physical activities. I also find myself being even MORE social with friends/family when I go out. I don’t mind being in the spotlight as much, I get out on the dance floor and I have more confidence in front of strangers. This journey has also brought me and my husband closer together. I was eating better and exercising for about 5 months before he joined. Now that he’s joined (about 6 months ago) he has lost 40+ lbs! We spend more quality time together hitting the gym every day, taking the dogs for longer walks and cooking healthier meals. We share a new common interest which is rare for us because we are complete opposites.

My “before” pictures keep me motivated on a daily basis. I don’t like to say “after” yet because I am not at my goal. I see those pictures and think, “wow – was I really that big?” Cause at the time I still (for the most part) felt fabulous. But today I feel even MORE fabulous! I can pick clothes out from a regular store without having to go to plus size (went from buying a 3X shirt or pants to being able to squeeze on an XL) and when I look in the mirror I am not trying to hide away my muffin top or change my wardrobe three times in order to feel comfortable and confident. Also, I see other people’s transformations and I know that it’s not impossible. Anything I want, I can achieve with just dedication, hard work, and effort.

Just recently a friend told me, “Felicity you were never the FAT one, you were always the FUNNY one.” Which made me feel good cause I have beautiful friends. Talking drop dead gorgeous, nice bodies, high maintenance ladies and well groomed! And to be honest, I always felt like the “fatter” one among them. Having the same best friends for 15+ years now has helped to keep me going. Not only do I want to prove to myself that I can do this, I want to prove it to them. I wanna be able to walk into my best friend’s house and slip on a pair of her jeans. A few of them have joined along in effort to lose weight and tone up, some of them have been inspired by me to do it and everyone fully supports me! I joined Myfitnesspal.com and have currently logged over 300 days straight, counting calories and losing weight with online friends I’ve met. I also started a fan page on Facebook mostly to inspire others on their journey and to document mine as much as possible. In some ways I feel like a celebrity because I have so many people rooting for me, it’s lovely!

Eating out remains the hardest obstacle for me to overcome! I must say that making healthy choices during spontaneous moments can be hard. Especially after a long, busy day when we’re too tired to cook, so we decide to stop at a sub shop. Or if it’s during a party or cook out. I tend to tell myself “today I am going to make a better choice” then when that moment comes and I’m faced with either a salad or a sub – I choose the sub!! It’s almost like an addiction and making an irrational decision. After all is said and done and that moment passes… I regret it. But unlike before, I keep on moving forward now. I will not allow bad choices or small mistakes to deter me away from reaching my ultimate goal.

So far I have lost 43 lbs in less than a year. I’ve dropped over 20 inches through out my body. I have dropped 2 jeans sizes and 3 shirt sizes. My rings are now too big for my fingers and I have taken part in activities I never thought I would before, one which includes a 5k for Susan G Komen with co-workers! I can jog for at least 5 minutes straight without feeling like I might die and I built up endurance for all the cardio machines at the gym and I have earned a passion for weight training too! I normally hit the gym 3-5x per week. At first it was all cardio. I would do a mile on the treadmill, 3 miles on the bike, and a short time on the elliptical. Now I am in love with strength training. So I will spend 15-30 minutes doing free weights or machines. Then 30-60 minutes doing cardio. I have built up my endurance. So I am now able to not only walk on the treadmill but jog in intervals. I can last almost an hour on the elliptical and have recently built up 45 minutes on the Cybex (which is like the elliptical on the moon). I also try set goals and do one new “fitness” activity each month. Recently completing 8 weeks of an intense Bootcamp and this month doing a 5k. For supplements I just take a multi-vitamin and load up on whey protein.

Most mornings I have an iced coffee with a scoop of whey protein or just a whey protein shake made from almond milk. I’m trying to be better at eating every 2-3 hours to keep my metabolism up but because I work in a call center it can be hard. On the days I am home in the morning I try my best to eat breakfast which usually includes eggs and spinach! For snacks I eat fruit, cottage cheese, and nuts. I also love munching on apples & celery with peanut butter too! Lunch could be left overs from the night before or something small like fruit and yogurt or a garden salad. For dinner I eat a lot of raw veggies with chicken. Zone bars, pria bars, and luna bars are also a great meal replacement or post work out snack. I am very enthusiastic about meal planning for the week so I have a “Food Prep Sunday” where I cook and package my food for the next 4-5 days for easy access, it also helps me stay on track 100%.

Before I started this journey at 278 lbs I promised myself that I would lose 100 lbs and get down to 178 lbs. I started in May of 2012 and by December I had lost 33 lbs so at that time my New Year’s Resolution was to double that for 2013 and lose 66 lbs. Which would bring me down -99 lbs. total. I am currently down 43 lbs and look forward to what the rest of the year will bring me. Sometimes I feel like it’s a slow process, but its a work in progress and I am happy with that. Once I reach 178 I will then work on toning as much as possible and if I lose anymore I will stop when I am most comfortable and happy! It almost seems impossible to CHANGE; to make healthier choices and step outside of your comfort zone and exercise regularly. You just have to commit to and just do it! One of the biggest problems people face is screwing up. I want you to know that one bad choice or one bad day does NOT mean that you failed and you have to give up. Every meal, breakfast, lunch, or dinner and EVERY day is a new chance to make a healthier choice and keep going! Put that bad choice in the past and move forward – if you give up then a year from now you will have to start over and you’ll wish you would of just kept going. Slow progress is better than no progress and eventually you WILL be where you want to be!

The numbers on the scale are not the most important. The non-scale victories (us in the weight loss world call them “NSV”) are what’s most important. When you reach a physical or mental goal; when you fit into an old pair of tight jeans;  you discover that it’s the little successes in life that make you most proud. When you compare your fat pics to your progress pics I promise you will see a difference and THAT will motivate you to continue. I just want every man or woman especially to know that it is NEVER too late to change.

Felicity

In the past year I have been lucky enough to network with people of all different ages and sizes that have been successful no matter what their circumstances, all it takes is just some effort, passion, and dedication!

http://facebook.com/fabulousanddfit
http://myfitnesspal.com/fabulousago
http://pinterest.com/fabulousego
http://instagram.com/fabulousego

Live With Intention. Train With Purpose.

William and his wife Rhonda (before weight loss)

I am a husband, a father (to a teenage daughter), an employee at a great company and a business owner.  My interests are reading (about a variety of topics such as true crime, history, business) traveling and relaxing at home with my family.

My back story starts at the age of two when I was diagnosed with “Wilms” tumor – a kidney cancer that a low percentage of toddlers develop.  In order to save my life,  I had to have my right kidney removed.  Surgery at that age,  meant an incision to half of my body instead of the small area that most adults experience. There began my uphill battle with health and fitness. I had to go through chemo which caused me to lose a drastic amount of weight. Then, as I got better I began to gain weight rapidly.  I was considered “husky” throughout my childhood, straight into JR High.  It was during my preteen years that I began to notice that I had above average strength for my age.  My dad had weights around and I would lift them every once in a while.  When I hit 7th grade, I was able to bench 185lbs, 8th grade 230lbs and 9th grade I hit 275lbs without any serious training.  At the age of 15 however, my best friend and I both lost our fathers. It was then that we turned to lifting weights seriously and it was a great outlet for our grief.   My weight at that time was around 225lbs.  As I moved through high school my weight climbed to 275lbs.  I played football and competed in a few high school weightlifting meets which I won.   After high school I continued to lift weights and compete in power lifting meets while in College.  Just before I graduated College, I weighed 300lbs. That realization sparked my first successful  journey with weight loss. I dropped down to 242lbs which I maintained  for almost two years.

A young William

Around this time I met my former wife and I started to relax. By the time we were married I proceeded to gain the 50+ lbs that I had lost. Shortly after  this my daughter was born. With the passage of time I continued my descent into a “relaxed” state of being, with poor eating habits, and eating out. That period lasted thirteen years. In 2002 my former wife and I went through a stressful divorce, and I became a single father.  My priority then (as it is now)  was to provide my daughter with a stable home environment. Sadly, I paid little attention to my health.  I still lifted weights off and on and that proved to be the saving grace in preventing the onset of diabetes.  After meeting and marrying my current wife, we both just kind of woke up one day and spoke candidly about our physical conditions. We looked in the mirror, didn’t like what we saw and decided then and there to make changes.  We prayed about it and started taking immediate steps the next day. I weighed in at 335lbs when we started. Fortunately for us I read a lot of muscle magazines. Between that information and the knowledge gained while  training with a few national/pro bodybuilders and power lifters, I was able to experiment with a variety of diet and training approaches. Through trial and error a low carb meal plan is what worked best. We both lost over 100lbs each by the following year, while weight training, practicing Bikram Yoga, and doing various cardio activities.

William 335lbs

Being able to experience this journey together with my wife has been the ultimate blessing through out all of this. Sometimes, couples can be on a different page as it pertains to health goals. In our situation, we approached it as a team.  When I’m feeling lazy, she inspires me and vice versa.  It has created a stronger spiritual bond between us, and we both feel more confident, stronger and happier. We give all thanks and glory to God for giving us the strength to get through the times when we might have wanted to quit.  Our journey started with a prayer; God answered, and we are forever thankful.

That we are on the same page nutritionally, is also a plus.  We’re so in tune with each other that we can go grocery shopping individually and  practically mimic each others selections for the week. We subscribe to the KISS principle of keeping it simple;  meaning, protein, veggie, good fats, fruits and some starches depending on training day. We never have problems maintaining our eating plan because  our motto is “Always keep a protein source ready for use!”  No really, just having a protein source readily available makes it easy to prepare a meal around it.  This is where most people run into problems. When you have nothing prepared to eat, and you’re hungry – bad things happen. The other thing that remains a constant (because I have one kidney) I must manage the amount of protein that I consume; as well as watch my sodium closely or I’ll retain a lot of water. The surgery that I went through as a child altered the circulation in my left leg, and ultimately this led to my calf swelling (because of a blood clot) back in 2011. I had to be hospitalized for five days, and that was enough of a reminder for me to stay in tune with my body.

We currently train three days a week in our garage gym,  On a Push/Legs/Pull rotation, the other  3 days we do cardio/interval cardio/ heavy bag, cross fit/circuit type training & rest 1 day a week.  The supplements we take are Omega’s, COQ10 and Nitrean protein powder. BCAA’s are also a staple for me and a great alternative to high protein intake because it doesn’t have to be broken down and digested, it goes straight to my muscle. I can’t recall any setbacks to being fit thankfully. We have been able to maintain our weight loss by utilizing one cheat day per week to eat items we don’t normally consume during the week.  Knowing that we have one day to “relax” a little keeps us from cutting loose on the other days.

Now that we’ve achieved our target weight (my current weight is 222-226lbs) I’d like to continue to lower my body fat and improve my overall body composition.  When you lose this much weight, no matter how hard you try, you’re going to lose strength. Who knew? So now that my strength levels are coming back  I’m starting to get the itch to start competing in a couple of bench press, power lifting meets again, just for fun.

To the naysayers out there perceived and real that would love for us to fail, to gain our weight back, we see you. You fuel us daily. Many of our friends have been supportive, however we have taken note of a handful that exist that would love for nothing more than for us to backslide. This truth, along with being a good role model for our daughter, is a great point of focus, and we’d like to show her that anything can be done with God and putting her mind to it.

Before you start your fitness journey pray first. Then set out to gain as much knowledge as you can about nutrition and exercise. Once you have that knowledge, if you ever find the need to lose weight, you already know what you need to do. Find support, seek motivation.  We started www.transformationpics.com as a site for those who are seeking guidance, inspiration, and connectivity to someone who has gone through what they’re going through now.  There are over 50 success stories on the site, with various ways & means used to achieve results. Find a story that’s close to your own and seek to duplicate some of the steps that person used to achieve  great results. Remember every choice that you make has an end result.

William on vacation most recently, with his wife Rhonda. Together they’ve lost over 200 pounds!

Thanks for reading and please feel free to follow our journey:

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