Two words. BABY WEIGHT. Over the past 12 years I have been pregnant and/or nursing for over 1800 days. Yes. I actually counted. With each of my four pregnancies, I gained about 50 pounds and I have been uncomfortably carrying around most of that extra weight for the past decade. This past summer I turned 40 and I knew it was time for a change. Before starting the challenge, I was doing pretty well on my own. I had successfully lost 30 pounds walking 3 miles on the treadmill 3-4 times a week and eating smaller portions. I tended to be an introvert at the gym- avoiding classes and trainers- (which was comfortable for me) and then I hit a dreaded plateau. For 6 months I had maintained my recent weight loss but the scale wasn’t going down anymore and I knew I needed to go out of my comfort zone and ask for help. The 60-Day Weight Loss Challenge was exactly what I needed and it was starting at just the right time.
I had my initial consultation with one of the trainers, Katy LePresto, and after hearing my story, she told me I was going to be a top finisher! Ha. I laughed and said, “You really think so?” Her encouragement and advice about meeting with the nutritionist and adding strength workouts into my gym time was crucial. The very next day I met with the nutritionist Sinead, and she opened my mind to the fact that I was actually under-eating. She suggested that I add in more fruits, veggies and definitely more protein to my diet. Even though I was eating well, I could definitely be making better choices about feeding my body the best fuel possible.
The introvert in me wanted to avoid the group strength classes but I went anyway. My gut instinct was to skip out on the grocery store tour, the 5 am TEAM Boot Camp or “Try-It Tuesdays” but I still went. I knew in the long run it would be good for me and I was starting to believe that I could be a success. With all the tools Life Time was providing me, I might actually be able to lose this baby weight once and for all.
During one of my consultations, the trainer Chloe suggested I add in the rower machine to my cardio and this was a great suggestion. I had mastered walking 3 miles on the treadmill, so the rower was a great cardio alternative. As the weeks passed by, I continued to talk to the trainers on a daily basis and listen to what great advice they had for me and I was soaking it all in. Their suggestions of circuit training and drinking coconut water and protein shakes after workouts to replenish my body were all great advice.
As the weight and inches started to fall off, so did some of my insecurities about “being too old to lose weight” or succumbing to the fact that I had 4 healthy boys and sacrificing my body was just part of the parenting process we signed up for. Being a working mom of 4 kids made it nearly impossible to find time to focus on myself. After all of these years I had made “me” a priority and I was beginning to see results in the positive changes happening in my body and mind. I was gaining confidence and started to believe that I could be successful and this inspired me to press on.
Honestly, what I loved most about this journey is the lasting impact that has been made on my children. They quietly observed my newfound motivation to be healthy and about halfway through the competition, they started cheering me on. My nine-year-old encouraged me to resist unhealthy food choices and even suggested I add an extra mile onto my treadmill workouts if I wanted to win. Children learn best not by hearing, but by example. This Challenge has provided me a priceless opportunity to be a silent example to my children of what it means to persevere, work hard and see results and be healthier because of it.
I am excited about my future as a healthier, active mom. I am indebted to the trainers at the Flower Mound Life Time who have guided, encouraged and inspired me. My husband once said to me “Melanie, all you can do is go back to the gym. And go back the next day and the next day and keep going back.” That’s what I have done and will continue to do. Because being healthy and active is going to help me do all that I set out to do in my lifetime.