In 2009, Elizabeth weighed 265lbs, wore size 24 pants, and sported XXL shirts.
As a physical therapist, she spent her days in 2009 preaching to her patients to "eat healthy and exercise," while spending her nights ordering 2 cheeseburgers, large fries, 2 apple pies, and a large Coke from McDonalds.
Fast forward to 2013...
Elizabeth now wears size 8 pants, medium shirts, and checks in on the scale way under 200lbs.
In this post, she shares her story and offers advice for those contemplating making a change...
It didn't take long for me to realize the incredible motivation and determination Elizabeth possessed. After hearing her weight loss story and discussing her goal of surpassing the 100lbs lost mark, I knew it was only a matter of time before E achieved her goal.
Elizabeth and I continue to work together 2-3 times per week. Our routines consist of a full dynamic warm up, a couple shoulder corrective exercises, metabolic resistance training (compound upper, lower, and core supersets), and brief, intermittent high intensity "cardio."
Some of Elizabeth's favorite words to say to me during our training session include,
"Hiney, shoooot, D-2, big balls, jiggley, shi-talkey, and your boobies look HUGE today"
Needless to say, she keeps our training sessions entertaining!
If Elizabeth's story helps only one person make a change for the better in their life, then this blog post has done its job.
My previous self was a professional individual who was getting to the point of not being able to perform her job. I was so large that I was tired all the time and would go home after work and literally just sleep and eat...and by eat I mean run thru the drive thru for an extra value meal. I was a physical therapist asking and telling my patients to workout, but I wasn’t working out myself. I would preach to patients the importance of healthy nutrition, while I would go and eat an extra value meal from McDonalds.
Describe how drastic of a change you have made and give some details on time it took for each change.
My life is now all about being healthy and enjoying healthy activities such as bike riding, playing volleyball, running, and working out most days of the week. No more running thru the drive thru on my way home from work, and only eating outside of my home 1-2 times per week. I don’t consider myself to be on a diet anymore; I have adopted my new healthy life as a completely new lifestyle. It has taken me over 3 years to get to this point in my new healthy lifestyle.
What prompted your change?
I initially started to lose weight because I was going to be a bridesmaid in two different weddings and I didn’t want to buy a dress that was huge! In addition, my blood pressure was rising per my doctor. I would have episodes where my blood glucose levels would drop because of my poor meal choices and overall I didn’t have enough energy to be on my feet for 8 hours as required for my career. Carrying over 260 pounds 8 hours every day was not easy. With a family history of diabetes, I was really starting to realize that I was becoming pre-diabetic if not diabetic already. It was also becoming challenging to perform my activities of daily living. I could do them but it was becoming harder and harder to reach my back side due to my abdominal girth.
What was the first thing you did to make a change?
Joined weight loss matters, a program similar to weight watchers offered by the University of Kentucky.
What was the hardest part about getting started?
The first step was the hardest. I knew I needed to make a change, but couldn't find the motivation to do it. I had all the resources I needed at my finger tips, yet kept talking myself out of starting. I knew in my mind and heart that I needed to change my life before I became the patient rather than the provider. There really wasn't one moment when I decided to make a change, but rather a combination of events that made me realize it was "now or never."
What advice do you have for someone that is contemplating making a change?
My advice: change is not easy and it doesn’t happen overnight! I have worked very hard for a very long time to feel better, regain my confidence, and change my life. Fads come and go, but your health and well being will be with you the rest of your life. I want to live my life to its fullest potential, and I need to be healthy to enjoy my career, family, and friends. Adopt a healthy LIFESTYLE and be CONSISTENT. Hard work pays off.
How did you keep yourself accountable?
Weekly weigh-ins, food diaries, work out buddies, and working with my personal trainer (Trent). I cannot stress enough the importance of having a strong support system. There were multiple times I wanted to give up, but I was able to get over that feeling due to the help from my support system in place.
Briefly describe your exercise plan throughout your change.
The first year I just did my own thing; 2x per day walking, 2 days per week. And hit the gym 3-4 times a week to do random lifting exercises. I also got involved in adult sport leagues, and signed up for a bike race and triathlon. Now, I strength train with Trent 2-3 times perweek, play volleyball 3-5 times a week, attend group exercise classes at the gym.
Briefly describe your nutrition plan throughout your change.
Through Weight Loss Matters, I was given a meal plan and a certain amount of dietary exchanges based on weight and activity levels. I could eat what I wanted as long as I stayed within my exchange allowances. Today, I still use the exchanges, but now understand how to eat a balanced diet. I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables while staying away from fried foods or foods I have not prepared myself.
Did you ever feel like giving up? What did you do to get rid of those feelings?
Absolutely. Every day when I first started. Like I mentioned before, my support system played a key role in my adherence early on. I then realized if my health is the ultimate goal, I need to get rid of these feelings of giving up. I also just kept telling myself that I look amazing, feel amazing, and I am becoming the athlete that I have always wanted to be. I am a living example of the power of positive thinking.
What motivates you today to keep going after all your weight lost?
I have wonderful people in my life that challenge me to be better every day and motivate me to stay healthy. Also, with a family history of diabetes, obesity, and heart problems, I do not want to be on medicine, take shots, or not be able to play sports because of medical complications. Basically, I am very stubborn and want to stay young and healthy the rest of my life. I also want to be the best athlete on the court even though I play with kids 10+ years younger than me!
What are your goals for the future?
I want to lose 100 lbs. This goal started out as a game when I first started dropping weight, but now that I have lost so much weight it is within reach. I also would like to run marathon.
Anything else you want to share?
Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right. Optimism is a powerful thing. Repeatedly telling yourself that you "CAN" and you "WILL" adopt a healthy lifestyle will cause this thought to become a reality. Set a goal, write it down, read it every day, and work hard. Life is too short not to be happy.
Elizabeth has quite the story. As you probably guessed, she is one impressive woman.
I'm thankful to have gotten to know E, and will continue to work with her even though I will be relocating soon. We are currently making plans for her to come visit me in FL! (she is a big fan of Disney World...but don't tell her I told you that)
If you would like to speak to Elizabeth to hear more about her journey, send me an email and I will put you in touch. She hopes her story will inspire others to make a change!
From Elizabeth and myself, thanks for reading.
Make it happen.