My biggest challenge in life so far has been conquering my compulsive eating habit. I remember so clearly the hopelessness I felt because I had no control over my impulses. I would literally sit down to a pint of Häagen-Dazs® every day and swear that tomorrow I would start my diet. There are also vivid memories of me downing an entire bag of Chips Ahoy!® chocolate chip cookies and an entire big bag of Doritos®! I had those moments of sitting in my car, opening a jar of peanut butter, and polishing off almost half of it, and then driving to a fast food place for a burger and fries. And let’s not forget the CHEESE! I am a Cheesehead, after all, and I would eat blocks of it at a time.
When I think of that now, it truly makes me sick to my stomach. How could my poor body handle that? No wonder my digestion was so screwed up and I have cellulite so bad—even now. You can’t possibly expect to abuse your body like that and put such demands on your digestive system and not have major issues. I remember jogging around my block at 4:00 AM, desperate to burn off those calories, and then dropping down to the ground into a heap of tears praying for control and the strength to get my life on track. I do know that I was eating out of emotion—not knowing how to cope with certain feelings I was having.
I knew I had to confront my demons head on and figure it out. I’m not sure of the exact moment I decided to change. It was an accumulation of emotion and just being fed up with feeling and looking bad. Enough was enough! So, I joined a support group and through that program I learned how to eat properly. I learned about portion control.
Growing up, I was never taught any of those things. My mother had been severely overweight when I was growing up, and she loved to bake. And I mean BAKE EVERYTHING you can possibly think of. I would wake up every Saturday morning to hot chocolate chip cookies, gooey brownies, pies, homemade bread, you name it. I would stuff myself until I couldn’t eat another bite. Having that support group made me accountable and got me on track. The first 12 pounds came off pretty easily. Then, it was a bit slower, but because I stuck with the program, it consistently came off.
When I moved to Los Angeles at 21, I was on my way to better health and felt more in control. I was a secretary at that time, so I sat most of the day. I definitely had bumps and challenges along the way, but I was determined to get the once lean, fit body back that I had when I was in high school as a cheerleader, gymnast, and sprinter! It was when I joined a gym and began working out with weights that I really started to see the changes. Unfortunately, I made a lot of the mistakes that many women do when they don’t really understand how to exercise properly. I worked with heavy weights and didn’t do enough cardio. So I got really strong, but I was very bulky! Also, I still was in the bad habit of eating three big meals a day instead of small little mini-meals throughout the day. It really wasn’t until I was in my late thirties that I figured it out.
The last thing I needed to get control of was my love for sweets, and it wasn’t easy . . . I decided to just starve myself of all carbs and sugars for about 2 weeks. It was truly amazing what happened. I sincerely didn’t crave them anymore! I would never have believed in a million years that I would actually desire a delicious piece of fish with vegetables over a pizza!
I think having so much energy and feeling my body toned and lean also gave me extra incentive. Then, when I became a personal trainer at the gym I was working out at, I was literally exercising with my clients all day long doing ab and midsection routines with them. Before I knew it, my waist was tiny and my abs were ripped. I had a six-pack for the first time, and I was pumped!
Now if I really want to have a chocolate chip cookie, I’ll have one . . . but only one. And sometimes, I don’t even eat the whole thing. I am satisfied with a bite or two. For me, it was a major shift in the way I associated and looked at food. Also, the more educated and aware I became, the easier it was to treat my body with respect. I got into “right-thinking” mode and didn’t want to sabotage myself anymore. Some of the tools that helped me along the way were thought-provoking, motivational, and inspirational books and tapes that would put me in the present moment. Now, there is such a wealth of extra support at your fingertips. Beachbody® has developed such an amazing community that you’re crazy if you don’t take advantage of it.
Get involved in the live chats and the Message Boards. Join the WOWY SuperGym®. Keep that journal every day to help you stay accountable. Empower yourself with knowledge and invest in YOU! You deserve it. You deserve to be happy and healthy! I know if I could do it, you can, too . . . we are all here to help cheer you on and support you to live your best life!
Now . . . GO PUSH PLAY!!