Friday, August 31, 2012

We Fall Down, But We Get Up!

Hey fitness freaks! IT'S FRIDAY!!!!!!!!! The weekend is here! :) FINALLY! I don't know about you, but for me this week feels like it's been dragging! Maybe I'm just pumped up for the holiday. Here in the United States we're about to celebrate Labor Day, the last Summer holiday, putting Summer officially to an end. But I'm actually ready for the Fall. Cooler weather, autumn leaves, pumpkins, Thanksgiving (my favorite holiday)... it's all good!:)

"We Fall Down, But We Get Up"...  you may be thinking, what that's all about? Confession time... I'm not perfect. Of course you already knew that because no one is, but what I mean is, I've had my ups and downs during my weight loss journey, too, just like everyone else.

Actually, around 7 months ago I got a big reality check when I went to the doctor early last February and the scale read 161lbs! How could this be?!? I was doing good, maintaining my weight of 135lbs! (Or so I thought.) I eat healthy, I exercise like crazy... what was going on?!? Well, little did I know it, but I had been slowing gaining weight over the months. You know how they say it "creeps up on you"? That's a lie. Weight never just "creeps up" on you. Don't get me wrong, while my new weight caught me by surprise, I knew something was going on, but I justified and made excuses for it in my head. For example, my clothes were fitting tighter, but I was still fitting in my size 6 jeans & pants, and still a size small in shirts... maybe my pants were just shrinking from the washing machine... yeah, that must be it! Sure, my face looked a little fuller when I looked in the mirror, but I blew that off, thinking that it must just be my imagination... yeah, it had to be all in my head. Sure, I felt a little heavier when I walked and my butt was bigger than I remembered, but hey, bodies are weird... right? WRONG! There are always signs of weight gain that most times we just choose to ignore, which is exactly what I had been doing for months.

Weight never just "creeps up" on you, see my face shape change with my weight? That's a subtle sign.

I knew I had to do something, I had gained 26 pounds and not even realized it. First, I needed to evaluate my situation and figure out where I went wrong. Like I said, I was eating healthy, still exercising everyday, what was I doing that had caused the weight gain? Remember when I wrote that blog post about portion control? And how that had always been my downfall in the past. Well, surprise, surprise, when I went back and thought about my eating routine, I quickly realized that it wasn't the food that I was eating, it was the amounts that I was eating. I don't care how healthy you eat, if you're eating too much, you're going to gain weight! Plain and simple. And that's what happened to me. I had also stopped counting calories. (Remember my blog post on calorie counting? I wasn't kidding, it is important!) I foolishly thought that as long as I was eating healthy foods and exercising, that everything would balance itself out. Boy, was I wrong! You know that saying, "80% diet, 20% exercise"? That's completely the case for me, as well the majority of the population. Everyone's body is different and if you're someone who naturally has a very high metabolism, you're one of the lucky people who can eat whatever you want, however much you want, and still maintain your weight. I don't happen to be one of those lucky people. My body has never, and will never, work like that. I fell into believing the hype that exercise conquers all. While I love to exercise and I do feel it's essential to your overall health, if your diet isn't in check, you can forget it! And for me, since I have no problem with eating healthy, it's all about the portion control.

How was I going to lose the weight? I may be a health & fitness nut, but I don't know everything and I am never afraid to look to outside sources to get help. I had done Nutrisystem in the past, but didn't want to go down that road again for just 26lbs, but I knew that I needed some help, besides myself, to get back on the right path again. My solution? Weight Watchers. Never, ever, thought I'd do it. The whole reason that I chose Nutrisystem over Weight Watchers before was because I didn't want to count points. I had stopped counting calories and the whole idea of counting "points" was annoying to me, but I considered the cost, which was fairly cheap, and decided to sign up with Weight Watchers Online. Turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made! :) I found out that I actually like counting points, better than calories. Now for all you calorie counters out there, please don't stop! It's essentially the same thing, I count points, you count calories, no real difference, I just find that I like the "points" idea better. Who would have ever thought that? :) Certainly not me! I started tracking my points everyday and  keeping an online food journal. (Remember my post about food journaling? Is it all clicking now? I'm still learning, right along with you guys.) Fast forward 7 months later to August 31, 2012, and I've not only made my goal of getting back to 135, but surpassed it! Now weighing 128lbs and officially a size 4! 33lbs down since that doctor's office visit gave me a jolt of reality. I feel great!

Now please don't take all of this as a ringing endorsement for Weight Watchers, while I love the program and will continue to stay on it to maintain my weight, I'm not getting paid, and I'm really not even officially recommending them, that's not what this post is about. The whole point of this post is to say that we all make mistakes during this journey. We fall down from time to time, but the important thing is, WE GET BACK UP! I'm proud about the fact that when I realized I needed to lose weight again, instead of feeling sorry for myself & wallowing in self-pity, I chose to do something about it. That's what separates the strong from the weak. It's not that strong people don't make bad decisions, because we do, everyone does, but strong people are willing to do what it takes to turn those bad decisions into victories!

One of my favorite sayings that I've said here before on this blog is "don't talk about it, be about it", and I've proven, more than once, that I AM ABOUT IT! And YOU CAN BE, TOO! Don't let minor set backs take you all the way back to where you started. And no matter how big they may seem at the time, they really are minor. You can get past them. You WILL get past them! As my mother likes to say, "this too shall pass." :)

Don't give up and don't give in! WE FALL DOWN, BUT WE GET UP!

Your friend,
Jonelle "Fit Girl" Boyd

EXCITING NEWS!!! An F.Y.I for all of you out there who may not follow me on Facebook, I'm writing my first eBook! It's called "Confessions of a Fit Girl... How I Lost Over 90 Pounds and Kept It Off!" Filled with encouragement, motivation, fitness & nutrition tips... and more! I know you'll like it and I hope you will support! I'm still working on the finishing touches but it should be for sale sometime next month. I'll keep you guys posted!

Oh, and if you're not currently following me on FB, what are you waiting for? Lol! ;) Connect me on my personal page and like my Succeed At Fitness page, please! :) Thanks!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The REAL TRUTH of the Effects of Weight Loss

Hey fitness friends! I'M BACK!!! It's been almost 3 weeks since my last post but I'm finally writing again! Sorry for the delay but I've been one busy woman! You know that last post I wrote, Do More? Well, that's just what I've been doing! Doing more to shape my future into one where I can do even more of what I love, which is inspiring, encouraging, and motivating others! :) The plan to become a certified personal trainer has been in full effect! Just yesterday I got First Aid, CPR and AED certified! That's a requirement of the personal trainer certification and also just something that I had been wanting to do for a while now. Knowing that you can save someone's life if the situation calls for it is an awesome feeling! I've also been contacting local personal trainers in my area and talking with other fitness professionals, getting a clearer idea of just what I'm getting into. I've got a lot to learn but I feel like I'm definitely on the right track. This is my calling and going after it! Oh, and your girl has also been on the radio!!! :) A big thank you to Carol Dunlap of Optimum Body Sculpting for having me on her Fit 4 Life Blog Talk Radio station last week! On the show I talked about my journey to weight loss success, going from 229lbs to 135. Check it out! (Blog Talk Radio reads 227lbs, but I actually started out, as I stated in the interview, at 229lbs.)

Listen to internet radio with Fit4Life Radio on Blog Talk Radio

Sometimes in cases of massive weight
loss, people have folds of extra skin
left over from their heavier days.
So...  I've been a busy chick! :) But I'm back and ready to talk about the real truth of the effects of weight loss. Now you may be asking yourself, "The 'real truth'... what's that all about?" Well, I want to talk about the part of losing weight that no one ever likes to talk about, it's not all "pretty" and a lot of us who have lost large amounts of weight know exactly what I'm talking about. When you watch those weight loss shows or see the after pictures of people who have lost 50 or more pounds, you're really only seeing part of story. The other part is what you don't see, what's underneath the clothes. Let me keep it 100% real with you guys. I started out 229lbs, as of today I weight 129lbs, so we're talking a total weight lost of 100 pounds. Now with all of that weight gone from my frame, do you think I have stretch marks? You betcha! Extra skin? Yes. That's just a reality of losing so much weight. No one talks about the physical effects left on your body that no special diet or no amount of exercise can get rid of. A lot of those "after" pictures you see forget to mention the tummy tuck and skin removal surgeries the people in them have had in order for them to look great in that bikini or have those flat abs. Now don't get me wrong, not everyone you see who has lost a large amount of weight has had or needs surgery. Everyone's body is different and reacts in different ways. Now thankfully I am young and I exercise using weights, bands and other strengthening equipment to tone my body as well as shrink it, so the aftermath of my battle of the bulge isn't bad, but this is a war, and more than likely you're gonna' have some battle scars!

Rapid growth or weight gain can outpace collagen
production in the skin, causing areas to overstretch.
This can lead to striations called stretch marks.
You've heard me say it before and I'm sure you'll hear me say it again, NO ONE IS PERFECT. And what is "perfect" anyway? Fact is, "perfect" just doesn't exist. Would I rather have my fat back instead of stretch marks & extra skin? NO WAY! I may not be "perfect" but I'M HEALTHY. I'd rather have my stretch marks & extra skin than possibly developing Type 2 Diabetes or dying of a heart attack. I understand that it can be frustrating to work so hard to lose the weight and be left with physical scars, but losing weight is so much more than what you see on the outside. The effects my weight loss has had on me on the INSIDE, far outweigh anything I see on the outside! The old me would have never been confident enough to write a blog! "Who wants to hear what I have to say?" would be my thought. But when I think about how many people I've helped through this blog, not to mention my site, and Facebook page... all things I would have never had the confidence to start before, I know that my minor "imperfections" are definitely worth it!

I don't fault anyone who decides that the effects left on their body from their weight loss are extreme enough in their eyes to look towards surgery. That's a personal decision that you have every right to make. (In some cases it's actually necessary.) I just want you to know that regardless of your particular situation or what you decide, whether to live with it or opt for surgery, know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. YOU ARE NOT A MINORITY. The truth is, YOU'RE THE MAJORITY.