Getting Fit: My Success Story
Posted: Wednesday, Mar. 27, 2013
Photo by: Nathan Abplanalp Photography
Alyn Wharmby is an Ohio native turned middle school teacher and graduate student, currently earning a degree in School Administration at UNC Charlotte. She is beginning her new life with fiance Erik and chihuahua Bella on July 13, 2013. Contact Alyn here.
Then (January 2012):204 lbs, waist: 40.5 inches, arms: 14 inches, thighs: 26.2 inches, BMI: 33.9, % body fat: 37.8%Now (March 2013):169 lbs, waist: 36 inches, arms: 13 inches, thighs: 22.4 inches, BMI: 28.1, % body fat: 34.4%Its the end of the road, and Ive made a serious transformation. Its been TEN months since we started the challenge and 18 months since I started my own personal weight loss journey. In those 18 months, Ive lost 35 pounds and more than two dress sizes. Ive gone from mopey, weak, and miserable to proud and active. Though Im not at my goal weight, Im also nowhere near finished! Id like to lose 19 more pounds to be in the range of what is ideal for my age and height. It may not happen before my wedding, but it will happen! Of all of my short list of life accomplishments, I think this may have been the one that I had doubted I could do the most, and that I am most proud to have accomplished. The photo above (please excuse the toga--- it was a Greek celebration for my students, and I have very few pictures to choose from!) illustrates the change from peak weight to today. It goes beyond what I did for the challenge to include what I've done before and after.If youve been keeping up with my blog, you know that I am a lister. A good top eight list is a quick and easy way to highlight important facts. What better way to end my blogging career than with a list? So here you have it: my top eight list of things that Ive learned about weight-loss this past ten months of the Get Fit Challenge.#1. It doesnt happen overnight.Im not as young as I used to be, and as Ive gotten older, its only gotten harder and more time consuming to lose weight. In October of 2011 I weighed 204 pounds. It has taken me every moment of every month since then to lose 30+ pounds. Im still a long way from my goal weight. Each pound is a well-earned accomplishment ---revel in it!#2. Its not cheap.How do the celebrities do it? With personal chefs, personal trainers, dieticians, stylists and specialists. I had to bite the bullet and come to the conclusion that getting to where I want to be was going to require some similar things for me. I worked with a dietician and personal trainer, and fork out plenty for healthier food options, protein shakes, and gym memberships. If you can do it for free, youre a better person than I am! (Special shout-outs to Gym One trainer Tim Parker and now Burn Bootcamp Lake Norman for helping me get where I am physically! Check them out in North Charlotte.)
#3. It takes trial and error.Even though regular exercise and tracking calories is my go-to method for weight loss, Ive had to play with data and routines to figure out exactly what that would entail. Different numbers of carbohydrates per day, changing my calorie intake, adding and subtracting exercise--- its a constant numbers game to see just what combination provides the best weight loss for my body. I frequently have to drop my calorie intake or change my sugar/carb ratios to get over weight-loss plateaus. I cant say enough about the MyFitnessPal app for this purpose!#4. Theres no one size fits all remedy.Again, its a numbers game. Fad diets only work for so long and dont work for everyone. Our bodies are so tremendously different, how could we expect weight loss to happen at the same rate using all the same methods? Controlling your diet and exercising are the only never-fail tactics, and we all have to approach those differently.#5. Food is not happiness or pleasure.A celebration doesnt justify gaining a pound. Food isnt what makes celebrating great anyway--- its the people you enjoy that food with. Food is FUEL. It doesnt make you feel better (generally bad food does make you feel worse), and it doesnt solve problems. It FUELS your body so that you can live and thrive. Thats it! Dont put anything into your own body that wouldnt be good enough for your car or your dog.#6. You always imagine things worse than they really are.Its like subtle body dysmorphia. Even now Im buying clothes two sizes to big because I just cant see myself as smaller. In my mind I am fat and still see the wiggly parts before anything else. I need constant reassurance that all my work has paid off in my appearance. When Im unhappy with my weight, it takes over. I think of nothing else. I imagine that everyone is judging me and that they all must believe I am a tub-of-lard. Stated simply: thats not the case. Its my own insecurities that make me believe this. Most people understand the battle of weight-loss and will root for you if youre open and authentic about your struggle. What everyone else thinks doesnt really matter anyway.#7. You cant do it alone.Accountability is really the only way to accomplish your goals. Tell everyone you know about what youre trying to accomplish. Bet money, compete, workout together--- whatever you have to do, do it with a group of supporters who are rooting for you. (If youre friends with a bunch of skinny-minis, try a Weight Watchers group or boot camp class!)
#8. A healthy lifestyle is all about balance.Food, exercise, family, rest, work, and hobbies--- you have to juggle your health along with your other top priorities in order to improve it. If you arent mindful, you are sure to be mindless and completely ignore what your body is telling you. A healthy lifestyle is intentional.One of my goals upon starting this challenge was helping other people believe that it could be done. At that time, I dont think I believed it myself. I never thought I would reach this point. Now, I feel great, I look better, and I really genuinely ENJOY the process. Meeting weight-loss goals is FUN, and seeing the numbers on the scale go down after a lot of hard work is very gratifying. Chocolate is still my favorite food, but Ive adopted a new relationship with food that doesnt make me feel guilty when indulge a little bit.We owe it to ourselves to be at our best, and we owe it to our families to be physically and mentally fit. Guess what? It can be doneand you can do it!Be sure to check out the April issue of Carolina Bride to see the full reveal and GO VOTE for reader favorite on Carolina Bride's Facebook page!
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