Name: N. Kaizen
Location: JFK Medical Center. Atlantis, FL
Improvement: 35 lbs Weight Loss
Time: 3 Months
Program: 2009 Total Transformation Challenge
My biggest challenge was finally realizing that I am important and that I needed to make time and take care of myself. We work in a service industry and very often that carries over to our home lives, taking care of others before ourselves. Only I was wasn't taking care of me, physically or mentally. I had to change the way I felt about myself and realize that I am just as strong and capable as the next person, and that I deserved to be healthy and happy.
My motivation is my life and my girls. As I was becoming heavier, I had no energy and my whole body just ached all of the time. I developed plantar fascitis and Achilles tendonitis and they were so painful. I couldn't walk anymore and my job became harder. I went to the doctor and found out I was pre-diabetic. I realized that I was too young to follow in the steps of so many we meet everyday here in the hospital. I looked at my girls, who are so young, and while I may have overreacted a little, became depressed thinking they might have to grow up without me. While I still worry about my kids, my motivation now is that I know I can do it. I succeeded in meeting my goal and the only motivation I need is myself.
This was a huge change for me! I removed about 90% of refined sugar from my diet. I no longer eat candy, cake, cookies, etc. I make sure I have plenty of snacks and eat every 2-3 hours, no matter what. I have 3 servings of fruit, I combine a protein and a complex carb for my snacks, and try to eat my carbs before dinner. I am a bread junkie and need to eat some type of bread, pasta, grain, etc in the evening. Sometimes I have to make a decision as to whether or not I rather eat a high calorie snack or a wholesome "mini-meal". Because I was starting to feel "deprived", I started adding a cheat day, where I eat something I really want, like pizza. I just try not to eat as much!
Advice to Others:
Believe in yourself. Starting something new is never easy and I if you had asked me 12 weeks ago if I thought I could ever even be a finalist, I would have said, "no way!" I am stronger and healthier and it feels so good. It's almost as if your strength and endurance sneak up on you. Listen to your trainer! He was always right and when I stopped and listened to what he was saying, not just listen, but hear what he said, something connected and the change happened. When I started, 6 miles was a marathon for me. Now I do 33+ miles every week! Stick with it and don't give up!
This experience has shown me that while it is difficult, I will always make time for myself. Before I would make excuses "why not." Now I make excuses as to "why I should" and exercising has become as much a part of my life as showering and getting ready for work. I like how I look and feel and I want to always feel like this. I am proud of myself, for once, and I hope that I am able to inspire others.