Big life changes often follow a moment of clarity that can be startling, liberating or even painful.
For Gina, age 59, her epiphany came while she and her husband were taking a tour of a gym in their new community.
Gina was a recently retired nurse and had become obese over the years, weighing 340 pounds at 5 feet 10 inches tall.
“That was a very tough day,” she recalls now, two years after the gym tour. “I felt like a failure. I’m too smart to have done this to myself, and I did it.”
Big Life Changes
Gina turned that heartache into determination. So far, she’s down about 100 pounds, and she’s determined to get below 200.
She says the demands of her ER job contributed to her weight gain. It then made her final working years even more difficult, particularly on her feet and knees. “Once you get to my size, with pain and arthritis, you don’t feel good working,” she says.
Now she has enrolled in a healthy eating course and stuck with her exercise routine. She even keeps building on it. She walks, takes water aerobics, and spends hours a day at the gym working out with weights. Her husband has joined her, and they’ve started hiking in the nearby hills.
“Now it’s a part of our lives,” she says. “I still have a long way to go, but I feel so good. I feel proud, and I feel like my whole life has changed.”
Recipe For Success
I have had several clients over the years just like Gina. What’s their recipe for success at losing the weight…. and keeping it off for good?
Just like Gina, they took a holistic approach and made changes to several areas of their lives.
Figure out ways to manage stress. This is a bigger deal than many people realize – if for no other reason than cortisol and how it contributes to increased blood sugar and fat gain. Stress eating is also a thing.
Get good sleep, which is often closely related to stress. You can learn more about how poor sleep also contributes to fat gain.
Work on improving eating habits. Approximately 80% of your success with weight loss will come from what and how much you choose to put in your mouth.
Find your support system. In this case, Gina’s husband was supportive and going with her to the gym. If not a partner, then perhaps you have friends or coworkers who would be interested in joining you. Group classes are good places to find support as well, since you’re all there for a similar purpose.
Last but not least is participating in regular physical activity and including some structured exercise, especially strength training.
Be patient and kind to yourself. You didn’t get to be overweight and out of shape in just a few weeks, so it’s going to take some time to reach your goal.
Consider hiring a professional Personal Trainer or Health Coach such as myself, to get you started on the right path. Investing in yourself can save you money in the long run, not to mention help you enjoy a better quality of life.