I would like to share with you a story that is a few years in the making, but well worth the wait. As you will read below, Jill and I have spent a lot of time together, going through an entire pregnancy and seeing her kids grow up. What impresses me most about Jill is her intensity in her workouts, and her consistency at showing up. I think one of the biggest takeaways you will discover through her story is the same one I say all the time, it is what you put in your mouth that matters most when looking to lose weight.
Here is her story…
“I was always one of those girls that was “athletic,” but never “skinny.” Even while playing high school sports, I could gain the muscle, but always had that extra layer on to keep me from feeling thin and confident. I look back at pictures from that time and think that I was crazy to ever feel dissatisfied with myself. I would give anything to be that small again.
A lot of negative self-image thoughts along with a demanding college work load led me to gain a few pounds my freshman year. Sophomore year was a few more. By senior year I had put on about 20 pounds, even with working out regularly. It was the emotional eating that did me in.
I went through a lot of self-esteem issues the next several years. Lost a few pounds here and there, but then always put it back on again when I couldn’t handle things emotionally. The story of my life.
I was around 160 pounds when I got pregnant with my first child and gained the average 30-35 pounds. I was pretty happy that I was considered “average” and hadn’t gained more than that because I was actually trying to eat well. But when you step on the scale, pregnant or not, and see it hit the 190s, that is scary. After having my baby in January of 2008, most of the pregnancy weight actually came off fairly well just from delivery, but I still wanted to lose those last 10 pounds and then some.
I had been a member at Supreme for a few years and heard about Dustin’s new MamaTone class. Yes, I’ve been doing this for almost 5 years now! (Can you tell I like the class?) Dustin and I exchanged a few emails, and I started my first class in May of 2008. The first class was humbling to say the least. I was out of breath easily, could feel things jiggling that just shouldn’t be, and I think I peed myself doing ladders. One would think that this would send me screaming for the door, but actually it did just the opposite. It made me want to try; to do this for myself and my daughter, even though I felt guilty knowing my baby was away from me and crying. I knew the other mothers in the class were there for a reason too and that we could all support each other in achieving our goals.
As months passed, I gained muscle, confidence, athleticism, and more weight. What!? How could that be!? Yes, as an emotional, nursing mother I continued to eat like one too. I was eating better so to speak, but I now know that what I thought was “healthy,” just wasn’t really. I spoke with Dustin about it, and he suggested I start food journaling. It was the best thing I ever did, and it worked amazingly. I finally started losing the weight and muscle started showing through. Once I saw what I was eating and how much of it, I could see where I needed to make adjustments and what was working for me.
I continued on with the class because I enjoyed it so much, and by 2010 I was down to 150 pounds. Still not where I wanted to be in the long term, but a stronger, leaner, happier me. I continued to challenge myself during class by lifting heavier weights, boosting the treadmill up, and began more positive thinking. The combination worked wonders.
And then my husband and I decided to have another baby. Here we go again. That time around was a different experience. I ate much healthier, and I still gained 30 pounds, but I did MamaTone up until the day before my second baby was born. The pregnancy weight came off quicker, but those last looming pounds stuck with me through the year. And then there was the holidays.
January 2012 I was back up to 163 pounds and feeling like I’d been stuck in this rut for far too long. With no more excuses and a new year to motivate me, I did the programs Dustin put in place: 30 Days of Awesomeness, did another 30 days on my own, Little Black Dress Project. In 6 months I lost over 30 pounds, 22 inches, and am down to a size 4.
I have learned so much over these past several years through these classes and food challenges: don’t judge yourself or others, think positive thoughts and surround yourself with positive people, never give up hope, challenge yourself with realistic goals, be supportive and others with support you, write down what you eat and you will be amazed at what is going into your body, be a role model for your children, find time for yourself. By sharing what I’ve learned about myself and this process, I hope that someone else out there can relate in some way and to bring them encouragement to turn their life around.
Thank you so much Dustin (and your trainers) for believing in me and giving me the tools to help me help myself. I’m feeling like the real me again. A more confident woman who now knows that being labeled “skinny” isn’t what’s important. To me, it’s about a healthy physical and emotional lifestyle: being strong, fit, eating well, feeling like a good person. The person I always imagined I could be, but just didn’t know how.”