On July 1st last year, my husband and I had to go get a health screening done for his insurance. I was pretty nervous for the appointment. I’m terrified of doctors and needles. But I think subconsciously I was just terrified what the results would show. And they ended up confirming what I was already pretty sure about.
I was overweight. No, not dangerously overweight. I wasn’t obese, but my body mass index was up there. And seeing what that number was confirmed what I already knew—I didn’t like my body.
I haven’t been too vocal about my weight loss journey because I haven’t wanted people to get the wrong idea. Let me say this: every body is beautiful. You are beautiful, just the way you are. No matter what size clothes you wear or what the number on the scale says, you are beautiful. I was beautiful, even at that weight. But I wasn’t happy with myself. I knew I could do better.
And so my husband and I set out together on a fitness journey, and we’re never turning back.
Our journey started with one very simple thing—we downloaded the app “My Fitness Pal” by Under Armour. This app has literally changed our lives. We use the free version of the app, which allows you to track every thing you eat. You can scan food packages, enter the portions you eat, and set your calorie goals. This app makes it so simple to lose weight, because it lets you plan out your food for the day so that you only eat what you need in order to have a calorie deficit. Five hundred less calories a day equals 3500 for the week, or one pound lost.
Now of course it takes a lot of strength and commitment to follow this meal plan. There have been days when I still eat emotionally and go way over my calorie goal, and days when I eat out and (though many restaurant menus are available in the app) I haven’t kept track at all. It’s also been really hard for us to learn to make better choices with what food we’re eating. The first things to go were sodas and sweets. But once you get into the routine, and when you mess up sometimes and see how bad your body feels after eating food that’s not good for it, it becomes pretty easy to stick to it.
The other simple thing we did on our fitness journey was to join Planet Fitness. This gym was the simple choice because of the cost. It’s only $10 a month, and it is so worth it. My husband works out more than I do because I am restricted from asthma and bad knees, but I still go a couple times a week to do a walk on the treadmill. I really love Planet Fitness because of the attitude and atmosphere they promote. They want to provide a positive, comfortable, and judgment-free environment in which people can develop an active lifestyle, and that is exactly the kind of gym my husband and I needed.
It’s been about 8 months since we began our fitness journey, and the results speak for themselves. Both of us have lost just under 40 pounds, getting back to healthier body mass indexes, and we’ve learned to control our portions and eat a lot healthier. We didn’t like something and we chose to change it. We’re happier now and we’re not turning back.
Getting healthier has also affected my writing life because I feel better and have more energy. It is so important to be active when you have a job that requires you to sit at a computer for hours.
There are so many ways to go on a fitness journey and try to lose weight. I just wanted to share what has worked for me. Counting calories and doing what I was physically able to to work out were small, simple changes, but they’ve made all the difference.