Did you know I had two interns helping me with the BetterU Challenge this year? One of them, Jodie, has her own personal story of transformation. She never really talked about her own struggles with the challengers but you could tell she knew first hand of the struggles of fat loss and learning how to get eat better. Here is her story, in her own words. – Pamela
I don’t remember what kicked off my initial drive to lose the weight. I just remember wanting better for myself. After leaving the service, I struggled with a dramatic weight gain. I went from being 135lbs to 165lbs. Then, 165lbs became 187lbs. Finally at my yearly physical I topped out at my “all time” high of 225lbs. I was shocked!! How could I have let this happen?? I was only 27 years old (at the time) and barely able to climb a couple of steps without struggling to catch my breath. All through school I played sports, ran track. In the military I was an excellent runner and kept myself fit. I had no excuses. I had gotten lazy and that was the bottom line. I knew that I had the ability to lose the weight.
I was tired of being out of shape and feeling trapped in my own body. It’s a horrible feeling to be uncomfortable in your own skin so I decided to make a change. I joined a gym and I began to take daily classes, mainly cardio then later adding strength, resistance and core. I reduced my calorie intake and slowly I transformed myself into the person I wanted to be. I took back my LIFE and my HEALTH.
It wasn’t easy but nothing worth having comes easy. It was hard work to lose the weight I had so easily gained. With the loss of the weight came the loss and support of certain friends/family. People doubted me and questioned my ability to lose the weight. I was accused of doing drugs and I was accused of starving myself. People told me that I would never keep the weight off and “reassured” me that I would gain it back. But I prevailed!! And with every painful emotional blow, I took a step closer to a goal. I worked physically and emotionally harder. I pushed myself to be better, to do more. I poured myself into fitness, and into a more positive and healthier lifestyle. With a healthier lifestyle came healthier relationships and support systems. People began to see a new light and energy in me. This transformation made me want to inspire others and pursue a career as a personal trainer. I thought to myself, “If I can do this, then I can help others do it to! I have the motivation, drive and passion!! I want to do this!”
Every step I have taken since then, no matter how challenging, has only re-affirmed to me that I am going in the right direction. I started attending college last May, to obtain my Associates Degree. I will graduate in January, and I plan on being an ACE Certified Personal Trainer by November. Fortunately, I have had the wonderful opportunity to work under Pamela Hernandez and Thrive Personal Fitness as an intern/extern. And through my experience with Pamela, I have learned more about healthier eating, client relationships and functional movement. I have learned so much, and I have been challenged in many new ways. I will miss working with Pamela, her clients and the BetterU Challenge team.
I truly feel like this is what I was meant to do. I hope that my story can inspire others, and help them to realize that they are never trapped.