Grab your coffee… sit a spell… put your feet up… and let me tell you a little story about a woman who is gathering her life around her and embracing the gift of learning to take care of herself.
Yep! That’s me and my honey on our wedding day. Cute, aren’t we? We were cute and clueless about life, marriage, and what the blending of our families would bring across our path as a married couple.
Life happened. Babies happened. My parent’s divorce happened. My dad’s alcoholism happened. Career changes, financial difficulties….it all happened.
Fast forward to late summer/early fall of 2008…
All those years of “happenings” had taken their toll on my body, my self image, and my emotions. Stress was revealing itself in my out -of -control weight gain. My small-boned, 5′ 1″ frame was carrying 181 lbs and I was careening wildly towards 200 lbs.
The day came when I had to face the reality that I was self-destructing with food.
I had to sit down and have a heart to heart chat with myself…
“Jeralyn …why are you abusing yourself with food?”
“Why are you compromising your future quality of life?”
“Are you willing to do the hard work of getting healthy and learn to take care of yourself?”
Enter into my life…two good friends (workout buddies) and one awesome trainer.
I needed help. It was humbling and embarrassing to admit.
Mr. Trainer (more about him later)….helped me whittle 40 lbs of my 50 lb weight loss goal off of my body.
And then, 10 lbs away from my goal, I self-sabotaged.
Life continued to happen.
Medical complications required me to become a full-time caregiver for my dad.
Financial challenges found me taking on a full time position in an orange box store.
My exercise routine fell by the wayside, my eating habits succumbed to unhealthy fast food, frozen meals for work lunches, and I’ve never met a potato chip I didn’t fall in love with.
I bet you’ve guessed what happened to my weight. I packed on 30 of the 40 lbs I had originally lost.
After my dad’s death in March of 2015 I signed up at a local gym. It was time to concentrate on myself and discover a new way of life.
September 14, 2015 found me in our local ER, at the side of my husband, who had been involved in a motorcycle accident. I came out of caregiver retirement and we began his journey of recovery.
There I was, January 2016, at a crossroads once again. My weight was affecting my joints, my muscle strength was waning, and I wasn’t getting any younger! I scraped up some courage and began to put into practice the eating principles I had learned from Mr. Trainer in 2008 and using the gym membership I had purchased months before.
I had 40 lbs to lose with a target date of June 11, 2017…my 60th birthday. My gift to myself and my family would be a strong, healthy woman.
I incorporated every area of my life into the journey…physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. This transformation, to be complete, was going to have to involve all of me….my whole person.
This book became my close companion.
I knew I was again going to need help. Who was I going to call? Well of course, I was going to call Mr. Trainer…the Fat-Buster!
(Do you hear the Ghost Buster theme in your head right now?)
Mr. Trainer…(a.k.a. Matt Hartsky), had since moved to another state and was offering on-line coaching. In April of 2016 I messaged him with my SOS for help. I started a 12 week program complete with nutritional counseling. At the beginning of each month he would send me a 30 day schedule of daily work-out routines. Not one of them was the same. Every day there was a new challenge, a new exercise to master. Each Monday morning I weighed in, messaged Matt with the numbers and how the previous week had gone. He coached me, made dietary changes as needed, and doled out lots of encouragement.
In September of 2016 my supportive hubby and I began traveling to Cheyenne twice a month to Matt’s gym for one on one sessions. During one of those sessions, as I was flailing about trying to execute a variation of a plank exercise, and getting frustrated….Matt said this, “even when you are FIGHTING FOR BALANCE to hold a position, you are getting stronger.” Those words were an anchor for me! Perfect execution wasn’t the goal…fighting for balance was the goal…. because some days I do a lot of flailing.
Here’s my true confession of where I am currently…
Just yesterday I fell off the wagon, so to speak. (And yes, Mr. Trainer will be reading this post). I woke up this morning with a sugar headache and a carb induced brain fog. I DID NOT like how my body felt. I didn’t waste time or emotion wallowing in guilt and self-pity. I picked up a journal and a pen and figured out what happened, why, and what I would do differently next time.
As I prepared to write this post, I asked Matt what the biggest obstacle is for his clients to sustain their weight loss journey. Here are his words….