My name is Amy. I am a fortysomething mother of three.
I spent my whole life always feeling a little overweight. It wasn’t actually true until my late twenties, after marriage and pregnancies and stay at home motherhood changed my level of activity. By my thirty fifth birthday, I was tipping the scales just slightly above the BMI for obese.
In 2007, I joined Weight Watchers with a girlfriend. Over the course of the year I shed 35 pounds and felt fantastic. The day I hit goal, though, I stopped being so careful. Traded in my Weight Watchers meetings for a gym membership and thought I could handle it all on my own.
Five pounds at a time, I gained nearly all of the weight I had lost back. By 2010 I had resigned myself to just being a fat woman, that it was just who I was, and I secretly made fun of all the people who worked hard to maintain their weight at a healthy level.
But by 2011 I found myself angry. Angry all of the time. Angry at myself, mostly, for having let myself go so badly. I had officially gained every bit back of the weight I’d worked so hard to lose four years prior.
But one day that year, I saw a friend post on Facebook about the Couch to 5K program. She was following it, and she was even heavier than I was. And I thought to myself, if that girl is doing this, then I have to at least try. I started the program on my basement treadmill, running one minute at a time, gasping for air, too embarrassed to even run outside.
Nine weeks later, I had lost eight pounds and was running my first 5K.
Since then I’ve continued to run, increasing distance slowly over time to 10K and even a half marathon. I’m not a fast runner. But I’ve learned that a mile is a mile no matter how fast you run it. For me, it is about competing with myself and no one else. I’ve also started bootcamp fitness classes. They are hard, but I have learned that success isn’t finding something easy. It’s completing something you never thought you could do.
I feel healthier than I have in a long time. I have lost some weight, but am still considered overweight. I’d still like to lose weight and make better choices. It’s a definitely work in progress. Still, I’m in a better place than I was several years ago, and hope to be in a better place yet as time marches on.
So overall, I am mostly moving forward.