One year ago, I was in Las Vegas sitting pool side at the Treasure Island hotel. Of course, no one could say anything to me regarding my swimsuit. I just knew I looked good. But what I failed to realize, is that I was at my heaviest…260lbs. Not easy to admit at the time. In fact, I had become pretty good at locking away unwanted information in the back of my mind, never to be thought about again. Oh, of course I knew I was not the smallest person there, nor the biggest. But my size 16 pants had begun to show the signs of a losing battle. At that time, my exercise grade was a big fat F. So how did this girl who loved playing sports whittle into a person she barely knew?
I honestly have no answers for that question. I grew up athletic. Playing and traveling for both basketball and tennis. I knew what “blood, sweat, and tears” were. What I failed to realize, is sports was keeping my heavier self at bay. I was still eating the wonderful concoctions my mother makes, never once thinking about my weight. As you now know, by the time I thought about it, it was September of 2008. A few of my girlfriends had begun to lose weight, calling themselves, “Chubby Buddies”. I noticed their results and while proud of my friends, I was disappointed in myself. After speaking with a good friend and hearing how she lost 80lbs at the time, I resolved myself to another challenge that has long waited to be overcome.
I began to run/walk at Seward Park. I would time my running by the songs I was listening to. I knew I could run to the end of the first verse, so next time I would try until the bridge. I felt myself building stamina and endurance, but the numbers on the scale barely changed. In Seattle, it gets cold and dark quickly, so following work, working out was becoming a dangerous ordeal. At the time, 24 Hour Fitness was running a deal, and I joined. I had a gym membership in college, to the university and to a gym similar to 24. I took the classes then, mainly Step and a weights class. I began taking the classes, venturing to other facilities that were not so near to my house. I remember building friendships with the other people that consistently went to class and one day, a young lady invited me to attend a Saturday step class. She mentioned that I would love the instructor and the high impact of the class. I went and let’s say the rest is history!
Not only did I like the instructor, but I grew to love her! Sounds corny, but I feel as if Marisa has shined a light on tools I already possessed, but never tapped into. She is an amazing person, always willing to go above and beyond to help someone. Her compassion for healthy bodies and lifestyles is remarkable and definitely commendable. Attendance at Saturday morning’s, “Breakfast Club” (although it has nothing to do with food) turned into Monday’s, Tuesday’s, and Wednesday’s Happy Hour (again, sadly…nothing to do with food or alcohol). Marisa sent an email out about a bootcamp class at 5:30am that she was teaching. She offered two free sessions. Little did I know the second session was a “testing day” which included running a mile and various calisthenics for a minute. I loathe running! I just knew I would not be able to run the mile straight out and it would take 15 minutes to finish. Marisa stayed with me, running beside me the whole time. Simply being the inspiration I needed to finish. I was sold! I signed up for the next bootcamp, eventually bringing my mother in also, and haven’t looked back since!
That was 9 months ago. I am currently 210lbs (thanks to a few not so great decisions during a vacation…gained 5lbs) and safely fitting into a size 10. My weight loss has been a slow progressive decline with a few hills and valleys. My goal is 180lbs and a comfortable size 8. I previously worked for Nordstrom as a Personal Shopper, and although at the time, I couldn’t possible even squeeze my calf into the designer jeans (Rock and Republic, 7 for All Mankind, and Joe’s Jeans), my goal is to purchase a pair. I haven’t tried on a pair in months, and kind of would like to keep it that way. I would like to reach my numerical goal, and then purchase a pair of the jeans. Knowing that I have the tools in my possession that can alter my body shape and definition is a powerful feeling. I didn’t realize I had them until a few months ago.
I learned that not only is exercise a fraction of weight loss, but the biggest change has to be your eating habits. I now equate bad food decisions with not wanting to waste my hard workout. I know if I eat the cookie dough (for example…Im confessing here), I will be inhibiting my body from fully taking advantage of the previous workout. Thinking of my vice that way, makes it easier to say no, or have a much smaller portion. Who knows where I would be if I had not been invited to Saturday morning’s “Breakfast Club” and introduced to such a wonderful, inspiring, all-around fantastic person like Marisa. Actually, I know where I would be: still struggling, with a snail’s pace improvement; not tapping into my inward and the surrounding resources available. To her, I say, “Thank you!!!” but a thousand thank yous, couldn’t possibly express to her how I feel. I am blessed to call her my trainer/instructor, but also to call her my friend.
-Ce’Nedra Martin Sept. 2009