365 Days of Fitness
On January 1st, 2014, I started a personal challenge to work out at my Anytime Fitness every day in 2014. I had to work my training around work, relationships, injuries, illness, and day-to-day life. Even if we were out of town, I worked out before we left or I rushed back to get my workout done before midnight. I even started a Facebook page where I inspire thousands of people on their own journey.
I’m proud to say that I achieved my goal! It was such an amazing feeling that I cried for a long time after leaving the gym. It truly was the hardest thing that I’ve ever done, but it taught me how strong I really am. It made me feel unstoppable.
In the Beginning…
I began dieting at the age of 10 years old and struggled with developing healthy eating habits. I learned to view food as either good or bad. When I was on a “diet”, all non-diet food was completely off limits. I felt that if I strayed from my diet for even one meal, that my diet was ruined and I would quit, eventually gaining back every pound that I lost.
I spent 30 years of my life thinking that if I could just lose weight, then my life could begin. I’d make the cheerleading squad. I could take that vacation. I would meet the man of my dreams, and so on. I never felt like I could truly enjoy my life because I was fat. I let it be my excuse for not living!
In 2012, after hearing the devastating news from my doctor that my cholesterol was so bad that if I didn’t change my ways, I was going to have a heart attack within the next 10 years. I realized that not only was I not living, but I was close to dying!
Even after that news, I still didn’t immediately change my ways. I went on eating whatever I wanted but now, each time I did, I was afraid that each meal would be my last.
A couple of months later, I learned a friend was using the Weight Watchers program and was having success with it. I told my best friend that I wanted to give it a try and the next morning, we walked through the door at our first Weight Watchers meeting and never looked back.
First Time for Everything
For the first time in my life, I discovered how to create a healthy and balanced meal and I was surprised to discover that I didn’t have to give up all of my favorite foods, I just had to learn portion control.
I can still occasionally splurge, attend celebrations and go to restaurants because I learned how to choose something healthy no matter where I am. That, combined with a new love for the gym and constant support from my best friend, created a recipe for SUCCESS!
150 Pounds Down
In the past two and a half years, I have worked my booty off, literally. I have lost 150 pounds and 150 inches and I can now squeeze into a pair of size 12 jeans. But my journey is far from over. I am currently working towards reaching my final goal weight of 150 pounds of rock solid muscle!
When I was 365 pounds…
- I couldn’t lift my own body weight out of the bathtub so I always had to take showers.
- At restaurants, I had to request a table because I couldn’t fit into a booth.
- I stopped going to concerts because my hips no longer fit through the turnstiles
- Movie theater seats bruised my hips when I sat.
All of those issues are now 100% GONE!
Everyone wants to know what my goals are for 2015 and I tell them this, “To do EVERYTHING that I stopped doing when I got too big, like attend concerts, fly on a plane, take a vacation, ride a bicycle and thoroughly enjoy my new life! My boyfriend tells me that I now have a million different smiles (and he’s right) because I have soooo much to smile about!
Dani’s Tips + Tricks
- Breakfast: Banana, Yogurt, Skim Milk
- Lunch: Ham Wrap with Veggies, Eggs Beaters Omelete with Veggies or Tuna Fish & Pretzels
- Dinner: Grilled Chicken, Grilled Turkey, 1/2 Cup Mashed Potatoes or Stuffing and Veggies, always lots of Veggies!
- Snacks: Pickles, String Cheese, Weight Watchers Snacks and Fruit
- Favorite Newly Discovered Veggie: Rutabaga
Favorite Workout (beginner): Whatever I could handle, which was usually about 15 minutes on the treadmill, 15 minutes on the recumbent bike and 5 minutes on the rowing machine.
Favorite Workout (now): My current workouts include 5 miles of cardio combined with strength training.
Favorite Quote: “I’m afraid that I might fail. Oh, my darling, but what if you FLY!”