I’ve probably written this blog in my head a hundred times.
What I would say. How I’d say it. But I was too embarrassed to share it.
So, I’m going to blurt it out — “I gained nearly 50 pounds in a year.”
I recently had a life-altering moment — perhaps you know the kind. That one time that something happened that you still can not think about without cringing or wanting to cry. I’m going out on a limb today and plan to share mine.
A few months back, my family went on a road trip to California. It was great — sand between my toes, warm sun on my skin and coconut-scented sunscreen wafting through the air. But before my toes touched the sand my younger sister had made a comment back at the hotel that crushed me.
“You’re not going to wear that are you?”
She was referring to a strapless maxi dress I had bought earlier that day.
“Yes,” I said. “Why … what’s wrong?”
“Nothing … Don’t you think you’re showing too much?” She pointed to my midsection.
Over the year, I had gained more than a few pounds — thanks to family stress, a career change, an over-indulgent appetite and almost no exercise — and hadn’t weighed myself in months. In fact, I had stop tracking what I shoved into my mouth altogether.
(It’s a no-brainer. If you don’t eat right and exercise, your waistline will expand.)
I nearly weighed as much as a football linebacker. Not really, but it sure felt like it.
I could feel tears welling up at the corner of my eyes.
“Jos, it’s not a big deal,” my other sister insisted. “You have two options: fix it or don’t. Either way you have to keep living.”
Two days after we had returned to Omaha I read “Omaha woman, 56, aims to be ‘fittest in world’” about Fit Farm‘s Patty Failla — and was inspired. The 56-year-old will compete at the annual Reebok CrossFit Games held in California this summer. She is currently ranked 9th in the world and is the only Nebraska woman from her division to qualify.
After reading about Patty, I called Fit Farm to explain my situation (belly bulge, sedentary lifestyle, needing a fire lit under me) and set an appointment to meet a CrossFit trainer the very next day. He took my measurements, schooled me on the Paleo diet and clean eating.
On the first day of CrossFit class, I was nervous. The kind of nervous that makes you feel like the world can hear your heartbeat.
“Just tell me where the trash can is so I know where to aim if I feel sick,” I said to the trainer. He laughed. But I wasn’t joking.
“It’ll be fine,” a woman said. It was Patty. She was in the same class as me. I didn’t know her, but I felt as though I did. She was so helpful and humble.
I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. But Patty pulled me aside and showed me the difference between a push press and a dead lift. She spotted me as I lifted a measly 65 pounds overhead. By the end of the workout I was in so much pain I could barely walk back to my car.
The only way it’s going to get better, I told myself, is if I go again tomorrow. So I did.
It’s been four weeks, and I’m 11 pounds lighter.
I have a long road ahead of me, but it’s comforting knowing that I have one of the fittest in the world at my side.
Thank you, Patty.
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