“I have struggled with my weight since puberty. When I was younger I was able to keep it in check by being very careful about what I ate, but after age 40 I felt I had lost control of the situation. The more I gained, the more depressed I became, the harder it became to care. I tried Jenny Craig. I tried Weight Watchers. I lived on a modified WW points system for years. Eventually I just gave up. My mother became very ill. I spent a lot of time assisting my father in her elder care, and fell into their rhythms of getting up late, lots of napping, not bothering to dress, eating for comfort and entertainment. When she died in January of 2014 I stopped moving altogether. I spent most of the next year in a sedentary haze. I knew I didn’t want to end up with my mother’s health problems – diabetes, gout, back trouble, grossly overweight, confined to a wheelchair – but I just couldn’t seem to care. I had truly given up.
At 60 years old I slowly began to realize that giving up, giving in, was not an option. When you say those words “I give up” you think it will freeze you in time, at the weight and energy level you are stuck at, but in fact it keeps escalating. You have to fight just to stay in the same place. You have to fight even harder to make improvements. I started toying with the idea of going to a personal trainer. Obviously, I was incapable of getting it done on my own. But, I thought, that’s so decadent, that’s so expensive, so impractical. So humiliating. Still, what I had been doing for years was not working. I mentioned it to my daughter, who was very encouraging. “You should do it, Mom!” So I decided I would do it. After the holidays. Later.
I’m not sure I really believed that I could make myself take the plunge, but January came around, I felt that I had made a commitment to myself, and to my daughter, so I started reading about personal trainers in Sacramento, looking for someone who was also a nutritionist. I selected two businesses, which both turned out to be in my neighborhood! I drove by them first. One was always closed, but I took a flier. The other was Inspired Wellness. I drove past it a few times over the next week. And then one day I parked, walked in the door, and introduced myself to Christina. I asked her to explain the program to me. I asked if she herself would be my trainer. I told her that I wanted to lose 50 lbs, to increase my mobility and energy levels, to improve my chronic acid reflux, sleep apnea, and piriformis syndrome sciatica. I liked her. I’d come this far. I said “Let’s do it.”
I signed up for six months of sessions, three times a week. My husband and my dog would walk me to the studio, about a 15-minute walk. That alone would have seemed like a lot of exercise to me before I joined the Inspired Wellness program. My husband came back in the car to pick me up afterwards, because I couldn’t possibly have walked home after the workouts with Christina. During the first couple of months there were several occasions when I got into the car and wept from exhaustion (I only wept once during the workout.) But I felt better. Almost immediately. My energy level increased. I had been on strong prescription Zantac for severe acid reflux for years. I have not needed it since the first week of training. My breathing improved. My snoring decreased. I felt energetic. I felt hopeful.
Christina also put me on a 30 day cleanse, around the second week of training. I already knew that alcohol and dairy products were a problem for me, but SO hard to give up. Life without cheese? Is that really living? The cleanse eliminated those items, plus all grains, legumes, caffeine and pork. Low sugar allotments, which I was used to from years of WW, and low carb allotments, which was a hardship. I was allowed grass fed beef, butter from grass fed cows, pasture raised chickens and their eggs. Butter. I hadn’t allowed myself butter in years. And avocados! And raw nuts! So there were some treats, along with the deprivations. Around day 5 I got the migraine of all migraines. I think it was the caffeine withdrawal. After that I felt GREAT! At the end of the month I added back into my diet moderate amounts of grain, beans, and alcohol. I stayed off the caffeine.
I am now 61 years old. I have recently re-upped for six more months with Christina, at twice a week, rather than three times a week. I supplement with walking, which I now ENJOY and I intend to try Pilates once a week on the day I have gained. I have lost 45 lbs and feel better than I have in years. I am probably in the best shape of my life. My self-esteem has improved tremendously. I have gone from a 2XL to a 12/14. I still dread going for my workout, but I don’t cry anymore. I am grateful to Christina and proud of myself. I am looking forward to the rest of my life.”