Angie, a police officer of 17 years, decided on New Year’s Eve 2012 that she was sick of being in a size 22. She knew it was time to set goals and start living healthy. This is her story.
When did your weight gain begin?
I gained 80 pounds with my first child. After having my second, two years later, I realized was very depressed and used food to make me feel better. I “lost weight” in my late 20’s when I decided to be an “on the road” officer, but quickly gained it back plus 40 more pounds. This put me at my all time high of 247 pounds.
What was your breaking point?
There were many things that made me decide it was time to lose weight. At work, being a police officer, I hoped I would never have to chase anyone on foot because there was no way I could have. I had to rock myself out the car most of the time. It’s very dangerous for me to be in such poor physical health.
I was on high blood pressure medication. I was borderline diabetic. My triglycerides were well above normal range. My doctor told me that my liver was “fatty”. My resting heart rate was 100 and it would beat irregular. I always felt like it was racing and I was out of breath.
I was tired of feeling bad. I was embarrassed to go to my children’s sporting events. I was tired of leaving stores in tears. I knew life wasn’t supposed to be this hard.
How did you change?
The first thing I did was clean out my cabinets! We had a treadmill so I started to walk. I knew if I tried to stop all my bad habits at once, I would fail. So I weaned myself off of soda. I stopped buying sweets. I joined several fitness pages on Facebook. I also weighed myself every Monday and kept a journal of the changes. I knew if I could look at the changes every week then I would stay motivated.
Fitness started slowly. I would walk for 20-30 minutes daily. It’s really about the small changes and gradually doing more! Now, I jog or run at least 3 days a week, plus I strength train!
But it isn’t without struggle.
I am a food addict. And every day is a battle. I know that if it’s around me, I will eat it. So I try to avoid places and situations where I know the temptation could be strong. Food is the biggest obstacle I face everyday.
How has your life changed?
I feel great! I’ve lost 95 pounds and my self-esteem has risen. I don’t have to shop in the plus size department anymore. As trivial as that is, it’s exciting. My weight loss also motivated my son and husband to join Anytime Fitness and they’ve both lost over 40 pounds.
I also ran the Warrior Dash. Which if you had told me a year ago, I wouldn’t have believed you. But now I am obsessed with running obstacle/mud races.
I’m no longer worried about my performance as a police officer. I’m confident in my abilities and I feel that my co-workers feel the same which is imperative in our line of work.
What tips or advice do you share with people trying to lose weight?
No matter your age, no matter your financial situation, and no matter what life throws at you, if YOU want to get healthy YOU can do it. It really is about eating healthy and working out, there is no quick fix. I have learned a much healthier way of eating and I love working out.
Just Remember: Take it one day at a time. Don’t overwhelm yourself. Start out small and gradually and you will find the willpower and motivation that you didn’t know you had.