You know that David Bowie song, Changes? “Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes…turn and face the strain….”
Yeah, so I think of that song when I am asked about life and change (if you are younger, you may need to google the song and who David Bowie is).
The funny thing about that is that the song really doesn’t have a lot of correlation to my life; or does it?
As with any story, there’s always a few points where the teller can begin, but just one that is truly the defining one.
For me, that would be in 2008. If you’ve read my weight-loss story on my blog, than you likely know that I was an overweight and unhealthy chick for way too long. Sure, I wasn’t too bad as a younger kid, but that was when I was forced to play outside until the street lights came on. That kind of activity really is the best for a growing adolescent, but sadly, these days that’s no longer the norm.
By the time I hit middle school, I was still playing outside, but the junk food was beginning to catch up to me and my expanding waistline. There’s nothing like being made fun of as a pre-teen, it stinks big time. Especially when it’s about your weight.
Somehow, I survived those middle school years and made it into high school.
I was still a chubby kid, now a teen, and I did my best to distract myself from my weight and got involved in school activities like the newspaper and yearbook. I was never satisfied with my weight during those teen years, it was such a problem for me that I avoided going to homecoming or prom because I was just not happy in my own body.
Fast-forward to college and again, I immersed myself in studies and journalistic things. Despite trying numerous times with this diet or that crash diet, nothing ever actually stuck for me. It wasn’t until October 2008 that things all changed for me.
I’ve been a fan of The Biggest Loser since 2005 and while I yearned to be like the contestants on the show and drop the weight, again it didn’t stick. The problem was, I had yet to have a “life-changing” moment.
Everyone needs SOMETHING to push them to change I think. Especially when it comes to your health and fitness.
After seeing myself in some candid pictures my father took of me in late 2008 I was in a completely different mindset. It was as if something clicked in my brain and I was ready. I was finally ready for CHANGE.
That’s not to say it suddenly became easy and all the stars aligned for me at that moment, because that just isn’t realistic.
No, it was a rough and rocky road to get to that finish line. Not only is it a struggle to keep yourself motivated and inspired to workout and eat right day in and day out, but I lost my job a month after beginning my weight loss journey.
So, in the midst of working on the “new me” I had to leave the life I was just starting to get used to in North Carolina and move back home with my parents in Florida.
Despite the struggles I went through, I believe that anything worth doing takes hard work and dedication.
So yeah, I had some tough days while I was unemployed and feeling lost as to where my future was leading, but I made it through. With the help of amazing folks online, The Biggest Loser (especially the workout DVDs), and determination, I did it.
I lost the weight and forever changed my life. That moment of seeing those photos on my computer screen back in 2008 was life changing. I feel as though my weight-loss journey was like being reborn.
No longer was I an unhealthy junk food lover, with a possible future of diabetes and heart disease ahead of me; now I was looking at myself in a new and renewed way. And, I could have never imagined that moment would lead me to where I am today.
I feel blessed to have gone through that experience and truly found the new me. I see so much more possibility and opportunities ahead of me because of those picture of the old me. Whoever thought that I would be a runner, let alone a two-time marathoner? The things you can achieve in life are far reaching if you just believe in yourself and allow inspiration and motivation to enter your life.
Shannon is a blogger at girlsgotsole.com where she chats about running, fitness, photography and more. She lives in Orlando, FL with her two awesome pet birds. You can also find her on twitter (@GirlsGotSole), facebook and instagram (@GirlsGotSole).