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Before, I wouldn't think twice about drinking two sodas or going to multiple drive-thrus each day. I didn't think it affected me at all.
I didn't have any control over my nutrition, and I was also really afraid of hard work, so I gave up anytime I started exercising.
I'd known for a while I needed to lose weight. I had every good intention when I thought about it. It was just a matter of deciding I was going to do it.
When I realized my high school graduation was about five months away, I decided I wanted to lose some weight. I didn't choose an amount to lose; I just knew I would be excited about ‘some.’
There were some physical challenges along the way, such as forcing myself to get up for the 6am BodyPump® class I attended regularly. But there was more of an emotional challenge:
My body kept changing from what I'd known for many years, into something I had dreamt of but never thought I could achieve.
I had to really convince myself that (1) it was really me that I saw when I looked in the mirror and it is the same me, and (2) it was okay. It took a lot of getting used to the way I looked and embracing the change. I had to relearn how to be comfortable in my own skin.
Through BodyPump, I made a lot of great friends, and it was really the friendships that helped keep me going every day. At first, it was exhausting, but as time went on, it became more of a lifestyle and exercise was just a regular part of my everyday life.
I've lost 60 pounds since January 2015, and I'm not gonna lie—it’s boosted my confidence. Not just in the physical aspect, but in everything, like school and work. Daily, I learn I can do more things that I didn't think I would ever do, and I feel comfortable being myself.
I used to try and change myself into what others wanted me to be. But now I have changed myself to what I want to be, and I'm more happy and content with this version of me than any other version of me I’ve tried to create.
My advice to others is don’t be afraid of the challenges. You are worth it. Accept where you are now and know that today, you can make a small change. And every day that you make that small change, it is leading to something greater than you could ever imagine you would accomplish.