"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." - Lao Tzu
My youngest sister, Rachel, is just over 9 years younger than me. She's one of my favorite people in the entire world! Last year, she decided to make a concentrated effort to lose weight and become fit and healthy. Since beginning this journey, she has lost nearly 100 pounds! I'm crazy proud of her, and knew that others would enjoy hearing her story. So, without further adieu... introducing Rachel!
Hi guys. I'm Rachel. I just turned 26 in February, and am the proud mom of a 6 year old little girl and a 2 year old boy. As long as I can remember, I have always been chubby. I was even chubby as a baby. This made me feel like quite the ugly duckling growing up - I have always been so insecure about my appearance.
Until recently, I have always tried to cover up. I literally wore sweaters every single day (even in the summer). As a teenager, I remember being so jealous because all of my friends were wearing stylish, cute jeans while I was stuck with unflattering, elastic waisted pants. I felt like I would never be as pretty as them, and it had a huge impact on my self esteem. I became depressed.
I made several attempts to lose weight through the years. I would lose weight, but I would quit before I saw any real results. My diet was awful and I never exercised. I have a big sweet tooth, so I was always eating fat cakes (like Little Debbies), and would easily go through a 12-pack of soda in a day. My activity level was nonexistent - I would play board games and make crafts, but I never really left the house and never exercised.
I was really sick of feeling like an ugly duckling. My weight made me feel like I was never pretty enough or good enough. I blamed my appearance as the reason for most of my failed relationships (which was an easy thing to do when two ex-boyfriends denied dating me). In June 2013, I decided enough was enough and I started making changes to my diet. I cut all soda from my diet, replacing it with water. The weight began to fall off, and people took notice.
By March 2014, I knew I'd have to start exercising if I wanted to see even more progress. This wasn't easy. As I said before, I felt insecure and didn't like to leave the house so I used my tax return to purchase a Wii Fitness package to help me to work out at home. It was honestly the best motivation for me - it allowed me to start off slow and at a pace I was comfortable with. After just one month, I started to see progress! The picture on the left above was from April 2014. A lot of people could tell how much weight I lost, which motivated me to continue. Eventually, the Wii Fitness program was too slow for me so I started doing my own thing at home, leading me to where I am now. A year later, and I'm down almost 100 pounds!
My kids inspire me to continue. They see me working out and join in. I am so blessed to have so many people cheering me on. Both of my sisters say that I inspired their own fitness journeys, and I'm so proud of that. I know that this is my life now, and I know that I will continue. And for those of you just starting your own fitness journeys? Don't give up. Remember that it takes 4 weeks for you to see your body changing, it takes 8 weeks for your friends and family to see it, and it takes 12 weeks for the rest of the world to notice. Keep going! Consistency is key - it takes 21 days to form a habit, and once that forms, it becomes a lot easier to continue. Best of luck!