Starting weight (2/14): 204.8
Current weight (2/28): 200.4
Goal weight: 150-155
Pounds lost: 4.4
These photos are really me. And they aren't "before" pictures, at least not yet. They were taken just a few days ago. Having these photos taken was one of the hardest things I've ever done. Standing there exposed made me confront all of the guilt, embarrassment and shame of what I had become and the fact that I had let myself get this far. It also helped me realize that I'm the only one that brought me here and I'm the only one that can fix it.
My name is Kristy Seeger. I'm a 35-year-old wife, full-time working mother of a 20-month-old daughter and Life Time employee. As a Senior Art Director working on Life Time Weight Loss marketing materials, I knew everything there was to know about the Life Time Weight Loss philosophy and programs. I had also participated in T.E.A.M. Weight Loss and had talked with Cliff Edberg, Chanhassen's Weight Loss Coach and Registered Dietician, about eating healthier. Despite all the information I had, for the longest time I just wasn't ready to change. Cliff's nutrition recommendations sounded nuts. What do you mean no pasta or cereal? Not even the healthy versions? But I CAN eat bacon? That's crazy! I wasn't ready to listen and I figured I was doing OK. I didn't eat that badly, and I'd eventually figure out my weight problem. I certainly wasn't comfortable with the way I looked and felt, but I didn't really think I was in all that bad of a situation. Then I faced two wake up calls.
The first came when I attended a 10K race my friend was doing last summer. I brought my daughter and was prepared to cheer her across the finish line. As she ran past me I choked up. I was crying so hard I was struggling not to drop my daughter. I had run two marathons in 2005 and 2006, when I was at my leanest, and seeing her run past me reminded me of how great I used to feel. It also brought into sharp focus how awful I felt now. I couldn't even jog a mile, much less run any kind of race. A part of me I used to love was lost. Something in me broke that day. I knew I was getting ready to make some real changes.
The second blow came when we did myHealthCheck assessments at my office. I discovered that I was over 40% body fat. That's almost half of me! I knew I was overweight, but that number slapped me across the face. I was officially obese! What had I done to myself?
The last time I had lost weight, back in 2005, I promised myself that I'd never be overweight again. Sure, my pregnancy wasn't easy and I ended up much heavier on the other side, but why hadn't I gotten healthier since then? After seeing that number, remembering who I used to be and the promise I had once made, I knew it was time to change. I was ready to get healthy.
I remembered what Cliff had said about eating for long-term health, and I had read Eat Well, Live Well, so I knew where I needed to start. On January 1st my husband and I cut out processed carbs and sugar. All the pasta, rice, bread, cereal, baked goods, desserts, boxed dinners and frozen lunches were stripped from our kitchen. In their place we put more fresh vegetables, meats, some fruit, cheese, eggs and other things we found that were low in carbohydrates. We did see some success. My husband no longer had acid reflux and we were both more satisfied by our food. Within the first month I had lost about 5 lbs, but almost all of it had been in the first two weeks and I hadn't seen the scale move much since then. Obviously I was missing something.
A few months earlier, I had approached the leadership of Life Time Weight Loss about experiencing our programs in order to better understand the member experience. It was certainly a selfish pursuit, but I also knew that I wasn't unlike many people out there who have gained weight over the years and don't really know what to do to get back to health and stay there. Shortly after cutting out carbs and sugar, the Life Time Weight Loss team and I decided that Private Weight Loss would be the best fit. I agreed to publically document my process in exchange for being given the program. I was excited and terrified. What if I failed? How amazing if I succeed!
The first step was to speak with Cliff, Chanhassen's Weight Loss Coach, and figure out my goal. We decided that 50 pounds would be reasonable. I had already made some big changes and we felt that I was truly ready to make this thing happen. So that brings us back to where I am now and those nasty photos.
I'm in the second week of the 12-week Private Weight Loss program at the Chanhassen Life Time Fitness, and although I still look the same, so many things have changed. These past two weeks have opened up an entirely new way of life for me. I understand so much more about my body and how I was keeping myself from being healthy. I'm learning to eat differently. I'm learning the importance of rest and sleep. I'm learning healthy ways to deal with stress and how exercise positively effects so much more than the amount of fat on my body.
Cliff Edberg, my Weight Loss Coach and Registered Dietician, and Kathleen Wenner, my Personal Trainer (and personal cheerleader), aren't just showing me how to lose weight. They are teaching me a healthy way to live that I feel like I can actually sustain. I've done so many other weight loss programs in the past, and while I have had temporary success, I've never been able to create a permanent lifestyle change. This time I'm ready to hit the breaks, change course and create a new, balanced route for myself. That's the biggest thing I want to get out of this program. Sure, I want to lose weight, like the way I look and proudly stamp "before" on those photos, but I also want to never need to do this again.
Yesterday I signed myself up for a half-marathon in June and I ordered a women's size medium race shirt. I'm not ready for the race or the shirt right now, but I know I'll get there. I know there will be struggles, plateaus and frustrations along the way, but I will cross that finish line. And when I do, that's when I'll know that the person I'm supposed to be has returned.
Kristy works for marketing for Life Time. We all agreed it would be great for Kristy to experience our Private Weight Loss program as a way to understand the experience from a client's point of view. Kristy agreed to be completely open and honest about her successes and struggles. Each week, we’ll post Kristy’s recap here on the LifeTime WeightLoss site. We encourage you to check out her Goggle+ thread where she’s been posting daily about her experience since it began. She even has some great video logs. Click here to follow Kristy's Private Weight Loss journey