January 1, 2007: I was a sad woman who weighed over 300 pounds, thought negatively about diet and exercise and had horrible self-esteem. Luckily, a woman at work sent an email to everyone asking if others may be interested in joining a weight loss group called Prism. I reluctantly went to the meeting and agreed to give it a try. The program stresses the importance of portions, no refined sugars, no refined flours, writing down all calories consumed, journaling plus exercise...all the things I hated in life! I gave it a try anyway, as I wouldn't want anyone to think that I was a quitter!
February 2007: I am starting to lose weight and have gained support and friendship with my fellow Prism members. It is much easier to do things with help (thanks Pam!).
March 2007: I didn't really start doing any exercise until March and it was walking during my breaks at work plus an occasional morning jaunt on my treadmill.
April 2007: My Prism group and I signed up for the Susan G Komen Breast Cancer walk and we easily completed the one-mile walk in April (this doesn't sound like much, however a few months earlier I could barely walk up my stairs without being totally winded). I continued to walk occasionally and started parking my car further away from door entrances in order to get a few more steps in. The pounds were dropping off. Yippy!
September 2007: My dear friend and co-worker, Christie, started telling our office about the wonderful "addiction" she had to Jazzercise. I thought, "Oh sure! whatever!! I can't do that." Everyone will look at me...forget it.
October 2007: After the hundredth time of hearing about Jazzercise from Christie...I asked my friend Tasha if she'd like to give it a try. We decided to go to the Valley location. I thought I was going to DIE!! Oh my gosh, I made it through the aerobic portion and then they wanted me to actually get on the floor and do crunches...are they crazy?...and then I had to stand back up - no way!! Ultimately I hung in there and kept pushing myself to go back even though most days I didn't want to.
November 2007: Christie found out that I had started Jazzercise so she invited me to join her on a Saturday morning class at Carol's facility on Monroe and I reluctantly said yes. I showed up early and was the first to arrive for class, except for a tall, beautiful, physically fit, blonde woman who had the most enthusiastic and welcoming smile that I'd ever seen in my life. "Hi, my name is Carol! How are you today?" My life had changed...Jazzercise is a fabulous thing but having each and every Instructor be warm, friendly, non-judgmental and truly enthusiastic about helping others has touched my heart and impacted my life.
December 2007: Around the first part of December, I began going regularly to Carol's facility. I found that not only the instructors where helpful but the other people in the classes were open and accepting of me. They would look me in the eye and give a warm hello even though they had no clue who I was or where I had come from...what a wonderful thing to experience! I had found a community of powerful women that all had the same goal.
January 2008: Look at me go! I rearranged my work and home schedule so that I can put myself and my needs first; which include Jazzercise 4 to 5 times a week. I can get through routines easier and I am becoming stronger and stronger. I think about Jazzercise all the time and when I'm having a bad day I know that I can make it through it because I can burn off some steam after work. My husband made a comment that my mood is much better when I arrive home because I have left my stressful day at Jazzercise.
February 2008: I joined Personal Touch even though I didn't think that I was ready for it. I kept thinking that maybe I should wait another month or two until my stamina builds up more..."nah, I'm just going to sign up before I back out." I talked to Carol about doing it and she reassured me that they will work with me at my own level. My first class was instructed by Julie. We had a fun bunch of participants and again, I thought I was going to DIE!! Julie had us using bands in all kinds of strange ways plus walking across the floor doing lunges with weights...are you kidding? Well, the month has flown by and I've enjoyed getting to know Julie, Carol and Connie a bit better and I can't believe how strong I am!... in only a month! My flabby abs are beginning to take shape with muscle and my legs and arms are toning up very nicely, my pants are getting looser in the waist, hip, and leg areas...it's truly amazing! My endurance level has escalated and I can get through my aerobic classes much easier and I'm able to complete them at a higher intensity level. My posture is better and I even have found myself doing crunches for fun while laying on the floor playing with my dogs. I have added regular stretching to my work day (thanks Carol) too, which really helps me after hours of sitting at my computer.
February 26, 2008: My friend, Christie, who started this whole Jazzercise madness for me is signing up for Personal Touch because of the enthusiasm that I've had towards it...enthusiasm: the gift that keeps on giving.
February 28, 2008: To make a very long story short: I ended up losing 89.3 pounds during 2007, however since November of last year I have gotten healthy. Just losing weight doesn't make one healthy. Jazzercise and Personal Touch have touched my life and I will never be same. I have thrown out my scale, watch what I eat (but don't diet because diets don't work forever) and have made Jazzercise a regular part of my life. I am concentrating on toning and strengthening my body and I will ultimately get down to a smaller size, but it may take me a while...Rome wasn't built in a day!
I want to personally thank Carol, Julie, Robin and Connie for all of the support, kind words, and yes, ENTHUSIASM! You are all role models to me and even though I barely know you, you have all touched my life forever and I love you for that.
Here's to LIFE - HEALTH - HAPPINESS - and of course, ENTHUSIASM!