I’ve seen a lot of transformations and there are some absolutely spectacular people that have truly touching and riveting stories. Stories and backgrounds that I cannot fathom, but that attest to incredible strength and elicit so much inspiration.
I’m not one of those people. My story is nothing more than average. I had a good childhood. I was an average weight growing up. I’ve never suffered a debilitating injury. I’ve never had any great barriers, struggles, or obstacles to overcome.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with being average. In fact, maybe there’s even beauty in being average. I’m relatable to the masses. There’s nothing inherently special about my story or what I’ve done. It’s simply a matter of commitment and work.
So, when did my weight gain start? The real answer — in the most average way possible. I got pregnant and had my first son. I didn’t even gain a tremendous amount of weight with my first pregnancy. There were a ton of complications and he was actually born eight weeks early, so my total weight gain was only about 20 pounds. Then — like a truly insane person — when he was not even four months old, I got pregnant again! Enter son #2!
A little weight gain and a whole lot of chaos! I was now a mom of two babies, working full-time with a husband who traveled for work and was gone often. A couple stressful and crazy years passed. I slowly gained weight all the while, and we soon added baby #3. That’s three babies in four years. That alone will do a number on your body!
Add in virtually no exercise and a poor diet, and there you go. I was around 175-180 pounds – likely more, but I avoided the scale. That’s technically obese on my short frame!
When my daughter was about eight months old, I got tired of hating the way I looked and felt. I was truly affected by my lack of confidence, and I decided it was time to lady up and do something about it.
So, I did that super basic thing and started a well-known HIIT program and started tracking and eating a mere 1,200 calories a day!
When I started, I took a “Before” picture. I felt so much shame looking at it. With the program, I lost about 25 pounds in two months, and despite going about it in all the wrong ways, it was a great kick-start for weight loss.
I did various forms of HIIT/cardio and maintained my ridiculously low-calorie diet over the next few years and maintained that loss, and very slowly lost a bit more. I even, on occasion, threw in a lifting session.
In early 2017, I decided that I wanted some actual muscle definition rather than just being “skinny fat.” I started lifting consistently and found Jim Stoppani not too long after. I did several of his workouts here and there using the BodySpace app, and I ultimately joined the JYM Army Facebook page late last year.
This group has been a constant source of inspiration. Since joining, I have completed four programs. I am definitely stronger and more fit than I have ever been. In all, I have lost 45+ pounds, six inches off my waist, and many inches all over.
I still have a lot of trivial things that I could use as excuses, but they would be just that — excuses! Like most people, time management is my biggest obstacle. My kids are bigger now and need me less, and my husband no longer travels for work, but there are new obstacles.
I still work full-time at a demanding job, my three kids are each in multiple sports, my husband and I coach and serve on the football board, and I am a volunteer photographer for a couple of organizations, and I also donate sessions.
I also live rurally — the closest gym is a 25-minute drive, so I choose to work out at home. I have stepped foot into a real gym only one time.
Not a single thing that I have overcome is extraordinary. I am averagely average. In fact, I’m sure just about every single person here shares at least one of my struggles.
But I know that I don’t speak for only myself when I say that the biggest contributing factors to my success have been commitment and consistency.
Just waking up and getting it done…grinding always. My story is not special. I am just a busy mom of three doing my thing, slowly and imperfectly.
We are all so capable of achieving success on our fitness journey. It took me a long time to gain that understanding and confidence. I still have so many goals that I have yet to accomplish and can’t wait to smash. I have no doubt that with the resources here and the JYM Army at my back, I will achieve each one of them!
Start working on your own success story by becoming a member of JimStoppani.com.