I just Googled “New Years Resolution” and 26,700,000 results appeared. The most popular, (which also happen to be the most failed resolutions) are related to diet and exercise. Recent studies have shown only 12% of people actual reach their New Years Resolution goals. I am asking you this year to not make a New Years Resolution, but to rather make a lifelong commitment to YOU!
My best friend Ellen, who also happens to be my cousin, is an inspiration to all when it comes to commitment to lifestyle and herself. Her path of success reminds me everyday why I am a dietitian and personal trainer. I hope sharing her story inspires you to toss those resolutions out the door and commit to YOU for a lifetime.
Ellen’s journey to health and weight loss started in 2005, at a weight of 170 pounds and a size 14. Ellen shares “I never thought of myself as “fat” and was happy as a size 8, but when I let myself get up to 14 or more often, a 10, I would still think of myself as a size 8.” Seven years of gradual changes, and no back slides, she is proudly at 140 pounds and a size 4! “I never dreamed I could be a size 6, never mind a 4.”
Why did weight become an issue for you?
I know now that I was doing everything wrong. I overate every single meal almost my entire life! In college, I drank beer, I ate almost all of my meals out, I skipped meals when I over ate, and I only did cardio when I exercised. I also ate every meal as if I wasn’t sure when my next one was.
Why did you want to lose weight & when did you start your journey?
In April of 2009 I got a job where I worked mostly from home in New Hampshire so I knew that would be a good time to learn to eat “right”. Food wasn’t going to be controlled by being social or convenience. I didn’t have anyone to have lunch with, and all the food I ate was going to be at the house. It just seemed like the right time, and I could ask Kerri what I was “supposed” to eat. I could keep to a schedule and there were no happy hours to tempt me like in the city.
My goals were to eat the best that I could in any given moment, and to challenge myself physically. I wanted to learn to run outside and work out to DVDs so that I wouldn’t have to join a gym. I started with huffing and puffing 3 miles in 2009 to finishing a half marathon in 2011.
What does a day of eating look like for you most of the time now?
I eat every 3 hours, and I make sure I eat something small when I first wake up, like a string cheese or some almonds. Greek yogurt or plain oatmeal for breakfast. When I was trying to lose weight I ate alot of soup at home, Greek yogurt with honey and nuts, and luna bars. If I didnt know what to eat, I drank a GNC Lean shake so that I wouldn’t over eat. I discovered I would be able to eat “whatever I wanted” within reason for dinner every night, if ate healthy every 3 hours all day long.
What do you do for exercise?
Fuel Training Studio‘s boot camp became my benchmark. I needed to survive Saturday morning boot camp two years ago, and now it’s still pushing me. Plus I didn’t feel guilty about giving them my “gym money” because it is a locally owned business. It was a way to be social without eating out or meeting for a drink. I added plyometrics and resistance training in addition to my running to make my body able to burn more calories every day. I also was able to finally say yes to running road races with my cousin Kerri knowing “I could do anything”.
How have you kept your weight off over the past 3-4 years?
I really changed how I viewed food. I could still eat an entire pizza, but I don’t. I don’t reward myself with food, or cuddle up with food. I change it up physically but keep to the same routine food wise. I still limit the times I eat out, less than once a week, and I never drink soda, and have cut down alot on alcohol.
What changes have you appreciated the most other than the weight loss?
I’ve noticed I buy fewer clothes, the ones I have fit great so I dont go looking for more flattering clothes. I never “feel fat” or think I “look fat” so I don’t spend time “figuring out what to wear”.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone, what would it be?
Start every 3 hours at a time. If you think you’ve ruined the day or week you’ll lose any motivation to keep going.
What keeps you motivated?
Habits, and how much better I feel when I eat healthy. And knowing I can eat whatever I want but I choose not to is motivating.
Who supports you and how?
Gary does. We make dinner every night which enforces the good habit of not eating out. We make breakfast on the weekends instead of going out. He understands and is really good about being active so its apart of the house norm now.
Kerri taught me everything about food, and how to choose the best option in every moment. She understands how heathy living is possible every day, but doesn’t cut “junk” out of her life 100% so there’s no guilt about eating either.
Bethany was huge in my initial weight loss for introducing me to Fuel Training Studio and making it social and fun to get our butts kicked by bootcamp and spin. Now I have a relationship with Jeanne and Julie, the owners of Fuel Training Studio , I don’t want them to go too long without seeing me!
What are your next goals for health/weight?
My goals is always to get in better shape, turns out you don’t quite catch that goal even if you catch your weight loss goals. I’d like to get faster and stronger. I’d like to not eat meat and potatoes but that will never happen so maybe just eat less of it.
Challenge this week make lifelong commitment to YOU! When you do, share your success with others, you never know who you are going to inspire!