Meet my guest blogger – Joanna!
I’d like to introduce you to Joanna, a new friend who has a wonderful blog about her struggles to lose weight. She is an inspiration to me and I follow her blog Diary Of A Mad, Fat Woman daily.
My name is Joanna. I am 29 years old, a mother to three amazing children, and overweight. Not as overweight as I was two years ago, but that’s something I’m working on each and every day.
In January, 2010, I stood on the scale for the first time in several months to see a number that burned my heart, scared my soul, and gave me power like nothing ever has before. That number was 297lbs. My first reaction to seeing that number was to cry. I couldn’t believe I had let my weight get so out of hand. Crying wasn’t going to fix it, however, and I knew that I had to do something so that I would never see that number again. And so I did.
Despite my determination to shed some weight, I wasn’t ready to share that unthinkable number with anyone. When I started my blog, I lied. Yes, I admit it. I was so embarrassed and scared that people would read it and judge me that I fudged the numbers – starting my journey off almost 40lbs lighter. For some reason, sharing that I was starting at 260lbs rather than my actual starting weight was more manageable for me. I’m not proud of it, now, but it got me through the first months.
When I first started my journey I could barely walk for 15 minutes without feeling completely exhausted and having to stop several times to catch my breath. Walking. Just walking. I just couldn’t do any more than that. My knees were buckling over the weight that they were holding, and the thought of having to have surgery loomed over my head ever y day. I wasn’t going to let that happen, though, and just kept walking.
By March, 2010, I had managed to drop 27lbs. I was now able to walk further and even added a little jogging in to the mix. I really felt I was ready to conquer the world, and signed up for my first 5K race. I finished the race, but I was so not ready for that kind of distance. That first race left my knees in the worst shape – and I had to spend two days on the couch, not able to walk at all. It was in those two days that I realized I couldn’t give up – and I had to keep fighting.
The months that followed were amazing. I walked almost every day, often adding some form of “wogging” as one of my dear blogging friends says. By June, 2010, I had lost over 50lbs and weighed in at 245lbs. That’s when I decided to really up my exercise intensity and signed up for a Boot Camp fitness class. It was amazing, and I did things I never thought I could do: push-ups, sit-ups, circuit training, obstacle courses, – even pulling a HumVee! I finished boot camp dropping 4% of my body fat – and gaining 100% confidence.
June was also when I competed in my second 5K race – one that I jogged 75% of the time! I finished the race in a little under 45 minutes…AND was able to spend the day after walking around my favorite little Historic town with the Hubby. No more pain. No more two day recovery. I was a changed person.
In the months since then, I’ve had my share of trials and tribulations. I took a break over the holidays and my time being a full-time student, a full-time student teacher, and a full-time mother has definitely taken priority over my health and fitness on too many occasions to count. Despite everything I have on my plate of life, I have still managed to keep the weight coming off. I now sit here at 210.8lbs. Yes. I have lost a total of 86lbs.
I still have a long way to go. My goal weight is 150lbs. I am closer, though, closer than I have been since high school. Each day is a battle.
The eating has become second nature. I feel my kitchen with healthy foods: lean meats, whole grains, veggies, hummus, fruits, and nuts. I’ve even managed to convert my entire house hold into a “healthy household”. It wasn’t easy to start with – but they support me 100%, even if that means eating something they’re not too sure about.
I still struggle with the exercise, a little. Not the ability to do it, finding the time to do it. That is life, though, and I do what I can. I am proud to say, however, that I am now able to run for 12 minute increments and walking 2 minutes in between. I run 5K most Sundays, and 2 miles a time or two during the week. At the end of this month, I will be competing in my 3rd 5K race.
If I was asked what one thing has kept me on my toes, I would have to say my blog. My blog is my sanctuary, my outlet, and my connection to others just like me – fighting the same fight. I have made life-long friendships with people that I have never met. I have cried with complete strangers. I have also laughed, cheered on, and celebrated with the same people – as they have with me. My blog holds me accountable for my journey – and it helps me see my progress (and pitfalls) in black and white.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read about me. Hopefully you’ll come visit me in my neck of the woods at www.diaryoffatwoman.blogspot.com