BY KAITLYN JAMES
So originally this post was going to be about spring and the wonderfulness that comes from the season that rescues us from the chills and dreariness of winter. However, when I sat down to write I realized that I don’t have much to say about spring other than I get REALLY excited when I can wear flip flops without fear of frostbite, and that I REALLY hate how my pretty white car turns a lovely shade of yellow thanks to the pollen… I didn’t think anyone who reads this, if anyone reads this, would find that particularly interesting….
I instead want to talk to you about my weight loss adventure and what I have learned in the past year. All of my life I have obsessed with my weight. I am pretty sure I put myself on my first “diet” before I was even a teenager. I was constantly comparing myself to my friends and family members to see how much bigger I was than them. I was never a fat kid, but I so desperately envied all the girls my age that were so much skinnier than me. I never voiced these concerns, just secretly hated myself and wonders if everyone else thought I was fat. The possibility of others critiquing my weight horrified me, and I cannot even remotely come close to telling you why. I ate like a normal adolescent, and led a pretty active life. I would bike miles upon miles a day and jog with my friends. Still, I worried about my weight, grimacing every time I stepped on a scale.
In high school the situation worsened. I ate less frequently, but never really bothered to exercise much. After freshman year I “filled out” quite a bit more than any of my other friends. While looking back I realize I didn’t get fat but rather curvy/womanly, at the time I was devastated to be looking what I perceived as so different from most of my friends. All of my best female friends were twig thin and seemed to have infinite more popularity than me. In retrospect, all the right boys did like me, but high school girls can’t grasp that and as a consequence I was green with envy. But at the time I wanted nothing more to be able to share clothes with my size 00 friend and have boys fawn over me. Shallow. I know.
After high school I started worrying less about my weight, and even less about my overall health. I moved out of my parents’ house and worked in a restaurant. Meaning, I was broke, and when I did eat a meal, it was usually at work and extremely late at night. I was 19 and drank a lot of cheap beer which surely didn’t help. I ended up putting on more weight, and hating myself every time I had to buy a new pair of jeans. I distinctly remember wearing a bikini to the beach with some friends and them pointing out that I wasn’t fat, I was round. Ouch.
When I got pregnant at 20 I never felt better about my body. I ate well, I took care of myself, and after having my daughter I was quickly back to my pre pregnancy weight and then some. It has since been five years and I have gained back all of that pregnancy weight WITH NO BABY! I got a wakeup call when I started working for the government and they “had” to tell me I am obese. After that I vowed to start taking care of myself and my body, and get back to where I need to be. It took a long time for me to figure out what I wanted to do to get in shape. I tried running for a while, and while I absolutely love the exhilaration that comes from running, I will NEVER EVER be a good runner, and it was not a viable option for weight loss and it is obviously not good in terms of total body workout.
Last spring I stumbled on a place called 9round kickboxing fitness. I have never been one to work out in front of groups of people, or to try something new when it comes to exercise. However, 9round has been an answer to my prayers. I go between 3 and 6 times a week, usually closer 6 unless something comes up with school or work. Not a day goes by that I don’t crave going to the gym. This has truly never happened to me.
9round is a kickboxing themed circuit gym, where each day the exercises are different and only last a half hour. Each station is three minutes long, and each works out a different group of muscles, and you leave with a truly total body workout. The trainers at 9round are amazing. They inspire me to do my best, and aren’t afraid to tell me when I am not. I have learned so much from them. The first time I found myself at this gym I didn’t even know how to do a proper squat. Now I can hold a squat for 3 minutes at a time, throw a mean right hook, and round kick the hell out of a punching bag, and the list goes on.
Since beginning my membership with 9round I have only lost ten pounds. That weight came off fairly quickly, but since then I have had no luck in seeing a smaller number on that bathroom scale. I do my best to not be discouraged because so many other wonderful changes have happened to my body. My blood pressure is down, I sleep better, I can wear a size smaller in pants, my muscles are more apparent than my fat, shirts fit better, I don’t feel bloated as often, and I can exert way more energy at one time than I have ever been able to. I watch and feel myself get better at the exercises every single day, and I truly am proud of my progress. It has been a rough journey for me because I have fixated on the number on the scale for my whole life—but now I am trying to let that go knowing that I am healthy and that is what truly matters.