Essay Written For 12 Week Challenge

As promised in the previous post here is the essay I submitted as a finalist for the 12 week challenge.

I had my first thoughts of being fat back when I was just 8 years old in 1969.  Sister Mary Mercy, our 3rd grade teacher, sent us home each day with a warning, “Beware of the Zodiac killer.”  We would then walk a mile home scared to death.  I remember thinking “Well I’m not skinny enough.  He would probably want one of the skinny girls.” 
In high school, I was a cheerleader but I was always at the bottom of the pyramid because at 120 pounds I was 20-25 pounds heavier than my girlfriends.  In college my swim team nicknamed me “Cutey Curves” because at 145 I was 40 pounds heavier than the other swimmers.  And so it went from there.  I have always believed I was fat (even when I wasn’t).
I had my last child when I was 40 years old and then the metabolism began to slow down.  I have put on weight for the past 15 years despite all my attempts to lose weight.  Inching closer and closer to 300 pounds, I was desperate for change; for help revving up my metabolism.  
Over the years I had tried many different weight loss methods with no long lasting results.  I was feeling out of options when the NLP Program at Gold’s Gym was made available to me. It was through this program that I met this young man who would become my trainer.  And YES, I was skeptical when he said he would help me if I wanted to sign up for the 12 week challenge.  I had a hard time believing anything would work for me.
I am no stranger to hard work, so I pushed hard with my workouts.  That was really the easier part for me.  But when he asked me to eat more, all those insecurities and fears of “eating = being fat” came to the surface.  I could not reconcile eating more in my mind and I fought it for five weeks.  It got to the point where my trainer asked my husband to get rid of the scale(s) in the house and only weigh myself once a week with him.  (You see, I would eat more at the beginning of the week, but then weigh myself.  If my weight hadn’t changed, I would eat less the rest of the week.) Once the scales were gone and I conformed to weighing only once a week with my trainer, the results followed.  
Another huge way my trainer helped me was with my self-worth.  I remember early on doing some exercise where when facing the mirror, I called myself the Pillsbury dough boy.  He immediately said, “Don’t talk about yourself that way.”  Any time I got discouraged and called myself gross or fat, he just did not allow that kind of talk.  This is another weak area for me — believing in myself, but I am getting better at it.
My journey was not without setbacks.  There were many times he needed to adjust the food and/or the workouts due to illness, Mother Nature, and injury.  He made the adjustments, I followed the plan and the results always followed.  A major victory came two days after the challenge ended and my rheumatologist called and left a message with much surprise in her voice that my blood work (which is done quarterly) came back “surprisingly good!”  (This was not the case just four months previous – before the challenge began.)
Although my results may not seem as visible as others, what is happening on the inside is just as vital as what is happening on the outside.  I honestly believe the hard work on the part of my trainer as well as my determination to see this through has added years to my life.  For that I will be eternally grateful.  This is only the beginning of my weight loss journey and I am thankful to be continuing it with Ryan (my trainer) at Gold’s Gym.
Patty Deters  – 4/28/2016