I’m Penie and I am 54years old. I have lost and gained many, many pounds over the years. I have struggled with my self image and esteem ever since I can remember. I have tried so many different diets, so many diet pills, spent so much money on stuff I thought might be the ticket to lose the weight and make me feel better about myself. I eat to numb my feelings–I eat when I’m anxious, I eat sometimes when I get angry, eat when I’m depressed, I eat because there is nothing else to do, and I eat because I’m actually hungry too (what a concept!). I love chocolate and like to eat a lot of it on occasion and sometimes, don’t want anything to do with it. I’m working on trying to identify what I’m feeling when I get in the binge mode with chocolate and other food. Actually, I’m working on feeling my feelings instead of hiding from them. Facing the daily grind, seeing the good and the bad, experiencing the joy and pain……….
I started working with a personal trainer in March of 2008 with the intent that I would learn what I needed to do to work out at home. I had done that for several years-worked out at home, I had many tapes & DVD’s but had gotten out of the routine after my husband had his heart transplant. So, I thought, I would learn some new skills so I could apply them at home. I was scared to death. I was scared and ashamed, actually. I was feeling very defeated as I had turned 50 in December of 2007 and was feeling somewhat hopeless about taking any weight off because of going through peri-menopausal issues along with having hypothyroidism. But, I had been watching the Biggest Loser and was so impressed and inspired with how hard the people on that show were working, along with the fact that some of them were my age and older with health problems. They all really worked hard on eating, exercising, and their emotional health. I wanted so much to feel good and to be able to move around. By the time I came to work with a personal trainer, I knew that my plan was to get healthy and strong. She had no doubt that I could accomplish my goals. That alone gave me the courage to move on. After about a month of working out once per week with her, I realized I wasn’t going to be able to do this level of workout at home, on my own, in fact, I wasn’t going to be able to go on this journey on my own at all, not alone. So, we increased personal training to 2 times per week and with her encouragement and reassurance, I started going to her fitness classes. I showed up, did the workout, and left. I wanted to be invisible while I was there because of feeling so ashamed of how I looked and didn’t want to be around a big group of people I didn’t know. I stood up front in body sculpting so I would learn what to do and when class was over, I was gone.
I had decided, when I started working out that what I had been doing wasn’t working and I would now listen and follow her recommendations. I decided that I needed to have some faith that the path I was on was the right one. She advised me to stick to 1200 calories, so, I counted calories, I wrote down everything and I journaled about my feelings when I couldn’t sort things out in my head. I have lost 95 lbs total, gained a lot of muscle, and even more wonderful, I have met so many amazing and encouraging people and they have become my friends.
I had lost so much hope that I could lose any weight, let alone this much. I was so very tired of hating this part of myself day after day after day because I was overweight and couldn’t manage my food, my health. I woke up in the morning thinking about losing weight, saying very negative things to myself, and went to bed at night doing the same thing. I had prayed a long time for help, took a deep breath, sought it out, and accepted it.
BEFORE August 2007
March 1, 2009 82 lbs. lost
95 lbs thinner & a Zumba Instructor!