It occurred to me tonight, I have never put my story out for all to hear. My battle has been a long one–and I’m still fighting. I hope everyone can take something away from this story and apply it positively.
I was always a “thick” person. I was a women’s size 6 by age 11. I was also in all of the gifted programs and had been accepted to Magnet Schools and pushed to the front of the waiting list. Unfortunately “nerd” and “fat kid” were not easy burdens to bear, together or separately.
Not only was I made fun of; I was randomly assaulted. Once I was stabbed in the arm with a pencil and another time I had my head slammed into a metal vice in shop class.
Around 9th grade I had started to get taller and had thinned out a bit. I was 145 lbs at 5’6″. I had massive stomach issues and had to have surgery during the summer following 9th grade. I couldn’t eat solid food for two weeks; that combined with some other emotional b.s. I began using food to make me feel good.
I failed my first year of high school despite my I.Q. as I didn’t like homework but did great on tests. I dropped out of high school, earned my G.E.D 4 months later and fell in love with a guy. I got on the Depo Provera shot (for obvious reasons). We spent a lot of time at concerts, drank a lot, and ate out–all day, every day and we even worked together at McDonald’s. During that period, every single time I walked by the nugget tray, I ate one. I ate everything they had. I also worked at UPS (so did the boyfriend) moving 1000 packages between 5 and 60 lbs an hour for 15 hours a week.
At 230 lbs 2 1/2 years later, I asked my clinician at the OB/GYN if I could switch my birth control because I thought I the Depo Provera had contributed to my weight gian. Depo is A LOT of hormones at one time and while that’s not a valid excuse, I do think it was exacerbating the issue. The doctor seemed to think I was just fine on that medication despite the fact that I went from 145 lbs to 230 lbs and my blood pressure was now considered high, at 19 years old. SHE THOUGHT I WAS FINE!!!
It was around this time the guy I fell madly in love with and had become so enmeshed with, cheated on me. Because he was my method of transportation and we worked together, I had to quit BOTH of my jobs. Regardless of my size and damaged self-esteem, I had enough self worth to know, I sure as HELL wasn’t gonna put up with being cheated on (and nobody else should either!), but I wish nothing but the best for that guy because it was one of the greatest things to ever happen to me.
By this time I was unemployed, broke, obese, unhealthy, heartbroken and since I allowed myself to become so enmeshed with my ex, I had no friends. After about a month of crying (I was young and dramatic. lol) I got wildly and severely PISSED OFF!!!!! I couldn’t think, I couldn’t eat, all I wanted to do was kick his ass and vomit.
I decided I was gonna kick ass in life instead. I didn’t know a darn thing about losing weight other than I should exercise and not eat out. I only knew how to cook meat and spinach salad. Up until that point, I had only eaten things that were microwaveable, deep fried, or picked up at a drive through. So I ate steak and spinach salad pretty much exclusively for a month. Side note- this is not something I recommend doing, as it was horribly unbalanced.
I also walked. I didn’t say “I’m going to Crossfit, or I’m going to run marathon.” I didn’t spend hours looking through Muscle and Fitness magazines for “a killer workout,” RAWR. I went for a good, old fashioned, low impact, easy to do, walk. For those of you who don’t know me, I love heavy metal, throwing on the headphones with some up-beat music and walking was heaven. I walked up hill, I walked down hill, I walked in the woods, I walked on sidewalks, I even walked with 4″ of snow on the ground. I was going in the right direction. 1 mile turned into two turned into 5. After a few months I was walking 25 to 30 miles a week. Cardio alone takes forever to burn fat and I wish I knew that at the time but never the less I lost 30 lbs the first month. My determination had never wavered for a second.
Short version of the next years- I went to technical college, graduated with a 97.5% average, continued to drop weight slowly, got a job with animals, worked at a phenomenally run Animal Hospital, (where I learned a lot about business) and moved out on my own.
By this time, walking became effective because I had done so much of it, my body had adapted to it. I needed help. I had once worked out with a friend who was training me in Capoeira and had good results in strength and weight loss (on top of the ability to whoop booty!) so I decided to look for a personal trainer.
One day on MySpace (yep, MySpace) I searched “personal trainer”. I had just bought a new car, got a new apartment and a new job. I knew I couldn’t afford personal training but I knew what had to be done. I tried MySpace first because it was less threatening than walking straight into a gym. I found Steve Long Personal Training. He liked the same bands so I figured he might be cool (LOL), so I paid for 2 weeks of personal training at a huge discount (thanks again!)…but I still couldn’t afford it. I was losing weight and getting strong and refused to stop. Don’t get me wrong, I meant precisely what I said. I WAS NOT GOING TO STOP.
Steve saved money on rent if he cleaned the gym. Guess what I did. Yep, I cleaned up nasty toilets, mopped pain-in-the-ass-to-clean rubber floors, and wiped down equipment on top of my 45 hour a week job, to make damn sure I wouldn’t fail.
Steve had decided to do boot camps in addition to personal training and was going to need help and I was working at Animal Control (which I hated). So I up and quit my job, took a massive pay cut, moved into a one-bedroom apartment with my mom, and dedicated the vast majority of my waking hours to continue to workout hard and eat right and learn how to help others do the same.
Every single day I am STILL conscious about what I eat and when and I still work out hard. While I still try to justify excuses to myself and struggle with moments of weakness, I am absolutely determined to be continue my quest for a healthy, happy life!
While having a blast working with Steve at Complete Fitness Results, my dad and 5 brothers and sisters contacted me. I never knew much about my dad growing up and I certainly had no idea I had 5 brothers and sisters and 3 step sisters. It was FREAKING AWESOME! I was able to take a couple of trips to Utah for vacation/getting to know everyone.
On September 23rd 2012 I lost my little brother to suicide. Unfortunately we had only gotten to spend two weeks of our entire lives together. That made me realize I didn’t want to lose anyone else without getting to know them. I told Steve as soon as I arrived home from the funeral my plans to move to be closer to my new found family; and with best wishes he sent me with enough knowledge to start my own business and enough money to get my stuff to Utah (I’ve said thanks already in this story but what the hell. There’s no such thing as too grateful, so thanks again!).
With $200 to my name and all my life’s posessions in a storage closet, I started a successful training facility of my own with the help of my loved ones (thank you all!). I had a wonderful time with my family and all of my clients and friends in Utah.
It’s so hard to conclude this… I am so blessed to have family all over the country. While I will miss my awesome friends and family in Utah terribly, I knew it was time to come back to St. Louis! I have learned so much in the short 2 ½ years I’ve been gone and I can’t wait to apply all of that new knowledge and experience to getting the CFR family of clients the results that they deserve…….again. 😉
by Sarah Spaulding