Last week, Smart Health Challenge winner Jess Reed learned she had won, met with her trainer for a fitness and nutrition plan, accidentally backed into the gym owner’scar, and ate up before strapping on her sneakers. Here’s Reed’s recap (in her words):
So here it goes: my first blog entry. I have never written a blog before, so
you all must forgive me, as I will be learning as I go. When I found out
about this contest, I was skeptical. I was sitting around my dining room
table with a group of girlfriends drinking red wine, and when the contest
was mentioned, it only took them about 3 minutes to convince me I should
Whether it was the liquid courage or my desperate need to change my
life (I am not sure I will ever figure out which), we all wound up huddled
around my laptop discussing what should be included in my essay. I entered
that night with the support of my girlfriends, husband and wine.
The support I found that night around my dining room table extended out so
far, I never could have imagined! I will do this. I will be successful
because of them. I am humbled by the love and support I feel every day!
Monday morning, I was still asleep (I had the flu) and my husband came into
our room holding up the phone while he dialed voicemail on speaker. It was
Jess, a reporter, informing me I won. The whirlwind that followed has
evoked every emotion I can think of. The excitement lasted about two days
until I met a reporter, photographer and Mindy (my trainer) at the gym for
an interview and photo shoot. It was then I discovered they would
include my weight in the story, and that is when I started to panic.
I made the conscious choice to put myself out there, but when it came down to
telling the world I weighed as much as a baby elephant, I could not hold back
the fear. We set a date for Mindy and I to meet on Saturday morning to
formulate a plan, and that is how it was left. So now it is time to wait for
my new life to begin. There is no going back now …
Still waiting … Obviously not much has changed since yesterday. No new
revelations; just waiting for that article to hit the web. I can’t help but
ask myself the same question about every two hours: How am I going to look
my friends in the face when I know they know just how much damage I have
done to my body? I admire people who can wear their hearts on their
sleeves, but I have chosen to wear my insecurities on my sleeve for the
world to see, and that feels terrible and scary. I generally deal with my
insecurities with humor (as I am sure all of you will soon realize), but
there is nothing I can even think to say right now to make my weight being
I will leave you with one of my favorite stories about my twins when they
were 4 years old. They always tell it like it is, and when I feel
uncomfortable about my weight, I tend to tell this story to bring light to
the situation. I was standing at the counter, leaning over (with my stomach
squeezed) while my twins ate breakfast. Aidan asked, “Mommy, why is your
stomach so big?” to which I answered “because I carried you in it for nine
months.” With a perfectly straight face and inquisitive eyes, Brady asked me,
“Well then did you carry me in your butt?”
Well that is it; I sealed my fate with Mindy! She was visiting my next-door
neighbor, and I was late for an appointment. I backed out of my driveway and
proceeded to hit her car! That is right: I backed into my trainer’s car the
night before I was to meet her to formulate a plan for the next five months!
I sheepishly knocked on the door, walked in with a horrified look on my face
and told this woman I just hit her car! With kind eyes, she looked me up and
down and said, “Don’t worry about it honey. It is all right. Are you OK?”
With a wave of relief, I explained I was fine and apologized again. Thinking
to myself, “Wow this is going to be great; she is so nice!” she explained a
car is just a car and it can be fixed, but that we are going to have a real
problem if she tells me to do 12 push-ups and I don’t … Hmmmm, OK, that
happy feeling just flew away with my insurance premiums.
I went to my appointment and returned to see Mindy was still at my
neighbor’s. I returned to again apologize before she had to leave. Now here
comes the fun part, I stayed at my neighbor’s house until 10:30 that night,
drinking beer, eating pizza, and inhaling multiple peanut butter eggs. If I
am going to go out, it is going to be with a bang! We laughed, talked and
discovered that the article was up on the web.
As I sat there reading about my struggles with my friends, an amazing thing happened: I could still look them in the eye when they had finished reading. The reality that I like to forget is that there is no hiding that I am fat. It isn’t like I have a
tattoo that I am embarrassed about that I can hide; I can’t hide my butt!
Remember that, when you are asking for help, if you are in the same position
as I am, everyone knows you are overweight; they aren’t going to be shocked
if you admit it. But first you have to really admit it to yourself.
OK, I am going to die! That is the first thing I thought of after Mindy
gave me my nutrition plan and schedule for the week. It is obvious I
don’t count calories, but one thing is clear: I have been eating a TON more
on a daily basis then I will in the next five months. I am allowed 1100 to 1300
calories five days a week, and 1600 to 1700 two days a week. Are you kidding me
with this? I think my dog eats more than that!
Next, we discussed my workout schedule. I will be working out six days a
week. Three of those days will be in the gym, and three will be group fitness
class. Oh yes; and I almost forgot that two to three times per week I have to do 30
minutes of cardio in the afternoon. You must understand you are talking
about someone who will drive around for 15 minutes looking for a parking
place at the mall, so she doesn’t have to walk any farther then 10 parking
spaces from the door. I can’t even imagine what my body is going to feel
like at the end of this week.
Here I sit on the night before this journey starts, eating a dark chocolate
coconut cream egg wondering what I am going to miss most. I have always
rewarded myself with food. Holidays, birthdays, anniversaries have all been
celebrated by eating fatty foods; so one of the keys to my success will be
to find a way to reward my success without food. The first reward I am going
to give myself is for every 20 pounds I lose, I will buy myself a bouquet of
fresh flowers. I love flowers and rarely get them. Looking back, it is now
comical to me that I would reward myself for losing weight with food that I
had been depriving myself of because it was so bad for me. It is like an
alcoholic celebrating their 90-day chip with a bottle of Jack Daniels.
I am done my egg and that concludes my love affair with those wonderful foods
that have ruled my life. Tomorrow the sun will come up; I will eat my egg-white omelet, throw on my tennis shoes and change my life.