We get so many inspiring emails from readers, and today we’re sharing another weight-loss success story with you! Today’s is from Martine Lamy, April 2011 Cincinnati Weight-Loss Challenge leader and winner—and all around rock star.
I’ve been reading Fit Bottomed Girls for a long time, absorbing all of the information, but rarely putting it into practice in my own life. I remember when the first Weight-Loss Challenge was announced, and I was totally bummed that it was only in Kansas (though I considered seeing if a friend of mine was close enough to be able to participate, so I could participate vicariously!). So, by the time the call for leaders for the April challenge went out, I knew I had to get involved!
I am blessed to have a huge awesome family that gets along (almost all of the time!) and spends copious amounts of time together (see our team photo below!). Most of us live within a quarter mile of each other. Every Sunday, we go over to Grandma’s house for dinner. We vacation together, we play on the same sports teams, and there is always a sister around to help out with whatever you need. In a family of strong, professional women (and the guys who support us!), we have one universal struggle—our weight. Our weight problems affect all generations—aunts, grandmothers, mothers, daughters, cousins. Looking at us from the outside, you might not expect us to be as active as we are—we do yoga, ski, play volleyball, play soccer, bike, walk, run, have regular gym workouts and more! Still, despite all this activity, something has been holding us back from being our best selves! So, I decided that my family had to be the core of our weight-loss team. My team consisted of my mom, five of my aunts, two of my cousins, my best friend (who really is part of the family!) and some honorary members—both of my grandmas, two of my younger cousins and the family dog, Rosey.
My first FBG “awakening” came during my first conversation with FBG Jenn when she was “interviewing” me to be a team leader. I was describing my fitness activities (I’m a yoga and ski nut), and she observed that I’m kind of a weekend-warrior when it comes to fitness! And she was so right! I do great at fitness on Saturdays (and sometimes Sundays), but not the rest of the week. No wonder I wasn’t seeing changes! Being a leader, I had the advantage of wanting to be a good role model, so getting more workouts in during the week was something I worked on right away. Even before the challenge started—I tried new yoga classes, bootcamp classes and spent a little more time on our treadmill (which, to be honest was mostly used for walking the dog in the winter before this point!).
Once the challenge started, I learned so many new things about myself and my family! Let me tell you, doing this as a family was the best thing we ever could have done for ourselves. We talk about so many things, but never our weight, or our issues with food, stress and other problems! We’ve all struggled with “dieting” alone, which worked for awhile, but we generally haven’t been able to make lasting changes before.
The FBG Weight-Loss Challenge changed all that! From day one we were opening up about emotional eating, our struggles with weight, our perceived barriers to success and so much more. This challenge is not a “diet”—you don’t have to count calories, points or anything else. It’s about making small changes that you can maintain forever (like taking the stairs instead of the elevator and replacing one diet soda with water). I think that at first, some people were unsure of how these small changes would really make a difference. But by week three, we already had more energy and were, most importantly, treating ourselves like we would treat our best friends! Throughout the challenge we used our collective expertise (including the incredible guidance from Jenn) to help each other with things that we struggled with—addictions to the scale, night-time eating, not eating breakfast, food and snack ideas, and making time for ourselves. We’ve gone to yoga together, biked together, tried tons of new healthy foods and have so many plans for things that we will do in the coming weeks and months!
Unleashing My Inner FBG
So, how did the challenge help me to unleash my inner FBG? Well, before the challenge started, I read fitness magazines, blogs, etc., but rarely put what I learned into practice. Now I’m training for a 5K (on more than just Saturdays!), and I’m scheduling my fitness activities instead of waiting for my schedule to open up and hoping that I can fit it in. I’m more likely to take the dog out for a long walk when I’m stressed instead of lounging on the couch (although that still happens—I think downtime and trashy TV is important for my well-being!). I’m so much more aware of what I put in my body—really honoring my hunger by not allowing myself to get super famished or overstuffing myself like it’s Thanksgiving dinner every night. That negative self-talk that we all have in our head has gotten a lot quieter. My body is physically stronger—I can do more things in yoga, and I don’t always feel like I’m going to die during cardio workouts.
Oh, and by the way, I lost almost 20 inches from my arms, thighs, abs, hips and neck in eight weeks! But most importantly, I’ve gotten closer to my family and I know that I have a support system for life as we all go through this journey together. Because the FBG program is not about how much weight or how many inches you lose in 8 weeks—it’s about setting yourself up for long-term success in a way that honors your body and yourself.
In addition to all the fabulous changes that I saw in myself, I’m truly inspired by all of the changes and revelations that my team made over the course of the challenge! We all came to this at different places, but I know everyone got something out of each part of the program. Seeing how awesome my family did with this challenge makes it even more motivating to keep up with the FBG lifestyle.
So, now the question is, what is keeping you from unleashing your inner FBG and being your best self? —Martine Lamy