Perimenopause arrived and my world changed. I put on 30lbs over the course of 3 years. Due to previous health issues, my primary physician and my OBGYN refused to give me anything to balance my hormones. The weight kept coming, in addition to the hot flashes, body odor, fatigue, leaking bladder and sleepless nights. Suddenly depression kicked in.
I found a women’s specialist in 2017 that prescribed a hormone patch and testosterone cream to help balance things out. It helped curve some of the symptoms, but I still continued to gain weight. I am now in my third year of this journey and in March, 2018 I peaked at 194 lbs. I was devastated to say the least. I had to fight through all the obstacles because the more I gained, the more I ate…my depressed mindset was telling me that “nothing is working so you may as well eat”. I also found comfort in shopping for clothes that I would eventually fit into once I lost the weight. Those two processes made things worse mentally.
Physically, everything began to hurt. I actually have a petite frame, but I’ve always been healthy in a very well-proportioned way. So, it wasn’t a surprise when my knees, back and ankles began to hurt. I already had plantar fasciitis (inflammation of the tissue that runs at the bottom of the foot), but with the weight gain, the pain increased. I had absolutely no energy. It was time to do something. I hired a personal trainer on two occasions and I joined a gym that had high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts. Yet, I was not losing the weight.
I began to pray! I specifically asked God to help find something in the gym that was fun as I knew that would be the only thing that would keep me there. One of my co-workers lost a tremendous amount of weight and invited me to come to a dance class. I literally gave her an excuse for a year as to why I couldn’t go. Either something was hurting or I was tired. Determined to get healthy, I finally contacted her and asked to go…I’ve been going ever since.
God answered my prayers and introduced me to something that I love; dance! I started a class called MixxedFit. Not only do I enjoy the class, I am now part of a fitness community. Everyone encourages one another and this uplifts my spirits. It’s like a sisterhood.
The second portion of my prayer was to develop a habit of working out so I could incorporate strength training into my workout. I am now in that phase of my wellness journey.
The benefits of me working out and incorporating a regimen of eating right has reaped its benefits. I am no longer feeling the constant pain in my knees and ankles, and I can now manage my fibromyalgia. I have the appropriate amount of energy I need to make it through my work day and I sleep very well throughout the night. It’s no longer hard to get out of the bed in the morning, I actually feel rested. It’s also given me discipline. I meal prep on Sunday’s and map out my workout schedule so I know ahead of time what gym location I will be going to each day.
My firm workout schedule allows me to release the stress that I typically carry with me from day to day. One of the most fulfilling benefits of my wellness journey is the encouragement I’ve been able to pass on to others. Three of my friends have joined the gym and we coordinate our schedules to help keep one another accountable.
I started my journey in March, 2018 and to date, I’ve lost 14 lbs. and approximately 10 inches total. I am encouraged to keep going until I reach my goal which is losing 30 lbs. I love this journey as I feel and, I must say, I look younger!
Submitted by Alyce T. Ray