This month’s story of inspiration comes from my sister Camille, and a little bit from me.
My sister, Camille, is trying to lose weight. She is about 5 feet, 3 inches, and would be considered petite in frame. Over the years her weight has been on a bit of a yo-yo pattern. She had lost quite a bit of weight, and not by the healthiest measures she will admit to. I have been there too. From diet pills, gimmicks, shakes as meals and not eating enough. I have tried it all. Because I have been sold by the diet industry in the past, I feel I have enough experience (completely personal) to write about this topic. This tigress has earned her stripes, although I do stress I’m not a professional. I was a slave to the weight loss gimmicks and always finding fault with my body and beating myself up for having big thighs.
Camille is on a mission to lose about 35 pounds. Her weight gain is mainly due to her crazy and sporadic work schedule in the ER at a huge, busy hospital. From grave yard, to crack of dawn shifts, her work schedule is forever changing. Lack of sleep, having no time to meal prep and buying fast food on the go after jumping out the shower and throwing on her scrubs, or trying to catch up on sleep in her spare time instead of exercising, Camille saw the pounds slowly creep up. She wasn’t happy, but refused to turn back to the diet gimmicks in the past. I was so honoured when she asked me for help. I told her about what works best for me. Eating and planning nutritious meals as my daily routine, and allowing myself to enjoy my favourite indulgences only on occasions. I advised her that there is no magic pill, or quick fix. It took her a long time to gain the weight, and it will take time to reach her goal weight. It’s a lifestyle change she will have to adopt forever. As for exercise, I told her a combo of strength training and cardiovascular training worked best for me, but essentially, I advised just finding whatever she loves to do and get moving! Biking, hiking, pumping iron or dancing. Get to it and do it consistently, as in at least 3 times per week. I emailed her a grocery shopping list filled with high proteins and fresh produce and she began to workout. Her eldest son Stephen has her on a regime of strength training, boot camp style drills and she has also discovered her love of walking and jogging with her supportive partner Glenn. She has been doing this regime for about one month now, and guess what? Her clothes are starting to feel lose around the waist.
I was so happy to receive this text from Camille the other day:
See. No quick fixes. Just making changes to a healthier you and making the time to get it done. I have noticed the changes in her body too. I asked Camille to take a photo for this post to show a before photo, but she wasn’t having it. She said, “I don’t want everyone on the internet seeing my lumps and bumps!” I told her to cut that out too. No negative self-talk. I was also a pro at this. Instead of describing yourself as lumpy, bumpy, flabby, fat, frumpy, dumpy or gross, just stop! No more verbal debasing of your beautiful self. Simply say, “I have work to do and changes to make and I will do it.” End of. You don’t need to go there with being your own worst enemy. She said she might consider before and after photos when she is closer to her goal weight.
So, in the absence of Camille’s missing before and progress photo, I am going to share mine. I love to see that my hard work is paying off. I finally have shoulders now. I finally have the posture I have always wanted. My abdominal region has always been flat, but now it is strong (thanks to planks.) I finally feel confident in a tank top. I feel more stream-lined and balanced in my upper and lower regions. More than the esthetics, I feel good about myself. No more negative self talk. The power of exercise baby! There is still work to be done, and everyday I am striving to improve. I will do it!
Thank you Camille for inspiring me. As you work hard, and turn to little old me for advise, you are pushing me to do better and work harder. Love you, sis! Now, how about those photos soon?