For most of my 20s and 30s, I have lived a fat life. Not PHAT which means “excellent” in the urban dictionary but FAT. The correct clinical term is morbidly obese. I have been teased about being fat. I took it all in and didn’t fight back. I know what it feels like to be out of breath after climbing a few steps or bending down to tie my shoes. I know what it feels like to be the only one in my circle of girlfriends not to be able to shop for regular clothes. I know what it feels like to just barely fit into a seat on an airplane. I know what it feels like to have people stare because of my size.
I wasn’t gifted with the skinny gene. Instead, I have been blessed with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. Many believe that because I was on so many different kinds of medications it was my motivation to lose weight. I had a secret reason. It was because of a bad break-up with boy due to my appearance that pushed me over the edge. It broke my heart and spirit. I knew that I needed to do something for myself if I wanted to preserve my life.
In April 2011, I signed my life away for twenty sessions with a trainer. The numbers on the scale and my measurements were horrendous. I felt ashamed that I let myself go. I remember how hare it was to work out for five minutes let alone thirty. I was scared but I had the determination to try my best. I am sure that my trainer was scared too because of my size and health issues. I think I was her biggest challenge. As the weeks and months went by, I improved physically. I was able to lose weight with eating correctly and working out. My goal was to get out of the 200 pound range. I did not think it was possible. That’s how broken my spirit was. Every step of the way, trainer was with me even though a lot of people did not think I could do it. With each push-up and squat, I began to realize how utterly strong I was. In some ways, I got the spunk back into me.
The journey itself has many rewards that most take for granted like: running up stairs without wanting to pass out, being able to sit on an airplane seat in comfort and wearing a belt because you do not want people to see my ass crack. The most rewarding part of this journey has been scaling back on the medications. It is these things that remind me why I continue to exercise and live a healthy lifestyle.
People who remember me as “Fat Trish” can not believe how great I look. It is both humbling and flattering. They ask how and what did I do. I tell them I decided to get moving and eat right. All they need to do is try. I always tell my friends, if someone average like me can lose over fifty pounds and maintain it, anyone can. It just takes a few adjustments and changes. Always remember why you truly started because that is the reason that will keep you going on the journey.
Losing weight has been a big achievement that I am proud of. It’s bigger than any of my career promotions or traveling adventures. It has given me the ability to believe in myself after going through heartache and set backs. There are still many things to accomplish in 2013. What better way to celebrate my accomplishment than running the first half of the SF Marathon on June 16, 2013? I may not be the fastest person in the race but to be alive and healthy while running through the city of San Francisco is a wonderful reward!