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My Final Essay...
http://www.blog4change.org/articles/2323/1/My-Final-Essay/Page1.html
By Jenn Apple
Published on 04/13/2010
 
So…here’s to ending my generational curse of obesity & heart disease! It ends with me…no more...I am determined!

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My name is Jennifer, and I’m a 30 year old (eh hem…young) stay-at-home mother of a wonderful 2.5 year old daughter.

I came to Gold’s Gym in January of 2010…I did so for 2 different reasons:

#1:   For myself….since becoming a wife & a mother, I’ve put myself on the back burner.  I used to be VERY athletic (softball, golf, horseback riding, etc).  Now, all  of my daily emphasis goes into providing a good home for my family & raising my amazing daughter.   That’s an incredible privilege & I’m so thankful…please don’t take that as a complaint…BUT, in addition to that I needed to do something just for “me.”    There are days when my daughter looks like she could be in a modeling ad, and I look like I just rolled off of last season’s episode of “Survivor.”  I knew I needed help when I got to the point where I couldn’t even button my “fat” jeans. I needed to take control of the situation & better myself…I needed to let go of the “baby weight” excuse & maternity clothes…I needed to get my passion for  health back.

#2:  For my daughter…My family has a history of obesity & heart disease.  My husband’s family has a history of obesity & diabetes.  I feel like I need to be a good example for my daughter to never give up, and to never resign to the fact that she, too, is going to be like that someday.  I want the generational curse to end here with me…I want to pass on health, confidence, and respect to my daughter.  NOT the assumed future of obesity, heart disease & diabetes.   

Gold’s was a first choice of mine…The gym itself was impressive to me, and  I LOVED the fact that it had a separate ladies area.  The thing that really sold me though was the clean & well designed children’s facility for my daughter.   I love that SHE loves the “yellow gym.” 

My first week here, I met with Samantha & went over some things that I really needed to focus on.  During that time, she brought up the 12 week challenge. I thought…THIS IS PERFECT!  Honestly…I wanted to win.  But, at the very least,    I wanted to set up good habits from the get-go.  I knew that if I were to sign up for this challenge, that I would BE HERE!  I wouldn’t slack.  They say that it takes a month to form a habit…well, three’s a charm! 

At the beginning of the three month challenge, I was raring & ready to go…I wanted to lose this weight!  I thought it would be easy…a piece of cake (err…I mean a slice of apple…ha ha).  What I didn’t anticipate was to learn just how unhealthy I really was. 

I drastically changed a lot of things: 

My diet, for one….I did everything I could to avoid fast food, I took soda out & replaced it with water, I took out as much sugar as I could & replaced it with Xylitol, I learned to love apples & fruit, and I worked on improving my portion control. 

I changed my lifestyle….If only chasing a 2 year old around was enough exercise…but, I learned that it wasn’t.  So, I started hitting the gym 5-6 times a week.  The ONLY time I would miss, would be if my daughter was sick… or, if we were out of town.  And, even then I would do an AB routine on my own.

I changed my attitude.  Did I come across times when I became discouraged?...YES!  Did I wish that the weight would just fall off?…YES!  But, I soon realized that  it’s not all about weight!!!  I may not have lost as many pounds as I wanted, but I was building healthy muscle mass… that weighs more.  I may not have lost as many pounds as I wanted, but I went from a size 16 to a size 12…I lost inches.  I may not have lost as many pounds as I wanted, but I’M NOT DONE!  In the end I will lose the weight, but (more importantly) I’ll continually gain a healthy perspective on life!

Some may be happy that this challenge is over…not me…I’m happy that it began!  This isn’t the end for me…it’s only the beginning.  I’m still going!  I’m determined!  I am a winner….no matter what, I will reach my goal.  I will become healthier & happier within myself.

I started this challenge not liking myself very much…one of my goals was just to love myself more.  This 2010 Gold’s Gym Challenge has helped me to do that. 

I’ve gone to a number of gyms, previous to this one, and none compare.  I’ve never felt as comfortable, and as welcomed, as I do here.  I feel at home…I don’t get the “meat market” feel that I did at some other gyms… I don’t feel looked down upon…prices here are very reasonable (especially for the child care)…there are a great variety of classes to take…and, from the staff to instructors; everyone has been so helpful & encouraging.  I’m blessed.

So…here’s to ending my generational curse of obesity & heart disease!  It ends with me…no more...I am determined!