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Inspirational Stories From Big Losers

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HI,
I have a story for you! I'm down 98 -pounds right now, and have 12 more until goal. And I will hit goal this time!
As you can see I was a tank! Never in my life have I been as big as I was then. I reached 263 pounds and was miserable. My attitude and selfconfidence were down the drain.
I went to my doctor in late April 2000,and he literally gave me the scare of my life. He decided to run sometests that would determine whether I had a terminal illness or not. The tests took about 1 week to come back, so I had a lot of time to think.
I realized that I wanted to live. As silly as this sounds it is the basis for my success so far. I decided that there are too many things in this world that are beyond our control, and any of them could be life threatening. So being someone that claimed that they wanted to live,
why would I let obesity (something in which I have control over) kill me? It didn't make sense. It was 2 days before I got the results back that I made a promise to myself. I promised that I was going to take control of the things that I have control of. I was going to stop abusing my body and become healthy again. I was, and remain committed
to doing whatever it takes to promote a long and healthy life. It's funny how easy it is to rid yourself of bad habits when you look at it as taking control of your life. Well That's what I did. Jan 8, 2002 will mark 8 months of being OP. I am still highly motivated, and will
see this through to the end. The motivation for a healthy body was enough for me to make this change. I am down 98 pounds now, and love the way I look and feel.
Since my journey began, I am no longerchronic hypertensive, chest pains have disappeared, I quit snoring(according to reliable sources!), etc. The list of benefits goes on.
Since my whole weight loss / healthy body kick has begun, I have in fact
made exercise a top priority.

For the first 5 months of being OP, I used my Precor Elliptical cross
trainer that I have at home. I used it 6-7 days per week for 35
minutes. Also during those first 5 months working out at home, I had a
tendency to put on some tunes and dance! I know it's silly, but it was
a nice change from the monotonous cross trainer. As the weather got
better, I began to walk 3-4 miles per day in addition to the cross
trainer.

Well, as we all know it's cold now, and I'm in Chicago - so the outdoor
activity has come to a complete halt! I decided to budget in the cost
of a fitness center. I joined Lifetime Fitness at the end of October,
and am in love with the facility! I go approx. 6 times per week, and
love the variety I am able to incorporate into my routines. I use their
cross trainer (DOH!), and the treadmill (I have began running again and
plan on running 5 & 10K's in 2002), I also use the stationary bikes, and
the Reebok Free Runner. When I use these cardio machines I program the
workouts for the "Fat Burn" course for 45 minutes. I also monitor my
heart rate during cardio exercise to make sure I am working at my target
rate. For additional cardio, I usually get swimming in at least once a
week, I have no pre-set time for this, I just have a 40-lap routine.

After losing about 75 pounds, I realized that the exercise was a huge
help, but the loose skin was very unbecoming. So I hired a personal
trainer for 8 sessions, and had a weight training program customized for
my goals, which are to build strength, endurance, flexibility, and
weight loss. I do this routine every other day (or 3-4 times a week).

Also in my quest for a healthy body, I have been introduced to
meditation/relaxation/stretching classes. I do yoga daily and Pilates
once a week. My flexibility, balance, and ability to alleviate stress
is dramatically improved.

I am very dedicated to exercise, and do not view it as a chore, but as
something I enjoy and need in order to achieve my goals! I have even
taken extra interest in biking and running, and plan to turn my
interest into something I do competitively, and for charitable causes.
This year I am planning on participating in the 9-mile MS Challenge, and
the Chase Corporate Challenge. Maybe I'll do more! We'll see!

Christina Yustman