Originally posted on pushpointe.com
At PushPointe we are all about community. About #inspiring others to #keepmovingforward and bringing someone with you. Sometimes all it takes it just one person lending a hand, sending an encouraging word or sharing their story that makes an impact on someone else within our community. So when this beautiful friend shared her story with us, we just knew we had to share it with all of you! It is guaranteed to hit home with so many of you and may very well be just the message you need to hear to make some lasting changes in your own life.
It is hard to believe we have only known her a couple short months; especially after the impact she has made on our lives and at PushPointe. Transitioning from hesitant and shy in our #Hange10 class to now helping and encouraging others – it is always a joy to have her in the studio. Her smile could not be any more contagious and her spirit any more beautiful. So my friends do yourself a favor and take a minute to read our next transformation story about the beautiful, the determined, the hard working friend we have in Crystal Davis.
Turning 40 in 2011 was very bittersweet for me. My marriage had completely fallen apart after almost 20 years and I was getting ready to enter the world of single parenting of two pre-teen girls. In addition to that, I was grieving the death of my father and helping to take care of my mother, who had dementia. My life was turned upside down and I was devastated and scared. The voice that kept running through my head at that time was, “I’m 40 years old, a single mom, overweight, and now what?” Through a lot of prayer, reflection, and support of family and friends, I realized that my best days were ahead of me and that I was in control of creating the ‘now what’s’ in my life. One of the things on top of my list was to be a healthy and active person and to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight.
My weight became an issue after giving birth to the girls in 1999. Even though I worked part-time during their early years, lived within walking distance of a greenway, had a gym membership that had childcare and lived less than 3 miles from it, I rarely exercised.
My lifestyle had become very sedentary and my eating habits spiraled out of control. As a family, we ate or took out dinner a couple of times a week and cooked very unhealthy meals on the other days. By 2011, I had gained 65 pounds and was wearing a size 18. There were many clothes that I could not wear in that size, but I refused to buy anything larger than that. My weight at that time was 240 pounds. I was in such shock and disbelief at seeing that number on the scale that I stopped weighing myself – it was just so painful.
Throughout the years, I had started so many diet and exercise programs, only to regain the weight that I had lost. At work, I evaluate students for special education services and work very closely with teachers to develop educational plans to help those students learn. Those educational plans have both long-term and short-term goals, objectives, and progress monitoring. So in 2012, I decided to place myself on a plan.
I bought a journal and wrote down my long-term goal, which was to lose 75 pounds, and broke that goal down into realistic monthly goals. With each monthly goal I developed weekly goals for exercising and eating, and identified potential obstacles to those goals. I reviewed and documented my progress on those goals each week and what I could do differently in the future if I didn’t meet a weekly goal.
What really helped me with developing and sticking with an exercise routine was not going home after work before going to the gym in the evenings. I changed into my gym clothes at work, even if I went home to pick up my daughters to take them with me. I took classes at my local gym 4 to 5 days a week. Developing friendships there provided me with a level of encouragement and support that I needed. I also took pictures and body measurements each month and put them into my journal. Looking back at my pictures and seeing the numbers go down each month motivated me to keep going and to not fall back into my old habits. I rewarded myself throughout the process with non-food items, such as clothes and make-up.
The biggest obstacle for me was planning and cooking healthy, quick meals that my daughters and I would enjoy. I get a lot of quick and easy healthy recipes off of Pinterest and Facebook. I plan all of my meals on Saturday for the upcoming week. It is rare for us to eat out or take out dinner. Since we are a busy family, I keep healthy snacks around the house that are easy to pack up and eat in the car for those times that we will be gone away from home for most of the day.
I reached my goal in 2013 and have maintained my weight loss. I continue to live a healthy and active lifestyle and set fitness goals for myself. I do strength and cardio training three days a week and hike or walk once a week. Working out became and continues to be my therapy and stress reliever. It is a priority for me. That time is scheduled and protected. For one hour, my mind is completely clear of everything that may be going on in my life and my focus is entirely on challenging my body. I’m able to apply the strength of running with a tire over my head or climbing a steep hill on a bike in spin class to other areas of my life.
It is truly a journey and not a destination. And what an amazing journey it has been! Along the way I’ve found a level of happiness and peace that I have never experienced before. The best part about this journey is that my daughters are a part of it and are learning not only about being healthy, but also about strength and resiliency. Although I’m back at my pre-pregnancy weight, I am more healthy and fit now in my 40’s than I ever was in my 20’s or 30’s. Not only did I become stronger physically, but mentally and emotionally as well.
– Crystal Davis