“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr
I haven’t had the chance to formally introduce myself. I’m Stephanie and not only am I the Senior Editor for the Legion Sports blog, I’m also a personal training client! I wasn’t always interested in working out and lifting. I’m aware that many out there, and maybe even some eyes that are reading this blog, have been in the same situation as I have, so I decided to share with you my journey. I’ll talk about where I started, how I got to where I am today, and where I see myself going. So here’s a look into my life and I hope you enjoy!
My journey started around 2015 – where I reached what I believe to be my heaviest weight. I say it like this because I didn’t own a scale and really only weighed myself when I went to the doctor. See the pictures above. I’ve always been an athlete, but once I left home, I really let my weight get out of hand without even thinking about it. I wasn’t going to the gym, I wasn’t working on my game during the off season and I wasn’t conditioning or keeping active. The result? I reached 245 pounds and was extremely overweight, uncomfortable and unhappy.
First Base – Weight Watchers
“Unsuccessful people make decisions based on their current situation; successful people make decisions based on where they want to be.” Anonymous
Show of hands – who hates the beginning of the year, when the gym is packed with everyone and their mama and you can’t get a free machine to save your life? Not just me? Okay, well I was one of those “new year, new me” people. I made the decision in January of 2017, that I was going to lose all this excess weight so that when I turned 30, I’d be at my goal weight and be happy and satisfied.
Let’s talk about gym anxiety!! I never wanted to go to the gym, especially alone. I’m the type of person that walks in the front door, knowing I was probably one of the biggest people, biggest female there and I instantly thought everybody was looking at me and judging me. I would very often leave the gym and burst into tears as soon as I got into the car because I was anxious the entire workout and held my emotions until I left. You think that’s anxious? The first trip to the grocery store after joining Weight Watchers, I had a complete emotional breakdown and called my mom crying because I had NO idea what I was supposed to be buying. Don’t worry, I eventually fell in love with going to the gym and now, grocery shopping is low-key a sport haha.
The thing they stressed the most and probably the one thing that I thought should have really stuck with me was that this is a lifestyle change. This is a marathon not a sprint. You can’t expect the changes to happen overnight. During the first two weeks after joining Weight Watchers, I lost more than 10 pounds. Granted, that was mostly water weight, but I definitely felt like I had a good thing going.
“Everything you want is out there waiting for you to ask. Everything you want also wants you. But you have to take action to get it.” – Jack Canfield
Over the course of the next 7 or 8 months, I proceeded to go to the gym daily, monitor my food intake by keeping track of Weight Watchers “points” and I never gave up. Between January and March, I lost almost 40 pounds. I was getting under 200 finally and I felt great, just in time for softball season. You can see the picture below of my first season “in shape.” I was getting compliments, I was getting “I hardly recognized you,” etc. That feels really good, especially when you know you’ve been putting in the work and making the sacrifices needed to get to where you want to be. I also had a wedding to attend and I bought a dress OFF THE RACK and had a ball!
Yikes. Thanksgiving, Christmas and Birthday, oh my. I finally reached my lowest (healthiest) weight at 185 and I was thrilled! For those of you who weren't keeping track, so you don't have to scroll to the top, that was roughly 65-70 pounds I lost in 10 months. I talked myself into letting myself enjoy the holidays without worrying about what I was eating. BIGGGGG mistake. I did make it to my birthday looking quite good, if I do say so myself (see below). I was happy and I was turning 30 and I had the time of my life. This is one of the few photos available from that excursion (woop).
February, 2018-May, 2019
The next year and a half was kind of a blur, my weight went up, my weight went down. Where I think my downfall started was when Weight Watchers changed their program. I couldn’t keep up with the changes and I felt like it didn’t work well with my body and the way I reacted to it. Because of that, I decided to make the choice to quit Weight Watchers and start calorie counting, while maintaining my workouts. I ended up paying for that decision.
I got back up to about 200, 215 and hovered around that weight for about a year. I literally didn’t lose one pound for an entire year. I was so frustrated, so discouraged and was just going to the gym because I knew I had to go to the gym. I changed from crying over anxiety to crying over being burnt out and wanting to just quit and take a break. Then May happened.
Second Base – The Break
May 18th, 2019
I will never ever forget this date. It’s coming up on a year and I remember it like it was yesterday. It was a RAINY April to say the least. We weren’t getting any softball in and we finally had a Saturday morning where there were no puddles on the field and I finally got out to Church league in the city for a couple of league games and I posted the below on my IG story. The irony behind this post is eerie. I hadn’t played in a while and I was just glad to be back.
I think it was my second at bat and I was running to 1st and as I was running through and possibly rounding looking for 2 I rolled my right ankle. So I thought I JUST rolled my ankle. The gentleman playing 1st base was a licensed EMT and helped me tie my show around my ankle for support and I gingerly walked off the field. I was in pain but as an athlete, I’ve rolled my ankle a few times in my life and I thought that’s all that it was. I got up to go back on to the field the next inning and when I couldn’t move side to side, it was then that I knew I had a problem. I went and sat down and I could feel my ankle getting tight in my shoe and the pain wasn’t improving at all.
I drove myself 30 minutes to an urgent care facility. When they called me back for an x-ray, I really struggled to get my shoe off. When I finally did, my ankle blew up. I never seen anything swell up so fast in my entire life. When the doctor finally came in to see me, she broke the news. It was broken!! I’ve played softball since I was 5 years old and never got seriously injured. See below for x-ray and first splinting photo.
This life is nothing but a roller coaster. What I just told you is just the tip of the iceberg. My initial part of the journey was full of success – but maybe that success came too fast. It left just as fast as it came. Come back next week to find out what it’s like to deal with an injury that puts your whole life on hold, how I picked up the pieces and both found a new love, and battled my gym anxiety once again.