I’m Gigi, a mother of two girls, originally from New York, Losing weight has been a lifelong struggle. While I always loved and enjoyed exercise, I loved to eat too. I would lose weight and gain weight like a roller coaster. Usually I stopped at 50 pounds, and then reverted back to old habits. Deep down I always knew that I was an emotional eater. Instead of dealing with emotions, I would drown them with food, in secret. So there was this vicious cycle of eat healthy, exercise, binge.
A year after I had my second child, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. I was about to learn that my challenges would become more fierce. The frustration of balancing medication, kids and life made me very depressed. Luckily, I snapped out of it and continued to look for solutions. I could only wallow for so long.
In 2014 I joined Tone It Up, an online community of very strong and friendly women, whom I would also end up meeting in person. I started to learn more about what healthy eating really was again, trying new foods and recipes. More importantly, I found women who so much wanted to help complete strangers and befriend them in real life. I ate clean meals, and we worked out together virtually.
But as time went on, I wasn’t really dealing with the underlying issue: emotional eating and binging. The vicious cycle had to stop.
In April of 2017, I started another challenge with the Tone It Up ladies. This time I committed to it 100 percent. I lost 30 pounds. But by September I had stalled out, and even gained back 7 pounds. I had moved to Florida in December of 2016, and I looked for a gym that I would enjoy going to. Unfortunately I lived in Crestview where my options were not at all inspiring. So that same Spring when I had began that journey and lost the 30 pounds, I started bringing my kids to Bluewater Fitness for the summer and then never stopped.
I drove 60 miles a day to go to BWF for one year, and eventually moved here this past September. I started meeting really nice and inspiring people, and trainers who were always open to helping, while really getting a handle of what was available to me at the gym. i joined Regymen Fitness when it opened in November and I figured I had nothing to lose, but everything to gain.(How is that for irony). When I signed on, trainer Quinton Gray said to me,”Are you fully committed to this?” I said yes, and I fully felt like he believed in me.
I was getting stronger but still struggling. In the first few months of Regymen my plantar fasciitis flared up, but we found options and they helped me work around it. In the Spring of 2018, I went for my yearly cancer check up, and I talked honestly with my doctor. He gave me a target caloric rate, he spoke honestly with me about the limitations I have living without a thyroid. I took his advice and ran with it. I researched ways to manage the caloric rate he gave me and I found a way to balance it with my Tone It Up nutrition plan and amped up my dedications to the gym. I also researched online the best ways to really signal your body to burn fat. And it started working, but I was apprehensive that it would stall, or stop because I had never been able to get past the 50 pound loss. And while I didn’t remove myself from social situations because that is not real life, I learned to manage them in a way that I could extend into life after losing weight.
Today, my total weight loss stands at 83 pounds. I’ve dropped 4 dress sizes. I still want to lose 25 more, and I’m on track to get there. In between April of 2018 and now I’ve learned to cope with my emotional eating and binges. I used to hear people say, “when you get hungry, be busy, distract yourself”. But all I kept thinking was, ‘I’m hungry’. But then I started
questioning why I was hungry, and I found that it was the variety of stressors in my life that were revving up my body and creating the illusion that I was hungry because it was working so hard to manage my anxiety. I started ritualizing these moments by separating myself from the toxic environment for five minutes with a cup of anything warm and soothing that would enable me to step back and tell my mind and body to rest. I would close the door, light a candle, drink some Mushroom Matcha and breathe. I realized that this could help me.
There is more to what is “eating” me, but hopefully I will get a handle of those things and learn to finally be happy with myself. With the loving family at Bluewater Fitness and Tone It Up, I hope to get to realize my physical as well as self satisfying aspirations. Because I believe, if we don’t live with passion, we are not really living. And before you know it, life is passing you by.
As I evolve physically, I hope to evolve internally as well. I will never be done with learning new things, and trying them. As I read somewhere once, “its never the end, unless of course it is the end,” we are not perfect humans. We can strive to live our journey’s in the fullest way possible.