Weight-Loss Win is an original Yahoo series that shares the inspiring stories of people who have shed pounds healthfully.
Bethany Holick is 34 years old, 5 feet 3 inches tall, and currently weighs 145 pounds. In 2012, realizing her weight had climbed to nearly 200 pounds, she left a routine doctor’s appointment in tears and began changing her life. This is the story of her weight-loss journey.
The Turning Point
I had wanted to lose weight for a long time, but I just never knew where to start. In 2012, I went to the doctor for my normal physical and stepped on the scale, and it said I weighed 198 pounds. I remember saying to myself, ‘Oh, my God, that’s almost 200.’ As I was sitting in the room waiting for my doctor, I looked at the body mass index chart on the wall next to me. I put one finger on my height, 5 feet 3 inches, and one on my weight, 198… according to the chart, I was obese. I cried. My doctor came in, and I looked at him. “I’m obese!” I said. That was my turnaround. I knew I had to do something — and that I had to do it now.
(Photo courtesy Bethany Holick)
I talked with a friend of mine who joined a local boot-camp gym. I thought it would be fun and certainly a start. On the first day, I couldn’t even do 10 sit-ups or a pushup on my knees. I wanted to get up and leave. But I didn’t. The next day, I found myself back at boot camp. I knew I had to do this and not give up.
Three weeks after joining, my trainer asked me if I signed up for the Mother’s Day 5K. I looked at her like she was crazy. I couldn’t even run around the building without stopping. But again, I found myself at the starting line — this time, of my first 5K. I was going to do this even if I had to walk. I finished it in 48 minutes, and the feeling I had when I heard people cheering, and later, the feeling of accomplishment — it was a high. I wanted to do it again and push harder.
I became a runner. I would even run to boot camp. Even if I ran and then walked, I just kept telling myself it was more than what I’d be accomplishing just sitting at home.
A few months later, I finished my first 5K Mud Run, and a year later, I completed my first Tough Mudder with multiple 5Ks in between. My times were getting better, and I was truly enjoying my new life.
Seeing how much weight I was losing, I just never wanted to go back. I stopped drinking soda, cut all sugar out of my diet, and learned about healthful portion sizes. I knew that if I slipped back into eating the way I used to, then I’d look the way I used to look too.
The reason I kept going, and keep going to this day, is the feeling of accomplishment. As soon as I started to see changes in my body, I started to feel better about myself. I didn’t go home and hide in my house anymore. I loved the feeling of making goals, seeing them through, and setting new ones.
(Photo courtesy Bethany Holick)
The first time I was able to run around with my son and my niece and nephews without feeling tired was emotional for me. Finally, I was able to keep up and really live life. I was no longer on the sideline.
These days, I’m normally at the gym by 4:30 a.m., and I still love to run and bike. I eat what I want. I’m not an “all-natural” or perfectly clean eater; I’m just mindful of the portions of everything I eat, and I always make sure I have a salad and/or veggies and protein.
I’ve learned that if you tell yourself you can’t eat something, you’re only going to cave later on and fail, so I try to be wiser about my food choices.
I always look at my before-and-after pictures, and when I see what I used to look like, I head to the gym or go for a run, or I walk out of the kitchen. Sometimes it all comes down to how badly you want something.
Now, the most gratifying part is helping others. I set up a Facebook page, Fatgirlturns Fit, through which I can keep myself accountable and also inspire others.
If you want to change, you will change your ways. Nothing is easy, but the harder you work for it, the better you will feel at the end!
Need more inspiration? Read about our other weight-loss winners!
Weight-Loss Win is authored by Andie Mitchell, who underwent a transformative, 135-pound weight loss of her own. Have a success story to share? We want to hear it. Tell us at firstname.lastname@example.org.