Sunday, January 29, 2012

Jo's Story blows FATTEST LOSER out of the water

No one can argue that losing weight IS HARD WORK.  It takes years of habitual poor eating and inactivity to put on weight.  The success of THE BIGGEST LOSER could be the drama that surrounds the efforts of the over weight contestants, and it could also be the thrill of their achievement. 

But here are the BIGGEST LOSER facts:
  • Contestants don't have to go to work and don't have to worry about paying the bills
  • Contestants are removed from addictive environments (family and friends get fat together.... have a truthful look around....)
  • Contestants are motivated to train all day with an experienced trainer, for FREE
  • They have their fridge stocked and an on site caterer
  • They have a handsome unit of a man telling them to stop being a fat pig and put down the cake....  
  • The whole nation is watching so it makes it a whole lot harder to chuck a tanty and make pitiful excuses (but they still do!)
  • Because they could potentially win a whole lot of money and fame
  • Because they get to watch the play-back of the personality weaknesses that have lead them down path of morbid obesity (holding a mirror in front of you all day long is a life changing experience).

So how do normal people beat the staggering odds of failing to lose, and keep, weight OFF.

Jo Johnson, our wonderful Monday evening Sweat Depot Hills PCYC instructor is a real life example of beating and not retreating back to morbid obesity (I know, I know.... I would never have believed it in a MILLION years).

Jo could have kept this her little secret, because it is painful revisiting a time in your life where you had to turn the mirror on yourself and ask yourself to change.  But this amazing women wants to give us the gift of personal experience, and she shares it in her usual graceful and humble way.

It isn't easy to put down on paper things in your past that you weren't happy with or make you cringe with the memory.  I can't say that I have regrets about anything because the things that happen through your life mould you into the person that you BECOME. 
I went through early childhood  with exuberant energy and couldn't sit still and had to be on the move all the time.  My physicality was due to the great genes that I inherited from my father.  Lean as a gazelle with everybody telling me that I was too thin (which I hated). 
I grew up in an unhappy home and it's not surprising that I found myself pregnant and married at sixteen.  We had a real go at marriage and bought our own milk run.  It wasn't an easy life for a couple with a small child.   All our friends were going out having fun and we were working our butts off seven days and nights a week.  My husband would do the milk run at nights and I would stay home and record the milk orders during the day.  My nights would consist of sitting up until midnight and then wake him to do his run.  It was very hard to stay awake but I found that food became my friend - it would keep me company and keep me awake.
Slowly the weight crept on, and on... and on.  I knew that it was getting out of control but I felt trapped.  Exercise was not an option because I was tied to the phone during the day and stuck at home at night with a sleeping husband and baby.  Before I knew it i had reached 110 kilos.  The only way I knew was that the doctor weighed me worried about my weight.  I went into denial.  I started making excuses.  All the ones that I have just written about.  I avoided cameras.  Then I avoided people.  I was embarrassed and ashamed.
Jo in the 70's (she is on the right).  I'm too busy looking at the 70's style to notice if she is overweight?
Then I started to watch what I ate.  But I only lost a small amount of weight and thought "What was the good of that.  It hasn't worked," and I would fall back into old habits.  It wasn't until I saw a photo of a friend's wedding and wondered who the 'fat chick' was and realized it was me. 
That was the turning point.  I had had enough of feeling sick.  I felt as if my body had slight food poisoning all of the time. 

Close up of young Joey
I started out by pushing the kids in the pram three kilometres to the kindy.  Then back again in the afternoon.  Then I started to go to exercise classes once a week.  I then joined a gym, but they didn't have classes so I asked if I could start them if we found enough people interested (no qualifications needed those days).  
I was feeling good about myself for the first time in a very long time.  I started to eat healthy as well.  I stopped drinking milk when I was thirsty and stopped pouring cream onto my cereal.  I vowed that I would only eat REAL food i.e. food that grew or grazed.  I bought a steamer and lightly steamed my veges or grilled my fish or chicken.  The weight slowly moved from my body, but it was more the way that I felt.  I stopped feeling ill, I stopped having trouble sleeping.  I felt great when I woke up in the morning.

I liked myself for the first time in a long time.  I didn't realise who lonely I had been.  
Food is not a substitute for friendships and confidence.

Joey - 50 something fabulous
The rest is history.  But it's my life history and my journey and I am proud of how dam hard I worked to get that weight off.  It wasn't easy and it's still not easy.  People look at me and say how fit and healthy I look for my age.  It is a choice.  A choice I make in every decision I make.  Whether to eat that or whether to sleep in.  Believe me, it isn't the easy choice.  It's all about making an effort.  Get off the coach, get out of the house and get off you arse.  No one can do it but you. 

Remember to treat food as fuel,  The better the quality of the fuel, the better your body will run.  I am in this industry because I am absolutely passionate about health.  It is your wealth.  The way to make a difference IS TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

Enjoy your life....
Jo.

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