How Success Stories Helped Me Lose 100 Pounds
by Charlotte Siems
I wasn’t exactly in the market for a fitness magazine.
They all seemed geared towards blonde size 2 twenty-somethings and I was a brunette size 22 forty-seven. Stacking up their 29” abs against my 52” reality wasn’t how I wanted to spend an afternoon, and besides, I didn’t have time for exercise. With eight children at home, the youngest at one year old, homeschooling was a full-time job. I had never been the athletic type, and the idea of training in a gym was laughable.
Me? Decked out in fitness wear at a gym? In front of other people?
Still, deep down I knew I had to do something. My health was rapidly going downhill and I still had little children to raise.
It’s only fitting that I found an exercise program while sitting in front of a computer. Sitting was how I spent most of my time. From the moment I clicked to the T-Tapp website, I felt like it was “real people exercise.”
The success stories included all ages and every size and shape. Fit people who got fitter, obese people who got slender, sick people who got well. My heart beat a little faster. Maybe this would work for me.
So began my love affair with success stories. I read nearly every success story on the website while I waited for my first workout DVD to arrive. I read and re-read the success stories in Fit and Fabulous in 15 Minutes, ignoring the workout instructions. When I received my Basic Workout Plus, I watched the success stories on Meet the Team.
My favorites were the stories of people who had lost a LOT of weight.
After I began working out and lost some inches, my appetite for success stories grew. The special “lost 100 pounds” and “half their size” issues of national magazines caught my attention. I bought them and pored over the photos, studying what they did and how they changed. Then I tore out that section from the magazine, stapled it together into my own personal success story booklet and threw the rest away.
Whenever I would get a little discouraged or impatient, I would sit down with my little success story library and browse through, whether that was the Fit and Fabulous book or my booklets. Right in the middle of difficult, feeling-sorry-for-myself workouts, I would stop and watch Meet the Team again. And again.
This was not just a one-time deal. It became a lifeline, a new way of thinking.
At the time, I thought it was just my way of keeping on track and freshening my motivation.
I didn’t realize that I had stumbled upon a secret of success: focusing on a vision. I was constantly thinking of what I wanted my life to look like.
Rather than focus on how fat I was and how bad I felt about myself, I changed my focus. My thoughts went from negative, hopeless, toxic thoughts of discouragement and self-criticism to positive, hopeful, excited thoughts of goals and “I can do it” and “I can’t wait!.”
The success stories became a self-fulfilling prophecy because I backed up my focus with the actions that got me from there to here.
I still didn’t buy very many fitness magazines because I was only interested in one kind of exercise: T-Tapp. Many people with an interest in fitness love those mags. I preferred the variety of “common woman” stories I found in general women’s magazines.
Success stories provided a shot in the arm (of hope) when I needed it. I would tell myself, “If they could do it, so can I!” If I was discouraged about how far I had to go, I would read a success story. I would tell myself not to think about the looming mountain, but to focus on the very next step uphill.
The next time you need a shot of motivation that “you can,” click over to the T-Tapp website or dust off your Basic Workout DVD and watch the stories of real people. Buy a magazine with before and afters or find some in a book. They will help you re-program and renew hope, which is where your success story begins.
My own success story ~ Renewing Me: Size 22 to 6, 15 Minutes at a Time