137307073022595After joining Team LP Fitness Playground I have gone from almost 190 pounds to 148 pounds. At only 5ft 3in I still have a ways to go to meet my personal goal, but now I feel stronger than ever, both physically and mentally. It took me over a year but I did it the old fashioned way by eating clean and daily exercising.

I have struggled on and off with my weight most of my life. It was after I re-located to Northern California, got a high pressure office job and had my baby that I really gained a lot of weight. I started using food as a friend and stress reliever. I was in my early thirties and shopping at what I call the fat lady stores. It got to a point where I did not even recognize myself. I have spent hundreds of dollars on pills and gimmicks over the years hoping for a quick fix. At one point I even considered surgery. Nothing worked. Every year I started some now fad diet that lasted a few weeks and every time I was riddled with failure and ultimately gave up.

The day before I first walked into Team LP Fitness Playground I had gone to the doctor for a check-up and during my visit hearing the doctor tell me that I was obese? What? Did he just say I was obese? I knew I was overweight but obese? Had I really gone that far? Pushing a size 18-20 – I guess I had…..I was desperate and skeptical.

To my dismay as I walked into Team LP Fitness Playground, I was greeted by a friendly staff and other members who encouraged me. I kept waiting for some big SELL which I had always gotten from other gyms. It never came. I could not quite grasp that such a place actually existed! A clean, happy, environment filled with people who encouraged one another. No meat market, no ego trips – just a fun group of like minded people who all started somewhere, just like me. Of course, at the time I did feel like a big fish out of water.

The first 6 months were a struggle, to say the least. It took me awhile to learn how to think differently. But with the help of LP, I learned what eating clean really meant. I found that creating a place in my busy life for exercise was imperative to both my physical and mental health.

The ALL IMPORTANT one hour a day at least 4-5 days per week has become my time, my stress release and really the only time in my day that I have all to myself.

I had to find a way that worked for me, my life and my schedule, and eventually I did. My constant fear of failure slowly started slipping way.

Last summer I ran my first 5k which was a major accomplishment. I walked some of it, but low and behold, I finished! I could not believe that I was actually running. YES! I was finally able to say “I ran a 5k this weekend”. Did that actually come out of my mouth? What?! Yes it was me and I did it!!

I slowly started losing inches and had to retrain myself to stop focusing on the scale. Once I stopped weighing myself all together is when I could see and feel the weight starting to come off. Now I work out 5 times a week, and always bring my food with me to work. Eating clean throughout the day alleviates the temptation to eat the candy or bagels in the office. Of course, I still indulge but I generally try and stay away from sugar and processed food. I found that NOT depriving myself was a much better way to live.
The ultimate reward for me has been the small things. Things like my 6yr old daughter and I making our muscle mile together every morning instead of chocolate milk. Going to the store to try on clothes and actually enjoying going shopping again.

Not hiding as I walk through the plus size section hoping I don’t run into anyone I know. I no longer decline invitations because I do not have to go through the trauma of finding something to wear.
Recently I stood tall and proud in the dressing room double and triple checking the tag on the dress I was trying on. Yes, it was a size 8!

AND THE JOURNEY CONTINUES!

~ Tania DaLuca