I came to Los Angeles after being unemployed for months, not very mobile, and had gained a few pounds. I was not feeling my best. My jeans were feeling a little tighter but didn’t think I gained any weight since the number on scale didn’t move. We all know, our clothes never lie, and it was the truth for me.

I remember going to meet Anthony, my fabulous boyfriend for the first time, putting on jeans that were too tight in the waist with a top that bloused out so you could not see how the rolls were rolling over. I didn’t feel my best but I was going to do my best to rock and meet new people.  We all know Anthony and I did hit it off, but it was not thanks to my extra pounds. The truth is I don’t think he was really attracted to me until I made the realization, I needed to lose weight. He had already begun to his Lifestyle Change. At the time he called it a diet. I hate that word and quickly dubbed it a Lifestyle Change. I was watching him count calories, work out and saw the pounds melt away.  I had been toying with the idea of losing weight for years always around the summer, but never really did anything about it. I had never worked out before. The thought of going to a gym was daunting, and intimidating to me. Plus in NYC, gym memberships were very expensive and I never made enough money.  I had the best of intentions to get in shape, but I never followed through.  Finally when I saw Anthony losing weight in what seemed to be an easy method, I thought I can do this. After much thinking, and debating on whether this is what I really wanted to do, I told Anthony I was ready to lose 10 pounds. I was ready to make the change! I remember this moment, very clearly. I don’t think I will ever forget it. I know now this is a moment that has forever changed the outlook of my life. I know now this where my life took a complete 360° for the better.

Anthony was a key role in my Lifestyle Change. If it was not for his support and guidance I would never have had the guts to take the step to be healthier.  Anthony explained how weight loss works, which to some might seem obvious but to someone like me who never watched what I ate, it was all new.  He explained in order to lose 1 pound you need to cut 3,500 calories from your diet through diet and exercise.  As soon as those words left his mouth I thought this is going to be really tough for me, but I can do this! I really was ready to make a positive change.  

Through searching on Google I figured how much I should weigh based on my height, how many calories I should be eating and how many should be cut from my diet.  I wanted to lose 10 pounds. I started off with an attainable goal for myself. I didn’t want to push myself to hard. I wanted to make this something I wanted to do. Through my research I found I should be eating 1,500 calories a day, which I cut to 1,000. I found out in order to keep my metabolism going, it’s best to eat 4-5 times a day, every 2-3 hours, small meals. I started a food log that listed everything I ate that day, the time I ate it, and the calories for each item in a spread sheet.  I started everyday weighing myself and put it in the food log to keep track of my progress.  

For the first few weeks I was not going to the gym. I wanted to see if I could lose the weight without working out.  I never worked out a day in my life and was intimated to join a gym. I knew my body was in horrible shape. Plus I hated physical activity. I walked everywhere and thought that was enough. The truth is walking is never enough, I know that now.  The first week I lost a pound, but the progress seem slow. I was only cutting my calories I was consuming. I had not attempted to work out. The gym was calling my name. I took the leap, and decided to check out gyms. I went to three gyms in walking distance. Finally I ended up at 24 Hour Fitness since many of my friends, including Anthony belonged there.  

I knew joining the gym was the final step in the Lifestyle Change I needed. I was going to get to my goal now! I made the goal of burning at least 500 calories at the gym using cardio machines. Those 500 calories burned, and the 500 calories cut from my diet totaled 1,000 calories a day. I wanted to hit my final goal before heading back to NY/NJ in December. The pounds started to come off. I was so excited to wake up and weigh myself. When the scale went down it was the best feeling in the world. My hard work was paying off!  I won’t lie getting into working out was not easy for me, but now for the most part I love it. 

Anthony took me the gym for the first time to show me how to use the machines. I had never been on a cardio machine before. I had no clue how to use it, and no idea how hard I would be. Without thinking Anthony put the elliptical machine on level 10 resistance. I thought I was going to cry. That was not how I wanted to start my working out experience. Quickly he lowered it to level 5 resistance.  I was able to handle that, and see I am very capable of working out. I thought I can do this! I started going to the gym 6 times a week, and burned a minimum of 500 calories, for the most part I burned over that, closer to 800. I thought I walked 1.5 miles to the gym. I was there, might as well get the most out of my walk.  

Some days I love the gym, and could not wait to get there. Other days I dragged myself there, but always burned at least 500 calories. I wanted to get the weight off. The Lifestyle Change was a positive change for me. I am living a healthier lifestyle and could not be happier!