Work Harder, Push Stronger and Fight Meaner
by: Rona Samson
I recently had an opportunity to share my story for a special September issue for Women’s Health Magazine Philippines and it was such a privilege to be able to share my weight loss journey. Or some parts of it. While I was on one of my morning cardio walks, I realized who better to share my story to everyone than myself. I may not be a writer by profession or grammatically incorrect most of the time, but I know my heart has so much more to share.
I have always been the “bigger” girl most of my life. The “Shaquille O’Neal” during school basketball games. But it never bothered me or prevented me from doing the things that I love. I might have been teased from time to time, but I was brought up with self security and happiness that they never got under my skin. Regardless of what others may perceive me, it did not matter. Because I believed and still believe that I am beautiful in my own ways.
October of 2009 is when I first fractured my left knee (pattelar) in 6 places. That was the beginning of 4 knee surgeries, muscle atrophy, almost 2 years walking with crutches and the infamous 250pounds.
Tipping the scale at 250 pounds was indeed infamous due to the fact that it contributed to many sorts of things. High blood pressure, fatty liver, sleep apnea and plantar fasciitis just to name a few.
I woke up one morning crying begging God for help. After a long conversation through prayer, I suddenly had a rush of determination and clarity of what needs to be done.
I started changing the way I eat. Processed carbs, oil & sodium became extinct in my food universe. Water became my best friend. The best part was the fact that I would eat every 3-4 hours in a day, small portion that is. Once I was able to walk again, I started doing cardio on the elliptical machine 45mins a day, 5-6days a week. I increased my cardio intensity and time every two weeks. After 6 months, I added strength training with weights in my routine. I constantly challenge myself. I went from not being able to bend my knees to free squatting 60kilos in 15months time. From 250 pounds to 150 pounds.
I am now training myself harder not to get skinny but, to become stronger. Running presents a challenge for me and I plan to conquer this by preparing myself to join a duathlon for my 31st birthday this coming November. No magic pill, purely a lifestyle change, commitment and determination.
I recently joined a Plus Size Model search and was asked why I entered the competition. It was not for fame or the prize. I just simply wanted to inspire women to embrace themselves. To encourage those who desires to be at a healthier weight and re-assure them that it is possible. I did it with a handicap, so can they.
I made Top 8 for the Plus Size Model Search and were required to ramp for the Finals. While most might feel nervous to walk the ramp, I was on cloud nine. That short walk on the runway was my crowning glory. I was in awe because after 4 years, I am able to strut on high heels. The voice of my orthopedic surgeon and my physical therapist resonated in my head saying with gusto “you may never wear high heels again”. That moment, I was already a winner.
Although I only shared some of the highlights in my journey, it really is a tough road to take. Same as with any aspirations that we have, it requires your 100%. There were days that I didn’t want to gym, when sleeping in was a way better option than working out or a whole week that healthy eating was not an option. The key is to not let that stop you from pushing. So what if you miss a day or two, that does not mean it’s over. It simply means for you to get back out there and work harder, push stronger and fight meaner. — END
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