My story began in November of 2009 with a telephone call from my son. His life had fallen apart and he was in the hospital after a drug overdose. I flew to San Diego to be with him, and brought him home from the hospital. I tried everything I could think of to help him recover. I urged him to tap into his inner strength and put trust in God. After three weeks, my son assured me he would never attempt suicide again, and I could go home. So I went home.
On December 9th, I received another phone call. My son had overdosed again, and this time he had almost succeeded. I flew back to San Diego, and ended up spending 14 months there. During this time, my son was hospitalized nine times and attempted suicide again. He had generally given up on life.
During my stay in San Diego, I took on many new roles around my son’s home. I became the chief cook and bottle washer. I was the person responsible for everything related to his apartment. I was the driver when he chose to begin electroconvulsive therapy and was not allowed to drive. I was a parent to his three children. There were days when I really didn’t think I could do everything I had to do, but my son needed help, and I was more than willing to give it. The resulting stress I experienced was awful, to say the least. Eventually, stress began to manifest itself in weight gain. Every day I snacked on ice cream, homemade cookies and anything sweet within reach. I gained 15 pounds during my stay, and I felt fat, fat, fat.
In late December of 2010, we moved back to Washington. My son needed to rebuild his life, and I needed to be home. Once home, I decided that I no longer wanted to feel (and be) fat. I tried very hard to lose the weight I had gained, but wasn’t very successful.
In October of 2011, I decided it would be a good idea to begin working with a personal trainer, and I found Julian Aprile. He had just started working at Anytime Fitness, so I joined and began my journey back toward a healthy, fit life. I only wish I had done it sooner!
I knew that I had a challenge ahead of me, but I decided to commit to what I knew needed to be done in order to make things better. It is in my nature to accept a challenge—and this was a big challenge! Fifteen pounds may not sound like a lot, but takes a ton of work to lose those pounds. I put my head down and charged into the gym. I did what Julian taught me to do.
I have dropped two pant sizes. I feel better about myself and have more energy. I absolutely love the endorphin rush I get from working out at the gym. I have learned that I am capable of doing what I set my mind to. I am worth it. I came, I saw, and I am still conquering!
I hope that I can encourage other people to take better care of themselves, exercise, and get healthy. There is no weight loss too small. There is no gym activity you cannot do. There is no person who is more worthy of looking and feeling good. Go for it! What have you got to lose?
Submitted by Fitness Rebel Anya Edgely-Turpin