Photo above: Program participants, trainers, administrators and support teams at the gala dinner prepared by Chef Eric.
By Molly Ingram
Wow. My 12 weeks of the Beaufort Memorial Hospital/Lifefit Body Makeover Program are officially over. And I have to admit that I am slightly overwhelmed with angst about the coming holiday weeks and all the calories that can be consumed. But I refuse to give back what I have worked so hard to gain.
We celebrated the end of the program with the 24 program participants, trainers, administrators and support teams, at a bittersweet gala dinner created by Chef Eric at the hospital. It was good to see you could create and enjoy a whole “gala” feast and still be within your goals for dinner in terms of fats, carbs and proteins. Although I’m not sure about those amazing cookies we had with dessert. They were too good to be healthy. Having said that, one of the things I have learned during these 12 weeks is that it really is all about substitution. I now know how to balance those wonderful cookies with my food intake for the rest of the day and not have the scale move the next morning.
Was the program worthwhile for me? Absolutely. I am so happy I had the courage to not only start the program but to finish it as well. And it was my team members and coach who really provided the glue to “start as a team” and “finish as a team.” I lost 21 pounds and 23 1/2” during those 12 weeks and I saw my blood pressure get better, my triglycerides drop considerably, and almost a 4% decrease in the body mass index. Do I look like a skinny model now? Hardly. A few people notice that I have the beginnings of a chin but that is about it. My clothes fit much better and my cleaning lady said I now look like a “Saggy A@#’d old lady” which I think was a compliment.
But this program cannot end for me here and I won’t let it. I have to keep going and make this into a lifestyle and not just another shot at trying to get healthy. Remember I mentioned our baseline fitness testing when we began? Well they do that at the end of the program as well to see how you have improved. And I have improved. In everything. I went from not being able to do a single push-up to being able to do 13. And I managed to take 10+ minutes off my walk/run mile and a half test. Honestly, I am more proud of that than I am of the inches and pounds I lost.
Our group had all the little old ladies in it, and one exception. The joke at the end of the program was that in 12 weeks we had all progressed enough to be able to get off the floor. When we started, Amy, our coach, has to help us back to a standing position. Now we can all do it ALL BY OURSELVES!
Here are some remarks I pulled off our closed Facebook page from other participants in the BMO program. I have left off names as this really is a private journey with new friends and I didn’t want to embarrass anyone. See what they have to say:
“Okay guys. It has been about 20 yrs. since I was able to put on a pair of jeans that you had to sip up and button. I bought a pair of jeans a year ago. Could not wear them. One of my goals was to be able to wear them. Well I put them on this morning and I was able to sip and button them up. Makes me want to work harder. Thanks Lifefit Body Makeover for coming into my life.”
“I feel immeasurably blessed! I joined Body Makeover and LifeFit at the same time – the day before BMO Orientation. I felt like I was throwing myself to the wolves. I didn’t know anyone. I hadn’t been to a gym and hadn’t exercised regularly in years. I am so thankful for David Purser and my team for encouraging and believing in me. Even with my setback with my hospitalization at the beginning of the program, BMO friends kept my spirits up. Thanks to everyone! Judy Sessions, did a random act of kindness by bringing me a towel one day while I was on the treadmill. That was the beginning of a friendship and a feeling of being on a bigger team than just Team David. I was on Team BMO and proud of it! I will be sure to pay it forward. I feel like a little kid and am so happy tonight! Thanks everyone — can’t wait to see you in the gym!”
“Just had my green protein shake for breakfast. Getting ready for my last class with Team Amy. Excited…happy…sad…can’t wait to see my friends/team for one last fun workout session. Kick butt. Yeah us!!!”
So, there you have it. Was it worthwhile? More than I can express. Things that we all thought were impossible in August, seem like the ordinary today. If you had told me I would climb 17 flights of steps in a single class I would have thought you were totally delusional three months ago. But not today. Today I can do it, I want to do it, and I hope you will want to join me. The next Body Makeover Program starts in January so if you have a desire to get the tools to change your life, think about signing up. And just so you know, since the end of the program I have lost another five pounds. I am not stopping this time. Remind me of that when you see my eyeing the Krispy Kreme donuts in Publix…