After 15 years of being overweight, Cheryl Hanna says it took just one light bulb moment to realize she needed to get healthy for herself and her family. By having a positive attitude, getting her children involved, and reciting the mantra, “trust the process,” she is now 125 pounds thinner and proud to show off the “guns” she’s worked so hard for.
I knew I was overweight, but felt like I was being selfish if I took time for myself to go workout.
We hear it time and time again. Women take such good care of everyone else in their lives, that they often forget about themselves. Cheryl was no exception. Though she was athletic and fit in high school and college, her activity decreased significantly in nursing school. By the time she got married, found a great job and started having babies, her focus had completely shifted to being all things to all people, except Cheryl. At 283 pounds, she knew she was overweight, saying, “I sucked at controlling me.”
Cheryl’s light bulb moment
My kids were in a running club at school – they participated in local 3Ks and 5Ks. After a 5K in March of 2023 my kids crossed the finish line and asked me when I would start running with them instead of watching,” Cheryl said. “My light bulb! I wasn’t being part of their lives, I was only watching from the sidelines. I didn’t want my kids memories to be of me watching them, I wanted them to remember that I played with them, ran with them, challenged them, that I was PART of their lives!”
We were embarrassed walking into a class with fit people – we were the fat chicks. But we went through those doors and never turned back.
Cheryl’s best friend became her workout buddy. In the summer they walked and ran, but in the winter they switched it up by doing Zumba, kick boxing and boot camp exercises. Her children were also instrumental in her weight loss process. “In the beginning, my kids encouraged me to run from one mailbox to another. It was horrible at first, but I continued,” she admitted.
People think they are eating healthy, but in reality, we aren’t!
Cheryl used her My Fitness Pal (MFP) app to track her food throughout the day, and she was shocked to learn exactly how many calories she was consuming. She calls the MFP her, “accountability tool,” and says she still uses it to plan and track her meals. She also learned that she can still have little indulgences, she just has to tweak them a little, like eating a single Hershey’s Kiss instead of an entire candy bar.
My biggest triumph is losing over 100 pounds, as well as learning that it’s a process.
Encouraged by her fitness trainers, Cheryl started a weight training routine to tone up the loose skin from her weight loss. In the beginning she was confused because she didn’t see numbers going down on the scale, but her clothes fit better so she knew the weights were working. It was at that point Cheryl realized that even though it may seem like a tedious process, she had to keep moving forward and the results would be there.
Cheryl’s advice: “Keep doing what you are doing, making small changes when needed, trust the process (even when you want to quit) and you will get there. It took a long time to trust the process when I hit plateaus – but I trusted it – and it works.”