For many people there is a certain age that is considered to be too late or too old. Other people simply feel like “I’ve been this way for so long, I can’t…” The can’t is typically about losing weight, making changes, or feeling better.

I stand ~5’ 3”, was at 47% body fat, weighing in at more than 250 pounds, and 39 when I joined the gym. I had plantar fasciitis and nerve pain in both feet, my knees ached, and my cardiovascular fitness didn’t exist. I was also dealing with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and hypothyroidism. These were my excuses.

Find a Motivator

I hated many things – looking at my reflection, shopping, dressing up, or even getting out of bed. I was jealous of others – for looking nice and being able to buy clothes anywhere, including online without having to try them on first.

I felt like crap. Having two dogs that love to be exercised, but not have energy in addition to the foot issues, I was struggling. The dogs were also heavy, even though their diet was fairly healthy. I felt like I was failing my kids.

Get Started

Start working with a trainer 2 days a week. It does not matter what your goal is. Two days a week is the way to go. Spend the first 2-4 weeks undoing bad posture, fixing form, and getting stable. Spend the first two months learning about nutrition and what you are putting into your body. For the first month, I didn’t change much in my diet, I just started moving. Month two, I started logging my food and gradually changing my diet.

Keep Motivated Beyond the First Three Months

The first 3 months were mentally frustrating. It took over three months to really start seeing physical changes even though the scale and measurements were reflecting changes. At the four month mark, I had to buy smaller clothes and people started commenting. What helped me was that I was feeling better and I wanted that feeling to continue.

Toughen Up. Walk it Off.

Even with my body still aching, I pushed through. Realizing the foot and knee pain was linked to my weight and that, as I was losing the weight, the pain wasn’t flaring up as often, really helped.

Drop the Excuses

It is never too late. Get up. Get moving. Find something that works for you. Pain is mental. It really is. Find a way to deal with it and push through. I chose to ignore my aches during my exercise, but after my workouts I elevated and iced my arches and had a muscle relaxer. When I was down 50 pounds at 5 months in, the pain stopped. Everything mentioned at the start of the article is gone. Well I am still 5’3″, but I feel like I stand taller and my posture is better. My hypothyroidism will always exist because I have nodules, but my medication fixes that.

If you are morbidly obese, I recommend working with a personal trainer. Not because I am one, but because it is the best thing you can do for yourself. Good trainers make you feel safe, challenge you, keep you accountable, and push you to push yourself. Without my trainer, I would have given into pains or found excuses to stop. With his help and support, I have a healthy routine in my life that includes nutrition and exercise as well as an awesome lifelong friendship.

Keli Hay is a certified personal trainer using her weight loss success to help others.

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