My name is Susan Lucy and I am a 41 year old stay-at-home mother of 3 children, ages 10, 8, and 6. I have been married for 13 years and live in a suburb outside of Boston, Massachusetts. This is my story.
For the better part of my adult life I have obsessed about my body image. I grew up active and never had to watch what I ate. When I went to college, I gained the freshman 15 (which was more like 25) and spent the next 5 years punishing myself horribly about how I looked. I became bulimic and spent most of my waking hours thinking about what I ate, should eat, making myself sick or exercising like crazy. I truly hated myself. I tried every diet and gimmick in the book and got more depressed each time I failed. I wasted so much time obsessing during those years. Time I should have spent enjoying my 20's and living life. Time I can't get back. When you're 41, that time seems so much more precious.
After college, I began a career and was able to stop my eating disorder thanks to some wonderful support. I exercised regularly but was a "cardio queen”, I lost most of the weight I had put on in college but I still obsessed about how I looked for many years to come – through getting married, having 3 kids in 3 years (talk about body image issues) and leaving my career to stay home with my children.
After my youngest child was born in 2002, I got more serious about getting fit, again by doing mostly cardio and not much weight training. I worked out consistently, mostly to compensate for my bad eating habits. I still had many issues with food and I would get so angry with myself for “going off my diet” or eating “forbidden foods”.
In 2004, my husband got me a gift of personal training for Christmas. While I was working with the trainer, I did awesome. I gained some upper body strength, which is what I had wanted for a long time. Around the same time, I also got my certification to be a spinning instructor and started teaching at a local gym. I ultimately had to stop the personal training because of the financial burden. Once again, I found it difficult to continue with my program. I no longer had a plan and so I would usually go back to my comfort zone and just do cardio.
Last summer, I was sitting up one night and saw the infomercial for P90X. I was very intrigued but very reluctant to buy it. First of all, I never was successful working out at home. I am a hardcore gym rat. Second of all, I had purchased so many gimmicks and gadgets in the past, I didn’t want to be let down again. If it said, “as seen on TV”, I owned it. But the next time I saw the infomercial, something grabbed my attention. There didn’t seem to be any gimmicks just hard work and some discipline. I still didn’t purchase it. Could I do this for 90 days? Would I fail again? What ultimately convinced me to buy it was, I wanted to get some upper body strength and this seemed simple – push-ups and pull-ups were core exercises. Little did I know how humbling it would be to try to do a pull-up? Frankly, I never really thought about the nutrition aspect of the program but soon realized how important good nutrition was to be successful on this program. When I got my P90X, I was very overwhelmed. It seemed so “extreme”. I didn’t even want to take my measurements initially, but I did, because I think part of me was convinced I was going to fail again. I had my daughter take Day 1 pictures and I started on September 1, 2007.
I thought I was in pretty good shape before I started but I got my butt kicked pretty badly that first week. I did great with the cardio as a result of my spinning, but the weight training, primarily the push-ups and pull-ups were so hard. I couldn’t even do one pull-up. I kept thinking “What have I gotten myself into? I can’t do this”. On the DVD, you kept mentioning the MBB community and the message boards so one night I checked them out. I had never heard of a thread, or posted anything on the internet. I lurked for many days, so intrigued how people could share all this personal stuff about themselves to complete strangers. The funny thing is, they did not seem like strangers to one another. They were helping with nutrition and workouts and well, with just about everything. One day I posted and I never stopped. I can say with absolute certainty, that I would not have made it through the 90 days had it not been for the message boards.
It was around day 45 that it all clicked for me. I felt myself getting stronger and instead of obsessing about what food I had put in my body, I was thinking "What do I need to consume to fuel my body for my next workout?" I was stronger but not just on the outside. I had more confidence and felt better because my eating was cleaner. I had hated myself for so many years; it was refreshing to be proud of my efforts. I even posted my progress pictures on the message boards. I would have never had done that in the past. People in my spin classes started telling me that my classes were better than they had ever been.
P90X has taught me how to work out properly and efficiently. Every day when I get up, I have a plan on what I am going to do. I do most of my weight workouts at home but I am at the gym a lot for my classes so I also weight train there. I even have a nutrition plan that I follow, most of the time. Because of my past, I will always struggle with eating issues, but they don’t control me any longer. If I do eat something unclean, I am learning to let it go, get up the next day and move on. I am a totally changed person. Mentally, I am more confident and physically I am stronger than I could ever imagine. One year later, I am still using P90X as my primary workout, although I have integrated TMT and ChaLean Extreme as well. My spinning instructing is better than ever; and I am a better parent and spouse because I am now happy with the person I am.
I am constantly asked how I achieved my results. Because I work in a gym, people expect me to say that I spent all this money on a trainer etc. When I tell them it's from a set of DVD's I bought from an informercial, well most of them are speechless.
I have two daughters, one of which is entering puberty soon. I hope they never have to go through the struggles with weight and body image I did as a young adult. It is truly self-destructing. Society puts so much pressure on girls to look a certain way and I want my daughters to be confident, fit young women. I am doing my best to be a good role model for them, and my son. They know how important fitness and healthy eating is in my life. If they take and use that knowledge as they grow up, and become fit confident young adults, then I will be even more of a success story.
I recently became a coach and hope to be able to help others with their fitness goals as others here at BB have helped me. Thank you Tony and Beachbody for helping me change my life!