The Power Blog: More Than Just a Number It’s the Journey

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By Power of Humans Contributor Abby Schroeder

365 Days later…

One year ago today was the start of a new chapter for me. I walked into the health club for a personal training session because I was done being the fat mom. I could barely do one minute on the elliptical machine and walked out after one hour and thought I can’t keep this up, maybe fat was okay. I didn’t know any different any way!

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But I kept pushing myself. I joined a new gym after my second week of working out called 9Round Grafton. Little did I know this decision changed my life in ways I didn’t know possible. I wish I could put into words what it feels like to look back at the old me. When I look in the mirror I don’t see changes, but when I look at the pictures… a picture says a thousand words. And this journey for me is more than just how I look in pictures but it’s changing the trajectory of my life. I don’t come from good stock in terms of health and I want to change this and be a positive example for my two girls. This was in no way easy. I didn’t take any shortcuts- I put in the hard work, changed what I put in my body, and got active! This journey had its ups and downs, good days and bad days, good choices and bad choices but at the end of the day they all brought me to this place today.

People have been asking what prompted my recent lifestyle change. I haven’t been sure quite how to answer that question. My go to answer has been— “I am sick of being the fat mom.” But it is so much more than that.

My dad died when he was 40 years old after four heart attacks, leaving behind an almost four year old. My youngest is the same age right now that I was when my dad died. I didn’t want that for my girls. I want to be there for every birthday that I can, for as long as I can. At 35, I have already lost a parent, a father in law, all my grandparents, and my aunt  and battled cancer. I was given a second chance at a better life and it took me six years to figure that out.

Abby 5I could not have gotten through this and made these changes without some super important people in my life. My husband has been my biggest cheerleader, my biggest supporter, and my best friend. He holds down the fort at home so I can spend some time working on me, he empowers me to make good choices, and he’s always there when I need him. My girls have learned so much watching me this last year about making good choices. They are now aware of what is required to take care of yourself. They are often with me when I’m at the gym and can’t wait to join when they’re older. Ryan, the owner of 9Round Grafton, really doesn’t understand how much I owe him for where I am today. I’ve never met a person who believed in a 300 pound girl so much. His support, friendship,  putting up with me, pushing me, laughing with me, and listening ear has gotten me to today. It means more than you’ll ever know Ryan, you are helping people change their lives. My trainers Jordan and Sara – you two have become an integral part of my life picking me up when I can’t do anymore and teaching me new ways to accomplish things and how to believe in myself. I’m indebted to all three of you.

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Thank you to my 9Round family especially Nicole. I could not have made it through the year without you  -my number one workout buddy  -who pushed me to be better and supported me the entire time. We might not always want to go to the gym but we do it anyway! And to all my new workout buddies we have an amazing little family and I love being a part of it.

And thank you to all who messaged me, called me, or saw me out and about and said such kind words. I never set out to inspire or do anything else other than to hold myself accountable in a public forum and I certainly never thought I would last an entire year doing it. But your support either online or in person has been a huge motivator to me and I hope to continue to make everybody proud.

It’s not about the number on the scale but I love that I’m down 70 pounds, a whole lotta inches, and I finally found my smile again. I can’t wait to see what the next year looks like but I’m super happy to say hope I continue to be super involved with 9round Grafton and coming up with new and exciting ideas to do with that gym. And I’m starting my own blog to chronicle the next year of my journey.

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Thanks again and here’s to the next 70 pounds!