Guest Post: The Impulse Buy That Changed My Life

Hey guys! I have here a fourth installment of my guest post series. I am in love with this post about Claire’s Healthy Tipping Point. It reminds me a lot of mine — one day, Claire just started working out and never looked back. I also really love how Claire and I found each other — she and I have two friends in common (one from childhood and one from grad school, for me!), and through them, Claire found my blog. In fact, one of those friends was my last guest poster… the other Claire! The Claire posting today has been a regular reader and commenter on KWH and I now feel as though we’ve forged our own friendship through the internet. I love stuff like that. Blogs are awesome. Enjoy Claire’s beautiful post below!

This is the story of how I lost 65 lbs by watching DVDs.

I spent most of my life being overweight.  I never understood what it meant to feel full or satisfied by food. I ate whatever I wanted, often secretly buying junk food and hiding it in my room. I even remember getting up in the middle of the night, making a batch of cookie dough and eating it by myself. Not my proudest moment.  At 16 years old I had chest pain, couldn’t walk upstairs without getting winded and had zero self-esteem.

I was constantly embarrassed and angry at the world (aka myself) but didn’t know how to change. I ate to avoid feelings, and felt ashamed because I was overeating. Enter the addictive cycle of food and shame.  By the time I reached junior year of high school I was close to 200 lbs at only 5’3”.

Things started to change my senior year when someone recommended I try Weight Watchers. We enrolled as a family and for the first time in my life I felt I had some control over my weight. I started to understand portion control and the value of healthy foods. I lost some weight, but soon gained it back. I tried again in college and lost significantly more, but I yo-yoed and by a year after graduation I had gained it all back again.

I knew how to eat healthy but I didn’t exercise.  As a result I had nothing to fall back on when I fell off the diet wagon. It was definitely the all-or-nothing mentality Kaitlin has talked about on her blog. I was either dieting or pigging out for weeks *cough* months at a time.

About 2 years ago an impulse-buy changed my life. I saw an easy work-out DVD while waiting in line at TJ-Maxx, (they stack the queues with little items like that on purpose…), and bought it on a whim. I got up the next morning and did the video before work.  I loved the extra energy it gave me and it kept me motivated to eat right throughout the day. I’ve been working out every morning ever since and now have a collection of about 20+ DVDs. I don’t need to spend money on a gym membership; I just grab some hand weights and sometimes an exercise ball. I rotate my favorites depending on my mood and what I feel my body needs that day.  The variety of DVDs means I can focus on cardio, strength or combine the two.

The first DVD I bought at TJ Maxx: Shape Cardio: Bikini Body All Year Round

The DVDs also allowed me to exercise in the morning, something I’d NEVER thought possible for me. I’ve found that starting the day with an endorphin boost is addictive. I even started eating breakfast, which I hadn’t done in about 10 years, because working out made me hungry!

I love that I don’t have to drive anywhere and I don’t have to look pretty.  I can just roll out of bed, throw on whatever I want and jump around my living room. Doesn’t matter if I look like an idiot because no one’s watching!

My previous attempts at weight loss failed because I just wanted to be thin, but I didn’t care about being strong. Now my whole outlook on exercise and food has changed.  I want to be strong and healthy, food is fuel and exercise feels oh.so.good. Now if I overindulge, instead of falling back into the endless cycle of food and shame, I just get up the next day, pop in an exercise DVD and it puts me right back on the wagon.

A selection of my favorite DVDs:

If you are interested in trying out any DVDs I suggest just looking around Amazon, reading user reviews and getting what seems right for you.The next evolution of my exercise journey has been yoga. It has been so great for keeping my body strong, muscles flexible, joints open and mind calm. I go at least twice a week and even completed 30 days of yoga in preparation for my wedding last month. I never would have gone to a group class before, I would have felt too embarrassed, but working out at home allowed me to increase my fitness level before venturing out in public.

It only took me 15 years, but I finally found something that works for me.

Life is good.

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11 Comments

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11 responses to “Guest Post: The Impulse Buy That Changed My Life

  1. That is awesome Claire. I am totally going to check out some of those DVDs. The poor dude who lives in the apartment under mine should prepare for some early morning thudding noises.

    p.s. You and Jamie look beautiful. Congratulations.

    • Claire Deeley

      Thanks Claire! P.S. I miss you. Love catching up with you via your blog. I feel I am in the same place of trying to improve myself on multiple levels. It takes time and is piecemeal, but all of the sudden you will realize you how much you have changed. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming.

      • K.T.

        As a big fan of both Claires, I found this thread an appropriate place for my reply…

        Mrs. Claire, I noticed how incredible you looked in your wedding photos, congratulations on being a strong, healthy, breakfast eating bombshell. An inspiration for the rest of us.

        and PS – Ms. Claire, remember our forays into ridiculous swimming workouts and living room workout videos? I miss your infectious (though occasionally short-lived) enthusiasm for the various exercise modalities 🙂

      • K.T., I don’t even know you, but this comment made me smile!

  2. This is an inspiring weight loss story and is just what I needed to hear today! After working out hard this week and seeing no movement on the scale, it’s nice be reminded that long term weight loss doesn’t just happen overnight. Instead, Claire’s weight came off through a lifestyle change that took some time to master. Love this guest post 🙂

  3. Claire Deeley

    Thanks guys! And thank you Kaitlin for posting. I definitely agree we have become friends through the power of the web (and mutual friends of course 🙂 )

  4. This is ridiculously inspiring. You look AMAZING. Congratulations!

  5. Claire you look fantastic! Totally inspiring. Congratulations on your wedding!

  6. Liz Sheridan

    Claire! I love this so much…the question I get asked the most is “What is the best exercise? ” …”The one you like to do” So glad you found it! I will now add to my answer and you never know where you may find it-TJ-Maxx for example!
    You go you DVD exercising mama. I just ordered yoga DVD’s yesterday!
    xoxoxoxoxo~Liz

  7. This is an amazing tipping point story! Thank you so much for sharing. I had a similar story, one day I just went on a run and that was it, my lifestyle changed. Mazel tov on the wedding!

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