Though a newer user to Pact, Amy has already made some huge strides towards her health and fitness goals. We all know the hardest part is taking the first steps forward and keeping your momentum. Amy has bulldozed this obstacle, as she’s achieving her goals left and right, and we don’t see anything stopping her! We’re truly inspired by her as she embarks on her incredible journey to be happier and healthier, and we’re thrilled that Pact can be a part of it.
Amy shares her story with us here:
(post workout photo - look at that glow!)
My name is Amy Greenan and I am happy to be sharing my story with you here on the Pact blog. I’m afraid that I don’t have a before and after to talk about yet – I am very much a work in progress, in fact, very close to the beginning of my latest health and fitness journey. Right now I weigh in at around 365 pounds at 5’ 8”, but from young adulthood on I have been every weight between that and 120 pounds, so as you might imagine I have a long story and a complicated history. You’re probably wondering the same thing I often wonder myself – how does one find herself at this place of extreme obesity? I hope you’ll withhold any judgements about what kind of person I am based on that information alone. (If you’re interested in reading more about me, you can visit my blog and my website!)
I’d first like to say that I am not lazy, nor am I stupid, as is so often the unfortunate stereotype of a fat person. I am a 44 year old artist who has shared her life with a partner for over 14 years. I have a Master’s degree and I am employed full-time as a graphic designer, and I maintain a studio practice making, exhibiting, and selling fine art. All my life, however, I’ve had issues with food and with body image. It’s been my cross to bear not unlike an alcoholic’s with drink or a smoker’s with cigarettes. I’ve been on countless diets beginning at age 9 and lost fairly large chunks of weight every few years only to gain it back plus more – not exactly the most healthy way to go through life.
Now that I find myself in middle age, more or less, I am scared of those health concerns that so many of us have: diabetes, hypertension, poor joint health, high cholesterol, etc. etc. I have been feeling tired and in pain for a while now, and I know that I really need to finally fix this problem I have – a lot of excess weight that is really bogging me down.
Late last year, I signed for a gym membership (covered by my health insurance, hooray!) in an effort to get my body moving again in a meaningful and deliberate way. I also decided to commit to a year’s worth of sessions with a professional trainer – for me, money talks, and if I invest my hard-earned cash into something, I had better make good use of it, right?
I wanted to start slow and not get overwhelmed with many changes at once. Initially I just wanted to get to the gym once a week, meeting with my trainer. I was also starting to try to make better decisions about food, but that took me a while to get back to. At this point in my life, I am very anti-diet. After two months, I ran into a snag and found myself “too busy” to stick with my regimen as I was getting ready for a large art exhibition. I ended up losing more than two months’ time as a result, and feeling really bad about it. At the end of April I started going back, and I stuck to my appointments. Soon after, I started also working with a new trainer who ended up being an important catalyst for really DOING what I wanted to do. The one good thing about skipping two months was that I had training sessions accumulated, which meant that I could have two sessions a week if I wanted to… and I did. I’ve been building strength and endurance with someone who challenges me, but who is also aware of my current limitations. I’ve seen a lot of progress in just under a month, though. It’s pretty amazing.
(Some of Amy’s amazing work)
Shortly after that I discovered the Pact app, based on an internet search. The reward system was especially appealing to me. I started out with smaller pledges, dollar amount-wise and numbers-wise. Now in my fourth week of using the Pact app, I’ve raised my stakes considerably and have found the system really effective in helping me stick to my goals and help me eat better, become more active, and be more aware of my actions in general and how they will affect me and my well-being.
While I haven’t lost much weight yet (about 7 pounds), I feel so motivated by Pact. I’m not doing these things just to lose weight this time. I know that my whole life is in the balance; the stakes are so much higher. There have been several times where Pact has been the key to me getting in my prescribed exercise during the week, or eating enough fruits and veggies. I love the fact that Pact is helping me to establish healthy habits and rethink the way I approach life in general. I plan to continue raising the bar for myself. I’ve already committed to 7 days a week of tracking food, and I’m up to 21 fruits and veggies a week. I’m holding steady at 3 workouts, but see myself working on a full 7-days alternating actual gym time with more low-key things like a walk around the neighborhood.
I can’t tell you how grateful I am to have discovered Pact. Along the support of my doctor, friends and family, and fellow health and fitness bloggers and blog readers, I have found a solid tool that suits my needs and fills a gap I didn’t realize I had. I see it as something I will continue to use for a long time – until I reach my goals, and beyond in order to maintain them. Only time will tell, but I see Pact as a tool that will help me really stick with it and achieve my goals once and for all.
***UPDATE*** As of 6/24/14, Amy has lost 15 pounds!! Not a small feat. Congrats Amy!
Stay tuned as we keep in touch with Amy as she continues her journey.
The Pact Team