Update 2017: Congrats go out to Myra! She’s lost over 130 pounds. “I was named a 2017 Health Hero by O (Oprah) Magazine and featured in the January 2017 edition.”
“Five days a week, Myra Anderson drives her Mitsubishi Mirage to churches around Charlottesville, Virginia, and turns their fellowship halls into workout studios, leading participants ages 7 to 81 in cardio classes set to Christian chart toppers. As devout about fitness as she is about faith, Anderson calls her class Temple Fit…” [full article]
Great Success Story: Myra lost 125 pounds. She’d ignored a number of health issues she was faced with, but she couldn’t dismiss her reflection in the mirror. One day, she decided that enough was enough. It was time to change for good. Now, she’s a Zumba and Group Fitness Instructor helping others to do the same. Check out what she shared with us about her journey…
One day I woke up, looked in the mirror and didn’t even recognize myself. I weighed well over 350 pounds! I cried Big Tears, because I couldn’t believe just how much I had I let myself go. I’d already been ignoring the diabetes, high cholesterol and sleep apnea, but this reflection in the mirror could NOT be ignored. I felt like not only had I failed myself and my family, but I also felt like a complete embarrassment to all my friends and church family as well.
Food had not only become my source of celebration during happiness, but also comfort during times of sadness and depression. I was a remedy for loneliness, as well as entertainment for boredom. Food served every undesirable feeling I had and it made me feel good, or at least that’s what I thought. I didn’t realize exactly how much my unhealthy relationship with food was actually hurting me. It was an overindulgent love, focused particularly on high calorie, fatty, greasy, food choices (combined with zero exercise).
I’vewanted just to give up, but my God had bigger plans for me! This was September 2014 and I finally said Enough is Enough. That day I vowed to do what I could with what I had to make a change! I told myself that I was ready to commit to living a healthier and happier life.
With that in mind, I pretty much plunged into my fitness journey. I went to local Health Center (for FREE) for nutrition education, support, and accountability. I started going to exercise class in the mornings and walking in the evenings. This was no easy feat! I could only walk for about 20 feet in the beginning, but I kept at it not matter what. I did this when I was sad, when I was mad, when I felt depressed or frustrated and when I was stressed. I kept showing up and worked it all out. Eventually the persistence became habit and I got addicted to fitness! Jazzercise, Zumba, walking, wogging, jogging, running… you name it, I did it. I also developed a strong network of healthier friends. Thank God, I had supportive exercise teacher who walked beside me every step of the way, supporting and encouraging me each and every day. She modeled a healthy lifestyle for me. All I needed to do was pay attention and put it into practice.
I cleaned up my eating habits and cut out fast food and sweets. I stopped buying white bread, white rice, pasta and started using portion control. I filled my fridge with fresh fruits, vegetables and lean meats. I also stopped eating fried food. I broiled, baked or grilled my food instead. I prayed and meditated daily. I also got sufficient rest, practiced gratitude and drank lots and lots of water each day.
I’ve lost 125 pounds! What a glorious day it was when my doctor said I no longer need to take diabetes medication anymore and that my cholesterol was back in the normal range! I felt like I had been given a second chance to do right by my body!
Now, as I continue the second leg of my fitness journey, I hope to inspire other people (along the way) who are struggling with getting healthy and fit. Promoting healthy eating and physical activity, as well as empowering people to lead healthier lives in general has now become my life’s passion. I recently got licensed as a Zumba Instructor and certified as a Group Fitness Instructor. I’m only getting started. The sky is the limit!