Collins: 'I have this insane amount of pride saying I was part of FIT'

Dec 26, 2012

The last line of my very first blog was, “Somewhere between July and December, I’m going to run into the person I was before my surgeries, and I’m gonna kick her butt and improve her.”

I found her sometime in September, and instead of stopping for a chat, I jogged right by her and smiled at the awed expression on her face.

I am currently the best I’ve ever been, and I’m getting better. I’ll never be perfect, but I’m completely fine with that. I love who I have become. I am strong, a fighter, a competitor, and I am NOT afraid. Nervous as hell sometimes, but I always fight through.

Keisa, Meg, and Steve are part of my family now. Actually we’re all planning to go out to dinner to celebrate birthdays and the completion of the challenge. I hope to continue to keep in contact with them; they grabbed me by the bootstraps and pulled me up when I was sliding down. They calmed my nerves and encouraged me to fight harder.  Us three women became allies and went up against Steve, and we beat him, once.  It took us six months, but we did it.

It was the last challenge we had over at the YMCA. I got first place in the relay. I didn’t see it coming; I really thought I was going to fail epically. Turned out, when the game plan is to go in and pretend that sharks are speeding at you, you swim super fast. I know I looked like a cat tossed in a pond. Hair everywhere, flailing around trying to escape, but in the end I won, and it’s a win for the women of FIT Challenge!

I have this insane amount of pride saying I was part of FIT; I’m proud of myself, and that I’ve inspired others to better themselves and a small handful of them have turned in essays to become part of the next season of FIT.

I think the most important thing I’ve learned this season is that dieting is not how to get fit. Yeah, you may lose a few pounds, but as soon as you’re off the program, it’s going to come back, and then some. It’s a lifestyle change that has to be made.

To be completely honest, I didn’t stop eating anything; I ate everything I’ve always ate. I learned portion sizes, and attempted to make things myself instead of buying it in a box or frozen. I added some fresh veggies and fruits to my daily meals and limited the sweets.
I never told myself  “no,” but I gave myself the self-control talk many times. It’s all about moderation and exercise. I eat more now than I ever have, and I’m still losing weight. I’ve learned how to balance my food intake and exercise to make the fat melt away.

Trust me, I’m no expert at it. I’m still learning and have a long way to go, but it’s the effort that makes a difference.  It also made a difference for me when I realized that one bad food day, doesn’t make you fat. That was one of my biggest fails when I tried to lose weight on my own. I’d do well for a few days then mess up and find myself elbow deep in a bag of Doritos and call the whole plan a fail. Doritos are not exactly healthy for you, but I suppose if you want to have a few, go for it. Just don’t eat the whole bag.

As annoyed as I got with these blogs sometimes, and forgetting to write them by their deadline as often as I did, I’m actually sort of sad to see them go. I know when next Sunday rolls around I’m going to panic right around noon because I didn’t write my blog yet, and FIT editor Brandi Barhite is about to blow my phone up looking for it. It’s become almost normal for me now. Props to Brandi though; today she texted me around 10 a.m. to remind me the final blog is due today. Haha. Good move, because I was at work and had full intention on coming home and snuggling in for a nap. I’d of missed the deadline…again. 

It’s been a great journey filled with many memories, I’ll never forget this and all it’s offered me and how it’s changed me.

Thank you so much, to the photographers who laughed at my clumsiness, Brandi who worked with my forgetfulness, my fellow contestants for accepting me as me and being an amazing support team and to all the NOMS gym members, my coworkers, my friends and my family for always being ready with a kind word or a funny story to keep me going. The compliments and encouragement are what really kept me going. Knowing I was expected to be at the gym at a certain time every day to work out, helped me actually get there instead of driving home after work. 

Thank you for helping me change my life, and letting me part of your world and accepting me as family. I’ll see you Monday NOMS family. To the rest of you, make smart choices and never give up. Walking slowly around the block is still exercise and you’re still lapping the people who are sitting on the couch. Every little bit counts.

It’s been a pleasure.  I hope we meet again, and until then,  goodbye.