There’s nothing like a milestone birthday to bring about positive change in one’s life. For Mindy Irish, the magic number was 35. Two days earlier, she gave birth to her 4th child and was 95 pounds overweight. This pivotal event occurred in early October, 2009. “Reading about the ill health effects of excess weight, I could feel that change was in order,” said Mindy. Most importantly, she wanted to feel better about herself.
Mindy’s past was littered with failed diet attempts. One diet program would start, she would lose some weight, then get pregnant again and be happy she could “eat” again. After the birth of their 4th baby, she vowed to avoid the yo-yo effect again. The solution was to make some lifestyle changes. Working with her husband in realty and remodeling, and being a mom, finding time to exercise is a challenge.
Making small changes, Mindy started out by slowly adding exercise into her already busy daily routine. With four kids 6 and under, life is in constant motion, so she took that motion to the Fishers YMCA. Able to capitalize on the childcare available, Mindy was able to work out with weights on a regular basis and make time for cardio. With the support of her husband, Dan, Mindy was able to stay on task. “You make it a priority, like brushing your teeth – it’s a daily activity that isn’t skipped,” said Mindy. Over the next two years, Mindy was successful at losing the 95 pounds.
Last year, the possibilities of where this weight lifting and exercise could take Mindy began to materialize. She was encouraged through a friend to attend a Physique competition. “I never pictured myself on stage in that skimpy bathing suit, but I realized it was a potential option.” Mindy decided that if she could keep the weight off successfully in a year’s time, she would compete. Common with most extreme weight loss patients, Mindy had some 7 pounds of extra skin surgically removed. Having successfully maintained her weight for over a year, she made the tough decision to proceed with the surgery. Coming off the surgery with 23 weeks until the competition, Mindy is focused on her goal.
The National Physique committee oversees many competitions locally, regionally, and nationally. This includes bodybuilding, fitness, and figure competitions. Mindy will be competing in the “open” category for “figure” which is divided by height. Apparently, all contestants must wear a 2-piece with the bottom being a ‘V’ shape and high heels. Not lacking self-confidence, Mindy is counting the days and weeks until the big day. She even has a blog about her experience, fitgalclub.com. “I want other moms to know that the weight loss is possible and very achievable. If I could do this, so can anyone!”
Determination, when directed in a healthy way, has served Mindy well. She credits her mind set. The weight loss has been the result. She owns it, takes full responsibility for her body, and that body has responded well. It’s a daily sacrifice, but it has been worthwhile. Positive habits have an energy all their own, and she is certainly channeling hers!