This Strong and Empowered Women Series is all about Becky Watkins. She is a member from the Delta Life Fitness Pace, FL location. She is an amazing, funny, and positive lady. She is always trying to make everyone around her laugh and feel good about themselves.
In this interview she shares her struggles and her triumphs with her weight loss journey. She shares so many great tidbits and personal insights. Read on to find out more about this incredible woman who is strong and empowered.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am 32 years old. I live with my awesome dog. I am the oldest of 3 children. I have two awesome parents who both served in the Army.
My dad passed away in 2007 and my mom is still here. She is the strongest person I know. She has MS and fibromyalgia and my sister and I help take care of her. She lives with my sister and her family.
I work at Gulf Medical Service. I currently work in the Respiratory Therapy department. I help people treat their obstructive sleep apnea and other breathing issues. It can be super stressful but very rewarding. I love my job. It’s definitely it’s own little circus, but I love it.
When you love your job, it’s not as much of a job but it’s more like a family. I have been doing it for seven and a half years.
I also meditate a little bit. I try to mediate at least 3 days a week. I don’t like to be negative and sometimes I have a lot of negative thoughts. I don’t put a lot of that out there; I don’t like to show it very much. Sometimes it sneaks up on me, I mean, nobody is perfect. I try to be as open and light hearted about everything as possible.
Tell us a little about your struggles with your weight.
I have been a chunky monkey since day one.
I was raised by a couple of people who are older. My dad was born during The Great Depression, in the 1930’s.
They had no food. They grew their own food. They had no electricity.
So when I was growing up, when he heard, “I’m hungry”, his first instinct was “here, take all of this food, whatever is in the fridge.”
There was an “eat all of it” kind of mentality.
As I was growing up, I have always been a big girl. I don’t think I was ever a normal size. It was really hard. I don’t think my dad realized until later that him telling me to eat whatever I wanted and whenever was not good thing.
There would be little comments from my mom or my dad about me, like no Becky doesn’t run. The only thing she would run for would be the dinner bell.
I remember I was going to go to my senior prom, and I got this strapless purple dress (that I still own because I want to wear it just one time out somewhere).
So, I have this purple strapless dress, it’s soft and pretty and girly. It’s everything that I am not. I did my nails by myself, and I had these strappy looking shoes and I thought I am so pretty
I come out of my room and remind my parents that I’m going to prom, and I’ll be back later in the evening. Then my dad asked me why I looked like one of the purple dancing hippos from Fantasia
So I thought my stomach is not feeling so good anyways. I shouldn’t chance it. I stayed home crying in my prom dress and went to sleep
Then a couple days later, I kind of let it go because I thought I am fat and it’s terrible but he is probably right I should not go out in public with that dress
I have always been on the heavier side of thing. When I was a junior in high school my dad told me that if I lost 100 pounds he would buy me a mustang
He would make all the payments and everything.
I could not do it.
I don’t know why.
Tell us about a time in your life that had a significant impact on you?
Right before I started college my dad sat me down and told me that he thought it was about time I started losing weight because guys don’t like big women.
They can’t put their arms around them, take them on rides at the fair, they can’t sit on their laps.
My dad said, “You should think about that because you are going to meet all kinds of people.”
That didn’t help.
Just little pokes here and there.
I think they meant them constructively, but that’s not how you heard them as a kid or a young adult.
I heard only the negative part, not the constructive side of it.
I see where they were coming from.
How did your weight affect other parts of your life?
I got called all kind of names in high school.
“Miss Rotund”, “Big Bertha” and “Bloated Becky”.
I got picked on by girls.
I played softball with them and instead of interacting with me, they would throw things at me.
It was really bad.
Kids can be the cruelest on the planet. It went all the way from middle school to high school to the time I graduated.
It was just terrible.
I still to this day, unless I prepare myself, really can’t talk to people.
I don’t think every much of myself, unfortunately.
It has left kind of a lasting impression. Other than working out and working I don’t do many things.
I don’t have many friends that are working out.
I am happy, if it means anything.
I understand that being alone is great and taking care of myself is important but there are times at the end of the day when I get really lonely. Other than talking to a few of my friends that I have met over the years, I get home and my house is completely quiet.
To be honest with you, pushing this amount of weight around and working out is really tiresome.
I should get a medal or a sticker or something. It’s a lot. I understand that I need to push myself through all of that to get where I need to be, but I honestly don’t do very much other than that.
For right now, I love to see people smile and laugh. If I can make somebody laugh, it makes my day.
When did you realize it was time to make a change?
This past April, right after my birthday, I went bathing suit shopping with my sister. I sat down and looked ahead and there was a big full length mirror in front of me. I looked up and thought, “Oh my! Who is that”? That cannot be me because when I walk around, and I’m being me, that’s not me.
At that time, I weighed 393.
I looked in the mirror and I said, “I am not this person. What the heck happened!”
As soon as I got home, I went to my computer and immediately started messaging Christin (the owner of Delta Life – Pace, FL). I had heard about Delta Life when I tried to do their Resolution Revolution Challenge but I ended up getting food poisoning half way through it.
I had also seen women running together outside, women of every shape and size.
I thought if I went back and joined Delta Life I could just focus on me.
I didn’t know anybody.
I could just focus on me.
It would help hold me accountable to do as much as I could and the best I could.
Being as big as I am, doing a push-up with 393 pounds on your body is not an easy feat.
Still doing them now is hard and I’m down to 360, when I weigh in the other day
I have lost a lot of inches.
I couldn’t really tell the difference until a DLF staff member showed me pictures of myself before and after.
And I could see the difference!
It was everything I needed to keep going, and I still need it everyday
What motivates you to keep going?
My Delta Life sisters.
If it wasn’t for Mary Beth encouraging me and telling me one more day, one more day I would not have made it very far. She is just a huge motivator and a lot of the other ladies are Barbara, Nicole, April and all of my 5:30 pm ladies.
I love them so much.
These women are so supportive and so much fun.
The instructors have helped a lot.
What has been your biggest takeaway from Delta Life?
If you don’t do this for yourself, who’s going to do it for you?
My dog is not going to get up and walk me every morning. My mom is not going to come over and cook vegetables for me.
You have to have this ball of fire inside of you.
You have to ask yourself, “Do you want that fire to die?”
“Do you want to stop feeding it?”
You have to take care of yourself, and if don’t go grab what you want, you are not going to get it.
You have to work for it.
You will do what matters and if you don’t do it then it didn’t matter.
It’s like when being married, if you don’t work at it then your marriage doesn’t work, it doesn’t matter. Learning a new skill or at your job, if you don’t continuously push yourself to learn about it, to mold to it, it doesn’t matter.
If you don’t put yourself first you don’t think you matter.
Everybody as a person matters.
be the change that you wish to see in the world.
I want the world to be kind, to be funny, to love music. I want the world to be happy. It’s been forever since I have been truly happy.
I now eat right. I workout every day. I don’t take my blood pressure medicine or anxiety medicine anymore. I am too young to be taking medicine. I cut off so much stuff.
I take so much better care of myself.
I feel better.
I’m look better.
I wore lipstick twice. That’s a big deal for me. I don’t wear makeup very often.
If you don’t take care of yourself first, keep your fire burning, you are going to smolder out and feel miserable.
You get one life.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my life to suck. So many things to see and do. I’m 360 pounds and I’m outside playing soccer with 7-8 year olds, running with my dog. I do 5k races. I have done 10 of them
The worst thing you can do is not take care of yourself. People are important but if you don’t take care of yourself, there’s nothing you can give to people.
Tell me about the times that you tried to lose weight before Delta Life.
When I was younger, I tried the military diet where you eat hard boil eggs, tuna, cottage cheese for 3 days and then whatever you want for the rest. I lost 20 pounds in a week and was sicker than a dog.
No thank you.
I’ve tried the beach body diet, rice diet, grapefruit diet, orange diet, cabbage soup diet. I lasted 2 days on Adkins. I also tried the 21-day fix.
The big change for me from all the yo-yo dieting is eating frequently. I am more conscious of my carbs, protein, fat and sugar since I started with Delta Life.
My biggest struggle is portion control.
I have to be very careful.
When I go out to eat I make wiser choices.
I have purposely missed a few parties, potlucks and showers because I knew it would be too much. At first, I thought it was stupid but when I got to think about it, it was not a punishment.
I now know my limits.
It’s not that I don’t trust myself but it’s because I know myself.
I wasn’t strong enough.
I have tried so many diets and the only thing that I am able to commit to is Delta Life.
How has Delta Life impacted your life and your mindset?
Delta Life has actually become quite addictive.
I so sad there was no July 4th workout.
I don’t like to miss workouts. My body can tell when I miss a day. I feel like junk. I know that if I’m going to do anything weight loss related, it has to be through Delta Life.
This is where I’m finding my niche.
This is where it’s going to happen.
I can feel it.
I know it takes patience. I can have a lot of patience for other people but when it comes to me, I don’t have any.
There’s a quote I love that says,
“When things don’t happen right away just remember, it takes 6 months to build a Rolls Royce, but only 13 hours to build a Toyota.”
I don’t know about you but I’d rather be a Rolls Royce than a two-person pickup truck.
You have to invest in yourself.
You are worth it.
At the end of the day, you are the one looking at yourself in the mirror.
You have to face yourself.
If you’re not happy with yourself, you are not going to be happy with anything else in life.
If you’re not happy, change it.
Before Delta Life, I was so unhappy.
I would go to work, come home, stop and get Sonic because I was too tired and too lazy to cook something. I still have some of those days, but I am transitioning to eating healthier.
If you are so hard on yourself, you are not going to get far. You have to give yourself a little wiggle room or it’s really difficult.
How has Delta Life changed your mindset about yourself?
At Delta Life there are tall, thin, young, old, big, and small woman.
There are women of all different shape and sizes.
It helps me to see that Delta Life has every kind of woman.
I was able to let go of the thinking, “I’m too fat. Are they looking at me?”.
Not having to think about those things during a workout helps me focus on the workout. And afterwards the women are so encouraging and empowering
Nothing but words of encouragement.
I don’t know what I would do without all of the women at Delta Life.
We are all different shapes and sizes but all sweaty and stinky at the end.
You are just you and you are still loved.
Everybody is celebrating you at the same time to celebrating their success in finishing.
When I got my welcome packet it said “Welcome to the Delta family!” and that is exactly what it is, a family.
All real people who really, really care.
When Christin told me that we would be able to workout 5 days a week now I was so excited because it means I get to see Barbara, Nicole, April, Marybeth and all the other ladies more during the week.
I am so happy about that.
I can’t think of another group of people who are as optimistic while being realistic and so supportive in one place.
They are amazing.
Every single one of those women.
All the women that I don’t talk to yet, either new or not, the women on Facebook who have friend requested me, I love you all, and I don’t even know who you are.
But I do know you encourage me every day and tell me how awesome I’m doing.
Delta Life is just this huge ball of positivity every single day.
There is so much companionship and empathy and caring
One word to describe Delta Life.
It would have to be future because that’s what I see now.
This is what is going to make me better.
I can’t picture a day in my future without Delta Life Fitness.
This is where I’m supposed to be.
This is my future.
This is where I need to be to get me where I want to be.
What would you tell women who don’t believe they can be the best version of themselves?
We believe you can be the best version of yourself.
There is not one woman at Delta Life who doesn’t see the potential in the other women or the positivity of growth in another woman.
Everyone sees that spark in the other person.
If you are a new person walking into Delta Life Fitness, the first thing you are going to get is a “Hey, how are you?” with a big smile.
Do you have any other advice for the women reading this?
Don’t give up.
Going to workout and going to bed early.
It’s really hard eating right and drinking a gallon of water a day (Sorry Marybeth, still can’t do it).
But you know what?
Going to bed each night knowing that I’m a bad*** helps me.
I make it through a lot during my normal day and I still manage to go workout.
They say weight loss is 80% what you eat and 20% exercise, but I think for my it’s more 50/50.
Of the exercise percentage, 20% has to be the camaraderie, the friends that I made and the people that I talk to. They are a big part of my weight loss success.
If you don’t have a group of supportive folks behind you, you’re missing out.
It is so important to have people support you.
They get to see you at your worst and they are still there for you.
You can’t find a fitness program that is as supportive and helpful as Delta Life Fitness.
I have been to other gyms and you’re by yourself.
Who wants to be by themselves all the time?
Women support everybody else but we need support too.
So, do yourself a favor and get you butt to Delta Life Fitness.
LISTEN TO BECKY!
IF YOU’RE READY TO GET THE SUPPORT OF LIKE-MINDED WOMEN TO MOTIVATE YOU TO BE THE BEST VERSION OF YOURSELF CLICK BELOW NOW!
Did you like this interview? Check out our other Strong and Empowered Women Interviews below: