I Lost 45 at 45!

How I Lost 45 @ 45!

By Kim Nixon

It was December 3rd, 2008 when I came across a flock of pigeons hanging out on the electrical wires and fire-escape behind a brick building in downtown Marquette. The phrase I will not be a fat pigeon in winter popped into my head. I did not know then why I detested those poor cold pigeons huddling together for warmth and puffing up their feathers.

I was tired of hating winter. It meant squeezing into clothing that did not fit, trying to bend over my belly to lace up boots, and it meant getting assistance to clip-into snowshoes or skies. It was humiliating. I rather stay indoors and stick close to warmth and my food source. Oh, like those like pigeons! I had my point of identification and it did not sit well with me.

How much easier winter would be if I stayed inside! But my ambitions were contrary. I had dreams of traveling in foreign countries taking photos and writing inspirational articles. My bucket list included the dream of kayaking with whales in the Pacific Northwest. I vowed to see my feet again with ease no matter how many layers of clothing were needed to ward off the cold. That phrase – I will not be a fat pigeon in winter – became my mantra.

Building Small Victories

Lots of people ask,”How’d you do it?” And the truth is I did everything but I had to start from where I was able. For me that meant how I handled commercial breaks during the Biggest Loser. I had been sitting on the couch during the show, marveling at the weight loss of these very large people. While making what sounded like legitimate excuses in my head. I have an injury. I’m already active. I don’t over-eat. However, that season they had contestants with injuries.

I started with those 3-minute commercial breaks, got my body moving, high knees, jumping jacks, free weights, and eventually riding an exercise bike.

Let’s back up to that question people asked, “How’d you do it?”

Most people would nod their heads in acknowledgement and state, “I can’t do that because ____________ (fill in the blank with their reason).”

  • I just have a slow metabolism…
  • I don’t have the time…
  • I don’t have the money…
  • I have other people to cook for…
  • I have an injury…

I am not an athletic trainer. I am not a dietician or nutritionist. I am simply one motivated woman who was sick of not living fully. I too had the same excuses and I had to find a way around them.

I had old injuries, and new injuries. Yet, somehow this time around, nothing de-railed my efforts. I started from where I was able. The most important step came with the question What is the one thing I can do this week, today, this moment? The smallest actions build up to success. This works with changing your weight, or building a business. What one action can I take? With weight loss it may be as simple as I can put an apple in my lunch. Quite frankly, sometimes, that was all I could manage. When our lives feel like they are in a state of overwhelm, we can take one, simple, small action toward our goals.


I had slanted and skewed beliefs. I thought of myself as an athlete’s mom, an active outdoorsy type. I was aware of healthy food choices, and of course, I did not overeat. I used labels and diagnosis like anemic, thoracic outlet syndrome, and asthma as viable excuses for preventing fitness. I wanted an active life, but I needed to build one.

When you set off to pursue a goal, you will face roadblocks. I needed to change my reactions to those roadblocks. I had to see them as learning opportunities and lessons in flexible thinking. I joined a program at the YMCA and ended up with a frozen shoulder, an injury that kept me from lifting my arm over my head. This was a further complication to an underlying injury. I realized I could not swim. Instead of giving up, I switched it up. I hit the treadmill, and walking soon turned to running.

Another injury hit me, Illio-Tibial Band Syndrome. This is a painful, soft tissue condition that can afflict runners. This had me switching it up, again. I went into the pool for water aerobics. I had to adapt all exercises to work with my upper body.  People began to comment that I was adaptable, persistent, and driven.

I realized that these words surprised me. I had felt like a walking wound, as if I were my injuries. I wore them like a victim. I had been walking around since 2001 letting every single diagnosis and injury define me.


This journey hasn’t been about weight loss and fitness, although that was a big component. As I built small successes, I moved beyond my image as victim. I literally watched as my attitude and energy changed. I saw it not only in my day-to-day activities, but also in photos of me, which started to reveal someone alive, alert, hopeful and ready.

I had peeled away the insulator of “making excuses” to avoid failures. I started concentrating on what brings inspiration to change. People who asked me, “How did you do it?” brought such awareness and clarity to my goals. I started thanking them for asking. I took time with my replies. I could look them in the eye with confidence.

I came up with questions for them: “What changes are you moving through? What successes are you enjoying? What change do you desire to create in your daily life?”

Change isn’t so scary, anymore. I recognize excuses I throw-up in my path. I just bring myself back to awareness with, “What is the one thing I can do this week, this day, this moment?

I’ve received so much support from my team – the healers, family and friends who watched my journey those who recorded it through photos, and participated in my celebrations. I recently ran the Lake Superior Shore Run thanks to the support of race sponsors: Kudeyirah, Stonehouse Window & Door, and Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine. Most importantly, I look forward with confidence and excitement now to my ongoing fitness journey.

This article recently appeared in Health & Happiness magazine published in Marquette, Michigan. You can find it at local retailers. If you are interested in interviewing Kim Nixon or reprinting this article  email Kim at callingthedragonfly(at)gmail.com.

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