I stepped on the scale Monday morning to weigh in for The Leaf-Chronicle/Title Boxing weight loss competition, and I did not care what the scale said – I felt like a winner.

I began my personal weight loss journey in mid-May after trying on my bridesmaid’s dress for my friend Nick and Kim’s wedding. The dress did not fit, and I felt bloated and horrible. My determination to get in that dress drove me to a new way of eating, and the competition presented a new avenue of exercising with Title Boxing.

I struggled with boxing, but finally learned the technique, and I’ve been boxing my way to fitness. I’ve tried to eat clean despite a food addiction, and I’m still a work in progress.

Tavia Green working the bridesmaid's dress that kicked off her fitness challenge, at the wedding with husband, Eddie Smith.

Photo by Semi-Formal Dresses

These past six weeks I’ve learned a ton about myself. It’s been emotional and physical, but seeing the progress has been rewarding.

Beyond everything, I feel better. I still have about 30 pounds to lose, but the difference is my attitude. I know I can do it now. I have no doubts.

This past weekend brought my month-long challenge to a conclusion in a wonderful way.

The dress

Saturday was the moment of truth. It was the day I wore the dress that started my epiphany. It was the day I marched down the aisle in front of 150 people wearing a strapless charcoal and canary formal dress.

I felt beautiful for the first time in a long time and confident as I worked my dress approximately 21 pounds lighter than when I tried it on four to five weeks prior.

I didn’t know how to take the compliments when everyone said, “You look good.” I’ve never, ever felt comfortable in a strapless dress – ever.

I worked that dress all night. I cried in the dress. I danced in the dress.

The pretty dress became a comfort zone, and because I felt so comfortable, the night wasn’t about me, and I was able to focus on helping and being a good bridesmaid.

A new partner

One particular gentleman at the wedding who flirted with me all night.

I admit it. He was cute. He was the best man in the wedding. I later let him take me on a date.

His name is Eddie, and he is my husband.

He told me a million times I looked beautiful at the wedding, and that smile and look in his eyes made it all worth it.

Eddie has been my biggest supporter since I started seriously trying to lose weight. He’s cooked for me, made sure I made it on time to my boxing classes and even smacked bad foods out of my hand (and that almost caused a fight).

He’s talked me through a lot of the bad craving, “hangry,” grumpy Tavia days, and I appreciate it.

Today, he joined me and we began OUR weight loss journey together.

This morning I cooked him breakfast and talked him through training his metabolism to burn fat. We’ve been texting all day, planning our meals and workout schedule for the week.

That has been my biggest accomplishment – letting my husband see me try to be better not just for me, but for us.

I had many many talks with God, praying not to snap as he ate that pizza or drank that soda. Half of my prayer was not to join him and the other not to bash him.

I kept thinking about 1 Peter 3:1, which says a wife’s example can win her husband over without a word. Even though it’s talking about spiritual matters, I tried to apply it to this situation.

I was a little shocked when he told me last week he was ready to join me. I know his journey will be his journey, and as I continue to be healthy I will have to be his encourager and supporter like he was mine.

Boxing fitness

Title Boxing has taught me something simple: I can.

The first few weeks, I told myself so many times, “I can’t.” I made so many excuses. I perfected the “Oops, I need to tie my shoe.” (That’s what you do when you don’t want to do the exercise. Your shoelaces conveniently come untied.) I also became good at the “I can’t breathe, let me go get water.” I did that about 10 times at first.

Each class got a little easier, a bit more fun and downright inspirational. I started to look at it as my time for myself and began to get more energy.

I felt amazing after every class. I felt like my body showed me it was capable of pushing itself to the limit.

Co-worker Jon Michael and I became the “Bandana Gang” and wore our bandanas with pride. You sweat profusely, so they are needed.

Jon Michael was also inspiring to me. He was there every class, ready to partner up and give a high-five. His transformation has been amazing.

I’ve watched him shed the pounds, and his confident smile kept me going even when I felt like quitting.

Today when we weighed in, I think we were both proud of each other.

Over the month, my jiggly “momma-arms” have toned up from all that jabbing, cross-hooking and uppercutting. They still have a long way to go, but there’s a little muscle under that cushion. My core is also stronger and I’ve almost – almost – got to point of a doing burpee.

The biggest thing I’ve learned is that you will get results if you stick with it. No matter how hard it is, no matter how much you want to quit, just give yourself a chance and keep going. You have nothing to lose but weight, and nothing to gain but confidence.

I’ve learned so much about food choices and I am way more aware of what I put in my body. I am no longer a chips-and-cookie person that can off a whole bag in 10 minutes.

I hope I’ve been a motivation and inspiration to many on their own journey. This journey will continue, and by the time I reach 30 years old in September 2015, I want to be in the best shape of my life.

For those on your journey, don’t give up. For those wanting to lose weight, it only takes a day to start. Just start.

It takes time to break bad habits. I challenge you to give yourself 30 days.

Also see: red carpet dresses