Weight Loss Stories
Finding Myself… 156 Pounds Lost
NAME : Sue
BEFORE WEIGHT : 336
AFTER WEIGHT : 180
POUNDS LOST : 156
WHEN DID YOU START DEVELOPING A WEIGHT PROBLEM?
I learned how to use food as a coping mechanism for emotional pain very early in my life. It was very easy to do actually because my mother loved to cook, and I loved to eat her cooking.
I developed a food addiction to cope with my parents turbulent divorce, and the shame of being molested at the age of 8. I used food as an outlet. I turned to food to take my mind off what and who hurt me. Tasting something good made me feel happy, if even for a short while.
Self soothing with food turned into a life long remedy to how I dealt with many difficult situations in my life.
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE?
I was extremely intoverted, I never made eye contact with people for fear that they would reject me. I hated myself, the more I looked in the mirror the more I would pick myself apart. I avoided looking at myself, only looking in the mirror to make sure my clothes were on properly and to groom my hair. My self esteem issues coupled with an ongoing food addiction caused many health issues for me as well I suffered from GAD ( Generalized anxiety disorder) and need medication just to function normally. Fear of rejection stifled everything I attempted to do. I was also on multiple blood pressure meds for obesity related hypertension. At 30 years old I was simply waiting to die, everyday I just wanted to die.
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY?
My “light bulb moment” came about from a visit to my doctor to refill my blood pressure meds. After my doctor’s check up he revealed to me the serious state of my obesity as it related to my declining health. He told me that I was borderline diabetic, and with my blood pressure so out of control, even with the aid of medicine, that I was a prime candidate for a stroke. ( I have a family history of strokes, my mother had 5 strokes before the age of 55. Her last stroke left her blind) My doctor very bluntly warned me if I didnt make a serious decision about losing weight, I wouldn’t be around to see my daughters grow up. That frightened me. I didn’t want to die, I have 3 beautiful daughters that needed me.
I needed to hear that information in exactly that way, in order for it to manifest into my physical transformation. I had heard from my family that I “maybe needed to lose a little bit of weight” in a softer manner, but it never registered. What I needed to hear was straightforward, blunt truth, no chaser.
The truth that I received from my doctor started me on a yearlong journey to shed the weight and get my internal health in order. I will be forever grateful to my doctor, because of his words, he saved my life.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?
I started with a goal and a plan of action in mind, which is the 1st thing that is needed for any journey. Without a concrete goal set in mind, you have no idea what you are planning for.
My goal was 100 lbs. weight loss and to be medication free. I joined a local gym and began slowly to get my body acclimated to moving. I began doing a 20 minute workout and was winded afterwards. Everything in me told me to just give up, but I kept going. I refused to go back to the misery I was in mentally and physically. I was tired of going backwards.
I kept going. My regime consisted of 20 minutes a day 3 days a week. Through the soreness in my knees and the friction of my skin rubbing together as I moved I never took my eyes off of my goal, no matter no how my much body rebelled.
Within a few months of consistently working out, I began to work out 5 days a week for 45 minutes. Slowly building my endurance I was able to double the amount of cardio and strength training in 6 months of my working out. In April 2006, almost a year to the date, I stepped on the scale and cried hysterically. Within a year I had lost 155 lbs., I went from 336 lbs., to 180 lbs. Not only had I literally lost a whole person, and in that loss, I found myself.
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS?
Within 2 weeks, I noticed that my jeans that were cutting off my circulation before, were now looser and easier to pull on. Within a month my co-workers, family and friends began to ask me if I was losing weight. I found it easier to walk and had tons of energy, and my attitude had even adjusted. I felt better on the inside. More confident and I felt proud of myself for making those smaller strides. I found myself smiling and lifting my head to speak to people and not hold my face downward when people passed me. Within 3 months, I was able to pack away my super tight jeans because they were falling off me, my skin even seemed more vibrant, and so was my spirit.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART?
The dreaded plateaus I experienced. Now I know that is normal to experience a temporary stall in weight loss, even if you are consistently working out, but I was bummed when I hit my first one. Through great advice from the trainers at my gym and doing alot of reading on my own regarding exercise, I learned how to combat the plateau period by switching up my routines, and adding a few more good calories that I would normally eat to in order to get the scale moving downward again.
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING?
There were moments that I did, especially when I wasn’t losing weight as rapidly as I thought I would. There were times in my journey in which I fell off the weight loss wagon momentarily. The thing that kept me getting back in the saddle was not wanting to feel the way I felt at 336 lbs, sick and depressed. I made up my mind that no matter what I had to do, I would not go back to the “old Sue”, the defeated Sue I had been all my life. I promised myself that though I might stumble on this journey I would NEVER to go backwards.
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?
Yes. Several. I learned how to combat the plateau period by switching up my routines, and adding a few more good calories that I would normally eat to in order to get the scale moving in the right direction again.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT?
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES?
Yes. The reactions I would and still receive from people who knew me when I was very overweight, most do a double take and look at me with their mouths wide open. It makes me feel good that the change in me is visible not only physically but the confidence I have now spills over into every project I tackle. Its like night and day.
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?
Totally different. Before my journey, I ate very heavy carb laden foods. Heavy starchy foods complete with something fried were staples of my meals. I rarely drank water then as well. I drank at least 3 liters of Pepsi a day easily. When I decided to lose weight I knew I had change in my diet as well. Slowly I omitted simple carbs and added complex ones. I swapped my Pepsi for 100 oz of water daily. A typical meal for me now is bran cereal or oatmeal for breakfast, boiled eggs and chicken breast with string cheese or a salad for lunch, and for dinner a source of protein such as chicken or beef, with a whole grain side like brown rice or sweet potato, and a spinach or kale salad.
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?
Adapting to a workout routine when I first started out was very difficult because my body had not been use to moving at all really. It was physically painful to walk on the treadmill for more than 20 minutes, by that time I was winded and dizzy. The key is consistency. The more we do anything, the more we become acclimated to it. Exercising is a great example of that. The more you do, the more you can do. Slowly my endurance was built, and I could do more with each month of going to the gym. I currently work out 5-6 days a week, Sometimes 7. Now going to the gym is not a chore, I look forward to it. Its my time to myself for myself. I love the fact that I am adding to my quality of instead of taking away from it!
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- Make a firm decision to lose weight and become healthier and stick to it. Losing weight is more mental than physical. When we are truly ready to get our health in order mentally, then we eliminate the vicious “lose, gain, lose, and gain even more cycle that many of us are accustomed to. Treat your weight loss journey the same way you treat your job, sometimes we would rather just sleep in, than to go to work, but we know we have to in order for the dividends to appear. Its the same concept for working toward weight loss.
- Be gentle with yourself. Sometime you will miss the mark, but never give up. If you fall off the wagon, just brush yourself off and jump back on!
Be patient. Remember, this isn’t a race. Losing weight is a personal journey. You will learn things about yourself that you never knew existed. You will discover your relationship with food. You will find out your triggers and what makes you fail. You will realize your limitations weren’t really limitations at all.Keep pushing forward. Block out all the noise. People close to you will question your decision. The scale will play tricks on your mind. Your weight might not move for weeks. However, always remember that you are changing your body from the inside out.
- Set realistic goals. It would be great if we could just drop 50 lbs by next week, but the truth is, losing weight the healthy way takes time. Set a big goal,and divide that number up into several smaller, short-term, attainable goals.
Maybe you want to lose 7 pounds this month. that’s realistic goal that you have a good chance of reaching. Once you reach it, you know that you can do it over and over again. Your motivation levels remains high, and your boosted willpower continues to push you forward. You know you can lose 7 pounds. All you have to do now is reach your next goal of another 7 pounds in a month.
- Practice Portion control.Portion control is going to teach you self control. It’s hard to not eat all the food on your plate when you’re not full. Here are a few tricks for control.1) Eat off a smaller plate. Doing so makes your meal seem larger, and there’s less room to place food on it.2)Stay away from buffets, and avoid going back for seconds.
3) Don’t place food platters on the dinner table. Only have the food you plan on eating on the table.
4) When you go out to eat, get a to-go box with your meal and place half of it in there before you even eat.
- WATER, WATER, WATER!!!Water keeps our bodies hydrated and we’re actually more likely to retain “water weight” by not drinking enough of it rather than by having too much. The usual recommended daily amount is 64 ounces. Another perk is that drinking a good amount of water also takes up space in your stomach so you’ll feel fuller while taking in less calories.
Originally posted 2015-01-04 10:45:58. Republished by Blog Post Promoter