Weight Loss Success Stories: Petrina Lost 100 Pounds And Kept It Off For 10 Years
NAME : Petrina
BEFORE WEIGHT : 240
AFTER WEIGHT : 140
POUNDS LOST : 100
WHEN DID YOU START DEVELOPING A WEIGHT PROBLEM?
I always felt like the “big” girl around my friends from high school on. I was only probably 10-15 pounds overweight but all my friends were very slim & petite. I packed on the Freshmen 15 in college and just kept slowly adding more as time went on. I wound up a stressed out single mom and clung to the “baby weight” up until my early 30s. By that time, I was tipping the scales at 240 and squarely in the extremely obese range.
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE?
I was already pretty insecure and painfully shy around strangers. The extra weight made it even worse. When out with friends, I’d drink to excess just to feel more comfortable around others. I was in complete denial about the impact it was having on my life. I just thought this was the way things were- I was big boned, so why bother to change anything.
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY?
In 2004, I was sharing a townhouse with one of my younger sisters who wanted to get back on Atkins (the plan she had done while she was in college). She begged me to do the diet with her so she wouldn’t have temptations around in the house. I didn’t want to let her down or cause her extra stress so I said yes, not thinking either of us would stick to it for more than a few days. If she hadn’t asked, I probably wouldn’t have made any change to my lifestyle (and I very well could have been close to weighing 300 pounds by now).
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?
I went all in after making the commitment to my baby sister. I bought the Atkins book, read it from cover to cover and mapped out a meal plan. I think I lost 8 pounds in the first week and from then on, I was hooked. I had been telling myself for so long that it would be too hard to lose any weight, learning that this wasn’t the case was a huge motivator for me to stick to the plan.
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS?
In the first few months, the weight was coming off pretty rapidly. Each week, there was a loss of at least 2 pounds. I felt more energetic, happier and my confidence started increasing bit by bit. I can remember the shift and how good it felt to not want to say “no” to my son when he wanted to take a walk or go to the park.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART?
The first big challenge was sticking with it after my sister decided to stop. Then, there were more temptations around in the house & I didn’t have the built-in family support. I stayed focused on my results to keep me going- and tapped into the online support I had found in a low carber message board forum. I also HATED exercise so I wondered whether I would continue to lose weight just staying focused on nutrition- I was also afraid to change my routine or add another thing to do onto the pile when I was already time-crunched.
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING?
During the process of losing the weight, I never wanted to give up. I set a goal of hitting 150 pounds and was laser focused on achieving it. I didn’t set up a timeframe to get it done- I just knew I wanted to get there. Maintenance- that’s another story! You get this picture in your head that once you hit your goal, you’re golden! You’ve crossed the finish line. Once I got there, I felt a bit lost. Over the past ten years, I’ve learned you’ve got to stay on track a good chunk of the time. There’ve been plenty of bumps along the way, my weight’s gone up during times of stress or when I put the brakes on meal planning & start falling back into my bad habits. What helps me to get back on it is my family. I want to be a kick booty fit kind of Grandma one day- able to keep up with my grandkids as they run around & play.
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?
Oh boy! Those last 10 pounds were the WORST. Anyone who’s had a lot of weight to lose knows how disheartening it can be when your rate of weight loss declines – and inevitably it will! You’ve just got to be patient and recognize the last chunk is going to take longer (and may require a few tweaks in your fitness & ntutrition). I had to re-evaluate my caloric intake and mess around with my macros a bit to get the scale going when it would get stuck for weeks on end.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT?
I lost 90 pounds in about 14 months. The last 10 I lost a few years back after striving to get back into pre-pregnancy shape after the birth of our youngest (I met my now husband a year into my weight loss journey and we blended families). Incorporating exercise into the mix was CRUCIAL and has made keeping the weight off much easier than it would have been had I continued focusing just on my nutrition.
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES?
Sooooo many! And they felt more wonderful than any weigh-in I had! I was able to confidently put myself out there in the dating scene…and in finally coming to love myself, was open to falling in love with someone else (that’s the biggest NSV!). I remember being able to cross my legs comfortably for the first time in years- I nearly cried. Being able to shop in stores other than Lane Bryant felt like winning the Super Bowl to me. The experience of pregnancy & childbirth for me was SIGNIFICANTLY different than my first time (when I was well over 200 pounds). It was a much calmer & pleasant 9 months & labor experience. Learning that I could do burpees and hold a plank was pretty amazeballs. All these things I told myself I could never do~ the doors were busted through.
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?
Back in my 20s and early 30s, I never gave portion size a thought. I relied on convenience foods, fast food and sit down dinners. I drank at least 3 liters of soda every single day.
For the past 10 years, I can eyeball a proper portion size. I fix most of my meals myself (learning to cook was, I think, the most valuable skill anyone trying to lose weight should develop). I focus on food quality just as much as I do on quantity, striving to choose more nutrient dense foods.
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?
Night and day! I was the girl who’d purposely forget her gym clothes in high school to avoid participating. Now, I LOVE it. I get grumpy if I miss a workout or am sidelined by illness or injury. I actually look forward to my workouts. In my 20s and early 30s, I’d come home from work and park myself in front of the TV until bedtime. Nowadays, I’ll head out for a 3-5 mile walk. I still enjoy vegging out in front of the TV but it’s for little pockets of time- and sometimes I’ll even do push-ups or tricep dips during commercial break. I credit my husband for lighting the match when it comes to exercise and Beachbody programs for stoking the flames & keeping them going. I’ve done P90X, TurboFire, Insanity, 21 Day Fix, 21 Day Fix Extreme, Body Beast and PiYo to name a few ~ as someone who likes variety in my workouts, Beachbody keeps coming out with fun & EFFECTIVE programs. I used P90X to get back into pre-pregnancy shape after learning our gym didn’t provide childcare for infants younger than 3 months and fell in love with at-home workouts then. I had such good results, I became a Team Beachbody Coach when buying Insanity in 2011. The girl who hated gym class is now an active & accomplished online fitness coach. How about that????
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- Learn to cook!!!!! The more you fix your own meals, the better you’ll do. Don’t rely on packaged foods or take out meals. Bonus sauce: learn to cook well and your food will taste worlds better than any processed crap.
- Take it one day at a time. Patience & consistency are key. Recognize that when you have a lot to lose, it’s gonna take a lot of time. You didn’t gain 100 pounds overnight and you sure aren’t going to lose it every night.
- Make a plan. Map out your week each Sunday. Plan your meals & calendar your workouts. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Prep what you can to grab and go.
- Find a buddy. It doesn’t have to be someone who lives with you (or even in the same town). Online buddies can be just as good as in-person buddies. Link up with someone with similar goals AND a strong mindset. You want someone who’s going to be all in right along with you- not someone who’s going to whine & make excuses. Join a DietBet group or online accountability group!
- As uncomfortable as it may be, take your before pics and all your stats (weight & measurements). You’ll never know how far you’ve come unless you know where you started. Progress pics too can help motivate you to KEEP on track along the way- you’ll be amazed at the changes taking place with your body.
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