101.4 Pounds Lost: – The Third Time’s The Charm
NAME : Alyson
BEFORE WEIGHT : 261.2
AFTER WEIGHT : 159.8
POUNDS LOST : 101.4
WHEN DID YOU START DEVELOPING A WEIGHT PROBLEM?
I have been overweight my whole life. When I was younger, it wasn’t as serious of an issue as it was in my pre-teen years. I was a really happy kid and didn’t really notice anything “different” about me.
Flash forward to my high school years, which is when it really started getting worse and more prominent. I was gaining, not even maintaining, weight by the year. My relationship with food was becoming more and more disordered as the years went on.
My early high school years (either freshman or sophomore year) was when I decided to join Weight Watchers Online. It worked for a little while, and I lost a little weight, but I quickly grew bored and specifically remember being legitimately upset at the amount of points a packet of Quaker Oatmeal was at the time. Needless to say, I wasn’t dedicated and the tracking wasn’t working for me.
I tried eating healthy and exercising my senior year of high school, and lost a significant amount of weight (around 50 pounds). I was doing great: maintaining a healthy eating and exercise plan that was working for me.
Then came the big “C:” College. Most high schoolers’ dream, but my nightmare. This is when I not only gained the most weight, but I was choosing the most unhealthy lifestyle. Drinking and eating is right at your fingertips when living on campus. Not only is the food usually fried or coated in carbs, but there is an endless supply of vending machine junk. Finals coming my way? No problem, I’ll just grab chicken fingers to drown my stresses in. Short break between classes and no time for lunch? I’ll buy a package of M&Ms and Doritos in the vending machine to hold me over. Don’t forget the gourmet coffee shops within walking distance of campus! There were so many bad choices at such an easy disposal that I quickly lost control and gained a LOT of weight and FAST.
I moved back home my junior year of college. I had decided to try Weight Watchers Online again. Once again, I was doing well and had dropped about 40 pounds. I began dating someone who did not choose a healthy lifestyle and it was easy for me to fall back to my old habits. I quickly gained the weight back (funny how quickly it seems that you GAIN the weight but it seems to take forever to LOSE it).
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY?
At the end of my senior year of college, I finally reached that light bulb moment. Everyone always asks me what caused me to start this incredible journey, and I am always at a loss for what to say. I think back to this time and can’t seem to pinpoint one situation that made me change my life forever. I attribute a lot of my decision to a doctor’s appointment I had had shortly before starting Weight Watchers for the third time. I had a low HDL cholesterol level (for those of you that don’t know what HDL is, it is your healthy cholesterol. Having a low HDL level is almost as bad as having high cholesterol, sometimes worse). I also started showing signs of high blood pressure. Health problems at 21? This wasn’t supposed to happen. I was young, and had a long life to live. I decided to make a change.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?
I had started a workout regimen before officially re-joining Weight Watchers. Not only did I re-join Weight Watchers, but I took it seriously. I started attending meetings, which helped me EXPONENTIALLY (I am a BIG advocate of the meeting room). Before, I could avoid the scale because it was so easy for me to “skip” a week because there was no constant holding me on to the success. Now, I go to my meeting every week and hold myself accountable to that scale not only because I feel I have to, but because even if I have a week where I gain, I learn from the experience and it grounds me.
I was terrified at my first meeting. I am a painfully shy person and very self-conscious. I wasn’t sure if anyone wanted to hear what I had to say. The first few months, I attended, which was a big step for me. I usually never do ANYTHING without someone tagging along with me. The fact that I was even doing this alone was a huge step.
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS?
It’s hard to remember the exact time I started seeing results. I do, however, remember the first time I was able to shop at whatever store I wanted without having to worry about whether they had a plus-size section or not. After that first time, it was really easy for me to stay motivated until I was finally able to fit in to a single-digit size! That was a major turning point in my life because I could not remember the last time I could fit into a size 8; that’s how young I was since I was wearing that size.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART?
The hardest part for me, recently, is keeping with my current workout schedule. It can be hard to make time for myself throughout a crazy work week, but I’ve learned that if I don’t make that effort, I will only suffer in the long run. No matter how crazy my schedule can be, I’ve always found the time to at least fit in 30 minutes of physical activity 5-6 days a week.
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING?
There have been many times where I’ve wanted to give up, especially if I’ve hit a weight gain. What’s kept me going is remembering where I started, and where I could be had I not begun this journey. Looking at my past has really kept me moving forward, because no matter what my current struggles are, I know I will never go back to how unhealthy I once was.
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?
There have been many times, especially recently, where I haven’t seen the progress I’ve wanted to see. It can really bring you down and wreck your motivation. What’s keeping me going is positivity; I’m learning to love my current lifestyle and am trying to find joy in every step of my journey. I may not reach my goals at the time that I’ve planned them, but I know I will accomplish them when the time is right.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT?
It took me about two years to lose the amount of weight I’ve lost so far.
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES?
Non-scale victories are sometimes more rewarding than the scale! My favorite NSV has to be clothing size. I once was a size 22 and now I’m a size 6/8! It boosts my confidence when I am able to go into a store and try something on without worrying about whether it will button, zipper, or even fit over my stomach!
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?
I try to stick to three main courses a day with two snacks in between. Before, my eating habits were so terrible that I was just eating all the time; there really wasn’t any structure. I had an addiction to food, and I was constantly feeding that mindset.
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?
Before you wouldn’t catch me anywhere near a gym! Now I work out 5-6 days a week and am currently training for a 10K! I love going to fitness classes and working out on the machines. I love to change up my fitness routine so it won’t ever get boring.
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- Change it up! Whether that means changing up your meal plans or fitness routines, make changes to it every so often so that way there’s no chance of getting bored with it and going off-course.
- MOVE. Whether that means making an effort to go to the gym or work out, or walking your dog a set distance consistently, just move your body! It’s good for your heart, mind, body, and soul!
- Ignore the scale if it disappoints you. Don’t just focus solely on scale victories, focus on the victories that don’t involve the scale too! Some of my favorite non-scale victories are adding a little more time into my fitness routine, going down a pant size, or even going down in measurements! Find other ways to track your progress so your motivation won’t only be focused on the scale.
- DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP. If you’ve had a bad day, week, or even month, don’t dwell on it. Focus on the changes you can make now and moving forward that will push you closer to your goals. Reset from the “bad” choices and focus on how you can make better choices now.
- NEVER GIVE UP! It’s not easy to lose weight, or everyone would be doing it and succeeding 110% of the time! You’re going to have struggles and plateaus, but push through them! Remember how far you’ve come and where you are now. Focus on what you’ve accomplished and what you can accomplish, and everything will fall into place.
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