I Lost Weight With PCOS! Alice’s 110 Pound Weight Loss Success Story
NAME : Alice
BEFORE WEIGHT : 450 pounds
AFTER WEIGHT : 340 pounds
POUNDS LOST : 110
WHEN DID YOU START DEVELOPING A WEIGHT PROBLEM?
I was diagnosed as clinically obese in the sixth grade. With the onset of puberty, I began to experience a major shift in metabolism. I steadily began gaining weight, even though my diet and exercise levels hadn’t changed. In high school I was diagnosed with PCOS, which helped me to better understand what my body was doing. I got serious about trying to be healthy for about a year, but eventually gave up and just started using my diagnosis as an excuse for my extreme weight gain.
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE?
I was very active in sports in high school, and loved being an athlete. But, due to my weight, I was never able to fully compete to the level I truly desired. Throughout college and the start of my career, I was mostly affected in the emotional aspects of my life. I have always been a very confident and happy person, but deep down I was struggling with insecurities and self-doubt.
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY?
I am very involved in a non-profit ministry that hosts leadership retreats throughout the year. It was after one of these retreats that I finally came to realize that something had to change. Those three days of activity wore me out to the point of exhaustion and it scared me. I was at my heaviest weight and so out of shape that I couldn’t stand or walk for any length of time without having to stop and rest frequently. At 28 years old, this was unacceptable to me. I wanted a long and full life, and I finally realized that if I didn’t do something different, I wasn’t going to be able to have that.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?
The thought of joining a gym terrified me, so I started with walking each morning at a local park. Just one mile a day at the beginning, slowly at first, but gradually increased pace. Then I added a half mile, then another. And while I experienced a lot of emotional healing with walking, I hadn’t really seen any physical changes. But after about six months of walking, I finally got the courage to join a gym and got serious about having a healthy eating lifestyle.
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS?
Once I changed my eating habits and actually joined a gym, I began to see results pretty immediately. My energy levels were up and I felt so much better. Within two months, I dropped forty pounds.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART?
Most of my challenges came from myself, honestly. I had established such an unhealthy lifestyle, that I really had no idea how to have healthy habits. I knew how to diet- what girl doesn’t?- but I knew from experience that “going on a diet” wasn’t ever really going to work. I had to approach every day with a pep talk to myself. I started keeping a food diary to hold myself accountable. I had to choose to like healthier options. It really was a struggle in the beginning to completely alter my lifestyle from destructive to healthy.
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING?
There were definitely moments I wanted to give up! Two things kept me going. First, anytime I felt like quitting, I reminded myself of why I started. I went back to that moment I decided to change and held onto that feeling. The reasons I started were all still valid, so I held them close to my heart and reminded myself of them. Second, I kept track of my progress through pictures. I made sure to take a progress picture on a weekly basis, sometimes more. Anytime I was feeling discouraged, I would create a “before and after” type collage to visually remind myself of the progress I had already made. Those reminders were so encouraging and kept me going- especially when the scale was being mean and wouldn’t budge.
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?
I hit a plateau every couple of months. They are the worst!! What got me through was reminding myself that my body is not a machine. It is a very complex organism with so many different internal functions that I couldn’t even begin to understand. And with all the changes I was putting my body through, I had to trust than any outward plateau I was experiencing was a result of some internal shifting that I couldn’t see nor probably understand. I knew that as long as I kept doing what I knew to be right and healthy, my body would do what it needed to do to correct all the unhealthy things I had done to it over the last 28 years. I shifted my overall goal from simply being focused on weight loss to being focused on my overall health. This allowed me to see plateaus as simply another part of the journey, rather than the roadblocks they tried to be.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT?
I lost the first 110 pounds in 11 months. I am not quite done yet- still need to lose at least 75-100 more pounds, possibly more.
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES?
All the time. They are my favorite victories. Almost too many to even try to list out here. I make it a point to celebrate non-scale victories as often as I can. My victories range from something as small as wearing bracelets again to as big as literally climbing a mountain.
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?
Soooo different. Right now I am eating a low-carb diet. I try to eat less than 25g of carbs a day. I eat a lot of high protein meals and take nutritional supplements to build back my nutrition. I have always desired to lose weight the fastest, but healthiest, way possible. I don’t want to be in a worse place than when I started.
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?
The simple fact that there is any activity is a huge difference! I now go to the gym for at least an hour 4-5 times a week. I do 45-60 minutes of cardio and daily strength training. Plus, I am more active during my regular daily activities. I’m more likely to simply get up and walk around than I was before.
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- If you always do what you’ve always done, then you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.
- Small changes add up to big results over time.
- Keep a food diary- especially in the beginning. There are free apps like MyFitnessPal that make it so easy! Accountabilty is key!
- You can’t outrun your fork!
- Failing to plan means planning to fail. Live your life on purpose! Meal prep is such an important part of a healthy lifestyle!
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