As a teen I was always on the pudgy side. I lost weight in college and in my early 20’s. After having my first child at age 26 and my second child at age 27 my weight sky rocketed to 268 pounds. Since then I have been up and down the scale many times. Each time climbing higher and higher.
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE? My weight caused a lot of problems for me. On a physical level I developed high blood pressure, cardiac issues and was on the road to diabetes. My body ached and my feet and knees were always in pain. On a psychological level it was just as bad. People avoided me in public. They stared from a distance. I had very little self confidence. At times I isolated myself and outside of work, really didn’t want go anywhere. Flying was horrible having to ask for seat belt extenders and hearing the snickers from other passengers. Restaurant booths were stressful because I barely fit. Clothes shopping was awful.
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY? I had a congestive heart failure and it was a giant wake up call. After that, I had a blood clot in my leg and was feeling sick all the time. I had tried and failed so many times to change my habits but actually facing mortality because of my weight hit hard.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED? I began working with a trainer at my local YMCA. Dina was there for me and kept encouraging me. She kept me accountable. It has been about a year and a half since we met and started working together. I have gained strength I didn’t know I had. I am more fit than I ever have been. My eating habits are in control. I owe her so much and consider her one of my closest friends.
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS? It took a couple months but I started feeling “smaller”. My clothes were more comfortable. I was sleeping better and feeling better.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART? Along the way I have had to push through a foot operation after a Jone’s Fracture. I spent nearly 3 months in a boot. I kept going, working out what I could. I refused to stop. I also have autoimmune issues and experience flares of painful muscular issues. Exercise has helped to control the flares a bit, they are much less intense now.
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING? In the past year and a half no matter what I have come up against, I have kept going. My trainer Dina and my Y family keep me motivated. They mean a lot to me.
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM? I have not gotten to my goal yet. I take each day and try to make it count.
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? My diet consists mainly of real food bought from the perimeter of the store. Fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and not as much meat. I try to avoid processed foods as much as possible. I have cut my sugar consumption immensely. I don’t eat as much as I used to.
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? I can do so much more than I used to be able to!
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- Wake up each day with a smile and a positive attitude. It makes a huge difference.
- Don’t be afraid of weight training. Have someone teach you proper technique and walk into the gym with confidence.
- Have some basic equipment at home. A stationary bike or treadmill, an assortment of weights, a stability ball and a mat. If you can’t make it to the gym or can’t get out and walk, do something at home. At least 30 minutes.
- Eat as healthy as possible. It’s ok to have something you shouldn’t once in a while. Just not all the time.
- Cut as much sugar out of your diet as you can!!!!!!