116 Pounds Lost: LauraBeth Loses The Weight With Healthy Eating
NAME : LauraBeth
BEFORE WEIGHT : 304
AFTER WEIGHT : 188
POUNDS LOST : 116
WHEN DID YOU START DEVELOPING A WEIGHT PROBLEM?
It started in grade school. I was way bigger than the other kids. Even tho growing up poor, I always found ways to eat. And believe that because we were poor I saw food as a challenge. I would go to my grandmas a couple blocks away, and she always had oatmeal raisin cookies on top of her fridge. Or windmill cookies, or the cherry jelly top cookies. Those were my favorite. I always found ways to eat.
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE?
I became a firemen and emergency medical technician in the spring of 2002. It was an amazing job, I loved it. It was a true passion of mine. I would fluctuate my weight so much for whatever I needed to do. For fire school, I dropped a bunch of weight, but when I got my job, I got comfortable. I was in an okay relationship at the time, but saw it was going to come to an end soon. I often wondered, how can I take care of others when I couldn’t take care of myself. Or, if I get trapped or injured in a burning building how in the world are my coworkers gonna save me? Am I putting my “brothers” in danger by being this heavy. I started to have a lot of self doubt, low self esteem, and It only made me eat more.
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY?
Fast forward to 2008-2009. The turning point for me was I was injured one night on a call. I was taken to the hospital. I had a whole bunch of tests performed including and MRI, and had to stay overnight. The next day the doctors and surgeons came in and told me I needed surgery on my back. I was shocked, devasted, and beside myself. They informed me I had 4 herniated disks in my back, I also had degenerative arthritis in my spine, and on top of all that I was told I had multiple sclerosis. Talk about a ton of bricks. My boyfriend at the time who later became my husband, who is also a firemen, was by my side, and said ” what are you going to do LauraBeth ?” I denied surgery. I asked the doctors if they miraculously found a cure for multiple sclerosis, or herniated disks or arthritis. They all looked at me kinda funny. They replied back with a “no.” I said ” okay, besides a million dollar hospital bill, what exactly are you given me ?” Well when they couldn’t fully answer my questions, I opted out. I then asked what are my other options. The surgeons said, ” well we can send you home on vicodin and percocet.” Mind you, I rarely take Advil for a headache, I then asked what my third option was. They stated just be careful, go easy, ice your back and wear a lumber belt every chance you get. I looked at them and said “sold!” The doctors and surgeons said absolutely no more working, lifting, running. The best physical activity was water exercise.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?
I knew that if I didn’t get right with myself I could furthur damage my back, or not walk at all. I thought to myself, if I could just make my core stronger then I knew my back would be stronger. I knew if I cut out fast food, and actually cook that would be a healthier option. I knew all these things, so why not do them! Well after coming home and rehabbing my back for a couple weeks, I put my plans into action. This was it! I felt like I get no chance after this!
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS?
I really don’t like to swim so I put it in my head I was gonna start by walking slow. Eventually I knew I wanted run. Not only for my health, but because doctors and surgeons told me I couldn’t. I can’t take no for an answer. I started learning how to cook, and I stayed away from fast food. I knew that even if I had it on occasions, I would fall back into old habits. I cut out pop completely, and within 5 weeks I dropped 30lbs. I felt amazing! I felt light.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART?
My back was my deciding factor, I knew it was gonna make or break me. I rehabbed with ice, and bought an inversion table, I went to the chiropractor, I got acupuncture. I did it all. And the more and more I rehabbed, I felt better, my workouts got longer and I was doing it.
I was also diagnosed with cervical cancer 3x in the time period of 2002-2008. I did chemo once, my very first diagnosis, and swore I would never do it again. My second and third time I elected to have surgery. I was also eating more clean. More raw, organic, plantbased foods. I still ate meat, but my plate consisted mostly of whole foods. I also started having a more positive attitude about life, and love, and with the aid of still losing weight, my confidence grew along with my self esteem. And since my last surgery in August of 2008, I have been cancer free!
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING?
I wanted to give up so many times. I hated the way I looked. I hated how I felt. But then one day it clicked. In order for all this work and actually change my life, I had to love myself in all aspects and changes in my life. No matter my weight, no matter my hair color at the time, no matter what! As soon as I started appreciating and loving LauraBeth, I knew I would never give up.
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?
I did hit plateaus. I’m actually stuck right now lol. I get a tad discouraged, because we are all human right? But then I look back in my journals and go back to what I was doing when I was losing the most weight. I would switch up my calories, or carb intake for a couple weeks, or intensify my workouts, or switch up my workouts all together. And eventually the weight will creep off.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT?
The bulk of my weight took about 9 months to do. I lost 82lbs in those 9 months.
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES?
I have had so many different clothing wardrobes because my weight kept going down. I have gotten my wedding ring resized a couple times. I am able to ride roller coasters with my kids! I used to not be able to because the bars either wouldn’t go down or my hips were too big.
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?
O wow, so my diet is more organic, whole foods. Alot of raw. Tons and tons of fruits and veggies! I love to cook and have gotten so good at it, that I am constantly creating something! I rarely eat out anymore. On special occasions I do. When you don’t constantly eat out, those special times I do make it that more special!
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?
So in 2012 I became a runner! Yeah a runner! Yeah, something I would never do right? Something I was told I’d never do. I started off slow of course running/jogging 30 seconds then walking 30 seconds. Now Im up to 3 plus miles a day!
I can actually hit cardio for an hour, then zumba for an hour. As before, I couldn’t even walk without catching my breath.
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- Eat clean. As clean as possible. If you can’t read and understand the ingredients then why would you want to eat it anyways!
- Move! Just get up. Even if its to walk around your house. Keep moving.
- Keep journals. I journal all my meals and workouts. Which helps me when I hit a plateau or just want to switch things up.
- Take lots and lots of pictures and selfies. I wish I did it more in the beginning, but now Im constantly snapping away. I made a special folder in my phone and computer for all my pics to compare before and after. You will be amazed of the small changes your body makes. And its motivating!
- Love yourself and the process. Don’t call it a diet, make a life change. Love every step your body takes with it, at every weight your at. Give yourself positive affirmations daily. Look in that mirror and say outloud, how gorgeous you are and how worth it you are!! It works!
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