I was always a “chubby” kid…all the way through high school. After high school I started gaining weight – I was eating out more between work and classes, eating cafeteria food, and snacking on junk throughout the day. When I turned 20 I moved away for school, which lead to more eating out and cafeteria food.
If I did cook at home it was typically something boxed or frozen. Growing up my parents didn’t keep much junkfood or pop in the house, so once I lived on my own I could buy all the bad snacks and pop that I wanted. Before I knew it I had gained around 100 pounds.
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE? I have always been shy but being overweight made social situations tough. I was the girl who sat at the table while my friends were out on the dance floor. Or sat and kept to myself at parties. Shopping – forget it. I didn’t necessarily avoid social events but I avoided people.
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY? I was convinced I had high blood pressure. I was having frequent headaches and, well, I was 283 pounds. I made an appointment with my doctor immediately. Fortunately I did not have high blood pressure and I was healthy, but I knew it was only a matter of time before I DID have HBP, or diabetes, etc. At that visit I spoke to my doctor about bariatric surgery. He said “I will refer you to the BEST bariatric surgeon in the area if you want … but I think you can do this on your own.” And so I did ….
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED? After my doctor visit I started using myfitnesspal to track calories and exercise. I stopped eating out and in general just made better food choices. I also joined a gym and did light workouts.
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS? I, like many, have tried multiple times to lose weight. Each time weight came off quickly, but I was never consistent enough to keep the weight off. October 2014 I started working with my coach. He is a strength & conditioning coach certified in nutrition. Once I learned how to eat and fuel my body the pounds started flying off. Within a year I was down over 70 pounds.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART? The first 100 pounds flew off. I was motivated. I was focused. There was no stopping me. Eventually I got comfortable and a little less strict. I had to learn that just because I was at a more comfortable weight I could not eat what I wanted. I had to stay consistent with diet and routine.
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING? I have had instances where I was on my way to the gym and wanted to turn around and go home… or points where I felt like “I’m good where I’m at, I can stop all this.” But I can’t truly say I wanted to give up. So much of my motivation comes from motivating others. I am often told that I am an inspiration and that helps keep me motivated. I also look back at old pictures of 283 pound me and I am motivated to continue on this journey.
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM? I have hit plenty of plateaus. Fortunately I work with a coach who is a genius. We would look at my diet and exercise and figure out where we could make changes. Once we made the necessary change I was back on track!
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT? Although my journey was over a long span of time, the majority of my weight took about a year and 1/2, after I started working with my coach. I know have the knowledge and know-how to keep it off. Along with the drive!
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES? Plenty of NSVs! Some of my favorites are: Fitting in a stadium seat. Buckling the airplane seatbelt. Running around with my 10 year old niece and being able to keep up with her. Completing a 10k. Completing a mud run. Awesome blood pressure readings. Lifting 110 pound deadlifts … there are so many!!
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? At my heaviest I ate out A LOT. There were days I would eat out 3 meals a day – mostly fast food. My office had a deli downstairs. A typical breakfast for me was bacon & cheese on an english muffin, hashbrowns and a coke. Lunch was either fast food or something from the deli – with very little nutritional value. Since I was back living at home dinner was pretty standard but usually contained some sort of starch or a processed/boxed side. I always ate until I was full, though, not just until I was satisfied.
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? Activity when I was heavy was very little. Running? Forget it. Lifting a weight heavier than 5 pounds? Yea right. My workouts were very minimal and mostly cardio based. I had no idea what I was doing. Now (after working with my coach) I have run mulitple 5ks, an 8k and a 10k. I am using plates and barbells on a regular basis that 3 years ago I couldn’t even pick up. My endurance is 100x better and my strength 1000x better.
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- Consistency! From when/where you workout, to when/what you are eating. This is so important! I have become such a routine person since starting my journey. I workout at the same time every day. I eat at the same time every day. If I fall off schedule I am all thrown off!
- Meal Prep! This was an absolute lifesaver. There is nothing like leaving work at 7pm and remembering you have dinner already made at home, just waiting to heat up!
- Don’t compare yourself to others. Ever.
- Take pictures. Especially once you have lost a majority of your weight. Pounds may not be coming off but inches may – and your shape may be changing.
- Measure yourself along the weigh. Don’t count solely on your weight, especially if you are working out.