I Lost 139 Pounds: Rachelle Sheds The Weight And Fights Here Biggest Hurdle – Doubt
NAME : Rachelle
BEFORE WEIGHT : 286
AFTER WEIGHT : 147
POUNDS LOST : 139
WHEN DID YOU START DEVELOPING A WEIGHT PROBLEM?
I was in middle school and high school and I was in the size 14-16.
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE?
It was very different 20 years ago, because there weren’t really cute plus size clothing stores around like there are now. My cheerleading uniforms and dance costumes had to be made by a seamstress because I couldn’t fit into the general sizes. I felt like the outcast when I went to the stores with my girlfriends. I was not confident in my own skin, and I always tried to hard to be accepted. My family never made me feel like I should be thinner or change; being heavier was always something that made me uncomfortable, sad, isolated and inferior. I believe that I let things get out of control in my romantic life, because I wanted to see if someone else would love me the way I was but I didn’t love me the way I was.
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY?
I actually lost the weight twice. The first time I went to college and decided to make a change I lost about 75 lbs. When I was in college I was not mature enough to understand the preciousness of the gift I had been given. So then after a couple of years, I gained it back plus some more. I went to Miami before I celebrated graduating from college, and someone took a picture of our group of friends; I saw how much I had gained and how much I was trying to hide the sad and unconfident person I had become. The second time around, I prayed that God would lead me to where he wanted me to be so that I could stop using food as my comfort. I started again after I graduated from college.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?
I was dedicated to eat within a healthy caloric budget and I stuck to it. I began journaling my food just the way I did the first time around. Now there are apps that help us track our calories, but I did it the old fashioned way (with books). I went for walks every day. I decided to ride a bike that was in the garage, and that started a wonderful upward spiral. I loved being outside like a kid and it made me so happy to ride my bike. The pounds melted off and I was able to begin jogging little by little. I will never forget how great it felt to run my first mile without stopping. I felt like I won the gold medal in the Olympics.
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS?
It took a year before I saw the difference in my body. I lost about 60 pounds the first year. Very slowly. All of my habits changed.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART?
The biggest challenges have always been others telling me that I don’t need to lose weight. This is extremely unsupportive. When I hear people say that, I think that they really don’t understand what it’s like to look at yourself and not like what you see. Another challenge was the places and people I used to be around. Going to bars and restaurants had to change; so some of the people I was around didn’t seem comfortable with my lifestyle change. I seemed to still be an outcast but then I was able to start a new circle of friends that were supportive and had similar interests.
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING?
The second time I lost weight I decided that I would do whatever it took to maintain. I have had some months when my weight has gone up, but more times that not these past 8 years have been successful. I look at how far I’ve come. My family encourages me and sees how badly I want to maintain, so they will ask me if the food on the menu works for me. What keeps me going is visualizing myself the way I want to be, not just in looks, but happiness within myself.
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?
The hardest thing in weight loss is a plateau. It seems like you’re doing everything wrong. I see advice from others. Even if I don’t like the advice, I take it. When I hit my first plateau I had just gotten under 200 lbs, my father (a retired professional athlete) said “you need to run and you need Tae Kwon Do.” I started running and another 40 lbs fell right off. After I reached 160 lbs I was able to train in Tae Kwon Do. I always keep challenging my mind and my body. Stagnant is bad.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT?
It took about 2.5 years
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES?
The best is being able to cross my legs. I love compliments too. I remember how great it felt to get on an airplane and not feel squished in the seat. Bending over to tie my shoes was easier. I drove a stick shift at that time and even driving was more comfortable. The feeling of waking up and knowing that I reached my goal and it’s not impossible to keep going.
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?
Deep fried food is gone and it doesn’t even agree with my stomach anymore. I stopped eating at all the fast food restaurants. I have been able to find a way to enjoy the food I like without feeling deprived, but I no longer crave the binge foods.
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?
The more weight I lost the more I was able to do and therefore I enjoyed it more. I was probably active 1-2 days per week and now I am active six days a week.
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- Make realistic goals. If you’re not already exercising once a week, then just start with one day a week. If you try to start with 5-6 days a week and then you miss one or two you might get discouraged and beat yourself up.
- Speak with a professional about the food. Not eating enough or eating too much will not help. Sometimes you need two or three opinions before you find something that will work for you.
- Keep going! No matter how long it takes or how many mistakes you make along the way, keep going. You have the rest of your life to get it right; so don’t put any pressure on yourself to lose weight by any particular time frame. If you don’t get to the number you want in “x” amount of months will you give up?
- Believe that you are already at your goal weight. See yourself at the store happy, see yourself in your new skin. Visualize it all the time.
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