Before And After: Den-Ray Lost More Than 170 Pounds Without Surgery
NAME : Den-Ray
BEFORE WEIGHT : 400+
AFTER WEIGHT : 230
POUNDS LOST : 170+
WHEN DID YOU START DEVELOPING A WEIGHT PROBLEM?
When I was a teenager I developed an unhealthy relationship with food and exercise. I binged in the off season of sports and starved when I was participating in sports. It was common for me to eat one meal a day in the presence of my mom at home and refuse to eat for the remainder of the day. I also exercised 3 times a day during that time.
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE?
It affected everything from my self esteem to my ability to perform daily tasks like walking through doorways and bathe myself. I am reminded of one horrifying experience where I got stuck in the tub. I can laugh about it now, but I cried about it then.
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY?
My turning point was when my cousin offered to submit my story to Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition. Until then, I never saw myself as being as large as the people featured on the show.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?
My neighbor offered to walk with me in the mornings and showed me how to use calorie tracking apps. I became addicted to the results.
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS?
I think it was the first week, I noticed I my time for completing a mile was getting shorter. Then I started measuring myself about two weeks later and the weight seemed to be melting off.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART?
I overcame lack of funds, food addiction (of which I am still recovering), and the hurt from feeling as if I were shunned by people. I was overcoming a bankruptcy at the time and had just begun working again after a stretch of more than a year with no steady income. I also love food very much, so I had to change my relationship with food. I also felt hurt that people didn’t seem to see me as a person or pittied me for being so heavy. I would exercise and people would either make fun of me or be overly encouraging. I just wants to be left alone. I’m naturally an introvert and had found solice in being able to fade into the background as a larger person.
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING?
I want to give up on a regular basis, but I remember what the alternative feels like and also have a circle of friends and colleagues that would never let me give up. It’s amazing the support I have.
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?
I’ve hit many weight loss plateaus and am currently in the middle of one. I just have to set my mind to changing my regiment and stick to it long enough to see results. It’s a lifestyle, so I just flow with it now. Whenever I’m ready to break it, I’ll put in the work necessary to overcome it. I think the key to this thing is to understand yourself and meet your own needs.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT?
It took me about 3 years to lose the bulk of the weight.
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES?
All the time: I fit through doorways without having to turn sideways; I don’t have to ask for seat belt extensions on flights; I can fit standard sized chairs; and I can weigh myself on any scale (it used to take a special scale).
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?
I eat several small meals a day; I don’t eat mostly in private; and I generally eat one serving instead of several servings of food.
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?
At my heaviest I barely moved. I was unemployed at the time and didn’t move much. I let my dogs outside on a long leash, walked down the stair to apply for jobs on the computer; and bathed. That was about the extent of my movement. Now I’m always excited for a walk, it doesn’t matter where: the mall, in my neighborhood, the park, wherever.
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- Don’t overwhelm yourself with a bunch of new healthy habits.
- Forgive yourself for messing up.
- Start over each day.
- Love yourself.
- Forget what other people say.
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