Weight Loss Before and After: Brittany Drops 207 Pounds And Takes Her Life Back!
I have always struggled with my weight. I was raised by a single Mom; meals were often quick and processed as she worked multiple to make sure my brother and I had everything we needed. I grew up not having the right tools in regards to nutrition/food and ate a lot of really easy, processed meals in the wrong portion sizes and had steadily gained weight. From as far back as I can remember I was always the biggest girl on sports teams, the biggest girl in my classes and among friends.
NAME : Brittany
BEFORE WEIGHT : 400.1
AFTER WEIGHT : 193.1
POUNDS LOST : 207
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE?
My weight never really had a negative affect on my life. I had a lot of friends, I was outgoing throughout school, I wasn’t bullied and I always felt like I fit in. I was really lucky to grow up in a community that accepted me for who I was, that I had a loving family and friends. I never really felt self conscious, I just knew I wasn’t living my best life. I think there is a misconception that overweight people aren’t happy. Yes I had limitations, but I was still a happy person.
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY?
I found myself unhappy in life and knowing I needed to make a change… but where would I even start? I didn’t have the right tools to succeed in weight loss. I had done lots of the “fad” diets, and lost some weight and always gained it back and then some more. I finally took the step and talked to my physician about weight loss options. He told me about a bariatric clinic in the city I live in that dealt with weight loss, tools to aid in long term weight loss, and if I chose to and was medically approved, possibly weight loss surgery. He sent in a referral on my behalf; clearly I met the BMI requirements weight 400lbs at 5’9 tall.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?
After waiting a year to get into the clinic I started my weight loss journey on June 2, 2014. Stepping on that scale and having the nurse say 400.1 lbs out loud, I was completely embarrassed. How had I let myself get that big without even realizing? I can remember telling my Mom, when I walked out of the room, everyone was fat… in some strange world; I had never associated myself as being fat. Total reality check. I entered the bariatric clinic and worked with a physician, nurse, psychologist, dietician and exercise specialist. I started off slowly making lifestyle changes to my diet and introducing some exercise.
I kept a food journal that tracked everything I put into my mouth whether it was solid or liquid that contained calories. I completely cut out drinking pop(soda). I started out making very little changes, starting with eating breakfast. Along with tracking all my food and staying within a caloric goal my dietitian set, I walked my dogs at least 3-5 times a week. I was lucky to have a team of professionals that had all the nutritional information I lacked.
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS?
From June 2014 – September 2015 I lost 67 lbs naturally. At first the results were hard to see physically, but I felt so different. I had energy. I wanted to go out and walk my dogs and be active. Sitting on the couch watching TV wasn’t as enticing as before. I decided to document my weight loss journey on my Instagram page, taking pictures of myself which made the weight loss easier to notice.
On September 9, 2015 I underwent a vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG) surgery where they remove a large portion of your stomach to restrict portion sizes and have lost 140 lbs since surgery; 207 lbs in total. Prior to my VSG surgery I learnt a lot about food, balanced meals and normal portion sizes; I’ve learnt how to fuel my body properly. Although I have had weight loss surgery, I work my hard daily to reach my goals. I meal prep every Sunday night for the week ahead, I plan out my meals before going grocery shopping.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART?
The biggest challenge trying to lose weight I had to overcome is head hunger. You might not be hungry, but maybe you had a bad day, slept bad, maybe someone at work made you mad or there was a family emergency going on, all those feelings had to be dealt with, not by eating food. To this date I talk to myself in my head alot about not needing to have snacks or making bad food choices. I don’t think that will ever go away – thankfully I win the battle more than I lose.
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING?
I often have people ask me how after 3 years I still find a way to stay motivated. I wish I could say its easy – but its not. Its a decision I have to wake up and make every single day. To go to the gym, to eat the healthy food I’ve packed in my lunch. What keeps me going is how great I feel, that I love my reflection in the mirror, that I can still eat snacks – its about portion and moderation. I talk to myself ALOT.
I make appointments with myself – and I wouldn’t cancel on my friends so I sure can’t cancel on myself. I’m important in my own life. I’m the biggest priority I have. I love to push myself in the gym, climbing more steps, running long, running faster – I just love the idea of being a better version of myself every single day. I deserve that!
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?
Since June 2014 I have been steady losing weight; even in September I had 4.5lb wight loss for the month. I’ve been fortunate to not really hit any major plateaus. I took 2 months this summer to just enjoy life – and maybe indulged more than I should have and gained 9lbs. Getting back on track wasn’t too hard. I joined a DietBet and lost 11lbs in one month. I already had all the tools to do it – I just needed to get focused again.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT?
June 2014 – September 2015 I lost 67lbs. Since September 2015 to date I have lost an additional 140lbs. Its a life long journey.
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES?
Not needing to have a seat-belt extender on flights. Going into ANY store and fitting their clothes. My shoes have gone down a full size. I can buy boots and not need to buy them 2 sizes too big to fit my calves into them. Blow drying my hair in the summer no longer makes me sweaty. I like running. My Grandpa telling me he tells his coffee buddies he doesn’t recognize me when I come over. People I used to work with 5+ years ago not recognizing me. People who follow my Instagram page who tell me that I motivate them to go to the gym, to look into weight loss surgery, to make themselves a priority. I love myself, I’m loving life.
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?
My eating habits were mainly processed food and fast food. I would order pizza 1 to 3 times a week. I also loved chips. Nothing good for you! Fruits and veggies were rarely placed in my grocery cart at the store or put into my mouth. I was lazy in what I was eating and liked foods that were quick and convenient.
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?
I did very limited physical activity prior to weight loss. I came home from work and sat on the couch watching TV after spending my entire day at a desk job. My entire day was very sedentary. Today I work out 4-5 days a week, occasionally getting up at 5am to get a 6.5km run in before I even get to work based on what my schedule is like. I go for 20 mins walks 3 times a day on my breaks at work. In addition, Im walking my dogs o 3-5 nights a week at the off-leash parks. My goal is to run a half marathon next spring!
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- Don’t drink your calories.
- Always show up for appointments you make with yourself.
- Track anything you put into your mouth. Knowledge is power – if you dont know how much you’re consuming, you’re probably eating too much.
- Drink water. Drink alot of water. Even when you think you’ve drank enough. Drink some more. Especially when you’re craving “bad” foods.
- Be gentle with yourself. You’re human, your going to make mistakes. Each morning is a brand new day. Don’t beat yourself up – just make better choices.
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