My whole life I have been on a yo yo “diet”. My weight would go up and down as frequently as the weather changed in the town I lived in.
It’s been a long journey in the making. Roughly 40+ years. But there were a couple of defining moments for sure.
NAME : Danielle
BEFORE WEIGHT : 191.4
AFTER WEIGHT : 150.0
POUNDS LOST : 41
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE? My weight held me back from participating in almost everything in my life – trips with friends (I felt ashamed of how I looked), work (too tired in the afternoon/sluggish/not productive), sex life – ashamed of how my body appeared to my husband. Was scared to let him see me naked.
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY? My dad passed away in March 2014 and for the next 3 months I drank every day. Not a lot – a glass or two of wine…a couple of Corona. But enough to dull the pain, sadness and anger I was feeling inside. Believe it or not, I actually lost weight during this time even though I was drinking mindless calories every night. And then one day I just stopped drinking. I haven’t cut it out altogether. I drink maybe a glass of wine every couple of weeks or when we go out with friends…but certainly not to the extent that I was doing back then. However, I knew I did not want to leave this earth the same way my father did. From mindless eating and being an alcoholic. I love my Dad and he was AMAZING! But he had addictions to food and alcohol and I was NOT doing the same to my husband and kids.
December 25, 2014 I woke up and for some reason got on the scale. Who weighs themselves on Christmas morning?!! This girl! WOW! This was another wake-up call! And this girl needed one! 191 lbs! I didn’t even weigh that much when I was pregnant! But here I was 191 lbs and the day hadn’t even began. A couple of days later I began my journey of meal prepping every Sunday and beginning my work outs.
In January 2016 I turned 40. I knew something was wrong….I was getting married in July to an incredible man, I have an AMAZING daughter and about to gain two fantastic bonus children (although I have been their “mom” for a few years now – but it was for REAL!), I live in a beautiful house, I have a great job, the BESTEST friends and family…..but I was not happy. Nope! I just was NOT happy. I went through the motions…went to work every day, planned my wedding over Pinterest at night, put a smile on my face, continued with my meal prep….but my work outs started slipping and I just didn’t really care. I talked to my fiancée and some close friends and said “I am depressed and have no idea why!” They encouraged me to see my doctor and my therapist to talk about this. I finally reached out and asked for HELP. BEST THING I EVER DID. I started talking more; I started taking anti-depressants too. I also started to really focus on what I was putting into my body. I researched clean eating and work out programs.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED? I started by changing my “diet”. Instead of eating “Light” or “Fat Free” meals, I focused more on a clean eating diet. I wanted to know exactly what I was putting into my body so I started to eliminate packaged food as much as I could.
Every Sunday afternoon I would meal prep. I would make myself and my husband a salad for lunch and different breakfast options. We got used to eating the same thing everyday, but we also feel that this was key in maintaining this lifestyle.
After a few weeks of making changes to our diet routine, I started using my treadmill. Then participating in online workout programs. A little bit at a time. Then I registered for local races to participate in so that I had something to plan for and motivate myself.
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS? It wasn’t long before the weight started to fall off. The first week I remember being down 9 lbs! However, I hit a plateau in October of 2015. I remained between 156 – 160 lbs until my wedding in July 2016. I gained another 7 lbs immediately following our wedding to our honeymoon at the beginning of August. Following our honeymoon I started to refocus on my weight loss journey. I have lost the “wedding stress” weight and am now down to 150 lbs. I am hoping to reach my goal of 135 lbs.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART? I hurt my back in the spring of 2016 and it limited a lot of my exercise options. My depression had kicked into high gear and I had a hard time managing it. I also found a few of my friends were telling me I was getting “too skinny”.
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING? There were a lot of times that I felt negative about myself and my body image. But, I KNEW that I NEVER wanted my kids to feel the loss that I felt losing my dad suddenly. We never leave this earth alive, but I wanted to be here for as long as I can.
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM? answer above.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT? It took about 5 months to go from 191 lbs to 160 lbs. I didn’t weigh myself at my heaviest (2010) unfortunately.
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES? yes! buying an XS winter coat. And the watch my husband gave me for Valentine’s day is now too big on my wrist (I recently posted on IG)
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? I would never eat breakfast except for a coffee. Now, I eat oatmeal “cookies” everyday with fruit. The cookies consist of only bananas, oatmeal and blueberries – that’s it!. I eat salads with protein at lunch. Before – i would bring a microwave frozen dish for lunch and have crackers or bagel. I always have vegetables for supper with a lean protein meal.
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? I never worked out before. I would always choose the elevator – taking the stairs wouldn’t have even crossed my mind. A race??? Ha! Out of the question. Now I search for them!
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- Work out for 5 minutes. Even if you don’t want to. If at the end of 5 minutes you cannot go on, it’s okay. But you usually can.
- Don’t use the scale to solely measure success. Use your non-scale victories. Lose clothing, feeling better about yourself, better sleep at night.
- There will always be the “haters”. Don’t let one comment ruin your day. You are not doing this weight loss journey for them – you are doing it for YOU.
- It is amazing at what focusing on yourself – working out – whether it is walking every day at lunch….waking up and going for a run….going to the gym…..or doing a workout program from your bedroom will DO for YOUR mind, YOUR body, YOUR soul. Putting clean food and working out to my fitness programs has worked for ME.