55 Pounds Lost: Heart. Health. Weightloss. My Journey.
NAME : Kathleen
BEFORE WEIGHT : 185
AFTER WEIGHT : 130
POUNDS LOST : 55
WHEN DID YOU START DEVELOPING A WEIGHT PROBLEM?
My weight has always fluctuated throughout my life. I remember when I was 16 years old, I would weigh myself and my weight usually hung around 145 lbs. After graduating high school, I got as low as 130 lbs and I saw as high as 165 lbs years later (which was during an abusive relationship). I attribute my “bad eating habits” to my parents, to be honest. We ate a lot of pre packaged food, take out and desserts. My parents didn’t encourage eating healthy or exercise, which didn’t help me because I had heart disease.
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE?
Since my weight fluctuated during high school, I was severely bullied. A lot of the girls that were in my class seemed to have the “ideal” body.. Tall, athletic and slim physique. As for myself, I seemed to be the complete opposite. I remember comments from not only girls in my class, but boys as well. I always felt that I was being compared to these girls and that’s why I didn’t have a boyfriend like they did or that’s why I didn’t get asked to prom or any of the homecoming dances. I felt ugly and invisible. A few years later, when I turned 21.. I turned my insecurities about my weight into an addiction. I discovered alcohol.. which is a HUGE no-no for any person that has a heart related disease. I remember looking at myself and just being disgusted; I would put on layers and layers of makeup and I made sure I always had on the latest fashion, but still I would see myself as this fat, ugly girl. This went on for the next couple years, which was at the same time that I was in an abusive relationship. My weight during these years, probably affected my underlying condition, but I never wanted to find out so I never went to the doctor. I ignored taking care of myself; physically, mentally and emotionally.
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY?
The day I had my son, was definitely the “turning point” that I needed to kick me in the butt. I had my son at 37 weeks due to complications during my pregnancy; two weeks later I had to have surgery in order to remove arterial blood clots. So I guess, I’d say there were two “turning points”: my son being born and my surgery. I knew that from then on I needed to get my life together. I felt like I had already been on a better journey, because I had met my now husband just six months before we had found out we were pregnant, but it definitely wasn’t “weight loss” oriented. When I found out I was pregnant my weight was 145 lbs and by the time I had my son I had reached 185 lbs.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?
Since I was recovering from just having surgery, as well as a baby and the other complications that I had endured.. I had to start my weight loss journey slowly. I began by eating correctly. I remember googling everything and anything that I could in order to get myself on track. I also watched a lot of YouTube Videos to inspire me and give me ideas of exercises that I could do in the future, once cleared. After about two months, I was able to start exercising. I had already lost about 10 lbs from just eating better and walking. I bought a bunch of Jillian Michaels DVD’s and got right to it. I would do a video a day, with one rest day. I meal prepped each week and even got my husband to start doing it with me, which helped me keep myself in check.
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS?
Like I said, the first 10 lbs came off within about two months (From July to September 2015) .. which I thought was super cool! It was crazy for me to see what just eating healthier could do! I reached 154 lbs by March 2016, then reached my pre pregnancy weight (145 lbs) by April 2016. In June 2016 , I reached a 137 lbs. Before I started my weight loss journey I set a goal of 135 lbs! So I was super excited that I was almost there in less than a year post-partum. August 2016, I reached my lowest weight: 128 lbs. And now, Nov 2016 I am at 130.6 lbs and have maintained this since late September. I’ve lost a total of 10+ inches! And have never felt better!
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART?
Physically: Endurance. When I found out that I had arterial blood clots the doctors told me that they were all in my legs! This has challenged me to listen to my body and not overdo it. I remember when I first started walking on the treadmill, I could only walk a couple minutes before having to take a break. And this wasn’t even using a high speed or incline. Now, I can walk for minutes on minutes, miles on miles, incline on incline, without hardly any pain. Don’t get me wrong, I have good days and bad days still.
Emotionally: I think this is still my biggest challenge to this day. I go back and forth on “if this is all really worth it?”. I am very much an “instant gratification” person so the “process” sometimes makes me breakdown. I still also have those days where I feel like I am that ugly, fat girl in high school still. But I do a lot of progress pictures and that seems to keep me going.
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING?
To be honest, I feel like I want to give up at least once or twice a month. Especially, if I get frustrated with the “process”. But I remind myself that I am not only doing this for my son and husband, but for my life. Living a healthy lifestyle makes me happy, it makes me feel good, and its great for my heart health. I am in the best shape of my life right now and I remind myself of that!
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?
I felt like I was hanging out at the 145’s for awhile. At this moment, I set a goal of 5 lbs every two weeks. I also changed up my eating habits as well too. I was a lot more aware of what I was putting into my body, by simply tracking what I was eating on MyFitnessPal App. I also increased my cardio from 30 minutes to 45 minutes. But at the end of the day, I reminded myself that I could do anything and to take a step back and look at how far I had already come.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT?
A year and two months. I had a lot of first days, bad days and good days within those months too.
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES?
Every time I did a face to face, that was huge to me. I loved seeing my results in different places than my stomach or legs. Putting on jeans that I wore pre pregnancy and those didn’t even fit was EXTREMELY amazing and I felt like I had jumped over a huge hurdle. I work retail, so when my customers would come in and notice and compliment me that was the best feeling! And the fact that I felt a 1000 times better health wise, that was huge.
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?
Now, I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. I also eat whole grains. I don’t eat as much dairy as I had and I definitely don’t indulge in fatty, processed foods all the time like I did then. I also watch my salt now, for heart health purposes. I don’t drink any soda; when I did I had like 1-2 a day. Now I drink water and lots of it! My portions are extremely different too. I don’t stuff myself, I stop when I am content.
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?
When I was heavier, there was little to no physical activity whatsoever. I didn’t know what a gym was, I didn’t hardly go for walks and I definitely didn’t do any strength training. Now, I am in the gym 3-4 times a week, sometimes more if I can. I take the stairs not the elevator. I do a lot of strength training, in order to stay toned and strong.
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- Set a GOAL! Setting a goal is a great way to keep you on track! It can be as little or as big as you’d like.
- Ask for HELP! Don’t be afraid to reach out to those people who inspire you, google workouts or even ask someone at the gym for advice!
- Meal Prep EVERYTHING! I am serious, this is your key to success! If not giving into your cravings or portion control is one of your biggest challenges, this will help you reach your goal.
- Take progress PICTURES! A picture is worth a thousand words. And plus you feel like a rockstar after you see your progress!
- Just BREATHE! You’ll have good days, bad days, first days and no days. Just remember, your human. Tomorrow is a new day. And you got this!
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