56 Pounds Lost: Tina ‘Started Over’ One Last Time
Full name: Tina
Before: 205 lbs
After: 149 lbs
What was the turning point that prompted you to lose weight?
My mom actually approached me (very kindly) and asked me if I’d be interested in attending a Weight Watchers meeting. I never considered trying to lose weight before that, but when she asked me that, I knew I needed to start.
When did you start trying to lose weight?
I first started trying to lose weight in late 2005. It seems so long ago! I’ve “started over” a couple of times since then.
How did you get started?
I started Weight Watchers, which basically transformed my diet. I started paying way more attention to what I was putting into my body. I also started exercising, but I started VERY slowly. I would just go on the treadmill and walk for 15 to 20 minutes, and that’s it.
What was your biggest challenge?
There are a lot of challenging aspects to losing weight, but I think I can narrow it down to two things. Number one: resisting temptation, and number two: being patient with the time it took my body to change. Initially, it was pretty hard to resist a lot of the foods I love. Over time, I learned how to do it better, but I always have to be conscious of it and of course, I still make mistakes. However, I think it’s important to remember that it’s okay to indulge once in a while, and it’s okay to make mistakes (I made tons!). It also took a while for my body to transform, and it’s hard to be patient sometimes. It is definitely a process, there is no “quick fix,” and sometimes it can feel like it’s taking forever. You need patience and perseverance to lose weight. But one day, you’ll look back and realize how much you really have changed, and you didn’t even notice!
Were there times when you wanted to quit or give up? How did you stay motivated?
There were many times I wanted to quit. In fact, there were many times that I DID quit. It took a number of different ways to stay motivated. I made lists of reasons why I wanted to lose weight, which still gives me a push to keep going. I also make lists of the difficulties I’ve gone through with being overweight. I visualize myself at my goal and how amazing I will look, and think of all the compliments I’ll get. I visualize how the people who used to look down on me for my weight will see me!
Plus, I was sick and tired of starting over. Every time I fell off the wagon and started eating unhealthy and not exercising, I’d have to return to healthy habits all over again — and I was so mentally and physically tired of doing that. The disappointed, discouraging feeling I got from that cycle made me angry enough to finally stay motivated for good.
If you reached a weight loss plateau, how did you break out of the rut?
I only hit plateaus when I physically stopped trying to lose weight. But changing eating and exercising habits will help
— as well as remaining patient.
What’s your current exercise routine?
Currently, I run for 30 minutes and do a 30-minute strength training regimen using free weights three to four times a week. Occasionally I’ll switch it up at the gym and use the elliptical trainer instead of running.
What’s your daily diet look like?
For breakfast, I must eat something that will keep me full for a long time. I will usually have oatmeal with peanut butter. Or, I’ll make a ‘banana burrito’ by spreading two tablespoons of peanut butter over a low-carb wrap, topping it off with a banana, and rolling it like a burrito — SO GOOD. For lunch, I’ll have a chicken salad wrap, soup, or salad with avocado. For dinner, I’ll eat grilled chicken tacos, black beans with brown rice, or whole-wheat spaghetti, with a vegetable stir-fry. (I always add veggies and fruit to lunch and dinner.) For snacks, I like low-fat string cheese, veggies and hummus, or turkey slices.
What’s your favorite healthy snack or meal?
There’s so many. I do love the banana burrito I mentioned earlier. I really love anything with peanut butter, which is really healthy in moderation! I also love romaine salads with avocado and bell peppers, carrots and hummus, and grilled chicken tacos with black beans and salsa.
Do you have specific suggestions for avoiding temptations?
Have a plan and be prepared. If I know I’m going to be somewhere where I’ll be tempted by food, I will eat something light but filling (such as a salad), so I’m not starving and therefore more likely to eat junky food. If you want something, have it, but do it in moderation and plan it into your day. It’s okay to indulge sometimes — it won’t ruin your progress if you do it right. But be prepared; I can’t stress that enough! Have a piece of fruit or granola bar in your purse in case you get hungry and can’t have a meal right away. Feeling hungry or starved is the worst time for temptation.
What’s your life like after weight loss?
I feel great! I’m much happier with myself and that translates into the rest of my life. There are so many awesome things about weight loss! When people notice and compliment you, it feels great. I am definitely much more confident than I was before I lost weight. I never wore anything except T-shirts and jeans and always tried to cover up my body. It’s really awesome to be able to fit into anything I want to try on at the store. I have a completely different style now that I’ve lost weight. It’s also just really rewarding to feel good about myself and know this is something that I’ve done all on your own. It makes me feel really strong and capable.
If you have any suggestions to others what would they be?
First and foremost I would say DON’T give up! I’ve slipped up so many times. Don’t let discouraging days (or weeks) trip you up. Just get right back up and keep going. I recommend tracking calories/intake in some way, whether you use Weight Watchers or MyFitnessPal (I’ve used both). I challenge myself by making short- and long-term goals. I tracked my exercise schedule with a cute calendar.
Don’t forget that it’s okay to treat yourself. I gave myself small, non-food treats when I met my personal goals. Don’t deny yourself anything, but do eat it in moderation. Have one treat meal a week, or build a small dessert into your day…and remember to enjoy yourself while eating it! Finally, don’t let weight loss take over your life. You do constantly need to stay focused, but remember that losing weight is not your life’s purpose. Take time to appreciate the rest of your life.
Source: Everyday Health
Republished by Blog Post Promoter