I fell off the monkey bars when I was 10 years old, and I believe that it what started everything. Pictures prior to that show me as “skinny and active”, but afterwards I was in too much pain for physical activity. I also moved around that time, and left a community full of kids my age to relocate the house behind my grandparents. They spent most of their time on the couch, eating potato chips, ice cream, etc. It didn’t take too much convincing for me to join them.
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE? I was teased a lot as a kid. At 12 years old, my pediatrician very blatantly called me “fat” and said that I was heading down a dangerous road. I spent a lot of time by myself, reading or watching TV, and eating eating eating. When I got to high school, I was wearing a size 16 and never got asked out by any of my male classmates. That continued in college, and I eventually got used to being the “fat girl” that everybody thought was “cool”, but nobody wanted to date. In addition to my lack of dating life, I was also in horrible physical shape. I always came in last place in gym class, and was exhausted at the end of the day.
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY? The turning point happened in a number of ways. First, I met my husband, and he never ridiculed me for my size (I was a size 22 by then). We tried to conceive, and I ended up getting thyroid disease and subsequently Rheumatoid Arthritis. My weight continue to rise. I was scared about my risk of Type II diabetes, which has killed my grandfather and artherosclerosis, which had killed my grandmother. I was tired of being “tired” all the time. I quit smoking for a year, and after I succeeded at that, I was ready for something new.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED? I originally spoke with my doctor about wanting bariatric surgery (I was clinically 100 pounds overweight). She said that she would be willing to refer me to a surgeon, but first requested that I give Paleo a try. I didn’t have any resources on it, she just told me to cut out grains and processed foods. I was VERY skeptical, but willing to try anything.
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS? Almost immediately, my food coma disappeared, and I had a TON of energy. I went from barely being able to walk 1 mile in 20 minutes to easily walking a mile in 15 minutes. After about a month, I noticed that my clothes were fitting me a lot looser, and I was starting to have a WAISTLINE.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART? The hardest part was honestly well-meaning friends and family. They kept offering me snacks and more sedentary activity options (watching TV with them instead of walking, etc.).
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING? Once I started, there was no turning back. My RA flared from time to time, which made it a lot more difficult to be active, but I took my Aleve and kept on going.
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM? Yes, several times. The first plateau happened after I lost about 20 pounds. I hadn’t really been doing much other than walking 3 times/week. After that, I started walking daily and tracking my calories (I was still eating very large portions of food).
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT? The majority of my weight came off in 10 months.
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES? Yes! In October 2013, I successfully walked a half-marathon in 3 hours! I have made it a goal this year to walk a full marathon in until 7 hours.
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? I eat primarily meat and vegetables, with fruit as my “dessert”. I also make sure to include healthy fats, such as olive oil and avocados.
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? I’m a completely different person. I jog in my office (I have a stand up desk), and I am constantly in motion until just about bedtime.
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- Believe that you can do.
- Cut out artificial, processed foods.
- Don’t be afraid to start out walking slowly, eventually you will be up stamina and endurance.
- Enjoy (and celebrate) small victories along the way.
- Surround yourself with cheerleaders.