80 Pounds Lost: Awesome At Any Size
NAME : Dora
BEFORE WEIGHT : 286
AFTER WEIGHT : 206
POUNDS LOST : 80
WHEN DID YOU START DEVELOPING A WEIGHT PROBLEM?
I was a chubby kid that kept gaining weight through my teenage years. I was big in high school and obese all through my early 20’s. At 26, I made the decision to get healthy.
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE?
I grew up in a house with four brothers and I was the only girl. They weren’t always nice, so from an early age I had to learn to be tough and not let bullying or teasing affect my life. I was never ashamed or embarrassed about my body. I always had friends and family support me. I never had a problem dating, but I think that was mainly due to my confidence about how I looked. Even though I don’t face the same insecurities most overweight people have, I knew I had a food addiction and that I was very unhealthy.
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY?
The reason why I was overweight and unhealthy for so long was because I didn’t think my weight was a problem. It was only when I started having health issues that I realized I had to make a change. I was starting to have respiratory problems and would need an inhaler frequently. I had body aches in my back and legs. I was sleeping horribly. I finally decided to see a doctor. I got on the scale for the first time in years. I could not believe I was almost 300 pounds.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?
I downloaded an app that helped me keep track of how many calories I was consuming. So after talking to my doctor, I would eat smaller portions by cutting calories. Since I had to make every calorie count, my diet was mostly vegetables and protein. I cut out soda completely. For exercise I made the goal to just do something active for 30 minutes. I would walk, put in an exercise DVD, or play Wii Fitness. I told myself “just 30 minutes”.
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS?
Because I was so heavy, I lost the first 10 pounds rather quickly. It only took one week of healthy eating and exercise to notice how much better my body felt. I had more energy, and was sleeping better.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART?
The first year I was losing weight I had many challenges, but they weren’t due to my diet and exercise. I was in a car accident, my house burned down, and my father passed away. All of these caused major stress in my life. Even though I didn’t lose as much as I could have during those times, I still tried my best to stay healthy and stay focused.
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING?
I’ve never wanted to give up. Every weight loss goal I hit made me that much more motivated to keep going.
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?
I hit a plateau after losing 20 pounds, 50, and now 80 pounds. Plateaus happen. You can’t let it discourage you. Progress is still happening even if you don’t see it on the scale.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT?
The first year I lost around 30 pounds. The second year I lost 50. I wanted to make sure I was losing the weight the healthy way and not doing any crash diets. I wanted to gain good eating habits that I would use for the rest of my life.
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES?
It’s a huge accomplishment for me that I’m able to workout for longer than 30 minutes. I’ve completed two 5K races. And I’m in a smaller size pants than I was in high school.
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?
When I was at my heaviest I didn’t care what I was eating or how much I was eating. I didn’t even know what a correct portion size was. Now that I’m healthier I don’t drink soda at all. I’ve limited dairy and my diet is mostly fruits and veggies with lots of lean protein. I’m very conscious of what I eat now. My body feels and looks better when I eat healthy, so that alone keeps me motivated to eat the right things.
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?
When I was at my heaviest I would get winded just walking up stairs. Now I incorporate some sort of physical activity every single day and I try not to go more than 2 days without going to the gym.
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- IT IS ALL IN YOUR HEAD. What’s holding you back is yourself and your mental state. Your body can handle the hard work that comes with weight loss. It’s all about attitude.
- WATER IS YOUR FRIEND. Drink it. A lot of it. Not only is it just smart, it actually will help you lose weight.
- BE PATIENT. Getting to your goal weight isn’t easy and it isn’t fast. Enjoy the journey and appreciate every milestone.
- EAT BREAKFAST. With protein. There’s a reason why people say it’s the most important meal.
- DON’T FORGET TO BE AWESOME. It doesn’t matter what size you currently are, or what part of the journey you are on. Be confident and know that you are doing this for YOU, and no one else.
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