82 Pounds Lost: Perserverance Pays Off
NAME : Holly
BEFORE WEIGHT : 306
AFTER WEIGHT : 224
POUNDS LOST : 82
WHEN DID YOU START DEVELOPING A WEIGHT PROBLEM?
I was always a “bigger” girl being that I am 5’10, but I played sports in high school and college. It wasn’t until my Senior year in college that weight started piling on and from then on it became a battle of up and down weight gains and weight losses.
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE?
For a long time I didn’t notice the weight, and I didn’t get a lot of negative responses until I started going on ‘blind dates’….you could tell from the look and actions of the dates that they were “surprised” at how “BIG” I was and although I would use my charming personality to get through the dinner the fact they NEVER called me again was always hurtful.
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY?
I had struggled with weight always, but when I went into the doctors office last year and saw that number get over 300 pounds I just started crying. That was the heaviest I had ever weighed. I had been on anti-anxiety mediation and would just eat and eat and eat. I had broken my ankle and was laid up for almost two months. I just said “I AM DONE LIVING LIKE THIS”. !
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?
I went to weight watchers, actually rejoined them, as I had lost weight previous years by doing their program. I talked to my boss to make sure I could leave work early to always make meetings. I got off all my medication (as it was partially to blame for some of the weight gain) and I vowed that there was NO EXCUSE that was serious enough for me not to try. I had 4 bulging disks in my back from an injury I sustained in college, I had two knees that had injuries and with all that extra weight I knew it would be slow going…but slow going was way better than no going! So I would do 10 minutes on the bike. I eventually bought a puppy because I knew I would be forced to take him outside, and walk him and go up and down the stairs.
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS?
For me it took a long time to ever see the results. A lot of women will say they lose weight in their faces and they lose their breasts…but I actually don’t lose in my breast, so I always seemed to look the same size. It wasn’t until around the 50 pounds lost that “I” really noticed the change.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART?
I have amazing support from family and friends. I always loved exercising and knew eventually I could build up to were I used to be when I had played sports, if I could just not injure anything. Since I had back issues, knee issues, the recent ankle I had broken, and that was still healing I was nervous of pushing too hard too fast and reinjuring something. That was my biggest fear.
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING?
I believe you have to have the right mind set when you decide to lose weight, and at that point I was ready. I used a lot of motivational tools like creating vision boards, not just vision boards but an actual WALL dedicated to workout motivational quotes, outfits I wanted to get in, things I wanted to do once I lost the weight. I have it on a wall that my treadmill faces so I see it every time I workout. When I would get down or feel like I wasn’t making changes I would go to that wall. I track everything I eat, something weight watchers teaches you, and I would journal….instead of eating my emotions. I will go back and read those entries now and see how far I have come. I could go back and see my journal on weeks I gained and weeks I lost and see what I did right and what I did wrong. It’s not a diet, it’s not a quick fix, I knew I was in it for the long haul and that it would be a lifestyle change. I made switching up foods fun. I would take my favorite unhealthy, high calorie, high fat foods and learn to make them healthier…I bought all kinds of bright colorful cook wear and spices and things I never bothered to even learn about before. Then I learned that reaching out on social media opened up a whole new world of support and sharing ideas and learning about others challenges, and inspiring others and I use that as an additional support system.
I have a motto I sued when it gets slow or stressful, I say “one day at a time, one meal at a time” so I am not anxious about what is to come in the future, I channel and focus on this moment right in front of me, think about what I can do right and what good choices I can make.
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?
Yes, I went to Las Vegas back in March. I had already planned on a gain. I actually had a car wreck the week before, which totaled my car, left me bruised (but luckily without major injuries) and I decided for that week I wasn’t going to track and count points. When I got back, that first weigh in I LOST! (We did A LOT of walking) so I thought amazing I’m still on point….then the next 4 to 5 weeks it was a gain of .2 a loss of .2 and I could not shake it! That is when I told myself it’s not all about the scale…there are things I am doing that provide other healthy benefits and I am going to keep doing what I do and eventually the scale will go down again. It is always hard, don’t get me wrong, but instead of getting depresses and feeling emotional which would lead to bad food choices I stepped up the time on my cardio, I decided to join a gym and start weight lifting and I keep MOVING FORWARD…and eventually the scale started going down again.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT?
It has taken me a solid year to lose the 80+ pounds. I know some people will say they lost that in a couple months and I think “WOW…how”…but I learned to ‘run my own race’ and I did it by still eating foods I love, cheese, bread, cup cakes, tex-mex….okay not EVERY day and healthier versions that were portion controlled, but the thing is, I created a sustainable lifestyle. So what I didn’t lose all that in 4 months, I can live like this every day and never feel deprived.
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES?
There were many non-scale victories along the way. I like to create mini goals when there is so much weight you have to lose…for every 10 pounds I would buy myself an item on my list. That is great. But things you wouldn’t think of like when I saw my collar bones…I was like WOW I have never really seen those (or sure don’t remember them anyways! LOL) Buying clothes with my friend. She is 5’2 and SMALL and she wanted to go boutique shopping. Never in my life have I walked into a boutique because they don’t sell 3xl items. Funny thing is I live for fashion, I love clothes but they just never fit me. I went in with her and we were looking at tops and I thought “hmmm this…looks like it…may fit?” but I was too embarrassed to try it on and my gal pal said “oh no grab it you are trying it on, you will fit” and we went into the dressing room and sure enough it fit! A size LARGE fit ME? That was one of my favorite days during this journey.
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?
OMG I ate cheese and refried bean burritos literally for most of my meals. When I say “cheese” I mean I would roll up two burrito’s and use the entire bag of shredded cheese. If I didn’t eat that I ate a foot long tuna sub sandwich and half a bag of dorrito’s…that was my go-to meals. Then I would eat half a carton of chocolate chip ice cream.
NOW I eat so many veggies, they are a good ‘filler’ item that doesn’t do damage to your diet. I eat a lot of lean proteins like salmon, chicken and I like a good steak. I find trying new foods exciting now. I don’t do anything crazy. Yes I will have a protein shake once and awhile, but most mornings it’s a cup of yogurt or cereal with 1% milk, a chicken breast on top of salad greens for lunch and then whatever I want for dinner in moderation. I don’t pick up sugary items like I used too because that costs me a lot of points in my daily tracking, so I found sugar free cookies and make sugar free Jell-O pudding pops at home for treats now.
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?
I didn’t do much. I laid on the sofa, watched a lot of cable television. I got rid of cable television at home, and don’t have internet, it sucks up a lot of time and energy, so instead I subscribe to magazines and vow in order to read them I have to be on my treadmill or my bike to look at them. I also have my dog and we’ve gone from quick trips outside to 20-30 minute walks some times several times a day (those steps add up quick) I also go to the gym 2-3 times a week to use the weight machines. My back pain has subsided and the pain in my knees are a lot less as well.
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- Be your biggest cheerleader. I hear so many people put themselves down. You have to love yourself first and foremost and believe in yourself that you can do this.
- Try new things. I was stuck in a rut for years doing the same thing over and over, eating the same food over and over. When I started this journey I opened my mind to new foods, new places, new workouts. Of course I didn’t love everything I tried, but I also opened up to a lot of things I never thought I would.
- RUN YOUR OWN RACE~! Don’t worry what everyone else is doing. Make it work for you. People lose at different rates. As long as you focus on you and what is working for you and your weight loss you will be successful.
- Get a Tracker…for Food and Steps. Even if you don’t want to track forever, it’s good to do it for a couple weeks and REALLY see what you eat and how that translates into calories, fat, sugars ect. A step tracker makes me move so much more now because I like to be competitive and I don’t like it to think I am lazy! LOL
- Find a good support system. It is everything. Family, friends, a group, an online support system, it will help you so much on those times you get down or the scale wont budge or you just have a bad day.
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