From PCOS Struggle To PCOS Success – My 84 Pound Weight Loss Journey
NAME : Jovana
BEFORE WEIGHT : 304
AFTER WEIGHT : 220
POUNDS LOST : 84
WHEN DID YOU START DEVELOPING A WEIGHT PROBLEM?
I was always overweight. For as long as I can remember and I can’t remember the last time I was under 200lbs, probably when I was about 12 years old.
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE?
I had a lot of issues with self confidence because of my weight. I never explored my interests and talents and I never wanted to go out and meet new people because I was always scared of what they would think of me. I knew my weight would be the first thing the notice. Slowly I lost all my energy and all my friends, and I would sit inside and lay on my bed and watch TV and eat. There were times where I would order a pizza, eat it to myself and then throw out the box so no one would notice. I never socialized, but instead I would lie about going out, go to McDonald’s, eat a meal alone in my car and go home. Food took over my life, I was loosing my life.
I am a PCOS sufferer, so weight gain made my condition more sever and unbearable. My health was at an all time low.
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY?
My health was slowly deteriorating. My doctor had told me that I had fatty deposits in my liver and that I desperately needed to change my life. But I never listened. Apparently that wasn’t scare enough for me. Now when I look back, I have no idea what I was waiting for. I would be SO out of breathe just going up the stairs. I hadn’t weighted myself in about a year and the last I had remembered I was about 270lbs. It was New Years eve 2016, my mom took a photo of me and I commented saying … “I just wish my knees weren’t so fat”. At that moment I realized something was REALLY wrong. Fat knees are not a common complaint. I stepped on the scale and saw 304Lbs. I almost passed out. And from that moment on I changed my lifestyle cold turkey. I don’t know what changed in me, but it just did.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?
I just told myself I was done living the way I had and that I needed a safe, healthy and sustainable way of life that would help me reach my goals. I never (and still don’t to this day) counted calories, weighed or measured my food, followed a meal plan etc. I knew calorie counting was not a way of life and that I couldn’t do it forever. I started by cutting out carbs, dairy (personal reasons) and refined sugar and eating smaller portions. After about a month of eating right I got myself a gym membership and starting working out 4-5 days a week. About a month after that I decided to get a personal trainer to help me with my strength and muscle gain.
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS?
I saw results almost right away – emotionally. My moods were better, my energy was sky rocketing and I felt more positive. About a month into my journey I saw my first weight loss of 18lbs and now I’m still so fresh into my journey! It has only been about 7 months and I am seeing so much progress (WITHOUT a meal plan, shakes, 5 hour work outs, wraps etc etc). Hard work and dedication to your life and your health and a positive attitude goes so far.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART?
The biggest challenge I overcome on a daily basis is cravings. I have such a sweet tooth and it is so hard for my to resist. I am currently at a point in my journey where I am trying to go totally refined sugar free, so wish me luck! I always grab for fruits, when I should be grabbing for veggies.
The other things I struggle with are not seeing the progress I want. If that number doesn’t move by the amount I was hoping I get discouraged. But then I realize how far I’ve come in such a short time. We need to focus on being positive and healthy, and not get so caught up on numbers – the numbers will catch up 🙂
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING?
I never wanted to give up. Whenever I have feelings of doubt or moments of weakness I just try to remember how far I’ve come and that all the struggle will be worth it.
I think about it this was. I always have two choices- stop and fall all the way down the ladder back to my old self and have to start all over – or keep climbing the ladder, as hard as it may be, even if it is one baby step at a time, it’s still a movement towards progress.
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?
Yes! yes, yes, yes. They happen all the time. This is why I am trying not to weigh myself as much and just go by the feeling of my clothes and just how I feel in general. Sometimes the scale might not move but you may be shrinking – so make sure you’re taking measurements as well!
I overcome my plateaus by switching up my foods to bump my metabolism, and always work on switching up my work outs to keep my body guessing.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT?
Right now I am 7 months into my journey, but I am nowhere near done! I am not sure how much longer it will take me to get to my goal weight but I know that I am committed to this lifestyle forever!
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES?
Of course. Going down 3 pant sizes, going down 3 ring sizes, seeing my face and body change to someone who looks like a completely different person, trying on clothes and having them slip off, feeling stronger and being able to lift heavier, running for 30-45mins without going out of breath (remember, I couldn’t even go up the stairs)! This journey is so much about the non-scale victories and the biggest one is the confidence and comfort you build within your own body.
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?
When I was heavier my diet consisted of a lot of bread, pasta, potatoes, chips, snacks, cookies, juices etc. Now I eat clean – proteins, healthy fats, clean meat, low carb, low dairy, fruits, veggies and I drink min 2L of water a day if not more. I eat way smaller meals about 5-6 times a day.
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?
My physical activity when I was heavier was non existent, seriously. Now I work out 5 days a week. I do 30-45 mins of interval cardio on each of those days and I do strength training on all 5 days as well switching between upper body, lower body and core. I also get out of the house more often and have the desire to walk and explore and try new things and find new places. It is like the world opened up in front of me.
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- Start slow, and do what you can manage (for life). If you take on too much at once, it won’t be sustainable.
- If you can’t kick the sugar craving, have 1-2 squares of dark chocolate. It’s better for you and if you just let it melt in your mouth it lasts longer and does the trick!
- Do something every day. Even if it is just a 20-30mins walk…it will help boost your morale and keep your body moving!
- When you’re done eating for the day, brush your teeth! I find that helps be because I don’t like eating with the taste of toothpaste in my mouth !
- Take lots of progress pictures and hang on to your old clothes! You’ll be amazed when you look back and try them on again.
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