I am tall, 5’10 so I was always “the big girl” compared to all my friends, but I was active in school. I played volleyball, softball and was in band so I was always on the move. But once I got to college I didn’t play sports and started to go out to eat with friends all the time. Add fraternity parties to the mix and the weight piled on me. That started my life long struggle with losing weight.
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE? I always had an outgoing personality and would be social, but what people didn’t see is how much anxiety I had in private when trying to get ready to go out. I hated how almost everything looked on me. I would try on clothes for a good hour before convincing myself it was okay to be seen in. There were times it would be so upsetting I would use excuses that I wasn’t feeling good to skid going out and being seen because I hated my body.
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY? I had done diets my entire life, losing some, gaining some and yo-yo’ing all year long. I had my turning point when I went in to talk to my doctor. I’d been having trouble with back pain, I had days I could barely move, I couldn’t get up and down stairs and everything hurt and took so much effort for simple tasks. When I stepped on the scale and saw 300 pounds I broke down, it was literally the worse thing I could of seen! I always believed in being “body positive” and loving myself at any weight…. But I didn’t love myself at that weight and wanted to change!
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED? I joined weight watchers. I’d done it years prior and was successful then stopped doing the program. I knew that they didn’t require anything extreme or restrictive, and the fact they had meetings with a support group appealed to my social and competitive side!
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS? I think people started to notice before I did, but when I started hitting big numbers like 25 pounds, 50 pounds, and I was thinking I looked better, no one else was saying anything, which made me question if I was really progressing with my weightloss. Then suddenly I found my own confidence and once I believed in myself and was proud of what I’d accomplished everyone started to comment, which of course makes you feel even more determined and motivated.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART? When I started I had back issues, bulging disks and both knees had injuries. My body just HURT. I had the impression the ONLY possible way to lose weight in the past was to hit cardio hard, but with my injuries I had to change my game plan. I focused on the food, and I’d do mini workouts, 10 min walks or parking further away from store doors, anything that would give me more movement! Then I would build up each week as I lost weight.
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING? Of course there are times you think “is this worth it” or you get invited out and everyone is drinking and eating something fattening and you just want to give in, but I wanted to make myself proud and my friends and family proud because they were supporting me 100%
I also used “vision boards“ to motivate me and keep me on track. I cut out motivational quotes, outfits I liked, people whose bodies I liked and respected, places I wanted to travel to and used those things to keep me moving and looking forward.
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM? Yes I hit plateaus…. And instead of stressing about the scale not moving I focused on NSV (non scale victories) like how clothes were fitting, or how I was feeling by eating healthier foods, or how my body didn’t hurt like it used to, which helped me continue tracking what I ate and moving.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT? Its taken me one year and 4 months to lose 90 pounds!
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES? I went from a size 20-22 to a size 12-14 and can shop in non plus size stores. I can go into boutiques with my girlfriends now and not feel embarrassed that nothing will fit.
I got a puppy too…. I did that because I knew it would make me move even when I didn’t want to! And I’ve gone from those 10 minute walks to 30 min walks sometimes 3 times a day! I even bought a tracker to count my steps.
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? I used to eat chips and queso followed by a full blown meal, followed by dessert and snacks and not feel satisfied. I could eat 6 cinnamon rolls in one setting!
Now I track EVERYTHING I eat. So my day is broken down into usually cereal and a banana or oatmeal for breakfast, a hearty salad with grilled chicken, avacado, salsa and fat free dressing. Dinner will usually be fish, steamed veggies, a potato and then dessert is still part of my day, I just now opt for a sugar free cup cake or cookie in limited quantity that fits my goal for the day.
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? At 300 pounds I was lazy. Walking to the mail box was exhausting. Now I’m always on the go, shopping, walking, even making laps around the office just to stay active throughout the day! And my back barely has any pain anymore!
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- Use veggies as “filler” foods. I steam huge pots of broccoli or cauliflower and add rice, cheese, or pasta to keep the items high in calories and carbs low but make you feel like you are eating allot.
- I put motivational quotes EVERYWHERE! I have my vision boards at home in my workout room, but I also have one at work, and I keep quotes on my refrigerator and In my car and in my purse, just in case I need that reminder.
- Before and after photos! I deleted all my “fat” pics, but luckily some frienemies kept some so when I lost I used those to compare just how far id come. That is a huge realty check when you have a down day or ask if it’s worth it…. because seeing those definitely make me say its worth it!
- Pack snacks! I travel for work and if I don’t pre plan it’s too easy and too tempting to go through a drive thru and make not so good choices, so I have snack bars and items I know with me at all times to stay on track!
- Reward yourself. Losing allot of weight can be over whelming so for every 10 pounds lost I had rewards and good rewards I WANTED like an hour massage, a pair of Ugh boots, Botox! Lol hey whatever it is it makes you work for that next 10 pounds, and it keeps it fun!