96 Pounds Lost: I’m Not Who I Was
NAME : Ashley
BEFORE WEIGHT : 312
AFTER WEIGHT : 216
POUNDS LOST : 96
WHEN DID YOU START DEVELOPING A WEIGHT PROBLEM?
My relationship with food runs deep in to my childhood. My dad was diagnosed with lupus when I was 9 months old and passed away when I was 7. It’s crazy to look at pictures the year before my dad passed away, and then the year after. My brother and I both were skinny little kids that in that year turned chubby. As we grew up, I knew I was different from everyone else but I didn’t always think very much of it. I thought maybe when I ____ I’ll lose weight… but in the process food became a close friend, a confidant, and something that never failed me.
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE?
My weight caused me a lot of fear. Fear of new situations, fear of social situations, fear that no one would love me. I avoided activities with friends because I was afraid I couldn’t keep up and started hating shopping trips because there was never anything in the store that was my size. I played sports in school but always felt like… if I could just run faster… play harder… be better…
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY?
I spent 5 years in California, then suddenly had to move back to Canada. I was already at my highest weight when I came back but then because I was not in a good place, I gained another 25 pounds. I hadn’t weighed myself in a long time but then I remember seeing 312 on the school and feeling like… HOW DID I GET HERE? I was terrified. I was sick of feeling different from everyone else, never being able to find clothes in “normal people” stores and just made a decision to change the way I ate, and start working out.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?
I started first by using myfitnesspal and just getting in to the gym for cardio. I didn’t really know what I was doing with nutrition or the gym but basically ran with the fake it til you make it. Shortly after that some friends of mine decided they wanted to start a weightloss competition and I was all in. We all put in $20 and my competitive spirit was a kick starter that helped me lose 26 pounds in 2 months! So much of the first 30-50 pounds just fell off easily… but everything since then has been much more work.
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS?
It was only a matter of weeks before I started seeing results in how my clothes fit, how much more energy I was building up, and how I was feeling about myself. As soon as you start seeing results, you want to keep going to see more results!
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART?
I think the biggest challenge that I’ve faced in the last couple years while losing weight is really getting to the root of the issue and trying to change those deep rooted bad habits while adjusting exercise and nutrition to keep losing weight.
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING?
Once I lost about 85 pounds I thought that was good for now… but its so easy to get back into old habits. I think my body and mind needed a break from the rat race of counting calories and getting to the gym 3-4 times a week but after my clothes started getting a little tighter again I started to realize that I needed to get back in to it and will always have to focus on eating healthy and exercising.
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?
Along the way, yes. I tried the binge methods to overcome a plateau but those just made me feel gross and off track. The best thing I’ve found in my weightloss journey is the Whole30. It helped me really break some of the bad habits I’ve built and change my reliance on food for pleasure/entertainment to training my relationship to food as a fuel source. It’s still a work in progress, but its the best thing I’ve done!
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT?
The first 30-50 pounds fell off in about a year… and as of this date its about 3 years of work that has brought me SO close to 100 pounds lost.
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES?
SO many! I have so much more energy, leveled moods, less anxiety, more confidence, and so much enjoyment in life. I feel like losing weight has made me brave. I’m not afraid of plane seats, rollercoasters, work events, etc because now I know my body and trust what it can do and where it can go. Sometimes I just try to sneak through small spaces because now I know I can.
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?
I honestly couldn’t even tell you what I was eating before. I think a lot of carbs, dairy, not alot of vegetables. I truly didn’t know what I was doing. I started by dropping the breads, pasta, rice, dairy, etc and adding in veggies and lean proteins. Portion control was a huge part of my success, but the calorie counting can get tiring. Since May of 2016 I’ve been following the Whole30 outline but have also finished 1 round of strict whole30 and will finish whole30 round 2 on July 27.
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?
Now instead of asking friends to movies, I’m suggesting hikes, walks, outdoor activities etc. I’m not afraid of being in a swimsuit in public (but lets be honest, we still don’t really like it). It’s expanded my horizons to always be willing to try new things like paddle boarding, horseback riding, and running.
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- Don’t worry about all of the details, just start somewhere!
- Get your friends and family on board to encourage you and support you when you want to give up.
- Make a list of rules for yourself:
I will take my health seriously, I will not overeat, I will make time to go to the gym etc…
- Find what works for you and once you do… study it! Set yourself up to succeed.
- Don’t give up!
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