By Losing, I Gained! Gained my self respect back!

NAME : Chante / BEFORE WEIGHT : 238 / AFTER WEIGHT : 146 / POUNDS LOST : 92

When I was a little girl, I lived with my Mother, she is an alcoholic.  I do not remember MOST of my childhood, but what I do remember was not what a child should remember. It was not easy. We lived in and out of hotels most of the time and I don’t even remember most of the schools I went to just because we moved around so much.  I have been told by a therapist that I have purposely forgotten my childhood. She said that I don’t want to remember and that my mind chooses to only remember the good times.

I was very skinny as a child, but gained the weight later on.  I remember having to take care of my Mother all the time. Having to clean after her drunken mess and making dinner for myself. For the most part it was always just her and I.  I didn’t like living in this environment, so I wanted to move out as soon as possible. As a kid, I don’t remember thinking about consequences much, all I knew is I wanted out. So I ended up getting pregnant with my first serious boyfriend, at the age of 14 and moved out as soon as I became pregnant.

I had my first child at 15 and with a new baby came the weight. I started to gain the weight little by little. Didn’t take care of myself and let it all go.  I was in a very abusive relationship that made me hate myself even more and with that I gained even more weight, because after all I didn’t feel good enough anyways so I didn’t care to gain the weight. I lived 4 yrs in this dreadful relationship, well I cant say lived, I survived 4 yrs.

HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE?  My weight has affected my life in so many ways, I hated to take pictures and I rarely likes to go out and dress up.  I didn’t feel confident at all with myself and this self doubt made me get into relationships that were not good for me.  I allowed emotional/mental abuse because I felt like I was not good enough to be with anyone else. I didn’t feel self worth. I felt like that was what I deserved.

WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY?  I was constantly having back pain and spasms. There was a couple times my back was so bad I couldn’t walk or move. I literally had to have an ambulance come to my house and help get me up because I couldn’t move. The Dr. told me it was because of my weight. All the pain I was having was because of me being overweight.  It was then I decided enough was enough. I could no longer be heavy and unhappy. I could no longer live in pain. I knew I had to do something.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?  I tried diets after diets, you name it and I’m sure I tried it. I would fail and feel discouraged and eat more. I spent maybe 2 yrs like a yo-yo. Lose 5 lbs just to gain 10 back.  I felt like I was on a roller coaster with no brakes!  I went to my Dr. and this is when my life changed!! He recommended I get Gastric Sleeve Surgery to lose the weight. I agreed with him, but he also told me it wasn’t going to be easy. I would need to go through a weight loss surgery program for 6 months first. I was ok with this because I was ready.

HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS?  I started seeing weight loss almost right away, but actual results, like actual physical well being, healthy, toned results came about a year later, which is when I started my fitness journey.  Once I started to workout, I felt my skin getting tighter and my body started to get toned.

WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART?  Like I said before I hated to workout, so getting me used to working out and actually like it took some times. It was about a year after surgery that I finally started to workout.

DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING?  I had tons of motivation. I joined Facebook groups that helped keep me motivated.  My family helped motivate me by always telling me that I can do it.  Each time I dropped a size in clothing I felt that much more motivated.  Each time my kids would tell me how good I looked, that would motivate me.  I have lost 98 lbs and I no longer have back pain. I can now do things with my family that I was not able to do before. But mentally I am a changed person. I NOW love myself. not because I look skinny, but because I know what sacrifice I had to make to be healthy and I NOW appreciate my body to a whole new level. On this journey I have learned so much and I am forever grateful. As I said before its a working progress. Everyday I work on it. Everyday I have to look at myself and appreciate the process.

DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?  With weight loss surgery there is always what we call , stalls. This happens to all of us. I have had many of them and actually I am at a stall at this moment. We will go through periods of time that we will not lose any weight at all.  What I do to get out of the stalls is go back to basics. I go back to meal prepping, back to portion control, back to making sure I’m not eating to fatty foods and not grazing on unhealthy snacks. Making better choices in my eating habits. Switching out different foods.

HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT?  It took me about 8 months to lose the weight. I Got to my lowest weight of 128 lbs, but have gained some weight back. I am currently at 146 and would like to lose 10 more lbs

DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES?  I had so many non scale victories, actually I think most of the victories were non scale. The scale, to me, is not all the story! It doesn’t show you muscle weight or inches lost.  I dropped sizes! I went from size 18/20 to a size 6.  I am able to go in to any store and not worry if they have plus size or not. I know I will fit into the clothes.

WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?  My eating habits before were horrible. I would eat everything on my plate, even if I was full. I felt like I had to finish it.  When I was sad I would eat, if I was happy I would eat , I would eat when I was bored. I felt comfort in food and eating and felt happy when I would eat. It was the one thing in my life I could count on.

HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?  When I was heavy, I would NEVER workout and when I mean never, I mean NEVER! I never walked or any physical activity at all. I would park the closest to the stores as I could so I wouldn’t have to walk far. I would get winded just walking up a flight of stairs.  A shower would get me tired because it was too much movement and I was not active at all. I hated to workout. It was a major chore for me.  Now I am taking classes to become a Certified Personal Trainer, I love to workout. I actually find it to be my safe haven. I workout almost everyday because i love the energy I get from it and the feeling of accomplishment that I get from a good workout.

MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS

  1. I get up every morning at 3 AM in the morning to workout because this way I get my workout in before I go to work, because after work I get lazy, so this way I know for sure I will get my workout in.
  2. Meal prep is key! Keeps me on track and portion control.
    Keeps me from eating out.
  3. Eat mostly protein in my meals to help me stay full
  4. Use smaller plates to trick your kind into thinking you are eating more than you really are. It’s all a kind game.
  5. I would stand in the mirror everyday and say to myself that I am worthy and I was going to be happy