I started developing a weight problem in middle school. I was always the “big girl” and went to school with a bunch of girls who were very slim and skinny. People would always comment on how big I was and tease me about being the biggest kid in class. From an early age, I was very aware of my weight and became incredibly self-conscious about it. At age 13, I put myself on diets, restricted my calories and would exercise for an hour a day. Weight loss consumed my life for years! Then in high school, I fell into horrible depression and things got worse. I gained over 100 pounds in just two years and my weight was out of control. I would eat quarts of ice cream, not exercise and that winning combo resulted in my weight ballooning to over 300 pounds.
NAME : Tessa
BEFORE WEIGHT : 310
AFTER WEIGHT : 187
POUNDS LOST : 123
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE? I was always self-conscious and desperately tried to cover my weight with baggy clothes. I stopped going to see friends because I was so embarrassed by my weight gain. I was uncomfortable all the time. I looked in the mirror and didn’t see me and that was the hardest part of being over 300 pounds.
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY? The breaking point for me was hitting rock bottom. I remember thinking, “My life can’t get any worse”. I was done feeling so uncomfortable. I was done looking in the mirror and seeing someone so far from who I knew I was. I had had enough.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED? So instead of starting another weight loss journey, I started walking. I walked every day for an hour and challenged myself to complete 100 walks. In those 100 walks, I lost 50 pounds. I was so excited and proud that I became so motivated to complete my goal of losing 100 pounds.
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS? I started to see some changes after about a month. I didn’t begin to see a real difference in my body until about 60 pounds down.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART? Using food as comfort was hard to give up. That was a pattern that I had been in for years. I also had back issues and would wake up with horrible back pain from walking. But I pushed through it because I wanted to achieve my goals.
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING? I never gave up or thought about quitting really. I feel too good and was so proud of my progress that I never thought once about going back to my old ways
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM? I hit a few weight loss plateaus during my journey and they were very discouraging. I overcame them by making my exercise more challenging and eating cleaner. I had to learn not to be discouraged by the scale
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT? It took about nine months to lose 100 pounds.
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES? Being able to run without worry was amazing.
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? I had always had a bad relationship with food. Growing up, food was my comfort because I had no one else to talk to. I would eat pints of ice cream a week, order pizza at midnight and eat the whole thing, and would consume at least 1700 calories at Starbucks for breakfast. I picked up a fast food habit from my boyfriend at the time and would frequent the drive-through.
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? When I was over 300 pounds, a one hour walk was a big stretch for me. I loved walking, it was fun for me to have that time all to myself. Now, I spend an hour at the gym five days a week and am very in shape. I always loved running but was not able to before for health reasons. Now, I run sprints and I enjoy it.
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- Drinking a gallon of water a day helped dramatically, especially with loose skin.
- Do what you can get your head around to stay consistent and not overwhelm yourself. Take small steps, not giants ones at first. Your momentum will kick in but you have to master the basics of health first.
- Change your inner beliefs and thought patterns. You change the inner and the outer takes care of itself. Transformation comes from within not from without.