From Workaholic to Walkaholic: How Suzy Lost 50 Pounds
Name: Suzy Ashford
Height: 5 feet, 6 inches
Before Weight: 210 pounds
How I Gained It: I’d been trim and fit pretty much my whole life, but then something changed: I started working from home. My job involves sitting at the computer all day, so I began putting on ridiculous amounts of weight. I was so busy, I didn’t notice or even care that I was eating too much — in fact, food helped me deal with stress while I was working. When I was feeling stressed, I reached for the cookies. And it wasn’t just stress that caused me to eat — when everything was going well and running smoothly, I’d have a mini celebration with a cookie or a piece of cake or something sweet. I always had some way to rationalize my poor food choices.
Breaking Point: I was the heaviest I’d ever been, and I’d gotten to the point where I was disgusted with myself when I looked in the mirror. One day, I’d just had enough. I said to myself, “OK, I have to make a choice — do I want to be overweight or do I want to get a grip on my mindless eating habit and do something about it?”
Were bread and butter more important to me than looking good and feeling healthy? The answer was no. I wanted to be the lean, athletic girl I used to be. It was then that I decided to give up the sweets and start walking.
How I Lost It: I’ve always loved walking — it gives me energy and always helped me manage my weight in the past. So naturally, I started walking again.
I began slowly. I would walk in the morning with my dog and then at noon and after dinner — they weren’t long walks, but they were long enough to get my heart pumping and get me energized. I would walk at a steady pace — not too fast but not too slow either. As I got used to walking again, I noticed it did two things for me: It gave me exercise that I desperately needed, and it helped me take my mind off food and work. When I got home after my walks, I didn’t head straight to the pantry — in fact, I usually wasn’t even hungry!
As I got used to walking, I started challenging myself by speed walking, adding weights and even running from time to time. I have a weighted vest from NYKNYC that I usually wear, and it’s done wonders for helping me burn fat. I walk 20 minutes in the morning, 45 minutes at lunch and another half hour after work. When I don’t feel like walking, I find the music helps motivate me.
As I began to get healthier, I noticed I was making better food choices, too. I seemed to lose the urge to gulp down sugary or fatty junk foods, and I cut out bread completely. Nowadays, my diet is mostly lean meats and veggies, but I do treat myself to dessert most days. The difference is that now I can enjoy just one or two cookies — not several.
I also allow myself one cheat hour a week — usually it’s on Friday. Nothing’s off-limits during my cheat hour — even a gallon of ice cream! After the hour is up, it’s back to healthy eating again. The cheat hour helps satisfy any junk food cravings I have.
My No. 1 piece of advice is this: Don’t give up! You can lose weight — it just takes a bit of effort at first, and after a while, you’ll start to look forward to it. Making only slight adjustments to my lifestyle helped me lose 50 pounds, and I’m still losing!
After Weight: 160 pounds
Suzy still walks rain or shine and is watching the numbers on the scale as they continue to fall.
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