102 Pounds Lost: Living Healthier Every Day
WHEN DID YOU START DEVELOPING A WEIGHT PROBLEM?
I’ve been overweight almost all my life. In fact, in school I was always the biggest student in my classes. I was pretty lazy as a young teen and had a terrible sweet tooth. So, as a young teen I began to gain weight and it continued into my adult years.
NAME : Crystal
BEFORE WEIGHT : 238
AFTER WEIGHT : 136
POUNDS LOST : 102
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE?
I had no energy, couldn’t walk far or often, I’d get out of breath constantly. I had no interest in changing because I loved my food and television way too much.
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY?
My turning point was actually because my husband was scheduled to go into the hospital for a procedure; but before we got there he violently passed out in the passenger seat and no matter how much I shook him and tried to get him to respond he just wouldn’t. Finally I dreadfully decided to check his pulse. All of the sudden my husband jumped up and said, “What is wrong with you?”
I was in utter shock. I had been terrified that I might have lost him, but then suddenly he appeared to be “ok”.
When we got to the hospital I told them of what had happened in the car and they canceled his procedure because they said “His heart had probably stopped for a few minutes”. That was all it took – that scared me sick.
Initially I found myself telling my husband “You need to change your eating habits”, “You need to get healthy”, and etc. However, I knew the reality was that I needed to, as well. I was so freaked out – so that was the turning point for me. That was in May 2011.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?
In May 2011, I began by cutting back and watching what I was eating – nothing major – just cutting back. In addition, I used the Wii Fit to get some exercise in.
On June 24, 2011, I joined Weight Watchers because my goal was to “get healthy”; therefore, I decided I wanted to join a plan or group that I thought may provide guidance for the healthy lifestyle I wanted. I started with the points system on Weight Watchers and at the beginning I got 28 points a day and 49 extra points per week. I found the use of the mobile app on my iPhone was a big help because I had NO excuses when I was at work or just out and about. (Years earlier when I had tried to use Weight Watchers I wasn’t successful because I couldn’t do the program “on the go” as easy). Anyway, the second time around of joining Weight Watchers the first thing I willingly gave up was McDonald’s Sweet Tea because it wasn’t worth wasting my points on.
By August 2011, I convinced my husband to let me by a Livestrong elliptical as “our” anniversary gift to each other. (By that time, I had dropped about 15 pounds). I wanted Livestrong because it was yellow and Lance Armstrong was the spokesperson for Livestrong.
Also, around that time I began eating a regular regimen. I generally ate fat-free greek yogurt with fruit and / or honey for breakfast. For lunch, I would eat some type of protein (usually almonds and hardboiled eggs) fresh fruit and fresh, raw vegetables. That was a HUGE step for me because I couldn’t stand veggies – so in the beginning I would eating the veggies with a little ranch or other dressing. At dinner-time I would eat a regular meal with my family. We would try to incorporate a lot of Weight Watchers recipes into our dinner time that way I could eat the same thing my husband and children ate.
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS?
Immediately. I think because I loved sweets so much that when I was able to enjoy the sweet, fresh fruit in place of candy and chocolate my body instantly responded to not getting the candy and chocolates.
Also, I found veggies were so filling so I was content and didn’t feel the need to constantly eat.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART?
Probably getting used to exercise or maybe eating veggies.
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING?
Not really because I wasn’t trying to lose weight. The only purpose for me was to “get healthy”. So, if I thought for a minute (on a scheduled workout day) – “I don’t want to exercise” all I would have to do is relive those minutes in the car when my husband’s heart probably stopped .. that was all it took!!
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?
Since my focus was NOT to lose weight I didn’t realize I hit a weight loss plateau; however, when I changed up my workout routine that put my weight loss into OVERDRIVE (not in an unhealthy way though).
So basically when I began alternating my elliptical with some weights and cross fit moves I began to lose weight again.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT?
When I first joined Weight Watchers they recommended that I weight between 107 and 132 lbs. Well, I thought that was insane, so I decided to enter “162” in that field. I started with Weight Watchers June 24, 2011 and lost the first 76 lbs. by October 20, 2012. Over the course of another 449 days I lost the next 26 pounds.
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES?
Yes!! My favorites were fitting into clothes that I bought along the way. I’d buy a dress, shirt, or pants and when I’d get home I’d find it didn’t fit me so I would hang them up in my closest and occasionally try them out. I remember fondly when I could get into a pair of leather pants finally that I got an awesome deal on :).
Also, one of my first was fitting into the dress that I married my husband in.
Of course all my workouts on the elliptical could easily be chalked up to an NSV.
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?
It’s been pretty consistent with what I did to lose the weight. Breakfast is usually non-fat greek yogurt with fruit. Lunch is generally fresh fruit, veggies, and lean protein. Dinner is a regular meal that is proportionately measured.
When I was heavier I generally didn’t eat breakfast or lunch. I would eat lots of candy and chocolate throughout the day. Dinner was at least 2 or 3 servings of meat. My family and I didn’t do much with veggies (unless it was mashed potatoes or french fries). And we didn’t buy any fruit – unless it was fruit roll-up’s, but only my children ate those.
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?
Huge difference. Now I am alternating the elliptical, running, weights, and some cross fit moves.
I’ve ran two “official” 5k’s and two 10k’s, as well. That’s something I wouldn’t have thought of years ago.
When I was heavier I did NOT do ANYTHING. In fact, in 2010 I was officially diagnosed with Disc Degenerative Disease at the L5-S1 area and always had terrible back pain. I have overcome that part of my life and I am so grateful. (Don’t get me wrong, I will always have Disc Degenerative Disease in that area of my spine, but with regular exercise & eating right I am now stronger).
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- Don’t think of it has a “weight loss” journey. Focus on “getting healthier” and the rest will fall into place.
- Drink lots of water. Download an app to track your water intake. I use “water my body”. It tells you how much water to drink based on your weight.
- Eat fresh fruit and veggies. Allow yourself to savor the sweetness in the fruit – it will help with a sweet tooth. Veggies keep me full for so long and if I am full then I don’t feel deprived.
- Mix up your exercise routine. This not only helps with keeping you from getting bored or burnt out, but also allows you to get past any plateaus. Don’t forget it is “ok” and necessary to get scheduled rest days to allow your body to rejuvenate.
- Don’t quit!! You’ll meet your goal if you stick with it.
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