Name: Bonnie Crowe
Before Weight: 162 pounds
How I Gained It: Too much of my daily life was focused on the next meal. I was living to eat rather than eating to live. I would wake up and wonder, “What will be the first thing I eat today.” Finishing breakfast, I would wonder what’s for lunch and then dinner. I had a family and children so I used them as my excuse to keep the food flowing. I became a very good cook. But as it is in all families, there was always someone who didn’t like the meal, and instead of throwing it away, I would eat it, plus my own share. My portion sizes were way out of control.
My weight fluctuated, but it didn’t climb drastically — rather, it slowly crept up on me, and the years went by, and once I entered middle age, I wasn’t sure there was anything I could do about it.
Breaking Point: I once read that weight gain was the product of unresolved issues. I believe this is true, especially in my case. I felt I had no control over my life, and my weight suffered because of it.
My breaking point came when I lost my dad, brother and sister all within five years. It made me realize that we have only a small amount of time on this earth. Our whole lifetime is made up of single days. What we do with the day from when we wake to when we sleep is all our lives are. With limited time, I decided to quit waiting for my life to get better. I knew it was time to take control of the things I had no control over. I guess you could say I made lemons into lemonade.
How I Lost It: It sounds unusual, but my journey to a healthy weight started by going to college. I’d always wanted to go to school. I had no idea how I was going to compete with the young kids just getting out of school, but I did. I started on the bottom and worked my way through one semester at a time. I got good grades. I found I could do it. I faced this scary monster, and I did it! It occurred to me that I could do anything, be anything.
But going back to school only brought me halfway to the life change that I needed to make. I felt like I wasn’t in charge of anything in my life. My marriage was crumbling, and our finances were in a mess, and once I started confronting those issues, I knew I had the power to change and take charge. I ended up going through a divorce and living with my aging mother, but the freedom to control my own life made such a difference.
That’s when the weight started coming off. I was less stressed, so I wasn’t reaching for food to help medicate my mood. I also began walking regularly and I quit watching TV. I have not turned a TV on in 10 months. I began spending time more time with friends and now have regular beach dates with them. I used to struggle with losing even a single pound, this time, it came off with ease.
As for eating, I gradually changed how I viewed food — now I no longer live to eat, I just eat to live. Whereas I used to stuff myself to the maximum every single day, now I only eat until I am no longer hungry. I’ve also cut out sweets — I’ve found that the longer I go without them, the less I want them. I don’t drink soda, and I won’t ever again. Guess what? I don’t even miss it. I’ve switched to water. I’ve also stopped cooking as much, and I only eat meat about twice a week — instead, I stock up on seafood and vegetables.
Here’s my advice to anyone who wants to lose weight and change their life: Find inner beauty first, and outer beauty will follow. Eat to live and keep on moving. Think thin, and you’ll feel thin. As for motivation, the scale always helps me stay on track — seeing the numbers go down is very encouraging. I buy smaller clothes as I need them, but I try to buy cheaply, in case I need a smaller size in the future.
Start every journey with a single step — I did. And don’t be afraid to evaluate your life — your future and your happiness could be waiting for you while the clock of life is ticking. Find your own happiness, and the rest will follow.
After Weight: 132 pounds
Bonnie has kept the weight off for nearly a year and continues to enjoy school.