I have always been a heavy person. I’m also 6′ tall, and have always been the tallest girl in my class. I started noticing pretty quickly into middle school that I was different than other girls my age.
NAME : Dakota
BEFORE WEIGHT : 324
AFTER WEIGHT : 256
POUNDS LOST : 68
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE? I have played sports for a very long time. Ever since I can remember. In high school, when athletics got more competitive, my weight began to affect my performance. I was just as good as everyone else, I knew the game like the back of my hand, I just couldn’t keep up. Socially, life was miserable. On the outside I was the girl that everyone loved to be friends with, and loved to poke fun at. I remember vividly running at the local track. I was 13, and trying to improve my mile time for gym class. Winning the presidential fitness award was huge for me. While I was running, a truck load of older boys (high school aged) drove by me. They honked and started yelling at me to go faster, calling me fat, and oinking like pigs. I was thirteen years old. In the eighth grade. I know to them I looked older. I was probably already 5’9 and 200 pounds. But I was a thirteen year old girl, and I will never forget that moment for as long as I live.
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY? I was so frustrated. I ate relatively clean, did insanity workouts, and exercised regularly. Never did I lose a pound. Nor an inch. I went to the gynecologist when I was 21 and she instantly diagnosed me with PCOS. It all clicked after that. If I wanted to get any sort of control on my weight and health, I needed to make a change.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED? After researching PCOS and finding a diet that for my needs, I began my journey. I kept doing what I was doing, but I made changes for MY body and MY lifestyle. The fad diets that I were cycling through wouldn’t help any woman with PCOS. Every individual is different, every body, every mind. They don’t tell you that when they’re trying to sell you something, do they?
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS? A few months into my weightloss journey I began to receive POSITIVE comments. To hear that my hard work was paying off on the outside and the inside, meant the world to me.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART? I’m working a full time job and I’m a full time student, so finding time to workout was a big hurdle for me. I had never put my health first. Once I started to do that, there was always time. Whether it was for a quick walk, or an intense training session at the gym. I make time for my happiness and health now.
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING? There are still days that I want to give up. I want to stay in bed an extra thirty minutes, or finish binge watching that show. The weeks and even months that I see little results, what’s the point? You bust your butt for what? Nothing. In those moments though, I have to realize how good it feels to crush my goals. Accomplish things I never thought I would. That keeps me going.
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM? There was a point in my journey where I hit a three month plateau. Just when I thought everything was working great, and then it wasn’t. I wasn’t shocking my body with new workouts and I was eating the same things all the time. After a few months of emotional and mental searching, I knew I had to change things up, and it worked!
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT? It took the better part of a year for me to lose 68 pounds. Sometimes I see other inspirational people who lose double that in the same amount of time. It’s easy to get discouraged but I have to remember that all bodies are not created equally. 68 pounds is a huge number for me, and I’m proud of every ounce.
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES? My favorite non scale victories are looking back at old pictures. It’s so easy to think you aren’t losing any weight, because you don’t see yourself differently. Seeing old pictures or an old friend is always a great confidence boost!
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? My current diet is worlds away from my past diet. I would get so discouraged from not losing weight even though I was constantly exercising. I would binge eat. I mean binge. On anything. Junk in particular. I don’t have a perfect diet everyday, but I’m actually putting food in my body that fuels it now.
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? My physical activity is still high! Only now I can do so many more things. With so much more energy! My endurance has improved so much, it’s almost hard to believe. I actually love running now! It’s cathartic to me.
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- Do not ever give up on yourself. You may stumble and fall pretty hard, but don’t give up.
- Water, water, water! It’s such a cliche tip but it has made my stomach and skin feel so much better.
- Surround yourself in positivity. Negative people are toxic and that toxicity will only poison your journey. Cutting those ties can be the most difficult, but necessary, things you will ever have to do.