Even though high-school-me always thought I was fat (girl thing), looking back, I really wasn’t. I had my son at 22 and bounced right back to a healthy weight. It was after I had my daughter at 31 when it started becoming a problem. I never truly lost the baby weight and I honestly didn’t care. It wasn’t until after I started seeing pictures of myself that I realized how big I had actually gotten.
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE? Being a photographer, I’m always comfortable on that side of the camera. In front of it? I avoided it at costs. I skipped many social events simply because I didn’t want anyone to see me. I hated myself for a very long time.
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY? At a doctor’s appointment in April of 2015, I did something I never did when I went to the doctor…I actually looked at the scale when they weighed me. It said 266 lbs. Every doctor’s visit after that, I would never look at the number. I didn’t want to know what it said, but I never took the steps to get healthy until 2 years later. I ate what I wanted when I wanted.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED? In April of 2017, a commercial for Planet Fitness came on the TV. My town had a PF for several years before that, but I never thought once about joining. Something clicked in me that night and I signed up online. Within an hour, I was there on the treadmill. I had finally had enough.
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS? My heaviest weight was 266, but when I joined PF, I was at 248. No idea how I lost nearly 20 lbs before I started because I certainly wasn’t trying. In my first month, I lost 10 lbs and I’ve averaged that every month since. Of course, I noticed before everyone else, but after a couple of months, I started getting compliments.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART? I have a long history of back problems: spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, and arthritis. Since I’ve lost the weight, I haven’t had as many problems, but it still goes out from time to time. That’s when I have to force myself to rest as to not make the problem any worse.
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING? There are some days when I would love nothing more than to skip the gym or eat a quart of ice cream. Don’t get me wrong, I DO have cheat days about twice a month. But you reach a point where you realize motivation won’t always be there. That’s where discipline kicks in.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT? From April 2017 to December 2017, I lost 75 lbs. Since April 2015, I’ve lost 90 lbs.
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES? Some of my guilty NSV pleasure involves getting my my 15 year old daughter’s closet and stealing her clothes.
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? My eating habits were awful. I didn’t care what or when. Whole pizzas, LOTS of fast food, late night binging. And pop (or soda, depending on where you’re from). I constantly had a 44 oz pop in my hand at all times. Always diet, but honestly, that’s worse.
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? I used to get winded just walking around the block. I now hit the gym 5 or 6 times a week. It’s become a bit of an addiction. Cardio was not my friend in the beginning. Now I can go an hour on the elliptical or ARC trainer with no problem. Combining that with weight training and I found my stride.
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- Don’t beat yourself up if you fall off. Just get back in there. We all eat things we regret. You just can’t let it take over your life.
- Water, water, water. If you don’t like the taste, there are plenty of no/low calorie drink mixes out there to spice it up. Use them!
- Counting calories sucks. But it pays off in big ways!
- Don’t watch the clock when you’re doing cardio. Just get on there and go until you can’t go anymore. And never forget your earbuds when you go to they gym!
- Ask for help! There are plenty of people out there willing to help with workout plans, meal ideas, or just to motivate you to get off the couch.