Before And After: UniQue Lost 172 Pounds Through Hard Work Period!
NAME : UniQue
BEFORE WEIGHT : 346
AFTER WEIGHT : 175
POUNDS LOST : 172
WHEN DID YOU START DEVELOPING A WEIGHT PROBLEM?
I have been battling obesity for much of my childhood.
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE?
I was emotionally attached to food. I sought out refuge in fast food and chocolate. It provided a sense of comfort when all else failed. I didn’t realize that my negative outlook on life or just my skewed perception of life held me in captivity. I’ve worked so hard for everything I have, yet I couldn’t understand why I was borderline unemployed, at one point in my life homeless sleeping in a shelter and at rest stops in my car. I felt a sense of entitlement; as if life owed me something more than what it owed the next person. I didn’t realize that this negative thinking perpetuated a vicious cycle that left me dependent on food. It became the metric for measuring my self-worth. The strategy it took to hide my addiction and commitment to binge eating was uncanny. There were mornings I would enter into a restaurant with a plan to hide my addiction from others and yet somehow “trick” myself into believing my eating wasn’t any different from anyone else. And that my weight was a result of life’s many burdens placed upon me. Boy was I fooled!
The façade I created was not only effective but detrimental to my wellbeing. Sure I lost the weight before; however, I failed to learn the HEALTHY approach to weight loss. I starved myself, took over the counter appetite suppressants, water pills, fat burners, tried the low-carb diet, no meat diet, Cabbage Soup Diet, Lemonade Diet…you name it, I tried it. This disturbing behavior commenced at the tender age of 14. I hid behind laughter, jokes and my smile. No one was aware of the pain, anguish and confusion I felt at such a young age. My affinity towards food was a direct reaction to my biological mother abandoning me at birth. I wasn’t able to make a direct correlation between the two until recently. In retrospect, I discovered that the abandonment affected me greatly; more than I realized. Relationships, whether intimate, family or friendships, were hard to endure. The one between my father and I was that of an emotionally abusive roller coaster.
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY?
It all started in October 2010 when I was misdiagnosed as pre-diabetic; realizing it was time to take my life back– I committed myself to improving my health and fitness.
The hardest part was mentally preparing myself for this journey. I had to understand that in order to be successful at this I needed to be mentally committed and disciplined. For years I had an emotional attachment to food. I had to face my worst fears- dealing with my issues head on and stop using food as my crutch.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?
I was roaming the Internet and a picture of Oscar award winning actress Jennifer Hudson popped on my screen. It was a hyperlink to her Weight Watchers’ video. I thought this couldn’t be. She had just experienced serious adversity with the death of her mother, brother and nephew. How could she find time to worry about losing weight? She looked so happy and rejuvenated. After reading her story, I became instantly inspired! “I must take my life back!!!” I lamented! But how? I’ve tried every “trick” in the book. Feeling a little discouraged, I called Weight Watchers’ (WW) customer service and remembered asking the rep so many questions.
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS?
I saw results immediately.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART?
I realized I had to break this vicious cycle of viewing food as my abusive spouse. One I loved but hated vehemently at the same time. I was misinformed all these years. During this pivotal moment in my life I was at a crossroad. It was time to deal with the demons of my past that haunted me; that held me back, and isolated me from living and enjoying my life.
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?
I didn’t face any weight loss plateaus.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT?
Having lost 172 pounds in 13 months, standing a proud six feet tall, I reached a “happy” place in my life. I’ve never been as committed to improving my life as I am now.
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES?
Being able to celebrate the good, understand the bad and find ways to embrace the challenges of life is paramount. I’ve severed ties with emotional binge eating. I am healing from my past struggles and continue to triumph adversity. One thing is certain, I’ve not only gained a sense of self-worth but I’ve acquired a strong commitment to helping others in their struggle! It motivates me to see others take control of their lives! “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?
Week after week I started making healthier decisions in my diet. I went from consuming a medium pizza for lunch to cooking baked tilapia, steamed broccoli and brown rice. I went from gorging myself with second and third helpings to eating the serving size, weighing my food and measuring out my portions. I took pride in my health. I started incorporating exercise into my daily routine. No longer did I make excuses for not wanting to exercise. I started with just 15 minutes on the Elliptical to challenging myself weekly. I work out five to six days a week for about 45 minutes to an hour. I finally discovered the secret to weight loss! And that is, EVERYTHING IN MODERATION!
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?
I am currently focusing heavily on toning and muscle conditioning. I run stairs, jog and enjoy a nice long brisk walk with my arm weights! When there’s inclement weather I hit the gym for a full body workout on the Elliptical or The Arc Trainer.
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- I would recommend investing in measuring cups, a scale, journal, jump rope and arm weights! These items are inexpensive and aided in my success.
- BE honest with yourself. If you eat it, track it!
- Have fun on the journey. Engage in activity that your enjoy. Eat the foods that you enjoy, but in moderation.
- Be realistic! Weight loss require dedication and patience.
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