When I was a child I was abused physically,mentally and sexually. The abuse ended right before puberty. Even though I received therapy I did not learn proper coping skills. Add in poor choices with cruel men throughout school. By the time I was 18 I hated the world, I hated myself and I hated men. After a failed relationship at age 19 I gave up on myself. I stopped bathing properly or brushing my teeth properly and I gained massive weight. I essentially built a protective wall of fat and ugly around myself and I turned to food for comfort.
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE? I essentially had no healthy relationships. The few I had were with men that did not value me. I also sabotaged a lot of relationships. The heavier I became the more withdrawn I became.
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY? After years of hard work from my husband I was finally able to see value in myself. I found someone that would not give up on me and would not let me give up on life. I found something I wanted.
I wanted him to desire me. Don’t confuse this with many women’s desire for validation. I do not need anyone’s validation. This is me wanting to walk into a room and see a look of lust and desire on my husbands face.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED? The first steps I took was getting rid of all processed foods (cookies, ice cream, chips, pop, boxed foods) anything that seemed unhealthy and high fat foods (pork, butter). I also bought an elliptical and worked out on it for and hour a day.
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS? I saw results in the first 30 days. I did not hit my first plateau for at least 4 months and by then I lost almost 40lbs.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART? The pain and fatigue was the first thing to get in my way. My back and knees hurt all the time and I always tired out within 15 minutes. At first I had no support from my family. I would try eating healthy while they continued eating poorly. I also had people asking why I was even trying…they thought I was wasting my time. When I started going to the gym there were days I would leave after 15 minutes crying and feeling like a failure because I would let my self conscious doubts and self loathing overwhelm me. I felt stupid for even trying, I felt ugly standing next to all those fit people. I would have panic attacks.
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING? I wanted to every day. It sucked! I was sore. I was hungry. I was tired. I HATED sweating!!!!!
I kept going because I deserve better in life. Each little mile stone, every pound I lost, every inch I lost, and the strength and endurance I gained. All of it gave me a sense of pride and I don’t want to lose that feeling.
Another thing that kept me going was shopping at value village for clothes I could not fit but wanted to and the joy I felt actually getting into them.
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM? All the time and still do. First I let myself accept that my body needs these plateaus to stabilize. I am loosing a ton of weight and the body needs to adjust.
When ever I would plateau I would seek help from people or trainers that understood the body and nutrition. I learned about macros and calories. I learned how to use food as fuel and how to alter my workouts to spark my metabolism and push past them.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT? I took the slower path of weight lifting/ bodybuilding so that I could build muscle as I lost and prevent severe sagging skin. So it has taken me 4 years to get where I am.
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES?
I have gone from a size 24/26 (3x) to a size 4.
I can flip a 425lb tire.
I got my leg press up to 14 plates (630lbs)
I completed my first Tough Mudder last year.
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? Now- I eat about 5-7 times a day. Lean chicken breast, white fish, lean red meat, lean turkey, yams, brown rice, steel cut oatmeal, fruit, tons of vegetables. I still drink beer and eat sweets and fatty foods occasionally and in moderation. I make sure to enjoy life but 98% of my diet is lean and healthy.
Past. I ate maybe 3 times a day. All meals were high calorie, high fat and high carbohydrates. I snacked all the time. I was an emotional eater.
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? When I was obese I was rarely active. I sat or slept all the time. These days I work out at the gym 5 to 6 days a week and about 2 hours a day. 30 to 45 minutes of cardio in the morning and 60 to 90 minutes of weight lifting in the afternoon.
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- Research macros and calorie intake/outtake, and your BMR (base metabolic rate). Learn how to make food work for you and how it affects your body. You will be surprised how much you should be eating in order to lose weight. Most people make the mistake of eating too little and stalling their metabolism.
- Lift weights. Building muscle mass will help burn calories faster, will decrease the pain you feel in your body and will give you more energy. Weight lifting also releases endorphin’s and helps with depression. Always start slow and do not let your pride get in the way. Focus on proper form and the fundamentals at first.
- When doing cardio again start slow. Intervals and HIIT (High intensity interval training) really help burn that fat faster in less time than steady state cardio (maintaining same speed).
- At first don’t focus on the scale. Buy an outfit that is 1 size too small and work into it. Monitor your progress with how your clothes fit and also take progress photos. You will be amazed at the changes in your body when you compare current photos with the previous ones.
- Excellent programs and sites to seek help and support are Bodybuilding.com & myfitnesspal.com