Height: 5 feet, 5 inches
How I Gained It: My weight gain was a combination of restaurant dining, regular fast food meals and a sedentary job and lifestyle.
Breaking Point: Like many people, it was a photo that brought the unvarnished truth directly in front of my eyes. I was completely in denial about my weight gain until I saw those pictures.
How I Lost It: The first thing I did was stop going to restaurants and fast food joints. It wasn’t immediate — I let myself go to a fast food restaurant once a week. I realized I could make the same foods at home, only I could make them a lot healthier.
The next thing I did was start running. I went out every day for at least ten minutes a day. At first, it was pretty difficult to get moving; I would only run across driveways in my neighborhood and walk the rest. After time I was able to run a little longer, and then a little more, and now I can run one-and-a-half miles without stopping. It is still something I am working on, and I feel so much better mentally and physically when I stick to a running or walking routine at least three to four days a week.
I also signed up for a free healthy lifestyle Web site, SparkPeople.com, to help me keep it off. This site provides an online food journal, recipes, and most importantly, forums where you can find support for your lifestyle changes, as well as fun challenges. It’s an integral part of my secret to success.
My main message is to count your calories and keep track of the hard work you do, and if you “mess up” (for example, if you let yourself have a piece of cake or even half a tub of ice cream!) do not write the day off. Every day and every moment of that day is a full of opportunity to change your habits. You ate fast food for lunch? Just eat dinner at home! When you fall, just get back up, and have faith in yourself.
Also, give yourself goals like a 5K road race, which is 3.1 miles. If you can’t run it, walk it. You’re still way ahead of the poor guy who didn’t even get off the couch that day. Road races give me a big sense of accomplishment. I do at least three road races a year and I look forward to going longer than 5k in the near future.
It took Billye a year to lose 52 pounds, and she’s maintained her weight loss for over six years.