I think I really began to have a weight problem when I was about 6 or 7. From photos I can see I was a normal kid until about that time. I started to get picked on at school more after the first grade and then it just got worse from there. My grandmother also came to live with us when I was 5 and she was an unpleasant person to be around and she was not fond of me.
NAME : Rose
BEFORE WEIGHT : 367
AFTER WEIGHT : 277
POUNDS LOST : 90
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE? It affected my physical health the most. I have an outgoing personality so I always had boyfriends (since 17 I have only had a six month period when I was without a relationship). I had problems with my knees, my blood sugar was getting out of control, and I was in a lot of pain on a daily basis. I was great faker. I was always upbeat and came across as self confident but I was miserable on the inside, emotionally as well as physically.
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY? I went on a trip to see my godchildren and my uncle. My uncle is the only brother of my mother who passed away at 56, 12 years ago. He saw me on that trip and the look on his face when he saw me was one that was of subtle horror. I saw the fear and panic in his face. I knew I had to do something because 56 was only 12 years away. I was also a year away from getting married and I knew I needed to lose the weight, not for the wedding, but for my marriage.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED? When I got home from that trip I called a friend that had been on Weight Watchers and wanted to go back. I came home on Tuesday and was at the meeting on Saturday. I had never gone to WW because I thought I could do it on my own. Plus my mother took me when I was 10 and it was horrible. I came home from that meeting and told my fiance’ that we needed to do it. He wasn’t so sure so he went with me the next week. He’s the cook so I needed him to buy in and he did!
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS? The first week I lost 6 pounds! I lost 20 pounds in the first month. I was so excited at how well I was doing that i knew I could continue. I think in 3 weeks I was used to eating better. I started walking just a little bit too so that I could build up my stamina.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART? I think the biggest challenge for me is the reactions that I got from people. Some were totally cool with it. Others told me that I couldn’t be thinner then them. I had people call me skinny after losing only 20 pounds. I had to get over how other people saw me and felt about this change. I also had to really accept and acknowledge that this is a mental thing too. I had to really believe that I was worth it. I know it now but it took a little time.
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING? Oh heck yeah. There were definitely days that I wanted to bury my head in food but I knew that if I did that I would die. Literally. I was on that road. I know it. I was facing an early death like my mother. I am a cancer survivor and I had ignored a gift that I was given 22 years before. It was life and I did not have the one I wanted. I cried, I stomped my feet, but I also knew that a gain is not the end of the world. I could learn from my mistakes and I could keep going. I would also get discouraged by the number I have to lose. It was 190. But now its only a 100. Now I know for sure I can do it.
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM? I have been in one since May. I have lost and gained the same 5 pounds. But also in that time I had a destination wedding, a vacation, attended a conference for a week, and took a couple more trips. The fact I only put on 4 pounds is a miracle. I have had weeks where I stalled. When that happens, I just change something I am eating or try a new exercise. I have even seen a drop after a day of not tracking or worrying about what I ate. You have to mix it up to keep things moving sometimes.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT? It was about a year. I started on May 31, 2014 and my wedding was on June 26, 2015. I weighed in the Saturday before we left and had hit the 90 pound mark.
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES? Did I ever. I can no longer buy pants in the plus size section of the store. I lost 52 inches overall so far. I can walk up to 7 miles now. I can walk up and down stairs. It has been amazing. There are so many. I love that I have neck now and wear necklaces. I discovered I really like dresses. This has changed so much of my life. It is the best thing.
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? Before I would bomb through a fast food place for breakfast. Lunch would be a heavy sandwich, chips, coke. Dinner would probably be out at a restaurant or if cooked at home lots of meat and potatoes or something with pasta. Throw in a couple more cokes and lots of ice cream. Now its egg whites and turkey bacon in the morning, Fruit for a snack (3 times a day at least), lunch is salad with lots of veggies and couple ounces of meat and lite dressing. Dinner is something my hubby makes with 1/2 plate of veggies, 4 to 5 ounces of protein and a rare carb. No ice cream.
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? I move a lot more then I did. Because of my knees I barely walked anywhere. I am now up to 3 miles at one time and recently walked over 7 in one day. I seriously still hate going to the gym but I have found an online site for low impact cardio workouts that I really like and will try to do those 3 times a week. This is an area that I struggle with. I want to like to exercise but I don’t.
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- Have a support system. I started a secret Facebook group for my friends that wanted a safe place to vent, ask questions, and find others that were in the same boat. I love these ladies and they keep accountable, honest, and motivated.
- Plan ahead. If we are going out for dinner, I go online and look at the menu and plan my meal. That way there are no surprises and I can keep myself from going outside my program. Plan your meals for the week too and prep in advance. My lunches are all made on Sunday so all I have to do is go in the fridge to get one. I work at home so I do this make sure I stay on track.
- Go easy on yourself. I have lost and I have gained. I have lost on week’s I thought I totally blew it and not on weeks that I thought I was a rock star. It is a process and it takes time. It is not easy and you have to be able to love yourself a lot through this process. I am not always perfect. And that is great. I love that about me and I love that about all the people that I see going through this journey.
- Go to the doctor. Seriously a lot of us forget this part. Monitor your health and make sure you are doing it right. I went after I started but I was able to get tests done and then go back this summer and see how far I had come. I lowered my blood sugar into the normal range. Something I had not seen since my 20’s. Get a yearly physical done so that you know how to take care of yourself.
- Reward yourself with non-food items. I love purses. I love expensive purses. I told myself that for every 45 pounds I lost I would buy a new purse. So I have two new purses in my closet. I never reward myself with food because it is no longer a reward. I also get my nails done every two weeks so that I continue to feel good about myself. Whatever your thing is, reward yourself with it.