I was always a chubby kid. My weight problem ballooned when I was 12.

NAME : Cassandra
BEFORE WEIGHT : 333
AFTER WEIGHT : 230
POUNDS LOST : 103

HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE?  My weight has affected every aspect of my life. I never developed a sense of self-worth. I was too afraid to participate in activities, in life itself. My mom started me on diets when I was 8 years old. I believe that began my unhealthy relationship with food. I would eat normally during the day, and then get up in the middle of the night and eat when no one could see me. This pattern continued until I was about 30.

WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY?  The turning point for me was when I found myself getting winded by going up just one flight of stairs. When friends would invite me out I’d ask where and have to figure out how much walking would be involved. That’s when I decided things were way out of control.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?  I went to my Primary Care physician and she started me on a weight loss program offered by Kaiser. My doctor and my nutritionist have really been the driving force in my weight loss journey. They’ve kept me honest, they’ve giving me guidance, and most importantly they’ve been my biggest cheerleaders.

HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS?  I started seeing results about 1 month after I started. The weight dropped off quickly the first 7 or 8 months. The last 4 months were a real battle.

WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART?  My biggest challenge has been my career. I work in a high stress very demanding environment that requires I put in long hours. Food as always been my mainstay comfort when I was stressed, sad, or depressed. I had to learn to substitute food with other activities when I was feeling these emotions. I had a wellness coach, and a support group. People at work would take a walk with me if I was feeling stressed and wanted to eat. By the time I got back from my walk I wasn’t hungry anymore and I’d felt the pressure had lifted significantly. I also rarely cook for myself. I don’t have the time and don’t feel motivated to put in that much effort since I’d always be cooking for 1. My nutritionist introduced me to food combinations and a meal plan that was catered to my lifestyle, likes, and abilities.

DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?  I hit several plateaus after the 7th or 8th month. I continued to be diligent with my diet and changed up my activity to get things jump started again. And sometimes it was just a plain old waiting game. I had to accept that plateaus were a natural part of the process and not get hung up on the weeks when the scale would not budge.

HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT?  It took my one year and one month.

DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES?  I wore a bikini for the first time in public. I haven’t worn a bathing suit since I was in high school. I now fit into mediums, which I haven’t fit in since middle school. I fall between a medium and a large depending on the store. I’m a solid 12/14 at 5’9″….(again depending on the store).

WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?  I eat only three meals a day. My food combinations is always protein first, veggies second, and if I have room for carbs that would be last. I try and get 64 fl ounces of water a day. Most important I indulge when I want to, but I keep things honest with my nutritionist when my indulging becomes a pattern.

HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?  I can walk faster, longer, and farther without even thinking about it. I can go hiking and not worry if I’ll be able to keep up with the pack. I’m not afraid to try different physical activities because I have more trust in my body’s capabilities.

MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS

  1. Set long-term and short -term goals measurable goals.
  2. Find someone who will keep you honest.
  3. Enlist coworkers, friend, and family as a means of support. Incorporate them into your journey. They will help keep you honest and support you when you feel like you’re slipping.
  4. Don’t stress about the scale. Focus on how you feel. Weight loss doesn’t usually depict a slope progression. There will be lots of bumps along the way.
  5. Move!! Even if it’s only 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes at night. Then start to extend that time by 5 minute every couple of weeks.