Weight Loss Journey: How One Woman Lost Over 100 Pounds
What inspired you to begin losing weight?
Having back surgery in 2015 was the wake-up call I needed that allowed me to see that if things didn’t change I was going to continue living life on the sidelines. It wasn’t the first time I’d battled my weight problem, but this time was different. I was 5’4” and 258 pounds. I found everyday tasks difficult to do and was living in chronic pain because of the additional weight. I realized that I could continue living my life this way, or I could do something about it. It was the first time I truly felt broken, and I took a long hard look at myself and knew that it was time to change … for good this time.
How did you do it?
I have lost 104 pounds on the Weight Watchers program. It works for me because I still get to enjoy the foods I love in moderation and I have a community that’s always willing to provide encouragement. I also enjoy exercising so it is a big part of my weight loss journey. I do Bar Method five days a week and wear an activity tracker and get on average 13,000 to 16,000 steps every day. When I started, walking was my only exercise for the first year—I eased into it because of my back. After a year, I added in Bar Method and it has been incredibly helpful in building up the core muscles that had become very weak. I have never felt so strong and the instructors are incredibly knowledgeable and supportive.
What is your strategy to maintaining your weight loss?
Quite honestly, I’m new to maintenance. I reached my goal weight in December of 2017 so I am navigating maintenance and what that looks like for me. The mindset I had in the weight loss stage was that I wasn’t going to do anything while losing weight that I won’t do in maintenance. So, even though I am at my goal I still attend my Weight Watcher meetings, my workouts are consistent, I track my food, drink my water, etc. I wasn’t on a “diet” to lose weight. I was committed to changing my lifestyle, and so maintenance for me is just a continuation of the lifestyle changes I’ve made over the last two years.
How has this journey impacted your family?
My children now have a mom who can do anything they want to do. We can go on bike rides and I can play soccer or chase them in the yard. We recently went to Disney World and I was able to fit in every single ride. I don’t want my weight to hold me back from being an active part of their lives. My husband loves sports and playing with our boys, and I simply didn’t have a ton of energy for it before losing weight. I want activity to be something that we do together as a family and since I committed to this lifestyle, it has been.
What was the toughest part of your weight-loss journey and how did you overcome it?
I plateaued a few different times. I could have easily given up and walked away when the scale wasn’t budging even though I was still doing the work. But, when I walked through the doors of Weight Watchers this last time, I committed to never quitting. I knew that if I quit I would likely go back to where I was before, and when I was miserable at 258 pounds I would have given anything to be where I was when the scale wasn’t reflecting my efforts. The lessons I’ve learned have been so much more instrumental than celebrating a loss on the scale. I’ve learned that I can go on vacation, or out to dinner, or miss a workout, and I can maintain a healthy lifestyle. Being healthy is a choice, and it’s a choice I have the opportunity to make regardless of what the scale says.
What did this process teach you about yourself?
My weight loss has helped me appreciate my body and all it has given me. I used to criticize myself all the time and I had horrible self-talk. I have learned that my body is pretty amazing. It has been through two C-sections and a back surgery and given me my two most precious gifts. It was time I started praising it for the amazing things it allows me to do instead of criticizing it because of what I was telling myself it wasn’t.
What’s the number one mistake people make when trying to lose weight?
All-or-nothing thinking. I spent years in therapy for binge eating disorder and in therapy I realized that my all-or-nothing attitude was giving me exactly that. I was ALL IN or ALL OUT. I was either losing like a boss, or bingeing and gaining rapidly. I had to let go of perfection and the attitude that in order to lose weight you have to give up everything you love. Losing weight and getting healthy should be fun and exciting! When we change our attitude, it’s amazing what a blessing a healthy lifestyle becomes. I love discovering new foods and trying new workouts, but I also still really love ice cream and tacos and watching Netflix! It’s all about balance and moderation. We shouldn’t have to walk away from everything we love in order to be healthier.
What advice would you give to other women who want to shed pounds?
Find a strong why. Your why will push through the days and weeks when it feels like you aren’t getting any closer to your goals. My two boys are my why. I want to be an active, healthy and fun Mom for them. I want to save my children from the struggle I had with food. It is so much easier to raise healthy kids than to change unhealthy adults. I learned this the hard way. On days that I struggle, I remember that I won’t find my purpose in the bottom of a pint of ice cream or a bag of chips. I look at my boys and remind myself that no food can bring me the joy that being a Mom can.