My whole child and adult life, I have battled issues with my weight. As a child, I was actually underweight and my parents were always worried I was too thin. That phase did not last very long though, and it caught up with me very fast. I did not take much responsibility over the fact that I needed to lose weight at the age of 13 (when I was about 60 pounds overweight).
My mom was going to Weight Watchers meetings and asked if I would like to join with her, and while I was quite successful at meeting my goal weight, I had a hard time keeping the weight off given that I didn’t have a mature frame of mind at that young of an age. It had been a yo-yo effect for the past ten years trying to get back to a healthy weight, and my weight just kept getting higher and higher along the way.
I re-joined Weight Watchers many times but never stuck with it. Aside from trying that route, I thought there was a quick fix and resorted to weight loss pills, shakes, visits with nutritionists and psychiatrists, weight loss books and applying to be on weight loss shows.
My mom (who has always struggled with her weight as well) saw how my weight was taking a toll on my life. My weight was affecting me emotionally and turning me into an incredibly depressed person. I was slowly pushing everyone out of my life due to the shame I felt. She saw my consistent failed attempts and suggested I look into weight loss surgery (which coming from her was shocking – as surgery was the ultimate last option, in her opinion).
That being said, the thought of gastric bypass surgery really struck a chord with me. I started to ask myself, “Why am I looking for all the easy ways out?” – I knew I could have success with healthy eating and exercise as I had done it before, but it was going to require me to not give up after one day. I had to face that I was not going to lose the weight overnight and it was going to take a lot of focus and determination to get to the point where I can love myself again.
The moment I began to see full length images of myself is when I knew I once and for all needed to make a change. A picture speaks a thousand words – and although I saw myself in the mirror every day, I could avoid looking at the areas I was ashamed of. I shamefully walked into those Weight Watchers doors (only because I had joined and quit about 324 times) for the final time. I stepped on the scale and saw 231lbs, a number I knew I would never have to see again. In the past I had always set a goal weight but this time around my biggest goal was to just make it through one day without binge eating to the point of feeling sick.
I not only made it through one day, but I stuck with it for the whole week! I knew at that point that there was no stopping me. Every minute of every day was a mental battle with food, but I knew I could overcome my addiction to food.
I started grocery shopping and buying healthier foods to bring into the house. I decided I would eat breakfast at home, pack lunch every day, and eat out on rare occasions. This time around was completely different than the others. I was mentally ready to make this change and not for someone else, but for myself. I set five pound weight loss goals and averaged ten pounds a month. I was having success week in and week out, and decided to join a gym to really ramp up my success on the scales.
I had off-weeks where the scale didn’t say what I wanted, but that just pushed me to work harder the following week. Holidays, events, parties and life happened, but it is learning to not say yes to every occasion because every single day ends up turning into a special event and all those events got me to 231 pounds. You have to learn to just say no! Indulge here and there; but only if you are willing to work it off!
It is so important to have a support system of people holding you accountable on a daily basis. I not only have my family, boyfriend, friends, co-workers, and Weight Watchers members to do so, but also the support of the followers on my Facebook page, I Lost Big and So Can You. There are so many caring individuals in this world who are willing to lift you up when you are down; you just simply have to ask for a little bit of help.
I have lost and maintained about a 100 pound weight loss which took me just over a year to achieve. I still follow Weight Watchers, but not as strictly as before because it is second nature to me and has just turned into a lifestyle. The plan has helped me realize portion control and forgiveness to myself if I go off plan now and again.
Too often in the past would I slip up and call it quits. I have learned now to move on from bad meals or bad days – one bad day does not define months of success. I will never let my weight creep up like it did before, as I have worked way too hard for this. I am a completely changed person and have a much more positive outlook on life.
I enjoy working out and I like to see what I am truly capable of achieving. I have just signed up for my first 5K ever and I know it will not be the last. You can do absolutely anything you set your mind to, it just takes a little bit of determination and motivation!
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