"I definitely have more energy... and emotionally, I can't even begin to tell you how far I've come!"
Before: 230 lbs After: 140 lbs
What were your weight-control goals?
Originally, I made a weight goal of 150 pounds. Why? It sounded like a nice even number. There was no rhyme or reason to it. Having never been at a healthy weight as an adult, I had no idea what would look good on me or what my goals should be. And even though 150 put me above a "healthy" weight for my height, it sounded perfect to me. The only other goal I had was to be a size 10. Again, it just seemed like this magical number, especially considering that my starting point was a size 22.
Eventually, I refined my goals to reflect what I saw my body doing. I got into a size 10 at about 160 pounds, and was nearly a size 8 by the time I reached 150 pounds. At about 155, I changed my goal weight to 140, based on what I was seeing in the mirror. I also had my body fat tested to be sure that my goals were in line with a healthy body, and was beyond ecstatic when I found the results were lower than I expected. Now I am at my goal of 140 and unbelievably have purchased (and fit into!) size 6 clothing.
What motivated you to lose weight?
To look good. I know you hear all the time that this is about more than weight loss and appearances, and that this journey will bring good health and much more. But my original goal was simply to look better; to feel better about myself. I was tired of being the fat friend, the fat sister, the fattest girl in the room. Only later did it become about health and fitness as well as vanity.
What was your weight-loss method?
Eat less, move more. Sounds simple, doesn't it? When I first joined CK and heard that term bantered about, I would think to myself, "If only it were that easy!" Turns out it was. I logged my food faithfully, weighing and measuring everything I put into my mouth. I ate what I wanted, just less of it, and this allowed me to lose weight without feeling deprived.
I also found running. Regular exercise has been a HUGE reason why I was able to lose weight. Thanks to another success story here on CK (Trishie), I found and fell in love with what running did for me physically and emotionally. Starting out, I had never run in my life (I was the fat girl on the track in P.E. class who did the bare minimum at the slowest pace possible). I trained and worked and huffed and puffed until I was able to run several miles at a time. Now I am training for a marathon and can actually see myself finishing it.
Exercise allows me to eat more food and still lose weight, and incorporating strength training has toned me up and made me much firmer than I ever was before. I firmly believe that cutting calories alone (without some sort of exercise program) would not have given me the same body I have today.
What were some obstacles you encountered while losing weight?
Oh, man, where do I start! Within a month of becoming a Calorie King member, filled with motivation for weight loss and a burning desire to finally succeed, I found out I was pregnant with my second son. Obviously, all weight loss efforts were stopped in their tracks. It turned out that this was the best thing that could have happened to me in this journey because it gave me 9 months to research and read and learn as much as I could about diet and exercise and healthy living. I bought a food scale and made it a habit to weigh and measure foods to find out what a portion looked like. It also gave me the chance to become active in the forums and read the success stories of those who had come before me. After I had my son, I was well equipped with the information and tools I needed to be a success. Beyond that, there were other things that threatened to derail me. I moved twice in 2 months (right before Christmas!), with a newborn and a toddler under foot. I was diagnosed with asthma just when running had become crucial to my weight loss. I broke my toe a few months later, and once again was afraid of how it would affect my exercise routine. But I pushed through it all and was able to maintain a good workout schedule consisting of running and weight lifting.
What tips do you have for others who are trying to lose weight?
Keep it simple. I'm not denying that losing weight can be hard, and certainly isn't fun. Do it anyway. Get up and exercise even when you don't want to. Don't give in to your cravings, even when you're tired and stressed. Weigh, measure, and log your food even when it gets tedious and boring.
There are a million reasons for giving up, and I've heard them all. Some of them have even crossed my own lips. Not one has ever been a good reason. We often tell ourselves, "But I deserve to eat this!" The truth is, I deserve to be healthy and happy and living in a body I can be proud of. My kids deserve to grow up with a physically active mother who can play with them. My husband deserves to have a wife who is happy with herself rather than with a woman riddled with self doubt and self disgust. Those reasons far outweigh any argument I've heard for the other side.
How do you feel now that you've lost weight?
Great. I was lucky that even at a heavier weight I was always healthy. Then again, I was also young. I managed to gain control of my health before I started seeing the unfortunate consequences of obesity. But I definitely have more energy and am much more willing to rough house with the kids. Emotionally, I can't even begin to tell you how far I've come. I still have bad days, and days when I am consumed by low self esteem, but those days are now interspersed with the days when I can't believe that's ME in the mirror. I see pictures of myself and can now say, "Hey! I look pretty good!" rather than "Oh no, am I really that fat?"
How have the products or services offered by CalorieKing assisted you in your weigh-loss journey?
Logging my food has been crucial. I had the same portion distortion that millions of other people have, and learning about calories and metabolism certainly helped me along the way. The biggest external contributing factor to my weight loss (aside from my husband) has been the forums. The people here are truly amazing, and knowing them truly has been a blessing in my life. Without the dear friends I've made here, I don't know that I would have had the motivation to stick with it.