Thoughts on what I’ve gained from losing 116 pounds…
At the beginning of this weight loss journey, I wanted to become my own success story. I wanted to create my best life and my best self possible. I wanted to create my own sweet destiny. I’ve done those things - and so much more - because I finally lost the weight I’d been carrying around for so many years.
I started this blog and this new life on January 1, 2011. I started Weight Watchers on January 3, 2011 weighing in at 267.2 pounds. Tonight (Dec. 12, 2011) weighed in at 151 pounds. 49 weigh ins. 344 days. 116 pounds lost. I started at a pants size 22 (busting out of size 22…so close to 24). My XXL shirts were getting tight. Today? pants size 8. My medium shirts are getting loose.
I’ve gained a lot from losing big.
Simply put, I’ve gained my life back. A woman near me at weight watchers commented, “it’s two totally different people,” when seeing my “before” picture. That is so true. On the inside, there are many ways in which I am the SAME person. But, on the outside and on the inside, there are so many ways in which I am a DIFFERENT person.
I was “normal” sized and athletic as a child, through high school, and even through college. After college I went through a deep depression, and the weight started coming on. From January 2004 until December 2010 I packed on 107 pounds. Not all of those years were spent depressed, but many were.
I spent most of my 20’s overweight…..no, not just overweight. I was obese. I was leading an unhealthy life that was going to send me to an early grave. I was an emotional eater. If i was _________ (insert emotion here), I ate. I ate a LOT. My portions were out of control. It was typical for me to eat fast food for breakfast, lunch, AND dinner. I would go to two fast food places for dinner on a regular (nightly) basis for supper. I drank lots of dr. pepper. 6-7 cans A DAY. I didn’t exercise. My nightly routine consisted of getting food, sitting on my couch eating food, and watching tv.
I was unhappy, unhealthy, unmotivated, and apathetic toward my health and my life in general. I had little self-confidence. Most days, I didn’t like myself. My smiles were fake smiles. I hid from my friends, my family, the world. I frequently had chest pains and even took myself to the ER once because of them.
Enter Ben Davis, of Ben Does Life Fame. During the fall of 2010, I clicked on a link a friend had posted on FaceBook. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve watched his video and many of those times had tears in my eyes. I’ve read his entire blog from start to finish not once, but twice. I kept thinking, “He’s a real, normal person. No special pills, no special surgeries, no special diets. If he can do it, I can do it.”
Last winter break I spent about a week at my dad’s house. I spent a lot of time thinking and reflecting on my life - my past, present, and future. I KNEW it was time to change. I had tried countless times before to lose weight. I would lose 10-20 pounds and then gain it back plus some more. There wasn’t one event that made everything click. I honestly don’t know why THIS time it worked. I’m just thankful that this “perfect storm” of events - whatever those events were - finally came together and made this weight loss journey a reality.
Over the last 11.5 months, I’ve transformed my life and transformed myself. I’ve done things I NEVER thought I would do, let alone want to do and enjoy doing. I started exercising and running. I started lifting weights. I started water exercises. I’ve completed five 5ks, one 10K, one 15k, and two half marathons. I’ve ran and walked countless miles. I’ve spent countless hours at the gym. I started and am doing P90X. I don’t drink pop anymore. I eat healthy foods of regular serving-sizes.
Over the last 11.5 months:
- I’ve lost the voice that said, “I can’t” and gained the voice that say, “I can and I will!”
- I’ve lost the unhappy girl who didn’t like herself on most days and gained a happy, self-confident woman who cares about her life and her future.
- I’ve lost the feeling of, “I’m not good enough” and gained the feeling of, “I am worth it!”
- I’ve lost the feeling of “Losing weight is too hard” and gained the knowledge that, “Losing weight is work - hard work. But it is SOOOOO worth it and it’s rewards are soooooo good!”
- I’ve lost the lonely, boring life I used to hide in and gained a life I love and look forward to! I’m no longer hiding from my friends, family, and the world.
- I’ve lost the voice that said, “You’ll never be able to do it” and gained the voice that says, “I can do anything I work hard for!”
- I’ve lost the hatred of exercise and gained a love of running, exercise, and leading an active lifestyle.
- I’ve lost the lack of motivation and procrastination that plagued me and gained motivation, determination, and a “do it now” attitude.
- I’ve lost the mediocre teacher, friend, aunt, niece, cousin, sister, and daughter I was, and gained a desire to be the best person I can be.
Over the last 11.5 months, I’ve strengthened relationships in my life with those I love, and have become closer to many of my friends and family. I’ve fallen in love with running, exercising, tumblr, weight watchers, and my healthy lifestyle. I’ve fallen in love with my life and i live a life i love. I’ve found strength and courage I didn’t know I had in me by doing things I didn’t know if I could do.
And the girl who’s done these things - the one who used to not care much for herself and her life….
I’ve fallen in love with her, too.
My God I love this.
Current Weight: 177
Amazing transformation, well done!!!
i cant stop making before and durings and sorry that the left pic is so blurry! i hope you guys dont mind <3
7 months prog.
1. Catch the running bug. You’ll continue to burn fat after your jog: People who run for at least four hours a week melt more calories than non-runners, even when they’re not running, a Yale University School of Medicine study reports.
2. Crank it up early. Working out harder during the first half of your workout and taking it easier during the second burns up to 23 percent more fat than doing the opposite, according to a study from The College of New Jersey.
3 & 4. Go hard — and make it quick. Staying at 80 percent of your max heart rate for 40 minutes can amp your metabolism for 19 hours afterward, research published in Obesity notes. And doing a shorter workout at 75 percent of your max aerobic capacity will give you a greater metabolic boost than sweating longer at 50 percent, a Colorado State University reveals.
5 to 7. Lift dumbbells … slowly. More muscle equals mega metabolism boost. Strength training can help you trim major fat, research reveals — and doing super-slow (versus normal speed) reps increases strength by 50 percent.
Plus, using dumbbells activates more muscle fibers than using machines, explains Gregory Haff, Ph.D., an associate professor in the exercise physiology department at West Virginia University.
8. Speed up, slow down. Alternating bouts of high-intensity and low-intensity cardio has been shown to torch pounds.
9. Put on weight (literally). Wearing a weighted vest (about 10 percent of your body weight) while walking can boost your calorie burn by 8 percent.
10. Download Rihanna, not Brahms. Listening to up-tempo songs actually makes you run faster and harder than listening to slower-paced music, British scientists say.
11. Let kettlebells ring. Not only does working out with kettlebells build muscle, but doing it for 20 minutes burns as many calories as running at a 6-minute-mile pace for the same amount of time.
12. Keep it up. As few as 80 minutes a week of aerobic or weight training helps keep you from regaining belly fat after losing weight, according to researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
13. Add poles. Use Nordic poles while you walk, and you’ll burn 20 percent more calories, says research from The Cooper Institute in Dallas.
14 & 15. Lift first, nix the rest. Doing strength training before cardio can torch more fat than cardio alone. And if you do one move after another without pausing, “you’ll see more gains in strength and muscle mass,” says Dr. Pierre Manfroy, M.D., consultant for the book “100 Ways to Supercharge Your Metabolism.”
16. Add pounds. Lift heavier weights for fewer reps to make your workout more intense — and burn more fat — Manfroy says.
17. Try aromatherapy. Exercisers who inhaled strawberry and buttered-popcorn scents torched more calories than those who sniffed neutral odors, according to research from the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago.
18. Box yourself in. Wii boxing knocks out nearly twice as many calories as some other games, like Wii golf.
19. Kick it. Playing soccer not only torches more fat and builds more muscle than jogging, but it feels less tiring, Danish research reveals.
20. Stay in shape. Fit people have more fat-burning metabolites in their blood than couch potatoes do, scientists say.
IN THE KITCHEN
22. Get more protein. Eating a protein-packed breakfast and lunch helps you burn more post-meal fat than if you eat lower-protein meals, according to Australian research.
23 & 24. Guzzle green tea — or coffee. Downing five 5-ounce cups of green tea a day boosts metabolism, says Lyssie Lakatos, R.D., author of “Fire Up Your Metabolism.” Two cups of coffee will also do the trick, one study shows.
25. Have an omelet. Eating two eggs for breakfast while dieting will help you trim more weight and body fat than if you ate the same amount of calories noshing on a bagel, scientists say.
26. Stay above 1,200 calories… ”The average person’s body goes into starvation mode if she eats fewer than 1,200 calories a day,” says Eric Berg, author of “The 7 Principles of Fat Burning.” “That’s stress, and stress creates more belly fat.”
27. … and cut calories gradually. If you diet, don’t trim more than 250 calories a day. Cutting calories too quickly slows your metabolism down, Dr. Manfroy says.
28 to 33. Munch on these. Almonds, cherries, yogurt, grapefruit, whole grains, and spicy foods have all been shown to torch fat.
34. Fuel up right. Eating a low-glycemic-index breakfast (such as muesli and peaches) will help you burn more fat during a subsequent workout than eating a high-glycemic-index meal (like waffles), researchers from the University of Nottingham reveal.
35. Think before you drink. Sipping as few as 90 calories’ worth of vodka can slow your metabolism by 73 percent, one study shows.
36. Graze. Women who go without eating for long periods are more likely to have higher body-fat percentages than women who nosh more regularly, one study notes.
37. Dine like a Greek. Eating a diet rich in monounsaturated fat (think olive oil, avocados) can help trim both weight and fat, research published in the British Journal of Nutrition shows.
38. Stop gorging. Your body can only handle so much food at a time, so stick to 600 calories or less per meal to maximize fat-burning, says Leslie Cooper, co-author of “Flip the Switch: Proven Strategies to Fuel Your Metabolism and Burn Fat 24 Hours a Day.”
39. Skip juice. Reaching for an apple instead of apple juice is not only better calorie-wise, but it’ll also do a better job of boosting your metabolism, Dr. Manfroy explains.
IN YOUR LIFE
41 & 42. Get C and D. Vitamin C can help you burn more fat, and D may help you lose fat, research notes. Aim for 400 to 500 mg of C and 800 mg of D a day.
43 & 44. Walk more (in denim). Researchers found that fitness-friendly offices (think treadmill desks, mobile headsets) helped people trim pounds and fat, as did wearing jeans to work, since dressing casual encourages you to move more. Wear comfy clothes when you can, pace while on the phone, and stand while chatting with co-workers.
45. Add fish oil (And work out). Taking 6 grams of fish oil per day and hitting the gym three times a week can help nix body fat, an Australian study reveals.
46. Work the day shift. Keeping nontraditional hours lowers levels of hormones that trigger satiety, increases blood glucose and insulin levels, and raises levels of the stress hormone cortisol (which can drive you to eat more), scientists say.
47. Nix the boob tube. Cut your TV time in half, and you’ll burn more calories each day, research from the University of Vermont suggests.
48. Go mental. People who visualized themselves training a specific muscle boosted the strength in that muscle group, researchers found.
49. Eat a smaller dinner. Your body may not digest food — and burn fat — as efficiently if you down a huge meal right before bedtime, especially because your metabolism is slower while you sleep, Dr. Manfroy says.
50. Jump-start your morning. Wake up your metabolism — and get fat-burning started — by doing some sort of exercise within the first few hours of being awake, Cooper suggests.
51. Get your snooze on. Sleep for a solid 81D 2 hours instead of 51D 2, according to research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, and you’ll lose more fat. Sweet dreams!