How did your weight loss journey begin/what lead you to begin (health problems, low energy, joint pain, etc.)?
I have had many weight loss journey beginnings. My last one and the one I am still on began when my father had a heart attack, almost passed away, and had to have quadruple by-pass surgery. One of the nurses in his cardiac care unit took me aside and said that if I continue on my path I would be in that hospital bed. At that time I think I was 60-70 pounds overweight. I didn’t know this person and he took the time to tell me what I already know but just didn’t want to believe. So I began.
Did you try any diet programs? How did they work?
I have tried them all: Nutri-system, SlimFast, Weight Watchers and diet pills. The one that worked best for me was Weight Watchers. It held me accountable for what I put in my mouth and the group meeting were a great place for ideas. Mind you, I started and quit several times, but I always went back, most of the time with friends and co-workers.
Explain the process that you went through (in detail) to lose weight. What lifestyle changes did you make and how hard were they?
One day I just said, “I can’t continue this way and I am doing this” so I walked into a Weight Watchers center and started their program. It wasn’t hard at first because I had all the material and was motivated to stay on plan. The group meetings were very helpful. It was after I started losing some weight and people noticed I was smaller and the compliments started coming in that I thought, “I can do this!” and I would stop keeping track of my food for a day and had an extra helping of this or that. Then when I would go to the next meeting, I would have a gain or just lose .2. When you step on the scale it doesn’t lie…you might not like, but it doesn’t lie. I was only losing .5 or .6 when before I was losing 1 and 2 pounds every week. So I had to have a come to Jesus talk with myself to get back on track. That was the hardest thing for me to do. I have been on Weight Watchers so many times and I know what to do, but you just fall off the wagon sometimes.
This last time, I joined Weight Watchers and also started an exercise program at the same time called Orange Theory. Before, I would take Zumba classes here and there for my exercise and walk around my neighborhood, but always ended up making excuses for not going. This time it was different for some reason. It was not cheap at all and every class was different than the last so it wasn’t the same thing over and over again. So with the combination of Weight Watchers and Orange Theory, I started to lose weight again. This time I didn’t tell anyone. I just started. Then after a while (after reading articles on the internet, info from my Weight Watchers meetings and my co-worker) I decided to give up processed foods, frozen meals, soup in cans, etc. and eat cleaner. I would have protein and veggies for all my meals, loading up on 7-9 servings of vegetables each day. It was harder than it sounds, but I have found I feel better and have more energy.
I am still on my weight loss journey and have not reached my goal weight yet, but I am healthier than I have been in a long time and I will get there.
How much weight did you want to lose and how much did you actually lose?
I think at first I just wanted to lose enough weight to feel better in my clothes, but I ended up losing over 100 pounds since I started a long time ago. I am still trying to get to the magical goal weight of 146. I was really close a few times, but just missed it by a few pounds.
Is your journey over? Do you still follow the same lifestyle guidelines that allowed you to lose weight in the first place?
I don’t think my journey will ever be over. I have had a battle with my weight my entire life. It is better now and I know what I need to do and I don’t get totally out of control. I enjoy going out to dinner with my friends and we have great meals together.
Have you been able to maintain your total weight loss?
For the most part. I go up a few pounds then I go back down, but my eating habits are much better now.
What advice can you give fellow LOVE&Loss members that might help and encourage them?
If you truly want something to eat, like a piece of cake, that burger at your favorite place, or a plate of cheese fries (my favorite!), eat it. Life is too short not to enjoy it. Just get right back to it the next day.