Since junior high, I've been unhappy with my weight and appearance but it was after college that I really started to be overweight. From the time I graduated until I was 35, I gained a few pounds per year, eventually topping out somewhere around 150-155 lbs. I was a size 14 quickly headed to a size 16. My bottom half was two sizes larger than my top half. I couldn't find any dresses that fit and it was getting pretty hard to find jackets and shirts that fit too.
Then two things happened. First, I got a job that allows me to work from home full time on a flexible schedule, making regular gym attendance a possibility. Still, that wasn't enough to motivate me, although it was a New Year's resolution every year. Second, I had some health issues that originally appeared to be weight-related. It turns out that they had nothing to do with my weight (so all this diet and exercise hasn't help with them much) but I joined a gym before we figured that out.
When I first joined the gym, I didn't really think I could lose weight, so my stated goal was just to get into better shape. But I signed up with a personal trainer because it was clear that having a regular appointment with a trainer would infinitely improve my chances for success at even that relatively modest goal. The staff at the gym was so enthusiastic and appeared so confident that I could lose weight (they just took it for granted that weight loss was one of my goals) that I started to think that maybe I could lose weight. I remember sitting on the sofa with my SO after we got home asking him if he thought it might really be possible for me to be happy with how I looked. After literally decades of hating what I saw in the mirror, I just couldn't imagine looking in the mirror and being happy.
At first, all I did were the training sessions. Then I added a couple of days of cardio on my own. I didn't lose any weight but it did seem like my clothes fit better. So I decided to see if making some changes to my diet would work. I was REALLY SKEPTICAL
that modifying my diet would work. I thought there was something wrong with me that would keep me from losing weight, but decided to give a 1200 calorie a day diet a try for four months. I was so convinced it wouldn't work, I didn't tell anyone, not my family or my close friends, that I was doing it. My SO knew only because how else would I explain where I was going every day and the excessive measuring of food.
And, what do you know? It worked. Turns out, it's not rocket science. If you eat fewer calories then you burn, you lose weight. After four months, it was very clear, not just to me, but to everyone else, that it was working. In fact, after a couple of months, I even got up the courage to tell a couple of close friends that I was trying to lose weight and exercise regularly.
My stated goal is 115 but I'm not sure that's realistic. My lowest weight was 117-118 and I got there in August of 06 (I started counting calories in Nov 05), maintained for a while but am currently up about five lbs from the holidays. I currently eat about 1500 calories per day and wear a size 2-4. I'm pretty happy with what I see in the mirror.
I am currently trying to lose the five lbs I put on over the holidays and then I'll have to decide if I really want to get to my goal of 115.