Goal Photo Album - Size 12 to Size 0...Finally my "got to goal!" thread

12-03-2010, 09:42 AM
I have never posted a reached-goal-weight thread, but on December 14th, I will have maintained for 6 months. Thought it was past due :)

Many of you know me from around the forum, and I feel like I've made legitimate friends here. This has been the biggest transformation of my life, and I owe a LOT of props to the guidance, support, and occasional butt-kicking I've gotten here. 3FC has been invaluable...so to each and all of you and to 3FC itself, thank you.

A bit about me/my weight background just to follow tradition. I was born and raised in Sheridan, WY. No matter where I go, I'll always be a ranch kid and my heart will always be in the Big Horn mountains and the prairies. When I was 14, I went to New Hampshire to Phillips Exeter Academy, a challenging prep school. For college, I turned down Cornell to go South. I've spent the last few years getting a degree in Agriculture at Auburn University in Alabama (War Eagle!). In a few days, I'm marrying the love of my life, an Army Captain named Sean. In January we're moving to Oklahoma for a few short months, then going wherever the Army sends us! My life in a nutshell.

As for my weight issues, I was always a chubby kid. I've never been "fat," but I was always the big kid. My mother is a severe late stage alcoholic and was gone for most of my childhood between rehabs, jail, AA meetings, going out drinking after AA meetings, and somehow fitting in enough work to kind of support us. Starting at age 7, I was home alone most days and many nights. I got myself up, put myself to bed, got myself to school, did my homework, and cooked for myself. Mac and cheese was cheap, I knew how to make it, so I ate a lot of it. Every night, in fact. Also, I wasn't allowed to go outside, so I'd sit at home, alone, every single day even in the summers. I figured out early on that food interrupted the monotony. It brought me comfort and distraction from lonliness to eat. On the weekends that I was with my father, he'd "spoil" me with sundaes and other treats. I learned to use food when I was happy, sad, lonely, stressed, celebrating, etc. On top of that, I never developed the desire to be active because I was not allowed to. I was a smart kid, and I knew what good healthy foods were, but I never had anybody guiding me to make healthy choices and form healthy habits. Nor did I have the ability or resources to make healthy choices even if I wanted to. When I was 14 and moved away from home to boarding school, I was, yet again, responsible for my own choices. But instead of having macaroni and cheese everyday, I had a fantastic dining hall available to me all day everyday. College was more of the same.

I do not use my childhood as an excuse, and I don't hide behind it...anymore, at least. But I have accepted that it is where I come from and it presents certain challenges that I'll always have to face. I'm proud of who I am and how I turned out, and I do not limit what I can be or what I can achieve because of a less than ideal upbringing.

As for my weight loss plan, I lost nearly 60lbs between Nov '09 and June '10. I started out with simply logging food. Not calorie counting, persay, but forcing myself to write down my food that I was eating encouraged me to eat less. I wanted to eat a healthy meal so I'd be proud to write it down. The first few pounds flew off which was encouraging. My logging and eventually calorie counting got more specific and sophisticated. Absolutely no foods are off limits to me. I prefer to eat a LOT of food, so the foods I choose are low-calorie and high volume. This naturally translates to unprocessed foods, lean protein, high fiber, etc. About once a month, I plan a free indulgence day where I can eat whatever I want for that whole day that has been planned in advance. I jump right back on plan the next day. Exercise hasn't been too important to me, I walk 60 minutes everyday, but that's about it. I've been trying to motivate myself to continue a strength training routine, but haven't found the drive yet. But I need to. I've maintained my weight for six months following the same principles. Moderate exercise, calorie counting, and occasional indulgences. Habits that I plan on keeping for the rest of my life.

So for those of you that just skipped to the before/after pictures, here they are :)

Before...these are the most flattering pictures from those days. I unfortunately never kept the ones where you could truly get a feel for my size.
http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs116.snc1/5165_1141101130818_1326120846_30683936_4528155_n.j pg
http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs011.snc1/4191_1131313606136_1326120846_30640820_2661080_n.j pg

Aaaand some afters :)
http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs1149.snc4/149097_1514601505155_1237971132_31304592_3781802_n .jpg
http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs1170.snc4/154213_1269272495022_1326120846_31079377_7799833_n .jpg
http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs074.snc4/35050_1230692610549_1326120846_30984669_8083497_n. jpg
http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/hs084.ash2/37550_1230692290541_1326120846_30984666_3402238_n. jpg


12-03-2010, 09:45 AM
Congratulations on making your goal! and on getting engaged! So exciting!!!

12-03-2010, 09:56 AM
I only see one picture, but my goodness, what a gorgeous picture it is! (Black dress...probably my computer issue.) Megan, I'm so happy for you! You've done so well and more important than the weight loss itself, you are figuring out how to maintain amidst just a little life upheaval. ;) This will serve you well!!

Have fun on your wedding day!

12-03-2010, 09:58 AM
Congratulations!!!! You look amazing, seriously!!! :D Congratulations on your engagement and your upcoming wedding! :)

12-03-2010, 10:17 AM
GOrGE-OUS!!!! I don't know you...but I'm REALLY so very happy for you!!! Yeahhhhh Megan!!!:hug:

P.S. You were gorgeous before the weight loss IMHO, but you've really gone over the top now!;)

12-03-2010, 10:28 AM
You are a true beauty! Stunning. You've been a great inspiration and a very fun poster since day 1 when I joined this forum. I hope you stay with us and encourage others through your maintanence.

12-03-2010, 10:47 AM
What an insighful post ! Congratulations on taking charge of your life !

12-03-2010, 10:49 AM
Beautiful Megan! Congrats and have a wonderful wedding!

12-03-2010, 10:49 AM
You look amazing! Though you were still very pretty before. =)

12-03-2010, 11:02 AM
I hope you keep that turquoise sundress. You look like a model.

12-03-2010, 11:52 AM
Congratulations on everything! on exceeding in life, your attitude, it is really amazing. Your upbringing made me cry how awful for a child to be raised in such a way I am a mom and it completely breaks my heart I am so so sorry you had to go thru that. You are beautiful even in your before pictures! Good luck on the wedding and journey you are about to embark on!

12-03-2010, 12:13 PM
Congrats! You have earned every success! Enjoy, and Congrats on the wedding!

12-03-2010, 12:37 PM
Congrats on everything! You're going to be a gorgeous bride!

jess jp
12-03-2010, 12:50 PM
you were gorgeous before, but now...you just radiate health and happiness. good for you! you look stunning. your fiance sure is easy on the eyes too ;)
congratulations girl!!

12-03-2010, 01:21 PM
Amazing, you are just gorgeous!

12-03-2010, 01:25 PM
Please send pics !

Nola Celeste
12-03-2010, 01:31 PM
Congratulations! You look gorgeous and will be a stunning bride. :)

I always enjoy your posts; they have such a great sense of "voice" about them whether you're writing something serious or humorous. If you aren't yet a writer and wanted to go in that direction, you'd be a natural at it.

12-03-2010, 01:53 PM
Congratulations Megan on both your weight loss and your upcoming wedding! Be happy and post a picture of you in your wedding gown if you don't mind sharing!

12-03-2010, 02:58 PM
You have no idea how inspirational you are! I love your posts!

...such a beautiful person inside and out. :)

12-04-2010, 11:14 AM
Thanks so much everyone :) I appreciate all your kind words. Most of all, I'm absolutely thrilled to know that my own progress or the little thoughts that float around in my head and occasionally get spewed out on 3FC might help or encourage somebody on their weight loss journey. That would truly mean the world to me.

A few people have messaged me asking me more about my plan, so I thought I'd reply here (as I told them I would). I truly don't have any specific details on food I eat or exercise that I do. I don't think I do anything much differently than anybody else. I have learned to embrace baked chicken breasts and steamed veggies on a whole new level just like many of us have. I focused on whole foods, lean proteins (lean cuts of meat, egg whites, beans, etc), high fiber bulky foods (non-starchy veggies), complex carbs (oatmeal and popcorn are both completely whole grain by definition...love 'em), and while I do eat fairly low fat, I do understand the value of healthy fats from sources like salmon, olive oil, and avocado. I calorie count and stay between 1100 and 1800. I build up a deficit during the week and eat a bit higher on the weekends. My once-a-month planned indulgence day keeps me on track during the month because I feel like I have to "earn" it, and having a day when I can eat whatever I want for a whole day removes any urgency to eat junk every other day. As I said, my exercise is pitiful. I am active for 60 minutes a day. 15-minute walk right after I wake up, then the rest of it might be vigorous cleaning (vacuuming or something), walking around the store or the mall, or more walks...things of that nature. So that's it, my plan isn't all that specific. Eating balanced healthy and whole foods within a calorie range, moderate exercise, and planned occasional indulgence.

Perhaps if I had to elaborate a bit more on my actual philosophical approach to the whole thing, I would repeat "One step at a time." Sometimes that has been actual physical steps away from Mrs. Field's Cookies. I have truly been in the mall spurring myself away, step by step, away from Mrs. Fields, haha, each step farther away got easier. But in a less literal sense, I like the one step at a time approach because it implies that one can either succeed or fail at any given moment, and it is not dependent on past successes or past failures. And future success or failure is not dependent on the past. Just because I slipped up and ate a candy bar yesterday doesn't mean that I have to fail today also. Or, just because I lost a pound last week doesn't mean I'm immune from gaining it back. All I can do is choose to make on-plan decisions at that very moment. I cannot control what Megan-in-6-months will do, all I can control is right-now-Megan. I focus all my energy, or at least strive to, on focusing on making the best decisions I can at each and every moment. I try not to worry about what I did yesterday or further back, and I don't obsess over what I might be doing in the future. It's kind of a freeing mindset, really. It frees you from the burdens of past failures and fears about what may happen in the future. Reality is, you can only control yourself moment by moment. If you make enough good decisions, it will set you up for success in the future and work on undoing damage from the past.

Anyways, thanks again for your words. And I'm definitely not going anywhere...I will attest that maintenance is every bit as challenging at times as weight loss, and I still need the advice, support, and occasional butt-kicking from 3FC :)

12-04-2010, 10:50 PM
Wow and super inspiring!!

12-04-2010, 11:07 PM
You look amazing! :)

12-04-2010, 11:31 PM
Holy crap do you look awesome!!!!!!!!! I am so jealous (in a good way :D)!!!

Congrats times a thousand! You look dynamite and deserve it! Your before and after photos are true inspiration for us all!!!

12-04-2010, 11:45 PM
Congratulations on reaching and maintaining your goal, as well as the engagement. And thank you so much for including the story behind the pictures. I just started about a week ago, and it's nice to hear life stories that I can relate to. It's never just about before and after pictures...at least not to me.

12-05-2010, 01:50 AM
Way to go & congradulations on Everything! ~SO PROUD OF U~

12-05-2010, 03:25 AM
Wow, you look gorgeous. I love reading your posts and you have such a great way with words. Congratulations on your loss!

12-05-2010, 03:36 AM
Awesome!!! Congratulations on your success and your engagement!

Truly inspiring pictures man!!

Love your dimples!

12-05-2010, 08:43 AM
Yaaaaay! You're such an inspiration to everyone here, and I'm so happy that you've turned the bad stuff around and made a wonderful life for yourself. Hope your wedding day is everything you've dreamed it could possibly be. :)

12-07-2010, 05:49 AM
Congratulations on your great success!!! You look stunning.

12-07-2010, 06:51 AM
congrats! that is awesome! and kinda inspirational! makes me feel that if you did it, i can do it too!

i too am a big fan of eating a bigger volume of low-cal foods. i mean i have to feel like i'm actually eating, you know! ;)

congrats again!

12-07-2010, 06:57 AM
Congratulations! Good things do happen to good people!

12-07-2010, 12:40 PM
i love that dress-you are an inspiration! i know i can't help it, i'd love to be a size "zero!"


12-07-2010, 01:56 PM
Congrats awesome job!

12-08-2010, 01:24 AM
You're beautiful at any size, Megan, but now, you look incredible.

12-08-2010, 04:36 PM
You look wonderful!! Congratulations!

12-08-2010, 09:24 PM
Congratulations on your success!!!

12-08-2010, 09:25 PM

12-09-2010, 12:11 AM
WOW!! You look absolutely amazing, you must be so proud of yourself! Enjoy every minute of it, you worked so hard!

(You are such an amazing encouragement, your before height/weight is where I am right now, I should look at your before/after pics everyday!)

12-09-2010, 12:15 AM
Stunning! you look so beautiful and happy :D

12-09-2010, 01:44 AM
You are so beautiful, before and after. I am so happy for you that you have embarked on this journey for your new life. You look so happy in your pictures. I wish you the best in your marriage and on your continuing journey.

Raspberry 1984
12-12-2010, 03:13 PM
congrats that blue dress is great on u :)

Ready For A Change
01-05-2011, 04:53 PM

I'm new here.. so i've been tentatively reading the forums and finding my way. I can honestly say that your story and your pictures are the most inspiring things I have seen yet! You give me hope. So thank you. x

01-05-2011, 05:08 PM
Wow! Very inspiring...thank you for sharing your story!!!

01-05-2011, 05:13 PM
Wow Megan, you certainly have come a long way baby! :) You look Magnificent Megan! :) Bravo- you, bravo

Lady on a mission
01-05-2011, 05:41 PM
Congratulations! What a wonderful story!

01-05-2011, 05:47 PM
Congratulations! You look great!

01-05-2011, 05:59 PM
Absolutely amazing! An inspiration in every way possible. Good luck to you and your soon to be hubby !!

01-07-2011, 10:19 AM
Oh wow, you did well hun! xx

01-07-2011, 03:23 PM
stunning!!! you were pretty before, but wow, now you are beautiful!
what an inspiration

01-07-2011, 03:57 PM
i dont know how i missed this thread for so long, but you look amazing!! Congrats on the wonderful success!

01-07-2011, 04:07 PM
:congrat: Megan! You Look Awesome. Great Job!

01-07-2011, 10:39 PM
I agree with a previous poster, you really were gorgeous before and I wouldn't have even considered you overweight!! I don't know if those are really good pictures or what but if you were gorgeous before I have no idea what words would describe you now!!


01-08-2011, 07:22 AM
You look gorgeous!!! I mean, you were pretty in the before pictures but now just WOW!

01-10-2011, 10:11 PM
Congratulations Megan!

You are beautiful and your healthiness seems to just make you glisten.

Congratulations on your marriage and on maintaining, and all of the great changes that you have ahead!

11-10-2011, 04:13 AM
awesome job! any tips, Im trying to lose 45 lbs and have a year to do so ... congrats on the engagement and best of luck being an Airborne wife :)

11-15-2011, 12:25 PM
You look amazing, very pretty before also.

01-08-2012, 06:50 PM
You look gorgeous! Congratulations!

01-08-2012, 07:25 PM
You look amazing, congratulations and best wishes for your wedding day!! :)

01-09-2012, 01:45 PM
That is a fantastic story and great outcome!! You look gorgeous. I have similar childhood experiences that contributed to my unhealthy relationship with food. Congrats on your marriage, too :)