After seeing my nurse practitioner last year, I decided it was time to lose some weight and get fit. On July 1, 2010, I started my weight loss journey at 168 pounds and a size 16 in Old Navy jeans; I now weigh 127-128 and wear a size 4 in the same style jeans. I am planning to lose another few-to-several pounds--just trying to lower my body fat and get a bit less jiggly--but I am very nearly done!
I remember looking at the progress photos at 3FC when I first started, and they were a big motivator for me. So thanks to all you chicks for the info & inspiration! :)
I don't have too many photos of myself at my high weight, but I do have a couple from late June 2010, just before I started. The other 3 were taken today.
07-01-2011, 02:20 PM
Here are details than you'll ever want to read, for those of you who want to know "how I did it." :D
For most of my life, I had a normal or lowish BMI. When I graduated high school, I was 5' 5.5" and about 120 pounds. In my freshman year of college, I gained 15 pounds--then another 20 in my sophomore year--then lost about 20 (without trying, just happened) in my last year of undergrad. I weighed about 135-140 for the next couple of years. Then, from 2007-2010, I gained until I was 168 pounds (I'm 29 years old now).
In mid-June 2010, I saw my nurse practitioner for a yearly check-up. She gently inquired into my exercise and breakfast habits while I was there. I thought, I should take this as a sign! At the beginning of July, I began trying to lose weight. I ate 1200-1400 calories a day and did 60 minutes of cardio (elliptical machines) 6 days a week. I did this for the first month and lost about 8 pounds.
In the meantime, I had started researching online, including here at 3FC, and I realized that I needed to be doing strength training and eating more protein (was a vegan for 9 years, ate a super-carby low-protein diet, went vegetarian at the beginning of my weight loss) if I wanted to prevent muscle loss. While I was only about 15 pounds overweight from a BMI standpoint when I began, I was almost surely obese by body fat percentage standards. I have used my measurements to estimate my bf% using the Navy method. About a month into my weight loss, I weighed 160.5; my waist measurement was 33.25 inches, and my hip measurement (around the booty) was 43.5 inches. That put me at an estimated 40% body fat (and I believe it! :fr: I was really flabby for someone that weight), with a lean body mass of around 96 pounds.
So I started incorporating more strength training and less cardio--and discovered that I loved weight training! This was exciting for me, as I'd been sedentary for most of my life, and endless cardio on the elliptical was just not a thrill. For a few weeks, I used the machines at the gym; then I started using dumbbells and doing videos at home; then I started making my own routines using dumbbells and started to do more bodyweight exercises (pushups, planks, etc--was already doing squats, lunges, stepups). I was eating about 1300-1500 calories most days and doing full body strength training 2-3 times a week, with cardio about 3 times a week.
By Christmas, I was at 134 pounds. I took a maintenance break while I finished some important projects; I worked out about 3 times a week and kept rough track of calories. It worked fine for me; I lost about 2 pounds during that time. In mid-March, I weighed about 132, waist 27 and booty 39.5, est. 28% bf and lbm around 95 lb. I decided that I would give P90X a try. I ate about 1500-1700 calories a day, with one day a week around 2000-2500 cal. I ate 120-150 grams of protein most days.
As of a few weeks ago, when I finished P90X, I weighed about 128, waist 25.5 (and I actually lost 3 inches off my bellybutton measurement during the 12 weeks of P90X) and booty 38, est. 24% body fat and lbm around 97 lbs. I gained plenty of strength--went from being able to do 2 pushups on my toes before dropping to my knees for "girl pushups," to 30+ in a minute (and lots more in a full workout) on my toes. I am more fit cardio-wise. I even gained some flexibility. I've always been flexible, the only part of fitness that came to me naturally, but I've regained the Gumby-ness I had when I was a teenager--can do my front splits again, etc.
I took a week off of exercise after finishing P90X and took a diet break. Managed to maintain (127-128, same measurements) while eating higher calories. I see another round of P90X in my future, but for now, for variety and to shake up my body a little while I'm still trying to lose weight, I'm doing some different workouts, from the Tony Horton One on One DVDs. (I swear I'm not affiliated with Beachbody; I just like Tony Horton. :dizzy:)
I am pretty happy with how I look now (especially in clothing), but I'm going for those last several pounds to see if I can drop some more body fat and get more muscle definition (and drop some weight off my pear-shape's thighs :p). Progress continues infinitesimally slowly now, but I'm doing my best to be patient and enjoy the little changes in my body. I'm continually fascinated with my muscles now, and curious to see if I can get a really "fit" look--if not now, then as time goes by in maintenance.
07-01-2011, 04:40 PM
You look amazing! I love that you put a progress story too, I love to see the types of things people do to lose weight in addition to awesome before and after photos.
07-01-2011, 11:15 PM
Thanks! Loved your pics at your blog--I think you were gorgeous even at 185!
I enjoy reading everyone's stories, too. They helped me find my own way through this process, and I picked up a lot of helpful tips.
07-05-2011, 05:53 PM
You do look amazing! Great inspiration, thanks for sharing.
07-05-2011, 05:56 PM
Congratulations! You look wonderful.
07-05-2011, 10:33 PM
Thanks, gals! RowanM, I love your pic!
07-14-2011, 02:39 PM
You look amazing! It's really nice to see the progress of someone with similar goals...much more motivating when you can relate to it. I still need to work up the nerve to use weights, maybe when I'm down a few more pounds :)
07-15-2011, 12:13 PM
Thanks! If I can give a bit of unsolicited advice :), for if you do begin weight training:
1) take your measurements in as many places as possible (I do arms, thighs, calves, over bust, under bust, waist at thinnest, waist at bellybutton, hips above butt, and hips around butt) before you begin
2) take a picture of yourself--even if you don't want to see it! I really wish I had started taking comparison pictures at the beginning of my weight loss. I've been doing monthly pics (undies/sports bra) since mid-March, and it's motivating to watch my body tighten up.
3) Don't get discouraged if you gain a pound, or a few, at first. Your muscles will be retaining water as they repair themselves. If you're not eating too much, it won't be fat!
Keep it up, you're doing well. :)
07-15-2011, 04:01 PM
Thanks for sharing. You look wonderful!!
I love seeing pictures and to imagine that one day I will get there too!
I often find myself walking down the street and looking for women of similar height and frame that have great bodies...Sounds kinda creepy to admit, but I really want to know how much they weigh (and eat), so I can see if i am right in picking a goal weight.
Luckily, with the goal pics on 3FC, I can refrain from freaking out strangers with such questions :D
07-16-2011, 11:42 AM
Thanks, and congrats on your losses so far! I also "ogle the crowds." :lol: "Wow, look at her great arms, that's the kind of muscle I want... and that gal has a really tiny waist... and her, look at her perky behind, I want that one..." (I try to make sure no one notices me staring. :D)
07-29-2011, 05:39 AM
Congrats on your success so far! Thanks for the inspiring post. Sounds like you did everything the healthy, gradual way. I have a similar amount of weight to lose, and sometimes it's tempting to go for one of those intense two week diets, but I know that's not the answer to lasting weight loss.
Loved reading how you slowly changed your diet and incorporated different kinds of exercise, while still keeping things healthy. 60 minutes of cardio a day is definitely some dedication! Good job and congrats again :)
07-30-2011, 12:00 PM
Thanks, and good luck to you! Yep, this journey takes a lot of patience, but you may be surprised at how quickly time flies by. Still seems like yesterday that I decided to get started, and I'm still surprised when I pass a mirror! :)
07-30-2011, 12:27 PM
Wow! Congratulations, you look great! I know this forum is primarily about weight loss, and yes you've done that in spades, but the results look best on a muscular frame, not to mention the fitness benefits!
07-31-2011, 12:23 PM
Thanks, yoyoma! "Muscular frame"? You're my new favorite person! ;) Yep, the fitness benefits are great--I feel like a million bucks, and it's amazing what a difference it makes in daily life activities.
Congrats on your weight loss, too--you've come so far, and you're nearly done! :bravo:
08-02-2011, 05:46 PM
you look fantastic! You must feel great to have such awesome results! :)
08-02-2011, 09:54 PM
Thank you! I do feel great, physically and mentally. Congrats to you too-- I just found your minigoal post (WOW!) and am headed over there... :)
09-06-2011, 10:42 PM
Wow! You look fantastic and thanks for letting us know how you did it.
I have been giving weight training some thought and know I need to incorporate it at some point. I am so intimidated by just entering a gym! As much as I'd love to do some workouts like P90X in my home, it's just too small for me to move around comfortably for a workout!
09-10-2011, 08:47 AM
Thanks! If it helps, I live in a tiny apartment, and my workout space is literally 6 feet long by 4 feet wide--just large enough for 2 exercise mats side by side. I find that I can do pretty much any video workout with minimal modification, including P90X. This is especially true for strength training videos, where you're usually not moving around a great deal.
You're making great progress already! Good luck getting to the finish line. :)
09-13-2011, 05:17 PM
Hey, i'm new here! I am 5'4 and i used to weigh 170 and now im 145, im really trying to reach my goal of 125 which is a similar weight loss to yours. I'm just trying really hard to stay motivated! :D
09-17-2011, 12:00 AM
Cupcake75, you're doing fantastic! I remember how good I felt getting into the 140s. Keep at it, and the time will fly by--the last 14+ months feel like the blink of an eye to me!
09-19-2011, 12:05 PM
Thank you. I really needed to read this today. I agree that I love strength training, too! It's nice to know that bodies can get stronger even if you don't think they could.
10-05-2011, 02:24 AM
Amazing post. Absolutely amazing. Congratulations!! the pictures are an inspiration.
10-05-2011, 02:43 AM
You're progress is amazing, keep up the awesome work!
With all the love you have for P90X and Beachbody, I was just curious, are you in their Coach program?
10-05-2011, 01:00 PM
Wow, love your blog. F YEAH, ANOTHER SALAD?! So True..
Your hard work has paid off you look AMAZING!
02-17-2012, 11:23 PM
Update: Life has gotten super busy, but I'm happy to say that I have maintained my loss. During the fall I took up running and neglected my strength training, but now I'm back to lifting (just finished stage 1 of The New Rules of Lifting For Women program) and enjoying that again. I stopped counting calories for a few months and ate intuitively; it was a relief to find that this worked for me, at least for a short period! I am back to keeping a very rough calorie count now, to make sure I'm hitting the calorie range (i.e., a maintenance range) that the NROLFW book recommends. I think I am seeing a bit of body recomp, as my measurements have gone down slightly during these first several weeks of NROLFW, but the scale has held steady.
(And in response to Wayne_W's question, no, I am not affiliated with Beachbody--hate the multi-level marketing thing--nor am I affiliated with NROLFW or anything else. :) )
02-18-2012, 07:02 PM
WOW, WTG! I love your before and after photos...so motivating! I bet you feel great eh?
02-19-2012, 01:01 AM
Thanks, lcard! I do feel really great. Sometimes when I'm lugging around a 40-lb sack of cat litter, I think, man, life is easier now that I'm not carrying this around all the time! :)
02-19-2012, 01:04 AM
Congrats on maintaining your loss!
06-26-2012, 03:55 PM
Your story is truly inspiring! Congrats u look amazing =)
06-26-2012, 04:33 PM
Wow, your transformation is amazing and inspirational. Thanks so much for sharing with us, it does help motivate : )
06-26-2012, 05:25 PM
You look wonderful - a great inspiration to us all!