I wanted to start by saying hello.
I am 32 years old and live in the UK. One aspect of my life was very different 6 years ago, I was morbidly obese. Yup, over 50% of my body was pure blubber. I am pretty sure I was not far off being pre diabetic and my large mass was becoming cumbersome and labourious to carry. I suffered the woes that many a fat person falls foul of; chafing, high blood pressure, stretch marks, sore joints, unreasonable sweating episodes, suffering the insults and comments that the more ignorant of society decided to throw at me. This list goes on. For a 28 year old, it was all rather unnecessary. I will hold my hands up willingly and admit that I was fully culpable for my weight problem. Gorging on unhealthy food, complete inactivity and laziness all attributed to a potentially dangerous health condition.
Before I starting dredging up some rather poignant memories of my fat days, I wanted to tell you where I am currently. I am 5' 8" and a much healthier 145 pounds (10 stone 4 pounds or 66 kg's). I have lost 156 pounds and 82 inches off my body. I did not seek assistance from any medical or health professional and managed to turn a potentially deadly situation around. At my heaviest I weighed in at poundage a sumo wrestler would have been proud of....drum roll please... 301 pounds (21 stones or 136kg's)
Before and After
I wanted to post a picture of me near my highest weight but my post count is not enough right now to do that.
They say that everyone has a story to tell, a good book inside of them. I think that mine would have to be my battle with the bulge. I don’t even know where to start really,
Without wanting to sound too clichéd or cheesy, I really did fight a battle to get to where I am today. I have probably broken every rule in the book at some point or another, whether it be dabbling with the starts of anorexia, bulimia, obsessive exercise….I hate to say it but I have really been there and done it in many respects when it comes to fighting fat! But I have learned some very important lessons and really gained a unique insight into the trials and tribulations that weight loss can inflict.
I do have moments of poignancy where I think back to how I was feeling this time 6 years ago. I was a very different person back then, a quieter, meeker, more self conscious version of me. My mind was constantly preoccupied with thoughts about how I was going to cover my fat bits up; my large belly, generous behind and fat arms. I would wear cardigans/ jumpers around my waist, wear heavy and baggy jackets (even in the summer!), loose, baggy trousers…my mind was so preoccupied with covering my body and clocking people’s reaction to me as I walked in the street. I recall there were times when I would make excuses to not even go out anywhere because I could not face the prospect of being ridiculed or scrutinised for how I looked. How sad eh? Being paranoid is tiring work! Ironically enough some bigger people who try to disguise their bodies with shapeless clothes actually, inadvertently, draw attention to themselves. I don’t want you to think that I was being totally harranged and abused verbally all the time, that was far from the case. But people’s facial expression and reactions can shout louder than their voices ever could. I became a virtual recluse at times, afraid that society would reject me just because of how I looked. I know that it should not work that way, no one has the right to ridicule or berate another person for the way they look. I venemhently despite that to this day.
Our awareness of obesity is far greater now, it is estimated that a quarter of the British population are considered to be obese. Quite an incredible statistic really, we are not that far behind our US cousins in terms of the emerging weight crisis.
I think I will leave it at that point for now but thank you for reading my diatribe. I look foward to posting again. This is just a bit about me.
I am keeping a post weight loss blog that outlines what I have been through. Once I am allowed to post link, I will stick it on here :) xx
10-15-2011, 02:04 PM
loss for life. welcome and thanks for sharing your story.
10-15-2011, 05:31 PM
Welcome to 3FC!
And thank you for posting your story. It's wonderful to hear about people maintaining after losing weight :yes:
10-15-2011, 05:45 PM
You left out the part of your story about what you did to lose the weight and how you are maintaining. WAY TO GO SISTER!
10-15-2011, 07:34 PM
Congratulations on your amazing weight loss! Welcome to 3FC, and thank you for sharing your story!
If it's not too rude for me to ask, how did you lose the weight? And how are you finding maintenance ?
10-16-2011, 03:21 AM
What shines through for me is your vulnerability and I empathise with that so much. I know *that look* so well and I suspect everyone here can pause a moment and remember a time they were caught in its headlights. It is a wrong thing, made more wrong by the fact that there is a stamp of approval granted to it by misunderstanding and media.
We are culpable, we do conspire and we do succumb to the temptations so readily available but we do not earn nor deserve the `bullying' that is directed at overweight us. And it is bullying.
I am losing weight to save my life. I am losing weight to be able to share that life with my partner in a fulfilling and mutually wonderful way as the years pass. A small, secret part of me though is losing weight to stop those `looks'. I want to go and eat in a restaurant and eat my steamed fish and salad (which incidentally I love and not because it is *diet* food) without the patent, ill-concealed, arrogant and patronising approval of that woman seated at the table next to me. Yes, woman ... I saw that look, first at me up and down and then at my plate. Sorry your expectation of finding chips and big Mac were disappointed.
I also secretly admit that I want to wear cute cloths again. I buy over the internet and most often from Ebay. I don't want to walk into a shop again and have the assistant tell me I have nothing in my size.
I ranted on and on there, sorry. Mostly what I wanted to say is I so, so appreciate your airing your vulnerability and awareness, for me this is the stuff that losing weight is grounded on, something internal and questioning and real.
When, and I mean *when* I have reached my goal I don't want anyone, outside of this community and my partner and close friend, commenting on how much weight I have lost and how good I look. I do not need the approval of strangers and acquaintances who, by their words, are telling me how totally lousy I looked before ... when they were condemnatory and not supportive or helpful. Odds are though that by the time I reach that goal those externals will be irrelevent to me anyway.
When one feels confident and in control and attains a goal, one celebrates the strength within and externals are not the measure of success.
I feel a great deal of respect for your achievement and I do not just mean reaching your goal weight.
10-16-2011, 03:50 AM
Hey everyone, thanks so much for the supportive comments :)
With regards to the actual loss and the way I did it; I lowered my calorie intake and reduced the fat in my diet and exercised more. I think, for the first 12 months of weight loss, I was taking on around 1600 calories a day. As I got fitter and increased my exercise intensity, this went up to around 1900. I have a very willfull and stubborn streak to me so I really took to the exercise and I would say that has been the major reason for me losing the weight as I have. The loss was consistent throughout.
Diet adjustments alone would not have got me to where I am now. I also stopped eating 3 main meal a day and introduced 5 smaller meals throughout the day, I believe this helped also as it ensured that I did not suffer from hunger which would then leave me at risk from picking at the unhealthy stuff. Another crucial part of it was not depriving myself as I have done before. I still had take away but I tried to go for healthier options on the menu (so a chinese for instance, I would pick boiled rice and boiled chicken dishes rather than the fried stuff.)
Maintenance has been fairly easy due to the exercise, my body seems to have settled into a regime and I now have reintroduced treats into my diet. I can have the odd take away, eat crisps and chocolate if I fancy it and not worry too much about gaining weight. These are the foods that did all that damage but they are now back, just in a different way. I am fully equipped with the experience and knowledge that abuse of these foods can result in all that hard work being undone. That ain't going to happen!
Lifestyle change is banded around so much but it is true, losing weight and keeping it off is about overhauling your lifestyle. I cannot begin to emphasise what exercise has done for me in this mission, I have completed a half marathon running race, a few 10K races and am as fit as I have ever been. Exercise has so many benefits; it improves the efficiency of your metabolsim, it firms up those laxidasical muscles that have been inactive for so long, it improves your skin through sweating (which essentially acts as a detox), it produces endorphins to make you feel good. I swear that the exercise was what saw me through the tough times whilst losing, and boy there were some! There were occassions where I would be in the middle of a session at 250 pounds and cry through frustration.
Sinoia, thank you for your candid comments. What an eloquent post you made there and I know where you are coming from completely and utterly. No one has the right to make us feel bad or inadequate, I begrudge anyone who does this. Interestingly, I see it happen to people around me. Not being on the receiving end of that is almost worse, especially since I have been there many times before. You are absolutely right, when you have lost a noticeable amount of weight it seems almost insulting when someone comments on how good you look. What are they saying about how I looked before?
I feel it is important for me to lay myself bare about what I have been through. I feel like it could really help others who are starting out. I have written a comprehensive blog about my experiences but am unable to log the link right now as I only just joined. That is proving to be cathartic in terms of me off loading everything I have been through. Writing it all done has been a long time coming but I am finding it so easy to be honest and up front about the mistakes, the bad times, the good times and where I am at now. I guess it takes a little while to adjust to a big weight loss and maybe that is only just happening for me.
Thanks again for your post, it is lovely to have people on here who truly understand.
10-16-2011, 05:14 AM
Are you sure you are not my long lost twin? =)
10-16-2011, 06:20 AM
:D it would be very cool if you are but I shall be angry with my parents for not telling me something rather crucial ;)
10-16-2011, 04:31 PM
What did u eat lossforlife?
10-16-2011, 07:16 PM
What an inspirational story! Thank you for sharing...
10-16-2011, 08:06 PM
BellaLucia hey, I tried to focus my diet on veggies, lean protein (chicken and tuna mostly) brown carbs and theirs treat here or there, little rewards. I kept my calorie intake down to around 1600 or so (before I dread to think what it was!!)
10-16-2011, 08:07 PM
iatejen cheers, I really hope I can at least show that the natural way is possible :)
10-17-2011, 08:56 AM
Welcome. Great job on maintaining and sticking with it for so long! : )
10-17-2011, 03:37 PM
Cheers Jessica :) Maintenance does get easier as time passes and you adjust both physically and mentally. It seems like such a long road but it does get so much easier once the bulk of the weight has shifted
10-17-2011, 03:59 PM
I have posted this link elsewhere. I really want to share with you my blog. It has been years in the making and I have kept notes on my computer throughout the weight loss and maintenance period so FINALLY it has a public airing :)
I have tried to be as up front and honest as I can be about all aspects of the journey I have undertaken. This blog has been years in the making really!
What a wonderful story! I really like that you didn't severely limit calories. To me that's a set-up for failure. I too am lowering my calories, but like you, not drastically.
Congratulations on a wonderful success story. You should feel so good about yourself! I hope to be a success like you. Applause!!
11-07-2011, 03:40 PM
Thanks for sharing a wonderful story about your weight loss. You have a talent for writing, too.
11-07-2011, 07:38 PM
Congratulations on your weight loss and maintenance! And thank you so much for posting your story here. Very motivational!
11-07-2011, 07:46 PM
you have a new body and a new life - longer life! Congrats! and remember to keep us posted as you are a wonderful inspiration.
11-08-2011, 12:27 AM
I just read some of your blog (will continue tomorrow) and wow, I love the details about your exercise regimen. It will be very helpful to me. Congratulations on your accomplishment!
11-08-2011, 08:05 AM
Thank-you for what you shared with us; you are a great writer and an inspiration.
As many have said, you captured the experiences of a vulnerable group that gets all kinds of negative feedback, and that struggles to cope.
Congratulations on your hard work, and may you be a Maintainer for life.
11-08-2011, 09:18 AM
back again to say great job and to remember i can do this. thank you for thhe inspiration!!
are able to post photos yet?
11-08-2011, 10:53 AM
WooHoo!!! What an amazing journey! Welcome and congratulations on achieving and maintaining your weight loss!
11-08-2011, 12:46 PM
You've done exactly what I hope to do! It is so encouraging for me to read about people losing a large amount of weight naturally and keeping it off. Thank you for today's boost! :cp:
11-08-2011, 01:49 PM
What a great story. Thank you for sharing it with us.
11-14-2011, 06:14 PM
Hey all , thank you :) I cannot help but share my experiences, if I can inspire just one person to reach their goal and stick with it then I know it is worth me continuing to write.
I don't think I will ever get over what I have been through, not in a negative way but in a very productive, possible way.
You have to commit whole heartedly to it but, once you have, you can achieve anything.
Keep on with your weight loss journeys, I respect anyone who decides they need to address their weight.
It is not just about losing the pounds, it is also about adjusting mentally and emotionally.
11-20-2011, 09:09 PM
thanks for sharing your inspiring story. i relate to how you felt before. i hope i can too reach my goal.
12-03-2011, 09:27 AM
lossforlife, you have inspired me greatly. Congrats of the weight loss/maintenance!
12-07-2011, 11:49 PM
Wow! So inspirational =)
You're an amazing person whose hard work and determination is truly inspirational. Thank you for sharing this. Stories like yours spur me on in my own weight loss journey, and although i don't have as much weight to lose as you did, the idea that you could be so resolute throughout your journey makes mine seem a whole lot easier.
Thank you again, you are truly amazing
12-09-2011, 06:41 PM
:cheer: truly an inspiration :)
12-11-2011, 02:34 PM
Loss for life and Sonoia, thank you for the beautifully written words of inspiration and affirmation. Even though I have a tremendous amount of weight to still lose, I have always fought hard to not define myself or allow others to define me by my size.
I am truly grateful for the honesty and insight both of your postings bring to my continued journey. Loss for life, that you have maintained for three years is what the journey is really all about. I plan to print both of your posts and carry it with me as daily inspiration.