wanted to share my before and after photos and most of all ENCOURAGE those of you thinking about starting their journeys. One year ago last Tuesday (right after MLK's holiday) I started on my journey at 201.6 pounds (now hovering from 125 to 128 or so, I am 5'2"). (hopefully you can see the pics, first time ever attaching stuff here)
i started with nutrisystem for about 4 months, then continued their plan but with grocery store boght items and counting calories, averaging 1200 to 1300 a day. did I always like the food? NO, but i assumed this was my "medicine" that was going to help me "get better" so I sucked it up and ate it. it felt like i ws eating constantly since I split up my meals so there woudl be like 6-7 mini meals throught the day and drank tons of water.
i exercised every morning, first thing, on the treadmill. at first it didnt matter if I only walked for 10 minutes, i would still get on the thing every morning. i knew i needed to create the habit and exercise my "mind muscle" in terms of creating the habit to move no matter what.
i read read read all i could about weight loss. blogs, forums, boards, books, etc. that just kep t me in the right frame of mind at all times.
i threw away ALL my large clothes (except a couple that serve as reminders of how far i have come). i want nothing that I could fit back into ever.
i weighed myself (and still do) every day (morning and evening). it doesnt affect my mood, i understand my fluctuations, and helps inform how I shoudl eat the rest of the day/week, month.
i reached my goal weight of no longer overweight (around 136) around september of 2011 and then the paradigm completely shifted as I continued to eat healthy and exercise and managed to get to where I am now, hovering between 125 (on an awesome day!) and 128 (usually on Mondays after a weekend of more relaxed eating and likely sodium retention). i have NOT been this light since 7th grade! (i am now 36). i couldnt believe i woudl fit in sizes 2s and 4s and smalls and extra smalls! yikes!
i now eat closer to 1700 and 1800 during weekdays (and exercise every weekday). on weekends i do not really count calories and dont necesariyl exercise (unless I feel like it or know I am really going to eat more than usual) . i do try to not eat until i am overstuffed.
over time in started incorporating jogging and videos (30 day shred and now ripped in 30, all of this at home. earlier on i did some zumba at the gym but that got to be too time consuming as my usual workout routing takes no more than 30 minutes early in the morning (yes, I wake up at 5:30 before the rest of the family to do this, no choice).
i have had eating disorders in the past (binging / purging) which have unfortunately resurfaced a bit as i entered maintenance. I am dealing with those, nipping them in the bud so to speak since. i think i am just afraid I will go back to being obese since I have been down this rroad in the past (lost and gained back a couple of times in my lifetime). but i think the difference now is I did it the right way (no crash dieting or starving myself but rather by eating healthy and exercising) so I am convinced that the longer I remain in this lifestyle, which barring illness, tragedy, or an aliean abduction, i just cannot see myself giving up, i will be more confident in myself that i am capable of keeping this up and that this will be for keeps :)
my wonderful hubby has been my stronghold as well as my kids and really all my family, coworkers, etc. hubby actually liked my chest bigger (went from 38dd to 34c), typical man :) but he is very proud of me as I am of myself.
IF I COULD DO IT, ANYONE CAN!!!!!!!
please ask away any questions you may have. thanks to all for yoru supert. even though i have barely posted, i lurk a lot:) so "strangers" on these boards have really helped me through the toughest of times without knowing....
oh, most important of all: God helped me through all of this, couldnt have done it without HIM. once I stopped stuffing myself with food and started filling myself with HIM it became doable (not necesarily easier, but doable since we can do all things through HIM who strenghtens us)
hugs, kisses, cheers to all! you can do it. and now my journey oficially begins as a maintainer. :)
02-28-2012, 11:39 AM
wow, you look fantastic!!! thanks for sharing your story:)
02-28-2012, 12:14 PM
Wow, you look fabulous, congrats on all your hard work and thanks for the inspiration! Way To Go!!
02-28-2012, 01:07 PM
You are gorgeous! And so inspiring! I'm also 5'2" - weighed in at about 170, but losing.
Thanks for sharing your story and voicing how importance of healthy eating and exercising.
WOW. Again. WOW! I'm so motivated to keep going after reading this,
02-28-2012, 01:45 PM
You look really great. Congrats!
02-28-2012, 02:56 PM
AMAZING....Thanks so much for sharing. I really needed this today.
02-28-2012, 03:33 PM
Your story is so inspiring and I am grateful that you posted it. I have a total of 90 lbs to lose. I've lost about 35 lbs so far. Sometimes it seems so impossible, you know? But I know I need to break it down, day by day, into manageable healthy steps of proper portions, proper food choices and exercise. Thanks.
02-28-2012, 04:58 PM
wow! This is so great! You look awesome! Congratulations!
02-28-2012, 06:48 PM
Thanks all for your kind words! And sorry for so many typos, I was rushing to type my story this morning, so my apologies if it seemed like one long run-in sentence. Pucedaisy, healthyg, nomoreknit, smarkey, bayleysmomma, free1, eagleriverdee, and dani13 please keep up and don't look back. Time is going to pass regardless of what we do. If you "fail" for one meal or whatever, don't wait until tomorrow, next Monday, next month, next year to restart. You can literally restart right that minute. You will be glad you did. I took things one day at a time. This is not a race, it is your life. It helped me a lot to list all of my benefits for losing weight and look at the list daily to remind me why i was doing this.
More about myself: I am a wife of almost 13 years TO A CHEF!!!!!!yes, that is why I gained weight, but of course nobody force-fed me so my weight was of my own doing. I had to really accept responsibility for what went/goes into my mouth and learn to say "no thank you" or "I will have 3 ounces of that"
I am a mom of a 7 year old daughter "mini-me" except she is skinny and I was fat. I was ashamed of people thinking "oh she looks just like her mom except her mom is overweight" . And of course I wanted to set a good example at an early age! Same goes for my 10 year old son.
I work full time as a marketing director, I lead a team of 8. It is a ver stressful job, with a fridge full of free soda and junk (and not so junk) readily available.
I am latina and in our culture (not trying to generalize, but oftentimes is the case) people equate food with love (like DH) or skinny with unhealthy. I have had my share "stop losing weight"comments almost since halfway through goal.
I have a one hour commute (two hours round trip). So really time was limited and planning was key. I got a personal cooler that looked like a cute purse and carried (and still oftentimes do) my food and water for the day so I would be prepared.
I think next I will post about what triggered this journey for me.. Why I decided to lose the weight... But now off to pick kids up and head to extracurricular activities...
Sorry for any new typos. Typing this from my iPad and can't get used to it!
02-28-2012, 07:04 PM
Wow you look Fab-u-less! :) I hope the food demons stop haunting you..
02-28-2012, 07:15 PM
Congrats, good job! :carrot::carrot::carrot:
02-28-2012, 09:50 PM
Congrats!! You look like a different person!! Love reading these stories and seeing before and after pictures. So inspiring to someone (me) who is struggling so much right now. I always get to around 20-30 away from my goal (I've lost almost 50) and for some reason at this point I always struggle and then slowly gain it back. Ugh! It's like I'm sabotaging myself! So frustrating. But again, thanks for posting and being so inspirational!
02-28-2012, 11:03 PM
You look amazing,you were lovely before and even more so now! Congrats on the wonderful job you have done. Can't wait to read the rest of your story.
02-28-2012, 11:36 PM
Charin, I love to see a beautiful woman become a beautiful woman! :)
You were gorgeous then and now...only thinner.
Your journey is amazing and I thank you for sharing. I need some inspiration on the exercise part. Thanks for that.
Congrats on the wonderful job you've done getting the weight off and continuing to maintain it.
02-28-2012, 11:59 PM
Congrats! Your story is so motivating! You look awesome!
02-29-2012, 07:26 AM
you're so pretty!
02-29-2012, 07:29 AM
If I may ask...could you share your struggles with the dreaded plateau, if you had any.
I've been at my current weight for a month and it's very frustrating.
02-29-2012, 09:09 AM
Thank you thank you! Evilwomaniamshe, I rebuke the food demons lol :). The few binges I've had are usually stress related... Argh. so I have to remember that if hunger is not the problem, food is not the solution. They are usually short and quick and I am sure they do more damage emotionally than to my actual weight which has remained stable plus/minus 2 pounds.
124chicksinger, i was the laziest person on earth but now it's like I crave exercise. I need that adrenaline rush in the morning and it does help improve my mood during the day. But you know whT they say that it takes 21 days to create a habit and that was soooooo true. I really had to force myself initially. What I do is I set out my workout clothes the night before and jump I to them as soon as I wake up. I dont even think about it anymore, it is part of my routine like showering and brushing my teeth are.
Cheryit, keep it up, you can do it! I was were you are just year ago!
Bsbgirl86 when I approached 140 which had been my lowest adult weight that I had been able to maintain for a while in college I would literally hyperventilate thinking about crossing that line into the unknown.. Weird but just didn't know what it would feel like and I was really afraid i would sabotage myself because I truly felt anxious about it.... Hadn't been that weight in 15 years... I just decided to keep doing what I had been doing so far and see where the weight would go. But I truly do understand your feelings, sorry I do t have a better advice!
Theox thanks for your kind words! My DH always tells me he likes me at ANY weight and he can't really tell the difference (other than the chest :)) bless his hear :)
I will talk about my plateaus and triggers soon, getting to work now! Have a wonderful day!
02-29-2012, 09:51 AM
wow thats amazing!!! great job!!! you look fantastic darling!
02-29-2012, 03:53 PM
I am so excited for you! Congratulations on this great accomplishment!! :carrot:
02-29-2012, 05:47 PM
You were already very pretty before, but you look even better now. Congrats!
02-29-2012, 07:00 PM
I am humbled by all the kind words! Thanks lcard, Susiederkins, jessica2231, emme, and surfergirl2.
Re plateaus, overtime I lost an average of 2 pounds a week for the first 5-6 months, (first 55 pounds or so). Note this was AVERAGE, some weeks I would lose none, some weeks I would whoosh and lose 3. I just kept on plan despite no loss weeks. Then I had like a self inflicted plateau for about a month (maintained during week long business trip and two weeks vacation. I. September I was back in charge but being closer to goal weight, thus with a smaller calorie requirement and a smaller deficit, I started losing at snail's pace. I think I stayed for a while bouncing between 135-138 another long while between 130 and 135 and now a long while between 125 and 129. If I lose anything more, which I still could per BMI, it would be gravy, but I dont think I am willing to eat less or exercise more. Well, I could exercise more intensely, but I don't really have more than half hour to devote to exercise on a regular daily basis. So it is kind of a cost vs benefit at this point. Anyway, so when things slowed down or plateaud I just figured , well, I still need to c tinue to set healthy and exercise what I have lost so I might as well stayin plan, I figured it came down to physics so at some point weight would budge, I took a closer and honest look at what I had been eating lately, Etc, hope this helps!
Received a pre-hypertension diagnosis (turned out to be a false positive but scared me to death.
Broke a camping chair while sitting on it, embarrassing
Realized I had NO CLOTHES to wear come spring and summer so either I would be uncomfortable, spend money on bigger clothes, or did something about it
My dad is diabetic, watching him inject himself twice daily... I HAte needles and don't ever want to go there!
I wasn't comfortable with my husband, even though he always , ahem, demonstrated an interest in me.
Didn't feel comfortable ipat work, in meetings, etc.
Didn't want to be the fat mom at the pool again.
Was hiding from folks who hadn't seen me in a while
Was hiding from the camera.
Hated being the fat SIL
got fatigued easily
Etc etc etc
Next I will post the very useful list of weight loss benefits I came up with that I read on a daily basis :)
Thanks all hour nice comments!
02-29-2012, 07:24 PM
Great post, Charin!
02-29-2012, 09:33 PM
So inspiring! Thanks for sharing your story, and congratulations! :)
02-29-2012, 10:21 PM
Oh wow, congrats!!!! You were still very pretty at your before pics, but beautiful and healthy in your after. You are truly an inspiration :)
03-01-2012, 11:06 PM
Wow, very inspiring story!!! I'm latina myself and coming from a large family who loves to eat it is so hard to limit oneself. Reading stories like yours really gets me motivated to stick to my journey until I too can give my story! Again, you look fabulous :)
03-02-2012, 12:27 AM
Very inspiring story!
03-02-2012, 01:06 AM
Thank you for posting Charin!! And congratulations! You look stunning! I felt like I was reading my own background as I read your post (although I'm not Hispanic) but the triggers, and your starting weight, and height are identical to mine! I'm just starting to lose a few lbs from eating better, but it seems like it's water weight right now.
Would you mind telling us how you planned meals? Was it a little bit of everything or did you cut our certain foods? I always feel like I'm craving something sweet ALL THE TIME! and I can't get other foods to satisfy that craving, is this normal? Sorry I hope I'm not derailing a thread by asking all these questions here!
Anyway, congratulations on your accomplishment!! Your story gives me hope!!! :)
03-02-2012, 01:44 AM
You look amazing!
03-02-2012, 02:22 AM
Congratulations! You look fantastic. :-) I can't wait to get where you are now.
03-02-2012, 09:44 AM
Hi! Thanks to all who have posted! Writing these things out almost helps me reflect on this accomplishment and what lies ahead. (and again, sorry for all the typos. Itupe these during my commute on my iPad and kind of rushing so I am very sorry!)
Just a few thoughts that helped me through or lessons I learned in the journey... It helps me to re read these in a while:
Your nourishing yourself not depriving yourself.
When whining to myself: how old are you? Two years old?
When thinking about going off plan: how will you feel afterwards?
Just do, dont try!
You will NOT starve.
Hunger is not an emergency.
Remember that exercise makes you feel better.
Make a plan and stick to it.
I am nit a trash can.
I've never regretted NOT eating something.
embrace the suck (because sometimes it WILL suck!)
No IFs and BUTs
You don't have to eat everything on your plate.
Over fullness is abnormal
Normal fullness is normal
Could you walk briskly after eating this meal?
Hummer is normal and you can tolerate it and it is not an emergency.
I DONT have to eat it just because it is unlimited, free, cheap or paid for.
Just walk away from temptation
Find a distraction
Drink water first
This is for life
Time will pass anyway
There will akways be more (insert off plan food here) in the world to eat at a later time
Where do I want to be x weeks, months, years from today.
Food will not make you feel better or safer or valued
Solve the problem , don't soothe yourself with food
I don't have time to lose. Inhale weight to lose
I would rather be thin than eat x
Food is fuel. I deserve the best fuel
Food can't control me
Just say no
Are you hungry, or bored, or tired, or upset, or stressed?
This is my gift to me, my reward.
My life my weight my choice
You just don't have to have x
Just say "no thank you" and repeat as needed (to food pushers)
Success is a result of a series of small steps. Take a small step today.
When tempted to binge/purge just throw the food away or pour detergent on it (I know extreme bug it helped me and it wad going in the trash Nyway sorry if TMI)
no excuses, excuses will not make me thin
Cravings will go away
I will have to monitor my eating, somehow, forever, that is a fact.
Any loss is a good loss
No pain no loss (instead of no pain no gain :))
Eating healthy and exercising is my default
Dissapointment is a normal part of life and life is not fair (when thinking about why does Jane doe get to eat whatever she wants and I don't )
I can control weight loss
I am entitled to lose weight
I am entitled to say no to food
Do the grown up thing (when whining)
Just keep doing what you are doing, don't be impatient
You are successful
You have accomplished other things in life, you can accomplish weight loss. (think about whatever else you have accomplished, educTion, overcoming illness, whatever it is)
Ok so these are just a few I have picked up frm all over the place, blogs, books, this and other forums, just me internalizing stuff I hope they help some of you!
Oh I also have a "theme song". In my case it is a Christian song in Spanish so the translation will not do it justice, but it goes along the lines of "I will never be who I was before" and talks about closing the door to the past and reaching out to new goals. So find a theme song that kind get stuck in your head :)
And finally, my list of benefits (some of which may sound lame or vain):
My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit so I honor God by taking care of my body (not really a benefit but top on my list). If you have different beliefs, perhaps there is something similar to this but that aligns with your values, that you can hang on to I am sure.
I look better for DH
I am a better example for ds and dd
I will be healthy and keep diabetes away
I will have more energyto deal with my full plate of obligations
I will enjoy outdoor activitiesn with the family
I will wear cute clothes that fit better
I will look better in the pool and will not be uncomfortable and hit in the summer (since I will not be as covered up)
I am not the fat one in the family
I am more confident at work, in meetings, if I go in a job interview, presenting at an event.
Food will not control me
I will feel accomplished (who doesn't love that feeling? :)
My back, feet and knees will not hurt!
I will not snore!
I will sleep better (I think I had started to develop sleep apnea so was waking up middle of the night several times)
Ok, this is it, I think I have shAred most of my story for now! Thanks all for listening!!!!!
And keep on keeping on!
Btw, when I say if I did it anyone can, I say it from a humble place, meaning, I really really felt defeated and that I couldn't do it. I know each of us will have ournown set of struggles along the way so I am in no way saying if I did it everyone should, I just would love to give a ray of hope to those of who may be second guessing yourselves :)
Have an amazing day!
03-02-2012, 10:14 AM
Roxybabay, hello fellow Latina! I literally did not eat my fmily's food for six months until I felt "strong" enough that I could eat it in the right portions. For maintenance my approach is I follow the same losing plan Monday through friday, but eating more at dinner (whatever DH cooks though i refrain from fried stuff during the wek) than when I was losing. This is not cumbersome for me because I am at work and just follow a routine that is kind of second nature now. Then on Friday evening and weekends I am but more relaxed.
Hhm6 in terms of food plan, I did Nutrisystem for about 4 months then kept using their exchange plan based in low glycemic index foods but with grocery store bought foods. I counted my calories make sure I would stay within 1200 and 1200. I used the Nutrisystem app ANC then the loseit app. I will try to post the exchanges / plan for your reference.
I did give up all soda and sugar/artificial sweeteners in my coffee (I never had milk or creamer anyway So I just have it black). I gave up many more things during weight loss that now I enjoy in moderation, but there are foods that are triggers to eat more so I am learning to tread with caution and some things I may notmkeep un the house. Also, now that I am paying attention to how I feel afterneating, I realize that after overindulging in carbs, white flour, sugar (like in the weekends if I have pancakes and later a cupcake, and next day a donut) I will feel like crap on Monday morning.
For the most part I they to stick to the healthy things I ate while losing but eat a bit more of them and then loosen up on weekends.
Ok sorry I am rambling, gotta work now, again, have a great day!
03-04-2012, 12:04 AM
Thank you for being so honest and sharing your struggles and solutions.
I can't imagine what it feels like to really reach your true goal.
Congrats again. The real you is coming back to live, again!
03-04-2012, 09:02 PM
you have shared an amazing story here. congrats on meeting your goal and you do look amazing. here are some dancing carrots to celebrate. :carrot: :carrot: :bravo:
03-04-2012, 10:18 PM
Stunning, simply stunning! What an inspiration!
03-05-2012, 09:24 AM
Docaud and kidjng Thanks!!!!! Love the dancing carrots!
I dreamt Friday night that I was overweight again, I could really feel the flab around my stomach that is no longer really there... Not sure what to make of it but what I do know is that I am still a fat chick on the inside...diffucult to explain but I feel deep empathy for folks at any leg of the journey since I can still feel everything vividly.
Also, my DH is very overweight and through him I can see many of my own struggles and what I now consider my own excuses. But I know the decision to start or continue or finish the journey is individual so there is really nothing I can do but be ready to encourage him whenever he is ready... I just worry deeply about his health. On a brighter note, and those of you with kids may understand, I worry a lot about helping my kids create good habits specially around exercise. And this weekend by happenstance my kids and I started what may become a new routine as weather gets warmer and days get longer: jogging/biking/scooting to a particular landmark and back. Round trip is 1.6 miles, takes us 20 minutes or so, it seems it will be easy to fit in weekday afternoons and weekend mornings. We did each day thus weekend and the kids loved it. Now we just need to tow DH with us :).
Started level 2 of ripped in 30 this morning... Movements are a but complicated but looking forward to mastering them...
Ladies and gents, have a lovely day!
03-05-2012, 10:23 AM
Charin, congratulations on a great achievment !
03-05-2012, 05:11 PM
Wow, Charin, way to go!!!!
You look absolutely stunning! I can totally relate to the culture and equating food with love. I come from an Italian background and I have found it so hard to stay on track when I feel obligated to eat all of the food in front of me so I do not look rude!
I have learned to overcome that as have you, and I am very happy for you! Good job, you are an inspiration!!
03-11-2012, 03:33 PM
You look amazing, and many congrats. Thank you for taking the time to give such detailed and useful responses!!
03-11-2012, 07:34 PM
You look incredible, and so beautiful!
Women like you give me so much inspiration to keep going!!
I wish you good luck keeping it off! :)
03-12-2012, 08:05 PM
What an incredible story! Your bone structure is amazing...so gorgeous.
I love seeing ladies the same height as me...so inspiring!! CONGRATS!
03-13-2012, 04:19 AM
Congratulations; you look wonderful!!! You're just glowing in that face shot - I can see the difference in how you feel. :) Thanks for sharing about what you're doing with maintenance, and how it's working for you as well as the struggles. I am sure you will keep up the healthier lifestyle, and your story will be an inspiration for many here. :)
03-19-2012, 04:43 PM
You look incredible!
04-01-2012, 07:33 PM
You look fantastic! Thanks for posting and thank you for being so real and honest and sharing your struggles. That 'being real' is what helps us all the most, shows we really are not alone and this CAN Be done!
Many blessings on your head!
04-06-2012, 06:11 AM
You look stunning! Congratulations!! :D
04-10-2012, 11:27 PM
wow you look awesome! very motivating!
04-10-2012, 11:39 PM
Congratulations! You look lovely. :smug:
This is a long journey...to lose the weight and then to keep it off.
I have as much to lose as you had.
It is such a slooow process, but so worth it. Enjoy the new you!
SOME DO RICHARD SIMMONS. SOME DO JILLIAN MICHAELS. I DO SARA LEE.
04-11-2012, 09:36 AM
You look amazing!! Thank you for sharing your story!!
04-11-2012, 10:00 AM
wow!!! what an inspiration!!! amazing! :) you look great and sound like you feel great!!! Great job!!!
04-11-2012, 11:02 AM
Fantastic effort - well done and you look great! :)
04-14-2012, 07:37 AM
Well done you, you look stunning!
05-02-2012, 06:50 PM
You did great to achieve your goal and you look gorgeous! I still need to get my act together. I've already lost 25lbs, still 30 to go, but I got lazy xP. Maintaining it now is effortless(I do absolutely nothing to stay this way) at this point, but I want to be healthier. You've provided much inspiration!
05-02-2012, 10:19 PM
This is so beautiful and inspirational! i'm going to bed very soon so i can get up early and a morning run in!
05-02-2012, 10:35 PM
OMG you were beautiful before but look at you now! RAWR hahahaha you look amaaaazing!!! good job!!! you are an inspiration to all of us :D
05-03-2012, 07:42 AM
Congrats you look amazing! You're such ab inspiration for me because I'm your height and recently have started struggling to sorta run the last leg to 125lbs. Thanks for sharing!!