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Tara's Weight-Loss Journey

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Old 10-14-2014, 05:27 PM   #1
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Default Tara's Weight-Loss Journey

Just a heads up... The post I am making directly after this is very long.

I'm really looking for people to read my story and daily postings to see my successes, failures, etc.

Join my journey with me, please, but only if you want.

I'm certainly not making you.

And I promise... The rest of my posts will not be this long.

Last edited by tarat : 10-14-2014 at 05:29 PM.
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Old 10-14-2014, 05:28 PM   #2
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October 14, 2014

Hello, my name is Tara. I’m 23 years old, 5’5.5” in height, and weigh almost 200lbs. I wanted to start a journal/blog about my current weight loss goal and journey. I figured that making public posts, even though potentially, no one could read it, might help me be more successful. I feel like it would make me more accountable, and then I’d even be able to document my success and my failures, so I know how far I have come when looking back at it. Now I apologize how long this post will be in advance. But since I won’t need to post my background again, but only look back at it and compare later on, I’ll try to make the other posts shorter.

Ever since I can remember, I’ve always been the person that is more than average weight compared to those around me. All through my childhood, everyone was always telling me, “you’re just big-boned.” Something was telling me to believe everyone, and then something was telling me that I was overweight.

For the first 10 years of my life, I was lactose intolerant (and so was my mom). But even though I couldn’t have any milk, cheese, ice cream, egg whites, cookies, etc., I was still bigger than every other girl my age. Strangely enough, when I was somewhere in my 10th year, my mom and I both became lactose tolerant. So, on top of already being a little overweight, now I was indulging in every food that I couldn’t eat before that I had always wanted to. I don’t remember detail by detail of how much I weighed before and after the lactose tolerance, but I do remember that even then I was tracking my weight by year or half-years in my baby book [I was only 11], and noticing how much my pounds were increasing so quickly.

When I was 12, my Oma (my maternal grandmother) passed away (June 2003). My mother was distraught, as was everyone else. The difference between everyone else and my mom and I: we were emotional eaters. I would say for about a year, we just packed on the pounds. When I was 13, one of my best friend’s was involved in a freak accident while on a hiking/camping trip, and passed away on my sister’s birthday, which falls 13 days after mine (June 2004). Between my Oma and Abby, I hadn’t had an emotional break at all it seems in the previous year.

In December of 2004, my mom started a diet program by Metabolic Research Center, and had a lot of success with it. If I remember correctly, she lost 40lbs or more in 4-5 months. After she had some weight loss, she convinced me to join with her to see if I could have as much success, if it was the right program for me. I don’t remember when I joined initially, but in the time that I was enrolled, I think I remember losing 15lbs. At that point in my life, 15 was a HUGE number for me. I was so happy at how much I had lost… It was more than half of what I needed to lose.

On a side note, before I continue my background, I just want to say that from the time I was 6 (up until present day), I have been involved in equestrian sports. During 6th-11th grade, I was a volleyball player. I have worked out, have a lot of muscle in my body, and try to stay active all year round. I also want to say, that I have never really felt comfortable in my own skin. I’ve gotten better about it as I have gotten older and grown more outspoken, but all through middle school, high school and some of college actually, I was very shy, didn’t make many contacts with people, and tried my best to look how others would approve of me. At one point, when I was in 8th grade, I remember getting my feelings hurt so badly by a girl in my class. I had hair down to my waist, and one weekend I cut it all off and donated it to Locks of Love. When I returned to school the next Monday, I remember so clearly that my classmate said my haircut was ugly and that I looked like a boy. Now, THAT’S a self-esteem booster if I’ve ever heard of one, right? Girls can be so mean. Anyhoo, now of course I’m over that NOW, but back then that was a killer and it shot me down for a long time.

After my weight loss in 2005, I kept it off for a while, but I never got down to my initial goal weight. August of 2005, I started high school. I stayed active after school playing volleyball, and riding my horses. All through, high school, my best friend (who still is to this day) was a stick, a bean pole, skin and bones. She could eat whatever she wanted, whenever she wanted and wouldn’t have to worry about weight gain at all. Being around her kept me more motivated because she was so skinny, but even still I gradually put on more weight throughout the 4 years of high school. Enough to really notice and tell myself to quit? Of course not, that’s why I’m writing this! Well, okay, I did “notice,” but all I would do is tell myself that I had gained weight and that I needed to watch myself (Mom was telling me this too) but it didn’t work. I remember when I turned 17 and got my license, I lied about my weight, said it was 140. So by the time I graduated high school, I was probably around 150.

Now here’s a kicker. In August of 2009, I was starting college! And, everyone knows about the “Freshman 15,” right? Well, I most certainly did because I was already overweight. Mom kept telling me to be careful once I got to school, that I didn’t want to make it the “Freshman 50.” And that was TRUE! I did NOT want to make it the “Freshman 50,” no way. Now, the shitty about college dining food… Everyone expects it to be nasty. It was DELICIOUS! It was just like home-cooked food my mom and dad would prepare, except in massive amounts. And I could eat as much as I wanted… Great. When I first got to college, I started out eating healthy healthy healthy. That’s right, I did a triple healthy. Breakfast I would eat some scrambled eggs and a piece of bread, lunch and dinner I would eat a salad with some cold cuts and a low or no fat Italian dressing or ranch. Most of this time, probably for the first couple weeks, I ate alone (unless I ate with my roommate I had at the time). Eating alone is probably what enabled me to stay on that salad twice a day kick, because there was no one to judge what I was eating but me… Me, myself and I.

Now, college was a tiny bit different than high school and middle school. Everyone I saw there, was brand new. I didn’t know them, and most importantly, they didn’t know me. I tried to be as un-socially awkward as I could, but having be exposed to a scene that created me like that, one month of a new scene wasn’t about to change all of my ways. I met some new friends that lived in my dormitory, and started hanging out with them. I met some girls on the equestrian team, and gradually started hang with them too. The problem with the equestrian team… I was overweight and everyone else wasn’t, or so it seemed that way, so I didn’t feel comfortable around MOST of them. Equine girls/women are supposed to be slim if not skinny, yet toned. I wasn’t any of that. So here it comes again, peeking out, my self-consciousness.

I remember, about 2 or 3 weeks into my freshman year, I finally noticed that the same girl that was in my 8am Chemistry class… Was in EVERY other class, too, except my math class. How ironic is that? So we started chatting, and we became study buddies and grew to be great friends. Now, what are the odds, that in this scenario, that the one person I share basically every class with and bond with, is also overweight?... If that isn’t rain on my parade, I don’t know what is. Here I was doing so well, eating triple healthy, walking to classes every day, etc. Then I meet her. We start hanging out, studying together, and eating together. . . .There goes my healthy… But who cares, because I was making friends, right? Who knows. Alright, well freshman year continued like that all year. I am pleased to tell you, however, that I didn’t gain the Freshman 50 like I had so dreaded. I did gain the freshman 15, however, not happily.

There’s not a whole lot to tell from my Sophomore thru Senior year of college. There were a couple boyfriends in the 2.5 years I was in Texas, that made me happy, depressed, angry, annoyed, which led to more weight gain, hooray. After 2.5 years in Texas, I transferred to a Virginia college to pursue my dream and get the degree I’ve always wanted. In Virginia, I had more horsey friends, but more of them were overweight, oddly enough, and I also had school friends. But most of all of my friends were overweight, too; it’s weird how that works. I think because I was a bit more active in Virginia, I didn’t put on much more, maybe 5 pounds over the course of 1.5 years. I might’ve even lost some, but not enough to notice. I was still heavy. In June of 2012, I turned 21, and I was still lying about my weight on my license. 150.

Alright, now I’m winding down on my background and history, I’ve only got to cover from May 2013 thru present (October 2014)… Bet that’s exciting! I will try and make it as short as possible, but my life is a story book, haha.

June 2013. Now, I’m at the end of my college career, and I’ve gained roughly 20-25 pounds over the course of the 4 years. I make the trudge across the country and start my search for a job in my field. My awesome riding instructor that I have had for 5 years, knows of one IMMEDIATELY hiring in Kansas. The catch? I need to drop everything in my home state, Colorado, and trek to Chicago the next DAY to start a job trial for 10 days. Wow. So I pack up my life again, in anticipation that I would be going straight from Chicago back to Wichita, as the hirers had described.Now… Do you think I got the job? Of course I got the job! Did I accept the position? Nope. These people worked me like a mule 14 hours a day, on average, for 10 days, and I got $700 out of it. HA! Thanks, but I’d like to make minimum wage for getting my *** burned, and not be treated like the dirt beneath your welcome mat. Now my next question… Do you think I lost weight while I was being worked that hard so continuously without eating much? Of course NOT! -__- Instead, I walk away from Chicago with little to no money, debt, an allergic reaction from acid rain and heat, and all of the fat I went with. Oi. Even my trainer who knew them and liked them, told me NOT to stay at that job under those conditions. That’s how bad it was. And, I couldn’t even spend my birthday with my family…

So now I make my journey back to the good old state of Colorado… A 16 hour drive completed in one day by myself. At least I had my mom with me on the drive out there. It was miserable on the way back, let me tell you. I went through more 5 hour energy drinks in one day than I have ever. I make it home safely, and in good time. And the following day I resume my job search. My trainer, yet again, knew of a job opening with a small, private barn and one she didn’t know personally. I begin short communication over the course of a couple weeks with the head trainer of the barn, and we agree that it would be perfect for me to trial while they are in Colorado for a summer show circuit for 2 weeks in the beginning of July. Then I don’t need to leave my home state, and we can both decide if it’s the right fit for me and her.

I begin the trial in July 2013, and I’m having a great time. The difference between the people I’m working for this time versus the people in Chicago, is excessive. They are so polite, generous, happy and fun loving. Come to find out, they are BEST FRIENDS!?! How do people of completely different natures come to be BEST friends! Wow, shocker there! I don’t let it affect me though, and I continue on working. At the end of the 2 weeks, they offer me a permanent position at their barn in Scottsdale, Arizona. Of course I accept it! So the day after the last day of the horse show, I pack up my belongings and ride along to Arizona. Summer of 2013 was definitely an experience, needless to say. And all of this time, keep in mind, I’m not gaining weight, but I’m not losing either.

Right before I move to Arizona, I remember that one of my friends from Texas had recently moved there too, and only 20 minutes from where I would be living! The first night I got to Arizona, we set out to meet up with each other even though it was fairly late in the evening. We met up at a 24 IHOP or Waffle House or something of the sort, had a good chat, and from then on we would meet up at least a few times a week. In the first month that I was there, Ashley had introduced me to a friend that she had met there, and he was an Herbalife rep. We had hung out a few times, and he would always tell me of the success he had had being on Herbalife, and that it was a life-changing product. At the time, I wasn’t that unhappy with my body; I was pretty fit and in shape, or so I thought. I bought a scale shortly after I had talked about Herbalife, and all I remember was that I was shocked that I was 174lbs. As I’m typing this now, I want to say that at that time I was shocked because it was the highest weight I had ever been, but some part of me wants to think that I had been higher at another time before that. Oh well, whatever it is, I was still upset.

I contacted Nick and had him set me up with a starter kit of 2 meal shakes and 2 protein shakes. I remember that it was nearly $200, and he had told met that it would only last me 30 days… WHAT!?! Apparently, I was supposed to mix 2 scoops of the protein powder WITH the meal replacement shakes for my 2 replacement meals. Pffft. I didn’t do that but for only a couple weeks. I started only drinking the meal replacement for the meals I wanted to replace, and drinking straight protein if I needed a pick-me-up… Makes sense right? I thought it did, and it also made my powders last longer. So I was doing Herbalife consistently, and I ended up losing about 14lbs.

On September 30, 2013, I got devastating news. The people I was working for in Arizona, could no longer afford to have me stay and work and that I needed to come back to Colorado. I had my stuff all packed up and I was set to take off by October 1. When I arrived, I got myself some Cheetos Puffs and had one day of sobbing and moping. I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly I returned to my Herbalife, but was not as consistent with it therefore not losing the same weight. I picked up a serving job at Le Peep, and I had a horse at the time, so I was staying fairly active on a daily basis. By Thanksgiving, I had ultimately dropped down to about 156lbs. For Thanksgiving, our entire immediate family all went to Fort Lauderdale to spend Thanksgiving with my 88 year old grandmother… She got to meet her first great-grandson, so it was a big celebration! I bet you know what that means, right? Lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and LOTS of food… Delicious, wonderful, Italian cuisine ALL day EVERY day. It was food heaven. The aftermath is what got me. I had gained about 8 pounds, I couldn’t get back on track with my Herbalife. Having reduced my calorie intake so much before Thanksgiving then having so MANY calories for 6 days straight, my brain was always telling me that I was hungry and that I couldn’t get away with not having so few calories. Now, here I am, almost a year later, and I still have yet to get back on my Herbalife. I know, I know…I’m almost done. Promise.

Also, in November 2013, I met this guy, and he makes me very happy. And what do I do when I’m happy? Eat. I stayed about the same weight, (which is better than gaining I suppose) while I was serving at Le Peep and keeping busy with my horse. Now we are into January of 2014. The owner of Le Peep doesn’t want to live in Colorado anymore nor own the restaurant, so he’s shutting down. Everything came crashing down in front of me, right there… That was my source of income, my daily activity, my secondary source to keep me busy. Crap. I look for jobs for months, putting in 200+ applications a week to anything and everything I could possibly think of that I qualified for. I had a few bad experiences in the time I was looking for a job, just bad luck, but finally got a call from someone [in mid-March] AND got hired. Wooo! A Bank. Not so woo.

Being a bank teller… Needless to say, it was a HUGE culture shock to me coming from such an active job to such a sedentary job. It’s unbelievable. Not only am I not moving as much, but I got rid of my horse in the end of May, and there is a huge supply of candy at the bank. Now, any normal person would have probably caught on to not eat so much candy… Not me. I liked it, I wanted it, I ate it, a lot of it. In a solid 6 months, I’ve put on probably 30 pounds, putting my highest weight ever at 206lbs. During the time I’ve been working here, I did find some horses to ride of lady that lives near me, and she lets me ride them for free and for fun.  But, also in the time I’ve been working here, I’ve tried and failed at diets galore. I’ve been really into Paleo lately, and during the time I can stick to it, it’s been great. Then I tell myself that I deserve one “cheat” meal or day… And that turns into a cheat-infinite. I’ve tried working out daily, but I’ve decided that my body grows too fatigued doing that. I’m aiming to lose weight and become slimmer and more toned, not work myself to death.

In the beginning of the summer, around mid-June, is when I began my quest for weight-loss. My goal was to lose weight before I went to Las Vegas for vacation. Well, now it’s past my vacation, and I will haven’t lost any weight. I’ve been to Vegas, had a **** of a time there, ate some freaking delicious food, had a great 4 day vacation, and now I’m ready to kick myself in the fat and get rolling hard. I’m ready to start setting goals for myself that aren’t so absurd and ridiculous. I’m ready to treat myself like a normal human being and not a superhero (although, I still like to believe I can do anything I want to). I’m ready to accept the fact that success is not linear, as I’ve been told many times that I’ve been let down recently by the guy in my life, and failures do happen. I’m ready to accept that every day won’t be a good day. I’m ready to attack this weight from deep down. I want it gone.

My long-term goal is to be 125lbs by the time I reach my 24th birthday (June 2015), and I feel that is a reasonable goal. My mini goal is to lose at least 30lbs by Christmas, which is also attainable. I’m going to do this, and I want to set myself accountable to everyone on here that might keep up with or read my daily posting. Today, I am starting the paleo diet, again, but I am counting this as my first post. Tomorrow and days after, I will post about my success, failures, daily/weekly weigh-ins, clothing changes, etc.

Please feel free to interact with me. Success is also easier when you’re not alone.

Last edited by tarat : 10-14-2014 at 05:28 PM.
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Old 10-14-2014, 06:14 PM   #3
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Thanks for posting your story. I''m looking forward to following your success!
I'm doing something similar to Paleo. It's called the 4 hr diet. I can eat beans on it.
Some advice that may or may not work for you(but it works for me)- I keep a list of foods I'm craving. Then every week or 10 days I look at my list and eat the ones I'm still craving. It keeps me from going completely off plan.
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Old 10-14-2014, 07:19 PM   #4
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thank you for writing your story, eager to keep reading.
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Old 10-14-2014, 07:40 PM   #5
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I am close to the same stats as you. I am also 5' 5.5" and was 201 at my start weight, two weeks ago. I look forward to hearing more from you.
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Old 10-14-2014, 10:39 PM   #6
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Best of luck - seems you are destined to have some well deserved success with your plan... Thank you for sharing your story.
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Old 10-14-2014, 10:58 PM   #7
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Wow! You are a very engaging writer! I really enjoyed reading your story I started out at a similar size/height. I look forward to hearing more about your life. Also, I must say you seem like a very brave person! I could never have done all that moving around.
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Old 10-14-2014, 11:32 PM   #8
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I agree with the previous poster, very engaging. Wishing you the best of luck and looking forward to your updates. Good luck!
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Old 10-15-2014, 12:48 PM   #9
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@InATizzy - That is a really good idea! I need to start doing that, and if it works for me, great, if not I guess I'll just have to find something else. I'm a really big fan of writing things down that I eat during the day so I can reflect on it later. That helps me, too. Thanks for reading!

@Dottington - I've always been the person in my family that always wanted to find a new nesting ground for myself, but after each and every new location I've always come back to CO. I guess it's just in my heart and soul. Thanks for reading!

And thank you all for reading my story! As I was typing it, I came to realize how much my weight has been a roller coaster! I’m set to change that.

October 15, 2014 -

Yesterday was the first day I was back from Las Vegas. Back to the daily work grind. I weighed myself in the morning and was 197.6, which means that I had gained about 1lb on my trip. Not exactly encouraging since I probably walked close to 30 miles while I was there in 4 days and didn't eat too terribly, I thought anyway. I guess it could be that 100oz Piņa Colada I drank on Sunday catching up with me. Haha... Good times.

Anyway, I was so stuffed from Las Vegas, that I didn’t even really have the urge to eat yesterday, I wasn’t even hungry. I just drank a lot of water and had a nice chill day at work, and on my lunch break I just talked to my best friend on the phone to get some advice from her. I was a little stressed today (and was in a HUGE funk before Vegas, even worse than now after), just feeling a little down for some reason. My mood was just off. I had a lot of things going through my head, and couldn’t find a place for everything. After work, I went back to the house of the guy I’m seeing and almost immediately picked back up out the door to return a pizza we had gotten the night before. It had a chunk of plastic in it the size of a penny! Gross… And dangerous, glad one of us didn’t choke on it. On the way back from there Jake said that he hadn’t eaten all day either because he was so stuffed too, but now he was hungry, and I was too.

[So on a little side note, this isn’t a huge factor to anything, but I think it needs to be said because it does affect me a little. The guy I’ve been seeing since November 2013, we aren’t “committed,” but at the same time we kind of are. I know that probably sounds a little weird, but it’s really hard to explain.]

But either way, last night on the drive to the pizza place, we had gotten in a little bit of argument. Since I was already in a tizzy from the day, it was just one more thing to beat on me mentally and emotionally. He is also in the process of trying to get his life in order with some specifics I wont’ go into, but he has a lot of goals and aspirations that he’s wanting to accomplish in about the same timeline that I have with my weight. We had both been in an agreement that we needed to really buckle down after Las Vegas to accomplish our goals. Since we both hadn’t eaten anything all day, we decided together to call it our “getting-back-into-the-grove-of-things” day. He used the day to think about how he was going to accomplish his goals, and I did also.

Well, we decided that we should get something to eat from the grocery store. He suggested we should eat some hotdogs together, and at first I denied because I was super set to not stray from my plan. He did end up convincing me that having one last non-paleo, but still healthy meal on the day I was getting everything set wasn’t going to set me back. I did agree to some extent about what he was saying. We also had agreed that we would have one last “after Las Vegas” meal together (we intended for it to be the pizza, but that turned out to be a flake) so I went with it. We ended up getting some all natural hot dogs (I know, not paleo). I ended up eating 3 with some bread and sauerkraut (again, I know, not paleo) and headed off to bed. Now, I’m not sure whether to consider this a good or bad thing, but the hotdogs didn’t set well with me. I woke up in the night with major stomach pains, so I lost probably 2.5 hours of sleep from that. It’s probably because I was stressed from the day, I have a feeling anything I ate wouldn’t have been OK with my body.

So now, this morning, I’m feeling pretty exhausted, good thing it’s a slow day at the bank. I’m also feeling a little nervous because I have a doctor appointment today with someone new. And I’m feeling a bit hungry, so I’ll need to have something healthy for lunch. I hope some of my stress and nervous ceases today, I’d really like that.
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Old 10-15-2014, 12:59 PM   #10
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Sorry you were in a tizzy!
Remember your meals together don't have to be the same thing. I go out to Portillos (hot dog place) with my family and I eat salad and same thing with the pizza place or at home.
Hope the rest of your day is stress free.
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Old 10-15-2014, 01:11 PM   #11
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I also forgot to post my weight this morning when I woke up: 193.8lbs. So it probably was the Piņa Colada and all of Las Vegas settling into yesterday.
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