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.
Aaaand some afters