While this is not the end, this is my goal. I started this journey in 2007, at 255.5 pounds and a size 24. Today, I am ~170 pounds and a size 10/12 (8, if the designer is REALLY forgiving!).
When I began, I had a single goal in mind: to get to the point that I could shop for clothes with my girlfriends. I had 3 children, and had gained/lost weight with each of them, without ever getting my stomach muscles back in shape after the pregnancy. By the time it really hit me that I needed to change, I felt like I was up against an insurmountable obstacle.
So, in 2007, I began Atkins at the prompting of a former coworker who'd maintained a 50+ pound loss for years. I was very dedicated and lost 35 pounds between 2007 and 2008. When I got pregnant with my son in September of 2008, I weighed a measly 220 pounds - the lightest I had been in nearly 6 years!
Of course, pregnancy brought the weight back, despite my "attempts" to stick to Atkins. I started reading everything I could on nutrition and metabolism. I stopped "dieting" and started thinking in terms of what my body wanted. That's when I discovered what would be the first step toward Paleo living.
When my son was born in June 2009, I weighed 245 pounds. It was depressing to have gained back 25 pounds, but I stuck to it and lost it n 6 months. I tweaked and played with my diet until I struck metabolic gold: meat, veggies, nuts and fruits when in season. I dropped the next 50 pounds within a year, my constant hypoglycemia and anemia disappeared, and I have more energy than I have since I was in high school.
Just a quick soapbox on diets: Atkins was miserably hard for me. Counting each and every gram of carbohydrate I put into my mouth made me neurotic about food, and often threatened to return me to my teenage days of anorexia. I was also hungry - often - despite claims that ketosis suppresses appetite. Because I was counting something in my diet, I had to limit my intake. With this WOE, I don't limit, I just eat the foods I eat until I'm full. Some days, I'm content with a few sparse meals. Other days, I could eat 2 pounds of beef in a single sitting and be rummaging for more in an hour. While it was uncomfortable to get used to, I've come to embrace it as a signal that I'm in tune with my body's needs - some days it needs a little and some days it needs a lot!
I'm also not a stickler for perfection. I've never deprived myself of birthday cake or Grandma's holiday food-fests - although both of those have caused hiccups in the road to weight loss. I'm hoping to lose another 20 pounds and/or get down to a size 6/8 within the next year. But if that never happens, I won't sweat it. I've found something I, my children and my husband can live with for the rest of our lives.