I never thought I would get here, but here I am. I realize I haven’t been on the 3FC boards in a while. Life has been kind of crazy the past 4 months, so it’s been tough to find the time. However, during my absence, I have, in fact, reached goal. So, I decided I should share my story.
I have been looking forward to writing this for over two years!!!!
My weight loss journey has been a wild roller coaster ride.
By 2nd grade, I was the “chubby one”. I could see that I was different from the other kids, but it didn’t bother me much. Two years later, I was obese, weighing in at 165 lbs (a little over 4 feet tall at the time). By then, was very aware of my weight problem. Every day I went to school, I wanted to run and hide. I knew I stood out like a sore thumb, but I tried to hide my low self esteem by cracking jokes about how fat I was. I figured if I acted like it didn’t bother me, no one would notice.
By sixth grade I felt repulsive, ugly, like I was cursed to be fat forever. The boy I had a crush on at the time made it quite obvious that I was not “in his league” and it killed me, because I believed it. I thought no one would ever think I was pretty, and I suffered through a serious bout of depression.
When I turned 14, my body began to change and I experienced a sudden growth spurt, all over the course of one summer. On my last day of 7th grade, I had left, still very overweight… but I came back for my 1st day of eighth grade looking like a completely different person. For the first time in my life, I was an average weight. I didn’t exercise, so while I was technically in the “normal” weight range, I still looked a little chunky. However, compared to where I had been, it was a huge improvement. I didn’t feel “thin”… but I didn’t feel like the “fat one” either. I was at 135 (at 5’2”) then, and I maintained that weight for two years.
Then, the pounds started piling back on. The stress of moving to college caused me to pack on 20 lbs. When I reached 157, I went on a diet. It lasted 3 months, and during that time, I lost 8 lbs, to bring me to 149. I stayed there for a while, but then I got engaged, and the stress of the wedding packed on 5 lbs. On my wedding day, I weighed 154 lbs.
The transition from living with my parents at home, to living as a 21 year old married woman in another state caused me to stress eat to the extreme. In the first 3 months after our wedding, I had gained 13 lbs, putting me at 167 (my heaviest). That is when I first found 3FC. Desperate to stop my weight gain from spiraling out of control, I got a gym membership and started working out. I also changed my eating habits. In 4 months, I was able to lose 14 lbs, bringing me back to the weight I was at my wedding. But, I fell off the wagon after getting a new job (where junk food was abundant), and my weight climbed up steadily, eventually coming to rest again at 167.
After the economic downturn, the company I worked for went downhill. I decided to quit. It was one of the best and scariest decisions I have ever made. While I was terrified about what the future held, I was also determined to get myself moving in the right direction. For the first time, I had the chance to re-evaluate who I was, where I was going, and concentrate on becoming the person I always wanted to be. That included being a healthier, happier, more confident person.
I was unemployed for 6 months. I began to work out religiously, going for runs 5-6 days a week. I cut down my portions, and I got rid of *most* of the junk food. But, more importantly, I finally put a stop to my self loathing. I made a conscious effort to fall in love with my body, and love it for what it was. I came to terms with the fact that I didn’t have to be “magazine perfect” to be beautiful. I just had to be the best “me” that I could be. So I worked towards that goal.
I started losing weight in January, after leaving my first job. When I first changed my lifestyle, I was 167.5 lbs. Last week, I got on the scale…
And it read 130.8.
In 4th grade, I was wearing a size 16 in jeans. After my growth spurt in the summer after seventh grade, I could just barely squeeze into a size 8. I had never… ever… worn a size 6. That had always been my goal…
Two weeks ago, I slipped on a pair of size 6 jeans in the dressing room and I cried. Not only did they fit… but they were loose in waist.
For the first time in my life, I LOVE MY BODY. I feel sexy, I feel beautiful, I feel confident. I have never felt this way before, and it’s simply euphoric. I would often see on 3FC someone saying “Nothing can taste as good as being thin feels” and as a chronic over-eater, I had a very hard time believing that. But, now I understand, and it’s the honest truth.
So, the lessons I have learned through this experience:
1. You don’t have to give up anything. I still splurge. I still enjoy all my favorite foods. I just eat less of them.
2. Find exercise that you can enjoy doing, or you’ll never stick to it.
3. Your weight may be a part of who you are, but it in no way “defines” you.
4. It is important to love your body at any weight. All the times that I lost weight and gained it back, I was trying to lose weight because I hated who I was. I used self loathing as a motivator… and it always failed. This time, I used love as a motivator, and the pounds just slipped off. I tried to change all of my negative, nit-picky comments I usually thought to myself, into compliments. Instead of “wow, my butt is huge” I would think “Wow, my eyes are really blue and pretty.”
5. Reward yourself with non-food items that make you feel good about yourself. I bought make up, lingerie, new clothes, jewelry and perfume for myself whenever I reached an important milestone.
Before I wrap this up and include the obligatory “Before and after photos”, I just want to thank everyone at 3FC for your support, your wisdom, and your courage. We are all fighting the same good fight, and I could have never done it without the motivational words and the wealth of information that I received from many of the members here. I hope I made you guys proud.
Thanks again 3FC!!!
BEFORE (and wow, does it take courage to post these):
After (at about 135):
After (tonight, in my living room)
In this shot, the "pouch" belly you see is unfortunately accentuated by my over-sized size 8 pants. I haven't actually bought size 6s yet, so I am still wearing my 8s which are quite loose
I hope you enjoyed my story!