I wanted to share my goal story because it was reading a lot of these goal stories that made me believe that I could lose the weight.
Where to start? I have been overweight for much of my life, though I was never really *that* overweight - maybe by 10 or 15 lbs. There are certain times in my life where other people made me aware of my chubby state, particularly my parents and a few mean boys in middle school. But honestly? Other than that, it never really bothered me too much. I think I made it a point to not define myself by my weight so I didn't spend too much time fretting over those 15 lbs. I am 5'4.5" and when I graduated high school, I remember weighing around 150 lbs.
In college I stayed around that same weight until my sophomore year when I started eating out ALL the time. Living on campus (24/7 dining hall) and having a naturally very skinny brother who was all too willing to join me on late-night Taco Bell runs put me up to 165 lbs.
Then there came THE GUY. The love of my young life broke up with me suddenly one day, and I couldn't keep anything down (ah, The Break Up Diet) and lost about 10 lbs in a week. I had a lot of anxiety/panic attacks surrounding the breakup and as a result of the initial post-break up meltdown, figured out that I could basically eat and throw up and lose weight. I got down to 130 lbs.
I can look at it lightheartedly now, but at the time my world was an entire mess. I dropped 35 pounds very quickly and for the first time in my life, people were complimenting me on how I looked. I was thin. Guys were asking me out left and right. People paid attention to me and I felt good about myself (as much as one can feel while hiding loads of emotional pain inside). Eventually I wised up, sought help, and went to therapy.
I met my husband at 130 lbs and maintained for quite awhile until I had my gallbladder removed when I was 22 years old. I put on about 20 lbs just from not caring, and just trying to eat anything that wouldn't give me explosive diarrhea or terrible indigestion. At the same time, I was commuting two hours each day, going to grad school and planning a wedding. It was a long, stressful year. I went from 150 to 190 in the course of a year. Most brides lose weight...yeah, I gained
weight. On my wedding day I weighed in the mid 190s and when we returned from our honeymoon, I weighed just over 200 lbs. Getting our photos from the wedding was one of the saddest days for me... I felt like every photo just highlighted how large I was.
But even then, I didn't stop. After being married for two years and getting a job closer to home, I found myself staring at the scale at 213 lbs. In four years, I had gained over 80 pounds. I felt like crap. I looked like crap. I had basically become invisible at work because I was so ashamed of my body. I hated shopping because nothing ever fit. I couldn't keep up with my very active husband on simple things like walking around at the zoo because I was too out of shape. I was a professional dieter; I had tried and tried to lose weight over the past few years by counting calories and "exercising" like 20 minutes a day, twice a week. But to my dismay, I never saw any results.
Ok, so by now you're wondering what changed. Well, in summer of 2007, I signed up to walk in the Komen Race for the Cure 5k. My husband (who is VERY active and healthy) delightfully signed up with me and we began walking around the neighborhood. I wasn't watching what I was eating, but the nightly walks (which were very hard for me at the beginning) kept me from gaining weight. We completed the 5k race in just under 50 minutes. And then my husband said something that would forever change my life.
"Hey, we should run it next year!"
I just laughed like...yeah right. Me? Really? It took all my energy just to WALK 3 miles!
Like so many other people, in January of 2009, I set out for the gym for what I'm sure my husband and family thought would be yet another false start. How many times had I said I would lose weight? How many times had I gone to the gym, stuck with it for a few weeks, only to give up?
But this time was different. This time, I had a new idea. It wasn't just to lose weight. It was to do something I only dreamed of doing. So I set out two goals:
Run a 5k
Hike a 14'er (one of 54 14,000 ft mountains in my beautiful state of Colorado)
I told myself it didn't matter if I ran a 5k and still weighed 200 lbs... I was going to run it.
In February, I hired a trainer at my gym to get me started. My first day of personal training, I cried because it was so difficult. I was so fat, and so out of shape. I remember thinking “who am I kidding?” because it seemed SO impossible at the time. Run…. let alone run 3 miles?? Hike 14,000 ft and not kill myself in the process? Impossible.
My trainer turned out to be a tool (another story for another day), but I did get something out of it…. I started to see improvements in my physical fitness. I was doing things that, when I began 6 weeks earlier, I could not do… at least for prolonged periods of time. When my trainer and I went our separate ways, he told me that I would quit coming to the gym, gain back the five pounds I’d lost, and come begging for him to train me again.
That was really all I needed - for someone to tell me I couldn’t do what I had set out to do.
So, I started running. On my own.
Slowly I worked my way up to 5 minutes, 10 minutes, and so on until I was running 3 miles almost daily. In the meantime, I was losing weight like crazy by watching my calories by limiting them to around 1200 a day. I still indulged every now and then... all things in moderation. But after an occasional indulgence, I was right back on plan with eating and right back to running the next day.
My husband and I bagged our first 14'er in July 2009 - Pikes Peak. It took us 6 hours to summit...but I did it. I weighed 178 lbs at the time.
In September 2009, I went on to race in my first 5k - the Race for the Cure. When I set out, that's all I wanted to run ... 3 miles. But I didn't stop there. I completed my first half marathon (13.1 miles) two days before my 28th birthday in May 2010. Becoming a runner has forever changed my life. Losing weight is great, but the confidence I gained from accomplishing something that once seemed utterly impossible has affected me so much that I can't even really put it into words.
I reached my goal on April 7th, 2010 - just two days shy of 14 months into my journey. In all, I have lost 82 lbs, 56 inches from my body and went from a size 18 to a size 4/6.
Oh, and obviously I did not quit nor gain back the 5 lbs that my ex-trainer said I would.
And now for some photos!! As a reward for meeting my goal weight, my husband and I hired a professional photographer to take updated photos of us. I no longer am sad while looking at our wedding photos because I am reminded of the NEW ME every day!
I'm sure you can figure out what's before/after.