Hi! I'm not necessarily new to maintenance nor to 3FC. I've been maintaining for about 5 months. Fortunately I stumbled across this website in January so all the inspiring people here and great resources have definitely guided me everyday. So here's my (long) story
I come from a Puerto Rican/Mexican family so food has always been abundant and delicious. Ever since I was little I have been chubby. My father always cooked HUGE meals on the weekends since he worked during the week. Massive portions of pancakes, French toast, Vienna sausages, & scrambled eggs with cheese and tortillas --- his family was very poor growing up so I think once he got a good job and started making a really good salary, he felt the need to make sure his children were fed. Needless to say, we sure were fed!!!! My mom would cook great Spanish dinners but I don’t think much of it was all that healthy! I don’t remember many vegetables or maybe that’s just because I pushed them to the side?
I had a great childhood…I was (and still am) a little spoiled by my father -- That could explain that when I wanted Butterfingers or Reese’s peanut butter cup ice cream, I would get it (most of the time). Thankfully, I didn’t really get teased much. I guess that, subconsciously, since no one said to me I was that fat (except at every annual doctor visit), I thought I may not have really been that fat. Many people in my family are heavy—not “morbidly obese”—just very plump. However, diabetes runs in my family so I really want to avoid that.
When I was 9 and my little sister was born, my mother and I became vegetarians. My mother began shopping in more health food stores. I would always go and pick out the “natural healthier version” of Oreos, ice cream, or pretty much any junk food for that matter. My weight stabilized during this time but I was still overweight. This changed when I got to high school … I don’t really know why or when I ditched the vegetarian diet but I started eating meat again and ate really unhealthily. Maybe it was a desire to fit in? Anyway, my daily diet consisted of Poptarts and water for breakfast, French fries for lunch, and whatever was home for dinner. Usually I ate lots of sugary cereal and milk if I got hungry at night. I ate out with friends a lot at fast food places. When I ate out I usually ordered chicken fingers and French fries with a nice large Sprite. Wow lots have changed since then.
I did lots of extracurricular activities though as a child and teenager—ballet, tap, softball, basketball, swim team. But my weight increased each year. When I moved to college (only 45 mins from home), I was still eating my Poptarts for breakfast. But the cafeteria served amazing wraps that I would eat practically everyday – which consisted of “breaded” chicken, mozzarella cheese, and barbeque sauce. They were really big. But I’d usually get that and a bag of chips and that would hold me off til night time when I’d eat my cereal. That was pretty much my diet while at school.
I also met an amazing guy during my last year of high school and we are still together (just made 3 years). But all the eating out at yummy restaurants and movie theater popcorn and reeses pieces didn’t help my weight! I would work out at the gym on occasion but barely breaking a sweat on the elliptical. I was pretty ignorant when it came to losing weight.
The time came when I reached 197 pounds and I was so unhappy with my body. I wanted to be “sexy” for my boyfriend even though he always said he loves my body no matter what. We would go to the gym together but never saw any results because we never really changed our eating habits. I’d usually reward myself with food for working out. Really silly. I aspired to be like Katharine McPhee (season 5 finalist of American idol who overcame bulimia).
What I didn’t know at the time but now am struggling with is that I am an emotional eater. Bored, happy, sad, lonely, stressed, angry, confused—basically any emotion will drive me to eat. It’s really hard to eat when I’m actually hungry and stop eating when I’m full. I always feel the need to clean my plate. I try to overcome this everyday.
When I entered my 2nd year of college I met my new roommate who had lost a bunch of weight following Weight Watchers. I was amazed. She would keep a food diary, use measuring cups to measure her meals, and would actually RUN. I have always had a strong hate for the treadmill. One day she invited me to go for a run with her…I went and had such a great workout even though I was going so much slower than her and stopped much much earlier. But it was great living with someone who was in the same boat as me. She was really committed. I never knew I could feel so good from jogging. I didn’t join weight watchers but I started counting calories, kept up with my jogging, and did many fitness classes at my school’s gym---yoga, kickboxing, boot camp, ab classes, anything & everything. I lost 70 lbs in about 6 months. (Sept 2006 – March 2007) I am now maintaining at around 128 lbs.
I am now 19 and soon to enter my 3rd year of college. I write down everything I eat and its calories. I eat about 1800 calories a day and still run 3 days a week. I limit myself to 3 running sessions because I get burned out easily if I do any thing more (I start to dread the workouts), even though I would love to be able to run everyday because it’s such a stress reliever for me. I have been incorporating more strength training because I am pear shaped and my upper body is so skinny compared to my lower body. So I am trying to work on building my upper body muscles and toning my lower body. I try to avoid food with white flour. I am eating more fruit and veggies than ever before. I am also now focusing on eating more whole foods, less processed foods, and less foods w/ artificial ingredients. I am learning more and more each day – the internet has been such a great tool for me.
I find all your experiences amazing and inspiring. I have learned a ton just by reading the many knowledgeable posts on here. Thank you