I had a deal with myself that when I reached this mini-goal, I would post my pictures. I have been bouncing between 166.4 and 170 for 6 weeks now (trying to kick my first plateau while I was straddling this HUGE goal has been really discouraging, but I sallied forth!) This morning, I hopped on the scale and finally saw my magic number: 166 pounds which is also the amount of weight I have lost thus far. I weigh exactly half of what I weighed 18 months ago.
I still have 26 pounds to lose before I reach the "normal" BMI category. I am calling 140 lbs my 'high maintenance' weight. I am not sure how low I want to go weight-wise. I do know that I would like to get down to a size 6 (currently a size 10, down from a 26/28W), although I am pretty muscular so that may not be possible.
Here are a plethora of pics:
 Closest "before" face picture I have , but not at my max weight
 Current face shot
 44 pounds down / current front comparison
 44 pounds down / current side comparison
 In-progress face collage
 The only picture of me at max weight, but its a shot of my back
In January 2010 I had had enough. I weighed 332 lbs, was diagnosed as diabetic (just barely over the line for that diagnosis), had fatty liver disease, and had trouble walking a block. I lived with aches and pains day in and day out (I realized this later - at the time, I just thought pain and discomfort were part of everyone's life). I was also scared that my husband, who is 12 years younger than me, would be left wifeless at an early age if I didn’t straighten up and get healthy. I toyed with the idea of surgery but after a couple of days of investigating, I realized that that was not a healthy option for me. Although I had never attempted to "diet" before, I knew I could make healthy life changes that would result in weight loss. I have called what I am doing my "sheer strength of will plan" from day one.
I started clean eating and calorie counting (about 1400 a day, but that number has varied over time). I stopped consuming sugars, white flour products, and 95% of processed foods in general. I limited meat to 4oz or less a day. The reason I went the clean eating route was pretty simple: with only 1400 calories allotted, I had to be able to fit in all the nutritional requirements our bodies need in a compact way. I used Superfoods RX and In Defense of Food as my manuals for proper eating. Additionally, I am a bulk eater - I love the feeling of being full (which is actually a habit I am trying to break now, but that is a subject for a different post). The easiest way to get full on fewer calories is to eat loads of veggies, which I do to the tune of 9-12 servings a day. It helps that I LOVE to cook, and I am really good at it. I have been able to make really great meals using mostly veggies, very little oil, and healthy alternatives to higher calorie ingredients.
Within a month of making these changes, I was down 27 pounds and was no longer diabetic. I lost 137 pounds in the first year on eating habits alone. Three months ago I had an MRI done and my fatty liver striations and tumors have cleared up, so I am no longer considered having fatty liver disease. I could list a lot of negative things here that I no longer have; my list of "things I didn't know I couldn't do but now that I can I am amazed" would be twice as long.
In January 2011 I started to exercise. I started just by taking 20 minute walks. Then I added some distance. Soon, I added small bursts of light jogging. I started out at 15 seconds of jogging followed by 8 minutes of walking for 4 cycles. I thought I was going to die
Over time, I added to the jogging by 30 seconds, while taking away from the walking and have continued this pattern. Today, I jog for 32 minutes, walk for 3 minutes and then finish with another 6.5 minute jog (about 3.5 miles total). I do this every other day. My goal is to be able jog the whole distance and once that is reached, I will start working on speed. I am trying to work up the motivation to add free weight toning on my off-running days, but I am having a really hard time starting.
-->UPDATE July 28 2011 : I am now jogging a full 5k (3.1 miles) every other day which takes me about 42 minutes. On the off days, I did start my toning DVD (my shoulders are starting to look awesome!!!) and then I take a 45 minute hike up the HUGE hills around the house. I dropped my calories a bit at the same time and the result is that the plateau I was in finally broke.
I also decided that I am switching my weight goal. 140 is my next milestone goal ('normal' BMI) but my ideal weight range will be 127-132.
There is loads more details in my blog, which is linked in my signature if you are interested
edited to add [because so many people have commented]: 1) the guy is all the pics is my hot hubby. and 2) I made the octopus necklace. In a fit of shameless self promotion this is a link to my flickr page of my craftsy stuff
, and if you IM me, I will send you my Etsy link