Goal! Have you reached your goal? Share your success story and celebrate your victory!

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Old 04-10-2009, 09:58 PM   #1  
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Default One year later: size 14 to 4

My high weight, almost three years ago now, was 162. That's put me at "obese" in the BMI chart. (I know, the BMI is just a guide, often inaccurate.... but really--obese?!? That was a wake-up call.) By February 2008, I had lost and then re-gained and I was back up to 152. I hadn't been biking to work since my bike got stolen, and with my annual mid-winter vitamin D deficiency keeping me in bed too late every morning, I wasn't motivated to exercise at all. I was in the high overweight category in the BMI charts. Since two siblings and my father developed adult-onset diabetes, losing weight was more about health than looks at this point.

That month, I went on vacation. I visited a friend of mine in another city for 10 days, and it was fabulous. She had been eating right and exercising and had lost probably 20 pounds--it was great inspiration. While I was visiting, we went to her regular aerobics class twice, and it was fun, but it made me really realize how out of shape I was. That, and the photos she took of me when I brought my camera to a post-aerobics visit with friends one evening made me realize how overweight I had become (pic attached).

So I came back home and decided to do something about it. There is a gym in my condo, so I started going most mornings. Looking back in my Fitday journal, I was on the treadmill most of the time. Then I bought a new bike in April, and that helped; and I went vegetarian, and that helped a little too . I had been tracking my calories, activities and weight in Fitday since March, and by June, I was 142 pounds. I bought a beeyootiful dress for a friend's wedding, and felt fabulous (pic attached--isn't that a gorgeous dress?).

In July, I lost 5 pounds. I was freaking out--in a good way! I kept losing, though more slowly, the rest of the summer. At the end of September, I joined the gym 2 minutes from work with my co-worker/friend and we started going to classes at lunch.

In October, I went to France with my mom for two weeks--I managed to eat well and lose a pound and a half while I was there. (Pic attached.) I had also read Skinny B*tch while there, and decided the time was right, and I was finally ready to go vegan--after my limited choices for vegetarian meals in France, I was cheesed out. (Don't get me worng, it was delicious! But I ate a lot of cheese.)

I kept biking to work, sorted out which classes I liked at the gym, and remained vegan. I decided to focus on my diet for a while, and not as much on weight loss. I wanted to make sure I was getting enough protein, healthy fats and B12, and make sure I was't feeling deprived.

With the winter weather keeping me off my bike, the gym was slowly becoming a second home to me. Two more co-workers joined the gym around the new year, and I started regularly going to evening classes with one of them (since I was busier with work and going to lunch classes only once or twice a week) in addition to doing cardio.

In early March, I started counting calories again. I had been losing slowly since my vacation in October, but by then I had figured out how to eat vegan, be healthy and not gain. I decided I should re-focus on losing and get to my goal weight. Since then, I have lost 5.5 pounds. I hit my revised goal of 120 last week.

So here I am, at goal! (Pic from today, in my workout gear, below.) I've learned a lot, and become a lot healthier in the process of losing weight. I love shopping now--most things I try on look good on me, and my weight loss lately is more about aesthetics than health. But I'm still all about the fitness--I got praise from a seriously buff trainer, I ran 10K for the first time last weekend, I can do two classes in a row without dying. I think I might revise my ultimate goal to 110, or focus on losing body fat and gaining muscle, but I know I can maintain when I start trying.

[Since this post ended up being "my story", I'll post my pictures here, and continue with the "what I've learned" post below.]
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Calgary Feb 14-26-2008 Part 1 192B.JPG (29.1 KB, 3395 views)
File Type: jpg Kyla May-31-08.jpg (32.7 KB, 2686 views)
File Type: jpg dscf0252B.JPG (27.9 KB, 2437 views)
File Type: jpg After pics 052B.JPG (19.8 KB, 3895 views)

Last edited by nakedmango; 04-10-2009 at 10:45 PM.
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Old 04-10-2009, 10:42 PM   #2  
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What I've learned:

I need to enjoy my exercise. Not every time I exercise, not every single minute of my ride/run/class, but when I enjoy it I'll do it more. Since I'm a social being, I enjoy my classes. Since my gym is small, I enjoy the 'community' feeling that I get from knowing the instructors, the other members, the staff. I also need to enjoy the cardio I do the most, which is why biking to work has worked so well for me.

I need to cook. The only way to control most of my food choices is to cook for myself. I can still eat out a couple times a week, but cooking/preparing most of the food I eat is the best way to ensure that it's healthy and the right portion size.

I need to remember I'm short.
I don't need to count calories to lose or to maintain, but I have to remember that I can't eat like many of my friends, especially guys. This means my calories are fewer and my portion sizes are smaller.

I need to plan ahead. When I go out to eat, I need to think about what to order ahead of time. Being vegan means my options are restricted, and if I want something healthy it's often more restricted. As well, when I have evening plans I have to plan my exercise too. Going out means I can't bike to work, or can't get to the gym after work, or both. I need to sort out ahead of time how I'll workout that day, or plan a few day in advance that it will be my 'rest' day and make really sure I don't overeat.

I need to enjoy my food. I get around 2000 calories a day. I can't afford to waste 200 calories on something I don't like. I certainly can't afford to order something at a restaurant and not enjoy it, because then I'll want to go eat something else as well. I only eat things I enjoy.

I need to be prepared.
I always carry healthy snacks with me. Especially being vegan, if I get caught suddenly ravenous with no food around, I will make bad decisions. There are often very few vegan options, so that the only handy vegan food is french fries or chips. So I carry a nut bar and a dried fruit snack with me all the time, about 300 calories, that will fill me up, or at least tide me over for a couple hours.

I need to feel good about myself. For me, that means being in shape and--yes, I'll just admit it--looking good. A friend I hadn't seen since the summer commented that I seem more confident. I'm sure part of it accomplishing something I'm so proud of, but part of it is feeling that I look good. While we all deserve to take care of ourselves regardless of how we look, I am better at taking care of myself when I feel good.

I need goals. When I first started, my goal was just to get in shape. Slowly, I started seeing improvements in my endurance and my strength, and while my weight loss was slowing these fitness accomplishments were very motivating. While I maintain, I will need to continue with fitness goals to stay motivated.

I need to remember my Dad. My Dad has adult-onset diabetes, which resulted in cancer when he was eating so badly that his liver couldn't process it. Admittedly, my Dad is 72, and at that age no one's health is perfect. But my brother and sister were diagnosed with it as well in their 40s. My Dad used to be crazy-fit when he was in the military, and my brother was an athlete in high school and college: clearly they stopped trying, and paid the price with their health. Even if I somehow stop caring about fitting into my clothes, about rockin' a pencil skirt, about losing my fitness so that I can no longer keep up...if I gain weight the chances that I will get diabetes are very high. So I must stay in shape in order to live a long, healthy life.

I need to remember that today is not tomorrow. Whether I eat well today has nothing to do with whether or not I will eat well tomorrow. Whether I exercise today has nothing to do with whether I will exercise tomorrow. This is both a good thing and a bad thing, since if I make a mistake today, it has nothing to do with tomorrow--tomorrow I can make a better choice. However, it also means that if I eat well and exercise today, I have to be sure to make those good choices tomorrow too. This is important to remember for maintenance, and also for the perfectionist in me.

And that's what I've learned. I hope it helps you.

Thanks, 3FC! The posters here have been a voice of reason when I got frustrated, and a community when I felt alone. I couldn't have done it without you.

And don't worry, I'll be sticking around. I threatened to join the maintainers forum months ago, but I still mostly lurk there. I'm more often in the exercise forum--see you there!
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Old 04-10-2009, 10:52 PM   #3  
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(I agree that Obese at 160's is totally ridiculous on BMI.)

YOU was and still are
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Old 04-10-2009, 10:59 PM   #4  
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You look mah-velous, and your story is so inspirational! I really like that you've figured out what the important things are for *you.*
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Old 04-10-2009, 11:38 PM   #5  
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You look 15 years younger from losing all that weight. BRAVO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 04-10-2009, 11:42 PM   #6  
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You look great. I am a maintainer since Christmas and I loved your learning list. Good on you for recognizing the wake up call.
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Old 04-11-2009, 12:08 AM   #7  
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Yes you look absolutely beautiful and healthy.
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Old 04-11-2009, 12:09 AM   #8  
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I don't have time to read your whole story tonight but I just want to say that you look 20yrs younger! Congratulations and I can't wait to come back to read the rest. Way to go!
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Old 04-11-2009, 10:45 AM   #9  
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I am impressed at your effort as you evolved through your journey kiddo...keep it going!
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Old 04-11-2009, 11:05 AM   #10  
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Old 04-11-2009, 11:26 AM   #11  
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Thank you for sharing your tips and those awesome photos. What an inspiration!
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Old 04-11-2009, 11:35 AM   #12  
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You look so fit and fabulous! Congratulations on your success. Keep rockin' it!
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Old 04-11-2009, 11:36 AM   #13  
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Awesome job! You look great.

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Old 04-11-2009, 12:02 PM   #14  
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Thank you so much for sharing your story. Very powerful and inspiring.

Congratulations on all of your hard work. It has surely paid off. You sound and look incredible. See you over at the Maintainer's Forum, where I look forward to "spending" more time with you.
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Old 04-11-2009, 04:12 PM   #15  
Visualize the beach....
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You look FAB! You're a definite inspiration.
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