I did it! (goal)

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  • Well, I haven't been around this forum too much lately -- I am having some wrist issues so I cut down my typing and have only been posting in the 20-somethings forum, but here I am today. Why? Because today, for the third day in a row, my scale said 130 lbs, which is enough days for me to record it as official!

    Anyway, I thought I would come here and share my story.

    I was raised eating at restaurants a lot, and eating a lot of fried and fatty foods. Outdoor activities and exercise of any kind were never really encouraged in my family. My parents are both overweight, my dad much more so than my mom -- every so often my mom would decide she wanted to lose weight and we would do a Jane Fonda or Richard Simmons workout tape for a day or two, but it never lasted. We always had some kind of sweets/dessert around the house, with the only rule being that we (my sister and I) had to eat fruit before we were allowed to eat dessert. Actually, when I was little my mom cooked at home most of the time and we didn't go out very much, but she started working full time when I started high school, and after that there were a lot more fast food and diner meals.

    I started getting chubby right before puberty, but as usually happens my growth spurt counteracted it. However, I never really exercised outside of gym class at school, so I was never physically fit at all. In high school this meant that I would see all the flabby skin I had (and I grew up in LA, where there are like five million supermodel-looking girls all over) and think I was fat, even when I weighed 115 lbs my freshman year. In fact, I don't remember ever not thinking I was fat, because most of my friends were always skinnier than me. In gym class they would have us run twice a week, and I was always at the back of the pack, and couldn't run a single lap around the track (1/4 mile) without having to stop and walk and feeling like I was dying. I hated that feeling and I hated being last, so I just told myself "well, I am just not good at running," and I celebrated when I finished the required two years of PE classes.

    Basically in high school I gained about 10 lbs/year. By the time I graduated I was around 150 (I'm 5'4"), having started around 115. As I gained weight in high school, my dad started to point out that I was "getting a belly" (he started making these comments when I was around 128 or so). This became a huge point of contention because he would always make comments about my weight, then when I started crying he would yell at me that I was being too sensitive. Keep in mind that my dad is about 5'5" and somewhere around 230 (no, it's not muscle). Eventually he said he was telling me I was fat because he didn't want me to end up like him. Maybe that makes sense in some twisted way, but I really don't think a very overweight man telling a teenage girl she is fat (when she's at a healthy weight) is going to convince her to lose weight. In any case, I just became more convinced I was fat, fat, fat, and since I am an emotional eater, that turned into eating more and more junk food.

    Here is an idea of how I might have eaten on a typical day in high school: breakfast would probably be a frozen meal, like a toaster strudel or french toast sticks. At around 10am, I would probably have a muffin I bought at school. Lunchtime meant either Pizza Hut pizzas (which they sold at school) or candy bars from the vending machine. When I got home around 4:30, I would eat whatever dessert was around (ice cream sundae, a couple donuts, etc). If my dad cooked dinner, it would probably be some kind of deep fried Chinese chicken dish -- if my mom cooked it might be breaded and fried turkey breast with a side salad. If neither of them felt like cooking, it was TV dinners. Around 8pm was usually snack time -- more of whatever I had been eating at 4:30!

    Then it was off to college and all-you-can eat meals. To be honest, I have never had much self control when it comes to food -- if there is yummy food in front of me, I will eat until there is no more, whether or not I am hungry (this is something I've been working on a lot lately). All four years of college, I lived in a dorm and ate at the cafeteria. My last two years I ate cereal for breakfast in my room, but every lunch and every dinner was at the cafeteria.

    Now, our cafeteria was pretty notorious for bad food. But the dessert was always pretty darn tasty -- their Mexican food was pretty good too. So I would end up eating huge amounts of fatty greasy food and then pile on the dessert afterward! Being an emotional eater like I said before, the stress of college led to even more junk food.

    Here's an example of what I might have eaten on a typical Saturday in college: first would be a bowl of cereal in my room. A couple hours later, I would go to brunch, where I would probably have a couple pancakes, a couple pieces of sausage or bacon, some eggs with cheese, maybe a belgian waffle if I was really hungry (with strawberries and whipped cream, of course), and a couple bites of whatever "lunch" food they had (chicken strips or something). I would always have dessert afterwards too. Around mid-afternoon I would probably go to the coffeeshop and get hot cocoa or chai. Dinner would probably be a big plate full of spaghetti with the oily sauce they always had, five garlic breadsticks or so, and a piece of whatever kind of chicken or fish they had available. Plus at least one of the desserts from the spread (cake, cheesecake, pudding, pie, ice cream, etc). In the evening I would go to a party with my friends, have a couple drinks, then go buy ice cream or pizza when we got the "drunken munchies."

    I have to say it is completely embarrassing to admit that I used to eat like that (I am really not exaggerating).

    The summer after my sophomore year, I was moving into an apartment on my own for a summer job and I decided I was fed up and I wanted to lose weight. I didn't have a clue how to do it, so I did the only thing that looked easy -- SlimFast. I would have a small bowl of Special K for breakfast, a SlimFast meal bar for lunch, and a very low-calorie dinner. My goal that summer was to eat under 1000 calories each day (I really had no idea that that was an unhealthy amount to eat). In any case, I lost 30 lbs (without any exercise, also not good) and got down to 150 again. The following semester I developed some pretty intense stomach problems and had some kind of liver problem as well that went away before they could diagnose it. Suffice to say I was really sick and couldn't eat much more than green beans at the dining hall. Obviously that allowed me to maintain my weight for that semester, and into the next. The following year was back to the old habits, and I gained an amazing 35 pounds in one year to hit my all-time high of 185 at graduation.

    After graduation, I moved across the country and moved in with my boyfriend. He has many of the same self-control problems as me, but has always been good about exercising. I thought to myself that Slim-Fast worked before, so I would give it a shot again. I would eat cereal for breakfast, a Slim-Fast bar for lunch, and a sensible dinner (no more super-low-cal). I also started going to a pilates class three times a week. After a couple months, I started to feel some of the stomach symptoms I had had the previous time (heartburn) and I cut out the Slim-Fast immediately. I figured it was probably responsible for the heartburn, so there must be a better way. I switched instead to Lean Cuisine for lunch, and in general tried to get around 1200 cals/day. After my pilates class ended, I made a new year's resolution (for 2005) that I would be able to run a mile, something I had never done before.

    Soon after that I found 3FC. I learned SO MUCH from this website, I have to say a huge thank you to all the wonderful ladies on here. A couple months after that, I was able to run a mile. A couple months later, I could run two. In September this year I ran my first 5K race, and did not walk at all. I have since given up the Lean Cuisine deal and am sticking to healthy food made at home. Whole grains, fruits and veggies, low-fat dairy products, and lean meat. I still eat sweets every now and then, but moderately. I still go out to eat, but only once a week. I work out at least three days a week (during the summer I was doing 5-6).

    For the past couple months, I have been eating at what I feel is a maintenance level (something I could continue with my whole life). Imagine my surprise that I continued to lose weight! Not only that, but after coming back from a week of indulgence for Thanksgiving, I actually lost the last two pounds and hit my goal weight of 130.

    I went from 185 to 130, from a size 16 to a size 8 (I actually fit into some 6's now too). It took over a year to lose those 55 lbs, but I think that is just fine. Before, I lost weight rapidly, didn't learn how to eat right, and gained it all back. Now I have so much more knowledge and I have you wonderful ladies (and gentlemen) to thank for that. I am in the best shape of my life and I don't plan to slack off on that any time soon. If a few more pounds come off, that's okay, I wouldn't mind being 125. But I am going to be careful to stay at a healthy weight.

    I plan to maintain this weight for the rest of my life, but especially I hope to maintain my fitness level so that I look great when I get married in fall of 2007!!

    My "words of wisdom" to those of you just starting out . . . . Like everyone else here says, it really is a lifestyle change, not just a "diet." It isn't easy, and it takes a lot of hard work and dedication. But you know what? If I can do it, so can you! Because seriously, I am a totally lazy bum with a major sweet tooth. But it's possible to lose the weight! If I can go from not being able to jog 1/4 mile to being able to jog about SIX miles, so can you! My one other word of wisdom . . . fireworks don't go off when you hit goal weight. The heavens don't open or anything. The fact is that it is just another number on the scale, you will not magically become a perfect person. But what's really important are the healthy habits you form along the way!

    I would write more, but it's time to go cook dinner.
  • Congratulations on your weight loss!!! That is an incredible amount of weight you have lost...and to lose it at the rate you did and the way you did...You're sure to keep it off! I'm so happy for you! Trust me...I am. Since I started at basically the same weight you did and want to end at the way you're at...I am so impressed.
    I know you're happy and really overjoyed as you should be. You've done so well. I wish you nothing but the best!
  • ahhhhhh what an inspiration! Congrats girl!!!!!!!!!!!! wow, im amazed... thanks so much for sharing

    I love the part about how you went from crash-dieting to healthy eating. Now you can keep the weight off. Stay here on 3fc, 'k? We'd love to support you in maintaining.
  • Congrats!!!
  • CONGRATS!!! That is wonderful!
  • Paperclippy, I am so happy for you! Thanks for sharing your story because it really is an inspiration for so many of us. I hope you'll be sticking around...
  • Way to go!
    Congratulations! You are such an inspiration. I am actually losing weight on purpose for the first time ever in my adult life and reading stories like yours gives me such hope that I will one day get there too. Thanks for sharing!
  • Yay papperclippy! You rock gal!

    And yes, it is just another number on the scale, but a nice one
  • Congratulations Paperclippy! That is awesome!
    My pop was heavy the entire time I was growing up and we overate costantly, although we usually ate good, healthy foods, too (lost of salads, veggies, lean meats, but way too much). I lost 35 lbs. in the four months before my wedding, but that was through a crash diet. Now I am doing it much more slowly, but I am also making changes I can live with for the rest of my life.
    It is so encouraging to see someone else make it!
  • Whoot!! Congratulations! You are an inspiration
  • Paperclippy, and thanks for sharing your inspiring (and very well-written ) story!
  • Congratulations!! You are an inspiration to us all.
  • Thanks everyone! I plan on sticking around here, I don't think I could maintain without you all!
  • Congratulations!!!