My Weight Loss Story

I was born in February 1983 at a healthy weight – 6 lbs and 10.5 ounces. As a younger child, I was thin. My mom told me she used to worry about me getting enough food, because of how thin I was. I remember being happy through about second grade.
I didn’t have a weight problem, or even think about weight as a thing, until probably about third grade. That is when I steadily began to gain weight throughout my childhood.  To this day I still don’t quite understand how or why I had such a shift.  I don’t remember what I was eating, or what my habits were like.  Once it happened though, it was then pointed out to me that I was fat (even was told by more than one classmate that I looked pregnant) more times than I could count.
I didn’t really know why I was gaining weight, or how to lose it.  I occasionally tried to diet, but it never lasted more than a few days. I was heavily reliant on sweets as a coping mechanism for stress, and as a way to cope with boredom, loneliness, and sadness, not to mention I was probably seriously addicted to them. I had no idea how to cope when the sweets were gone, and I didn’t like “healthy” food.  By middle school I weighed about 160 pounds.
It didn’t get any better in high school – my bad habits and stress only got worse. I weighed about 215 my senior year in high school, and that was probably the first time I seriously tried to diet. I chose the Herbalife diet. Needless to say I didn’t stick to it. That kicked off 10 years of yo yo dieting where I stayed in a range between 190 and 220 pounds. I could never stay below the 190 mark, and always gained the weight back to 220 or 225, where I’d panic, and diet back down to 190, before I just couldn’t restrict calories any longer.

My stress and terrible habits continued to compound until February 2010, where I reached my highest weight of roughly 240 pounds. I say roughly because I was so disgusted with myself I couldn’t bear to look at the scale. I definitely saw 238, 239 or something like that during that time. My then-husband, a person who also had very unhealthy eating habits, had just left me after a shot at what turned out to be a terrible, stressful marriage that never should have happened.  I found myself living alone in a foreign country, doing a job that was absolutely killing my soul, without any family to lean on and hardly any friends. I am 5’5.5″ tall. My BMI at 240 would have been 39.3 – so I feel comfortable saying I was either morbidly obese or less than 5 pounds away from becoming so.  I had one pair of pants that fit.  I still have them.

I dropped down to 220 again fairly easily by just cutting out meat products from my diet. I feel comfortable saying that that, along with removing my husband’s groceries and habits from the house, made that first weight loss of 20 pounds pretty easy. I didn’t restrict my food groups in a very smart or planned way though, and started to lose a scary amount of hair.
Despite that however, I was then back into my 190-220 range. Despite severely cutting calories (1200 per day) and taking up running 3x per week though, I simply never could get under 190 again, and resumed my cycle of yo yo dieting.
I left my career in August 2012, which was an incredible source of stress for me. My stress level began to resolve over the next few months as I decided definitively NOT to go back to my old career. By May 2014, I was ready to try to lose weight again.  I knew I had to do something I had never done before to get results I’d never gotten to date. So far, to that date, the only thing that I had any success with was calorie restriction, and some Couch 2 5K running that I could never stick to.
The first thing I did was get a Wifi scale.. I tried it out on May 12, 2014. I weighed exactly 210 pounds. I started dieting on my own, but I also hired a wonderful personal trainer two weeks later to come to my house one time per week. That was a big deal to me. It was a high ongoing expense to me, and I also hated exercise. But I knew I had never made exercise a priority before, and I knew what my results would be if all I did was restrict calories – I had tried that many times before. I also knew if she didn’t come see me literally at my house, that there was no way I would stick to it. My trainer’s name was Anna. I started working with Anna in June 2014.
Anna helped me lose approximately 50 pounds. I restricted my calories to roughly 1200 Net per day, cut out animal products as much as I reasonably could for ethical reasons (I had always wanted to, but could never stick to such a strict diet before), engaged in the resistance training Anna prescribed 3 times per week, and in October 2014, also added 10K training three times per week, because I desperately wanted results. I did not enjoy any of these workouts, but I am very good at pushing through unpleasantness if there’s a light on the other side. I desperately wanted to lose weight, and I trusted Anna to make sure I wasn’t wasting my time.
I ran a 10K personal best at 64:06,90 in June 2015, and a 5K Personal Best of 30:46 in July 2015. I wasn’t happy with those results at the time, and I’m still not – I wanted to beat 62 minutes and 30 minutes for those distances. With Anna’s help, I got down as low as 147.9 pounds about that time. I was finally not overweight any more; I had a healthy BMI. I was closing in on my goal.  During that year, I made all kinds of small little tweaks and changes to my lifestyle.  Some stuck and were tremendously helpful.  Some didn’t.  And some fall somewhere in between.  I hope to cover them on this blog over time.  These small changes, along with the caloric restriction and exercise, were the magic sauce for me to finally get under 190, and lose another 40 pounds and keep it off.
Then I went on vacation for a month in August 2015. I gained 10 pounds. And ever since then, I have been in a new range, yo yoing back and forth, between 140.0 pounds (Lowest weight I’ve ever seen as an adult) and 155 pounds.  In the intervening time, I moved away from Anna in December 2015 and discontinued our professional relationship.  I have managed to stay in this range despite not having her with me.  So I’ve officially maintained my weight for a year without her, but that is not enough for me.  I would like to lose more body fat.
This is what I look like today, nearing the end of 2016. I weigh 147 pounds today. I estimate a goal weight of 125 or 130 for my body. Therefore I would like to lose approximately 17 to 23 pounds.

I’ve done a lot, and I’ve come a long way. However, I have more to go, and then I have to learn to maintain my weight loss. Feel free to follow along or join me as I figure out how to finally kick these final 20 pounds.

You can see how I’m doing in real time here!


Thanks for reading!

With appreciation,