How I Lost 132 Pounds
I've always loved sweets, fast food and junk food. Basically, my eating habits have never been all that great. But I was able to offset them with exercise until after college, when I started working (and stopped moving). I knew I was getting fat, but I ignored it. When friends and family commented on my weight, I would hear what they said, feel bad and vow to myself to get back in shape. Yet I did nothing. As I got heavier, I was also diagnosed with depression and started taking medication.
The turning point
By the time 2009 came, I was over 300 pounds and eating was my only coping mechanism when tough things happened (like six months of unemployment). My self-esteem was at an all-time low, and I avoided social situations because I was embarrassed—even walking through the parking lot to go to a movie was exhausting. At a routine medical checkup, I got more bad news: I was diagnosed with diabetes. When I went in for the follow-up, my doctor had already ordered medication, but I told him that I didn't want to take it. Much to my surprise, he said that I could hold off on the diabetes pills if I lost weight and changed my eating habits.
When I first joined an Anytime Fitness gym near where I live and started working out with Alex, a personal trainer, I couldn't do a sit-up or a push-up, and 30 seconds was all I could manage on a stationary bike. When I looked at my eating habits, I saw that the first thing I had to do was get honest about how much I was eating. I kept a food log of everything I put into my mouth, and how I felt emotionally and physically at each meal—which helped me keep my emotional eating in check. Within a week, the number on the scale started moving down. Four months later, I went back to the doctor 42 pounds lighter and received incredible news: I was no longer diabetic! Around this time, I was also able to cut way down on my depression meds because my mood had lifted significantly, thanks to the regular exercise.
Staying on track
Throughout my weight loss, I took photos—starting with day one at the gym—and posted them along with daily progress updates on my Facebook page. This kept me accountable along the way. And it worked! I've lost 132 pounds since I made my original get-healthy commitment. Now, I'm more outgoing and can honestly say that I truly love my body, which is something I never thought would happen.
Change Takes Time!
It's easy to get discouraged if you don't keep this in mind. You're not going to immediately love healthy eating. If I had given up at the first bump, I wouldn't be where I am today.
My stick-with-it secret?
GET A TRAINER WHO GETS YOU. Alex used to be overweight herself, so she knew how to be both challenging and empathetic. She even inspired me to become an athlete again! (I'm now training as a competitive weight lifter.)
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