I have lost 110 lbs so far. I have more to get rid of but have found myself struggling with effort and motivation the past two months. My weight loss has slowed considerably and my personal life and health situation are equally depressing. Recently I have made some changes and have begun some mini challenges that I hope will kick start me once again into a more productive direction.
This morning I came across a story that made me stand up and take notice. The woman in it truly inspires me to keep up my efforts no matter how depressing life seems to be right now or how slowly the remaining pounds leave my body. She gives me HOPE!! At one time she was 250 lbs and on 25 medications. She had a host of very serious illnesses including ones of the heart and kidneys. Now she no longer takes any medication. Here is her AMAZING story. Let her inspire you too!
Name: Betty Lou Sweeney
Before Weight: 250 pounds
How I Gained It: I had been on diets my whole life. I'd lose weight, and then gain it back, plus more. It had become a vicious cycle for me. I must have tried every diet out there, and they all worked, but slowly the pounds returned. I just couldn't keep the weight off.
I was an unhappy child due to being raised in more than 12 different foster homes and living in and out of the orphanage many times. I wasn't adopted until I was 15 years old. In that time, I had been abused many times. My friends were animals and food.
As an adult, I loved sweets and fast food. I would consume six donuts or rolls on the way home from work, just an hour's drive. I ate ice cream bars, lots of fried chicken, fish and chops, with all the trimmings. My potatoes were heavy with butter.
I never felt attractive and was told so often what a loser I was that I believed it. I never liked myself, except for those times when I had gotten down to a size 10 or 12. I could never maintain it, so it did nothing for my self-esteem.
Breaking Point: In May 2009 at age 69, I got another bladder infection, but this time the infection went to the sac that surrounds the heart. In treating that infection, I reacted to the medication and my kidneys shut down. I put on 30 pounds of water weight overnight and was having a very hard time breathing. I became septic and my temperature soared to 106. At first, I reacted to every medicine and got sicker and sicker. Finally a medication kicked in, and I started to get better. My doctors told my husband that they almost lost me. I felt my family deserved better than this.
How I Lost It: I am a registered nurse, so I asked one of the dietitians at work to give me an eating plan they would give to a newly-diagnosed diabetic who needed to lose weight. I wasn't diabetic yet, but knew I needed to keep my blood sugars stable. On that day, I changed the foods I ate, the way I cooked them and my portion sizes. I got down to about 210 pounds when an Anytime Fitness center opened near my home. I joined, and over the next couple of months I got down to 200 pounds. The weight was coming off so slowly, so I engaged the help of a trainer. When we started, I couldn't get up from a chair to a standing position on my own. Everything hurt from my arthritic joints. Dave, my trainer, was very patient and encouraging as he slowly helped me get better.
Today I am able to do a pull-up (never could do those, even as a child!), 20 push-ups and sit-ups. I have run many 5K races and two half-marathons. I set a Guinness World Record for the longest time in an abdominal plank in 2011 at age 71. Shortly after, a man broke my record, but I believe I still hold it for women. I feel younger than I have in years. I have pushed through several injuries, including a dislocated shoulder, a fractured left hand, a pulled calf and, most recently, a torn hamstring.
Now, I eat raw vegetables, fresh fruit, yogurt and protein powder to help me get enough protein in to sustain my workouts. I eat chicken breasts with no skin, fish or very lean pork. All meats are either baked, broiled or fixed in a hot air oven where all the fats drip away. I never eat sweets these days because when I did I found I craved them for almost a month. It wasn't worth the scare it put into me. I don't miss them and can be at a party and not even feel tempted anymore. I have learned to love the taste of the food itself without all the crap I used to put on top. I have more energy, I'm not sluggish anymore and I now like myself, which is something I never did for 69 of my 73 years. My self-esteem has soared. I can now talk in front of a group and be at ease, as I feel I have a story to tell that could save someone else's life. I have never been happier in my life. My trainer is like a grandson to me, I love him so much. At this point who knows where my life will take me!
After Weight: 135 pounds
IT'S NEVER TOO LATE! WE all need to FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT for what we want and NEVER EVER GIVE UP!! This woman is living, breathing proof IT CAN BE DONE, regardless of age, and/or condition!!