How I Lost 132 Pounds*

By , By Abigail Cuffey, of Woman's Day
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.

Facing reality

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.)

Stories you might like:
What is your “stick-with-it secret" for your weight loss and/or health journey?

*Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program. 
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You are inspiring! Report
Good for you and much happiness and success to you in the future.. Report
Congratulations on your accomplishments! Report
Awesome!!! Congratulations on all the goals and accomplishments you have done with the 132 pound weight lost. We are very proud of you as you should be of youself. This is the WAY TO GO!!! God Bless You and Have a Wonderful Week. Report
You're such an inspiration to everyone here. I find that having someone else trying to get healthy with you is so important to ensure you stick with it. Report
Wonderful story, well done on your weight loss and beyond. Report
Congrats on your weight loss and finding a new sport to compete in! Your story inspires me to stick to my commitment to get myself to a healthy weight. Thanks for sharing your story with us! Report
Awesome! The idea of posting a picture on Facebook is a keeper. Thanks! Report
I love the tip about keeping a food log as well as how your feeling emotionally and physically for each meal - I will add this to my regimen!

Thank you for the encouraging tips and congratulations to you on your progress! Report
Congratulations on your success,to reclaim your health and a happy life!
You are an inspiration! Report
Thanks for sharing your encouraging story!! Report
Very inspirational! Thank you! Report
Awesome thanks for sharing. Report
Thank you for sharing.It is great hearing someone else with the exact same problem(played sports all my life never had problems with weight until I walked across my high stage in 2005)....I am currently correcting my diet which through God it has been successful I have 22 pounds this year and now trying to add exercise back in without losing quality time with my son and studying my secret is dancing with my son.....hes my trainer he makes me dance every night and hes my motivation because I look at him and I long to watch him grow so I try harder to push for a healthier life. Report
Its stories like yours that keep me inspired and motivated! Thanks for sharing and giving me that extra drive! Report
Secret: Eliminating sugar and flour from my diet. Eating at least 60 grams of protein every day. Documenting calories every day. Planning ahead so I can be prepared when I'm away from home so I don't "get caught" needing to go to restaurant. Eating food when my body needs it as because of my past working late and eating late, makes my "meal times" different than "normal." And a treadmill in my house so I can jump on 10-15 minutes 2-3 times a day. Also heard that a peddler is great. But my SECRET: eliminating sugar and flour except for an occasional birthday celebration. Oh, and using Miracle Noodles and extra fiber. Report
Good for you!! As a fellow sparker, I'm so proud of your accomplishment!! Report
Wow thanks for sharing! Very inspirational! I hope i do as well as you! Congrats! Report
A very inspirational story and how exciting is it to go into competitive weight lifting. A big congratuations to you! Report
Congratulations!! My "stick with it secret" is health. I want a wealth of health and it has eluded me almost my entire life. I will not give up and I will not give in. I am a DIY motivator. Keep up the great work! Report
Wow so inspirational Thanks for sharing! Report
What an inspiring story. I love that you have remained focused and determined with the help of your personal trainer. I wish you the very best with your new found desire to be a weight trainer. Keep in touch to let me know how everything goes with your transformation!! Wishing you the very best!! Report
Congratulations on your success so far!! Report
Congratulations on an amazing Journey! You are an inspiration!!!!
You are truly an inspiration. What keeps me going, despite deviations, is the desire to be healthy (good cholesterol and blood sugar levels,ability to move and do daily activities without tiredness, etc, etc, etc). Report
Awesome! Good for you! Report
definately inspiring..great job keep it up! Report
You have worked so hard to fight for your health! You've obviously learned the keys to continued success and keeping it off. It's all about goals, tracking and one day at a time!! Congratulations! Report
Congratulations on your success and living a healthy lifestyle! Report
What a wonderful success story. I love reading stories like this. Congratulations. Keep up the good work. Report
Congrats, keep up the good work, and thanks for the inspiration !!! Report
What an encouraging story! I draw my inspiration from God! I know that he wants us to take care of our bodies, but also I have a Grandson and a husband and son who mean the world to me! If your over weight, you can't do the things with your family that you enjoy! Also, I think about my parents who both died young. My Mother was an alcoholic and my Father died of coronary heart disease. I think I started working out consistently when my Father passed away, but I still wasn't eating the right foods to stay healthy. I would diet, but then after the weight would come off, I would be right back where I started. It wasn't until I realized this was for life that things changed! There are times I feel I want to give up! I have to say maintaining your weight is harder then getting to your ideal weight, but the good Lord helps give me strength each and every day! That is my secret! Simple but true! Report
Awesome story and great work! Very inspirational read on a monday morning! Thank you and good luck going forward with all you do.

dtc@Spark Report
congratulations! !!! So happy for you and your success! you are a true inspiration!
What an inspiration! I am starting close to where you were. It helps to know it just takes one step at a time. Report
What an inspiration! I am starting close to where you were. It helps to know it just takes one step at a time. Report
LOVE IT! Congratulations!

Love and really appreciate your last point. If you're going to use a trainer, find one who GETS IT. Awesome advise!

Thanks Report
It takes lots of hard work and dedication to lose that amount of weight ! Good for you! Report
quite inspirational. thank you. the one tip I have that has worked for me (and continues to work) is to start with one small challenging goal, to prove to yourself that you can set your sights a little higher. From there use the positive motivation to set another goal or two. Then just keep building and adding goals and watch yourself just keep knocking them out of the way. With time and patience, you've lost a significant amount of weight or really improved your fitness level. Report
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