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2013 - My Year of Completion. With Before and After pictures!

Friday, January 03, 2014

FINALLY! After nearly 20 years of being Obese then Overweight, I have reached my goal!

Roughly 5 1/2 years ago, when the scale topped out at 198, I realized it was time. I had to do something about my weigh once and for all. I joined SP and signed up for BLC10 and lost roughly 10 pounds in the first year. I was guilty of the typical up and down yoyo cycle that many of us do but after another year, I managed to lose another 10 pounds. I began 2011 weighing roughly 178. Any that's where I spent the next three years. Thanks to yoyoing, I only averaged roughly 3 pounds a year so by September 2013, I weighed roughly 172.

Five years and I hadn't even dropped a full 30 pounds! That's barely 5 pounds a year! Less than 1/2 pound a month! PITIFUL! And I had tried EVERYTHING! LITERALLY EVERYTHING! Every diet pill, weight loss plan and exercise gimmick on the market! I had tried every single supermarket tabloid's promise to lose weight fast. I had even tried a prescription injection prescribed by my doctor, guaranteed to help control my appetite. The only thing I DIDN'T try was weight loss surgery.

While I saw initial success with just about everything, nothing worked for very long and eventually, the weight I had struggled to lose, would creep back on. I went from periods of TREMENDOUS motivation to periods of complete lack of motivation. It took so long to lose just a few pounds and just a few days to find it again! On top of my weight issues, I was terribly out of shape and suffered from back and knee pain. I would count my calories daily but not pay much heed to the quality of those calories. I figured 1500 calories, was 1500 calories. Little did I know! And who was I trying to kid?

In January 2011, I took up running. I could barely run 60 seconds at a time when I began but three months later I ran my first HM and finished in 2:48. Initially the scale dropped as my fitness level increased but as my pictures show, there wasn't much difference from year to year.

January 2011

January 2012

January 2013

I was determined that 2013 would be my year of completion..... but as you can see, Spring 1013, didn't bring much of a change.

And neither did fall 2013.

I'm not sure what my turning point was. Not sure which straw finally broke the camel's back, but I finally came to the realization that this was not an on again, off again journey. This was my life! And I needed to attack my WL journey with the same determination as life, living it 24/7/365! I had the cardio thing down. I knew my weaknesses were strength training and nutrition. I was clueless as to what I should and shouldn't be eating, outside of the obvious. So I went in search of a personal trainer and nutritionist and was fortunate enough to find both in one person. I set up a free consultation September 23, 2013 and that meeting changed my life! She put me through a fitness assessment and told me what I already knew. For a fat girl, I was pretty fit. That had a lot to do with the miles I put on my running shoes, training for multiple half marathons, an 18.12 challenge and even a full marathon, between April and September. Over 1000 combined training and racing miles in 2013, to be exact. What she told me next wasn't a huge surprise either. She told me my body was STARVING for muscle! My legs looked great from the running but the rest of me was pretty soft. The third thing she told me literally made me stand up and take notice. She told me she could have me AT GOAL in 8 weeks! All I had to do was follow her instructions for nutrition and strength training. Well that was a NO BRAINER! Eight weeks to goal? I could do anything for eight weeks! She told me what I should and shouldn't eat and she signed me up for M/W/F strength training sessions. In the first week alone, I lost over 8 pounds! After that I averaged roughly 3-5 pounds a week, as long as I stayed on plan nutritionally. During this time I was never hungry and my cravings literally disappeared. I hit a few plateaus but having her support truly made the difference. It kept me focused on my goal and she switched up my training routine every few weeks to keep my body guessing. There's something about having someone ask you every Monday, Wednesday and Friday how much more weight you've lost, that keeps you very accountable!

In the end there were a few surprises for me to discover about myself. My initial goal wasn't very realistic. I was shooting for 138 but I went to the Doctor for my annual physical weighing 151 in early December and when I told him my goal weight, he was very adamant that I should NOT shoot for 138! He said with my muscle tone and body type my goal should be 145-155. He said anything less than 145, and I would look unhealthy and anorexic. Considering all my pants were falling off me and when I went to buy more, I found I was in a SIZE 4, it was easy to see what he was talking about.

I also discovered an addiction to lifting! I'm currently deadlifting 115 pounds, only 38 pounds less than my current body weight. And that's not a single lift. That's four sets of ten reps three times a week! At 52 years old, I'm benching 65 pounds (4x10) easily and this week I will be upping that and shooting for 75. My 18 yo daughter tells me I'm benching as much or more than the majority of her college basketball team and they lift 3 times a week, year round. My overhead press and squats are currently at 45 pounds (4x15 and 4x25).

I had to go out and buy belts for the first time in 20 years because even my size 4s won't stay up without one anymore. But I think the biggest surprise of all is that after 20 years I am FINALLY AT GOAL! I am no longer feeling the need to read every "next big thing" on the WL front. I hadn't realized just how much stock I put in to all those articles and TV commercials until I hit a point where I didn't feel I needed them anymore! I mean, let's be honest. If even ONE of those things really did work, that would be the end of it! Everyone would be AT GOAL and the diet industry would be out of business!

After 20 years, I am no longer "the fat girl". THAT is a huge adjustment! It's hard to change my mindset and realize that I'm no longer fat. I no longer have to buy clothes to camouflage my body. I can buy literally anything I want because everything looks great on me now! All those cute workout clothes I drooled over but knew they would never look right on my rolls, are no longer off limits. I'm not afraid of the changing rooms anymore either. I'm not trying on a size 16, only to find that it is too tight and I need the 18 instead. I'm swim suit shopping for a trip to Antigua and IT'S FUN! I'm actually considering a tankini, which I've dreamed of wearing for years now but knew I couldn't get away with it before. I have more energy than I've had in ages. My aches and pains that I thought were a part of growing older, have disappeared! I can climb up and down several sets of stairs without getting winded. I'm not avoiding the camera anymore! I have more pictures of me with my husband and children in the past two months than I have in the past 15 years! People are mistaking me for my daughters! Even my doctor told me that if he didn't know better, he'd guess I was in my 30s, rather than my 50s. My good cholesterol is so high, he tells me I'm literally immune to heart disease. At 106/62, my blood pressure is lower than it was in my 20s, and I wasn't overweight then!

So here's the proof in pictures. Comparison shots from all angles, January 2013 to December 2013.

After looking at the "After" pictures, I've decided to shoot for another 5-7 pounds this month. I have some fine tuning to do. I'd like to see more muscle definition in my arms, shoulders and abs and I'd like to trim off that little bit of back fat that shows up around my bra. With continued strength training and continued healthy nutrition, I know I can whittle myself down to where I want to be by the time we leave for Antigua at the end of the month. Even though I am shooting for a few more pounds and a bit more muscle definition, I still consider myself to be healthy, happy and AT GOAL! And after nearly 20 years, that seems incredible!

This year alone I've lost 28 pounds, 24 of it since September. I've also dropped over 47 inches!

January to December measurements:
Weight 175.8 -148.0
Neck 14" - 13"
Above Bust 37" -34.5"
Bust 45" -39"
Below Bust 35" - 31"
Upper Abs 35.5" - 29"
Waist 37.5" - 29"
Lower Abs 39" - 34"
Hips 40.5" - 36"
Upper Thigh 23" - 20.5"
Mid Thigh 19.5" - 18.5"
Lower Thigh 17.5" - 15.5"
Calves 15.5" - 13.5"
Arm 12.75" - 11"
Total inches lost in 2013 - 47.35, the majority of which was lost after September 23

ETA 1/4/14: I've been thinking about my new goal of another 5-7 pounds and it occurred to me that with the point I'm at now, while I may indeed have another 5-7 pounds of fat to lose, I also intend to build more muscle, so while I may indeed achieve the fine tuning I'm looking for, it may not be reflected on the scale I'm at a point now where I will be relying more on pictures, than the scale, to confirm my future success. Thank you for pointing that out to me, Pam!😊
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