Short version – in 2007, I lost 70 lbs and have been maintaining ever since. Wanna know more? Read on.
I have been dealing with issues related to being overweight for most of my life.
As a kid, I was sometimes called fat by other kids and I was told by a modeling school when I was 10 years old that I needed to lose weight. Actually they just suggested to me that I start getting 30 minutes of activity a day. They were right, but these suggestions were not good for my self-esteem.
I distinctly remember wearing a size 12 when I was 12. I recently looked back at some old medical records and I weighed 140 when I was 10 years old! Living in a house with two overweight parents definitely had it’s challenges growing up (that I didn’t realize at the time), but as for my teenage & adult life, I have no one to blame but myself for how I ended up the way I did. And thank God all that has changed now!
I had always thought of myself as “fat” but it wasn’t until the end of high school and college that I really started to put on the pounds. In 1998, when my first real boyfriend in high school dumped me, I went into a downward spiral. I quit the volleyball team, started eating my emotions and became pretty sedentary, choosing to spend my time watching movies or just hanging out with girlfriends. I ate terribly, a mostly fast food diet, and had a part-time job that didn’t require much movement. I was heading down a dangerous path. The truth is, he didn’t do this to me, it was already going on and I just amplified it when bad things happened. I also lost a close friend a month later — it was a rough year.
I have tried every “diet” you can imagine. I have been to Weight Watchers 4 times! I think it works really great for some people, it even did for me sometimes — I was really good at losing 20 lbs and then I just reverted back to old habits. In 2003, I was doing really well on the program and exercising regularly, then I got sidelined with emergency gallbladder surgery and the pounds came back and then some.
I’ve done South Beach, Slimfast, The Zone, a bad/uneducated attempt at vegetarianism, you name it. I could stick to a diet for about a month and then fall right back off the wagon. It just goes to show you that diets don’t work! I’m living proof.
I started dating my husband in 1999 and he has never made suggestions or comments about my weight, ever! That’s how I know I got the right one 😉 But when I started changing my life and it started showing in my happiness and energy, he was very supportive. In order for me to live longer and to have children someday, these changes were necessary and I hope in some ways I am becoming a good influence on him and that he can see how being healthy is really important. Here’s what I looked like when we got married in 2005:
Pictures are hard to look at sometimes…it’s just such a shock to see me then compared to how I am now, in a good way. But sometimes I can’t believe how much time I wasted being unhappy and unhealthy. I can’t wait to pass on everything I have learned to my future children so they hopefully don’t have to go through what I went through. I know I am much stronger for it though.
After we got married, things got even worse for my health. Our first few months of marriage, our schedules clashed and I spent a lot of time at home alone or going out with friends. I had pretty much abandoned any healthy eating, choosing instead to just eat whatever my husband ate at home, fast food, and a ton of 3 Musketeer bars. I had one everyday for a while there. We even bought the big box of 36 at Sam’s one time! I spent most nights after work just laying on the couch, watching tv and falling asleep because I had zero energy!
In January 2007, my entire life started to change. I met a wonderful lady named Caryn, who eventually became my personal trainer. But first, she was the person in charge of a class at my place of employment that they called “Weigh to Go.” It was sort of like Weight Watchers — we would meet once a week, weigh in and discuss topics related to nutrition and exercise. Only they weren’t pushing any program, like points or carbs or zones. But we did have food and exercise journals that we kept daily.
Just having everything I had eaten in an entire day right in front of my face was eye opening. I had journaled with Weight Watchers but only for points — I had no idea the exact amount of calories, fat, carbs, protein, fiber, etc. that I was getting. This food journal was much more detailed and it allowed me to really see the areas I needed improvement in.
The first week, I weighed in at 213.6. I had just gone to the doctor a week prior and I think it was her showing me and telling me how unhealthy I was that really made it click, finally. I remember the sign on her wall that said “Eat less. Exercise more.” I knew what I needed to do, but until then I hadn’t been ready to do it.
Week by week, the weight started coming off. I was so surprised because I was used to having my weight go up and down on a weekly basis, but by not being on a diet, I never felt deprived or the need to “cheat” so everything stayed pretty consistent. I was also working out more, trying to get in at least 30 minutes of exercise per day either by walking, doing the elliptical or playing a sport. It seemed so easy! They are right when they say keeping it off is harder.
Here’s a glimpse of the progress I made in the first 8 months:
I reached my “comfort zone” in December 2007 (11 months after the start) and I have maintained ever since then. Some days I feel like I could stand to lose a few more pounds (according to the weight range for my age, height, etc.) but for the most part, I feel very comfortable in my comfort zone of 145-150 lbs, which is where I am the majority of the time. I have been below and I have been above, but most of the time I’m right in the middle.
When I started writing this blog in May of 2008, I had just finished my first mini-marathon. If you had told me back when I was the old me that I would someday weigh 70+ lbs less and be running, I would’ve told you to check yourself into the loony bin.
Here is a post I did on the noticeable changes I have experienced : Posting on progress
This is me NOW (taken May 2009):
The biggest changes have come from the inside. I am happier and more content in all aspects of my life. I have found a new passion, a new way of living and a new meaning to my life (with God’s help of course). I cannot even begin to describe how incredible this journey has been for me, but I hope this page gives you a little insight.
Thanks for reading!
Hi Sarah- I saw a post you did on Amy’s blog today about your weighin ritual… I beyond relate. I was once obese and went down to more normal by the end of hs- i have yoyoed ever since from being too skinny to gaining a lot and being uncomfortable in my skin. No one ever realizes the journey or all of the ups and downs your go through when they view you as “normal” sized in the present. Just wanted to say hi- it is nice to know someone in a similar boat.
What a great story. Congratulations on your progress!!!
Glad I found your site, Sarah! It is very inspirational to see your pictures and hear your story!
Thanks again Niki…that is why I do it, I want other people to know it is possible for them 🙂
Sarah, so glad I found your site! What an inspiration. You look so happy in that last picture!
You look beautiful, confident, and happy! Congrats on your achievements!
Sarah, you look amazing! I have definitely become a fan of your blog. Keep up the good work! 😉
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Thanks again and look forward to hearing from you.
What an amazing journey Sarah. You look beautiful…in all the pictures! 🙂
Your story really hit home with me, I can relate with overeating and zoning with the TV with NO ENERGY! Although I was accompanied with mass quantities of icecream instead of 3 musketeers. I am at the beginning of my journey on becoming healthier. I literally just threw out the scale yesterday! Like you, my goal is to just incorporate healthy foods and movement into my day and see where that takes me.
I’ll definatly be reading more from your blog!
You are beautiful!
Jean – Thank you so much for the kind words and best of luck to you in your journey. You are beautiful too 🙂 ~Sarah
You are so beautiful. Such an inspiration. Thanks for posting your story.
What an awesome story! 😀 Every day is a journey!
Thanks for visiting my blog.
I just started my own food blog (On My Plate) to keep myself accountable for what I eat each day. Your story is such an inspiration; wow!
Thank you and congrats on the new blog!
Sarah, you look beautiful! My story is so similar to this – when you talked about your weight going down vs. going up and down on weigh ins, I gasped out loud! That is so me! It’s a trend I’m hoping to reverse. I started a blog last month as well, in hopes it will help me in my journey.
Thanks for the inspiration and sharing your story. Not always an easy thing !
Thanks Erin! I will have to check out your blog too 🙂
I love your story. I can’t wait to read more of your blog!
What an great story!
I feel our’s are very similar…….I too lost a great deal of weight and am currently at my comfort zone around 145 pounds, though I do have a goal to get down to 125 in the future, no rush though, just taking my time and enjoying life in the mean time.
=) Laura @ Finding A Healthy Balance
I’m with you! Thanks for the comment and I look forward to reading your blog as well 🙂
Thank you Sarah for sharing your story, you are an inspiration! I just discovered your blog and am so grateful to find another person out there who has experienced things similar to me. I have just begun to blog and to hold myself accountable. I am at the beginning of my journey, but with wonderful stories like yours I have the added motivation to reach my goals. Thank you again!
Thank you Nikka! And good luck with your blog…I will be visiting soon 🙂
I love your story! I loved reading it and seeing all of your pictures!! You are such a cutie!!
Thanks Natalie, right back at ya 😉
Great Inspiration! Congrats! You’re beautiful
Kate, you are so sweet, thank you 🙂
Wonderful story. You should be SO proud! Your befores and afters are beautiful, and I LOVE your wedding dress—stunning. 😀
Wow, I’m so glad I got the chance to read your blog! It’s really fascinating to see all the positive steps you’ve taken in order to improve what you thought was one issue but was really a manifestation of deeper issues. It’s also very brave to put yourself out there like that, so I just wanted to say I am impressed.
Wow you are such an inspiration! Congrats on everything you have accomplished!
I loved reading your story. I’ve seen you around the blogosphere but finally visited your site when you said that we were similar in our resistance to losing weight until we each were both good and ready- sooo true! You look terrific!!
Your story is so inspirational. Congratulations- you look great (and healthy!)
Found you through another twitter friend…look forward to reading more. Your weight loss story is amazing!
Thanks for sharing your story-I enjoyed reading it. I used to joke that I wore that size when I was that age, HA! Found your blog today and love it. You look great!
Thank you so much!!
Congrats, on the weight loss. And on keeping it off successfully.
Truly inspirational! You are very strong and look amazing! I give you the utmost credit for sticking to your goal, it’s not easy.
Thanks for sharring your story 🙂
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