Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My Weight Loss Journey

I was athletic in junior high and high school. I ran track and played volleyball. I was also a lifeguard at a local pool for several years and stayed in shape by swimming. I was fit and trim in high school.

Then I went to college. I lived on campus my second year of college. It became a routine to head to the dining halls and eat whatever you wanted, as much as you wanted. Everything was fried, and french fries are served with almost every meal. I remember ordering plates of chicken tenders with gravy and french fries, a cookie, and a Dr. Pepper. I remember the cheese sticks. They were very yummy--a little too yummy. I also remember that Chick-Fil-A was a popular choice several days a week. The Polynesian sauce...I put it on my sandwich, I even dipped my fries in it, even when the sandwich already had mayo on it.

When I visited home, people started to notice that I wasn't as fit and trim. I could tell because my clothes were getting tighter and I was creeping into a size 16. Then, in no time, I was in a size 18. I remember weighing 180 before I got married. My wedding dress was a size 18. I didn't ever feel that big, but in pictures, I noticed it more. I thought to myself, "Who is this girl?!" Anytime I went out I didn't feel that great because I wasn't able to wear many flattering outfits. I was slowly losing the battle with food.

After marriage, the comfort level set in. I was comfortable with my husband. I didn't have to try as hard, afterall, we were already married, right? He would love me no matter what, but I was beginning to hate the way I felt. I was a teacher and I remember all of the foods that we were tempted with as teachers--donuts, cupcakes, candy. Eating these were a regular part of my diet. But, I was miserable, I was depressed, I was unhappy. I was--fat. (It is hard to say that, but I was in denial at the time.) I had weighed in at my heaviest, 208.

After we moved to our second assignment in the USAF about four years ago, I was still a little heavy. I started adding exercise into my daily schedule. I remember my attempts at exercise again in the apartment complex gym and remember reading the book, "You, On a Diet," by Dr. Oz. The book explained how our bodies work and how they processed foods. I believe it mentioned something about eating organic foods and unprocessed foods, so I started researching this subject more. Before I knew it, almost everything I was buying was organic.

I started noticing a change when I changed my eating habits. I noticed I was losing weight and I noticed that with eating right and the combination of exercise, weight was really coming off. My husband noticed it, even though he thought my idea of eating organic was a little crazy. But there was proof. I was getting smaller. I was happier. I also learned about portion control.

About a year went by and I was still losing weight. Then I got pregnant. By the time I was pregnant, I weighed in at 180. I had lost 28 pounds before my pregnancy during my weight loss journey. Learning to eat right was a blessing in disguise for my new baby. I gave my daughter the best nutrition any new mother possibly could, eating as many whole grains and fruits and vegetables as I could. At 9 months pregnant, I was back up to 206. I had only gained 26 pounds during my pregnancy, which is good.

After my daughter was born, I continued to eat well. I replaced all white flour foods with whole wheat and whole grains. I kept fruit around so anytime I was hungry I ate fruit. Weight dropped quickly, and I was into exercising again. I joined a gym. The gym offered childcare so it was nice to be able to exercise while my daughter was in childcare. More weight was coming off.

I started getting compliments. People noticed that I was losing weight. They wondered what my trick was. I told them the truth--I was losing weight through eating right and exercise. Afterall, this is the healthy way to lose weight and stay healthy. Compliments are like gold to anyone losing weight and is motivation to continue on.

I was approached this past spring to get certified to teach cycle classes. I never pictured myself ever teaching cycle classes at a gym, but I gave it a try. I became certified to teach indoor cycle classes. For anyone that has ever taken a cycle class before, they are challenging, but they are great, intense workouts. I was put on the sub list at our local gym to teach cycle classes and have taught many classes. After the holidays, I plan to teach on a regular basis a few days a week.

I now weigh in at 140. I have lost a total of about 70 pounds since the beginning of my weight loss journey. Through eating right and exercising as often as possible, I have been able to maintain a healthy weight.

I am healthy and I am happy. I hope that I can inspire others to start their own weight loss journey.

Before: 2007

After: 2010


  1. this is such a touching story.
    I ran track in high school.. I have never felt "small" but lord I didnt realize how small I was until i got big.
    I was a size 8/9 in high school when I ran track. I wasn't the smallest of us all but looking at pictures now, I realize I wasn't as big as I thought I was either. I would do anything to go back to that size now.

    I started dating my husband 4 years ago and now I can barely tell who I am anymore. About a month ago I realized I now wear a size 18/20 :( most of it happened after I had my daughter 2 years ago.

    I just started doing the jillian michaels 30 day shred and Im looking for healthier options for food. though it is hard to change my diet without changing the entire family of 5's diet.
    I am determined to be as small as I once was. and your story just gave me even more determination and will..


  2. That's awesome! I have lost a lot of weight by eating natural foods. Nothing else has worked. I also exercise but I was doing that with other diets as well. It just confirms my suspicions that processed foods, even "diet" foods, are contributing to the obesity epidemic in our country. BTW, you look great!

  3. This so hit home for me! I was also athletic in school. I cheered and ran track. In the year from 18-19 I gained 80lbs on a 5'4" frame. They found it to be Polycistic Ovarian Syndrome (which is why I struggled with infertility when I was trying for my son)but I can't use that as 100% of the problem as I was finally on my own and could eat whatever I wanted. I lost a large part of it with basically starving myself (my career required I looked a certain way and I was miserable!)but it was never healthy to do that, so it all came back once I got married and left my job. Growing up we only ate whole foods as we were poor. My mom was an avid gardner and my dad's family owned a dairy farm. We were organic before it was cool:) We didn't have money to eat out or buy mac and cheese at the grocery store. She even made her own pastas and bread. I was never sick, or overweight and had tons of energy growing up. I feed my son organic 90% of the time. I want him to get the headstart that I had. I want him to learn from my mistakes. I realize now I need to lose the weight for good. Thank you so much for posting this!! It takes a lot of courage to share your story and it is appreciated! It gives me hope that I can do it too!

    I included you in my post today at www.lehighvalleymomma.com with a link back to this post.. Hope that's ok! I wrote about the Biggest Loser but wanted to share a "real-life" story that was inspiring!

  4. Congratulations! You are an inspiration! I am on a weight loss journey too! I do a weigh in every friday on my blog. Thanks for sharing this! I am stopping by from the window blog hop. I already follow your lovely blog! Have a great day! www.livingonloveandcents.blogspot.com

  5. Congratulations! I have been through a lot of the same things - except that I was never "fit" in high school. Skinny, yes, but not "fit". I did the same exact thing in college (except my weakness was ice cream with dinner and Sal's hoagies) and I weighed about 190 when I graduated (although I never admit that). I got back to my fighting weight with aerobic exercise and portion control.

    And then after less than a year of marriage I got pregnant for the first time. And promptly gained 54 pounds!! Luckily, I had the tools in place to lose it, but knowing that we were going to try to have more was not exactly an inspiration...

    As part of my routine I have also added weight training (I use Bodylastics resistance bands which I LOVE!) and that really helps control the weight. I can eat more during the holidays, especially, and not worry so much about packing on weight.

  6. amazing and inspiring! Good for you! It really is that simple. I just wish it was easier mentally. That's where I struggle :(


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