I have always been big. Growing up I would I would hear people say, “oh, she is just big boned” or “it runs in the family.” As I got older I continued to get bigger. When I was in junior high/high school I was wearing 26w & 28w clothes. I eventually got so big that I was wearing 5x & 6x bottoms and 3x & 4x tops. I hated shopping for clothes because it was hard to find anything big enough to fit. I had begun to have a friend make my clothes.
Most of my family is on the heavy side, but out of all of us, I was the biggest.
As a family, we tried several diets and weight loss programs. I would lose a few pounds here and there but eventually we would quit and I would gain it all back and then some.
My real weight loss journey started in October 2011 when I started the Weigh and Win program. My sister-in-law and I decided to take her kids to the rec center. We happened to run into some of our friends while they were there working out. They were really excited to show us the Weigh and Win kiosk; how it worked, how to sign up and how it tracks weight loss progress. We signed up that day. Getting paid to lose weight was a real motivator for me!
When I signed up and weighed in for the first time that day I weighed in at 390.2 pounds; severely overweight.
The Weigh and Win program gave me the jump-start that I needed to start losing weight. I loved that I could see the progress I was making. When we found out about the Team Challenges we started getting involved in those. I am very motivated by competition and hate to lose. To be able to see our team climb up the ladder would just push me to work even harder. Getting paid to lose weight was probably the biggest motivator though. My first year in Weigh and Win I hit the 25% weight loss, and got paid the $105 at the end of my one-year. That was great, but not good enough for me! The second year I set a personal goal to make it past the 30% mark and get the $150 payment. And I did it!
Everyone asks me how I did it and what my secret was. There are really only three things that helped me to succeed.
First, I was never on any special diet. Diets have never worked for me in the past because I felt limited, and would eventually give up. I would watch what I would eat and eat smaller portions, but if I wanted to eat something I did. Gum has been a huge lifesaver! I chew it a lot because it helps curb my appetite and desire to eat more.
Secondly, I would make small goals, not big unreachable goals. I would make a goal of 15 pounds a month, or that I wanted to hit a certain percentage of weight loss by my birthday or the first of the year. My brother has been working out with me a lot and one goal I had was to weigh less than him. He really made me work for it, but I finally did it! I hate to lose or let others down, so I always told others my goals so that I had someone to help me remember my goals and not let me slack.
Last, and certainly the most important, is the support I have gotten from those around me. I never would have made it this far without all of my family, friends, and even people I don’t even know that have encouraged me to keep going and not stop. My friends and family have gone to workout with me and helped encourage my eating habits and changes. When I would get down or depressed and think I was not making any progress they would remind me how far I have come and motivate me to keep going. With their helped I have completed two 5k races (one being “The Rugged Maniac” obstacle course), overcome a lot of personal obstacles, changed my way of living, become a better person, and lost 180 pounds! When I weighed in at the end of my two year mark with Weigh and Win the end of October I was 209.6 with a total weight loss of 180.6, and I owe all this to the love, support and encouragement that everyone has shown me.