My Weight Loss Journey: How I Lost 100 Pounds
Here it is: the big one. My weight loss story. Where I started and where I've ended up and how I lost 100 pounds along the way. I'm going to be super real and very honest with you. Most of the people who are going to read this know me personally. My hope is that you will respect my transparency and my vulnerability. Here goes nothing.
I've always been big or "big-boned," as my Grandmama used to call it. It wasn't until around 3rd grade or so when I really started noticing it. I was bigger than all of the other kids I hung with. Everywhere I went, I noticed my size and how I compared to others. Once I started noticing my size, I started noticing what I ate.
I grew up in a Southern middle-class family home with a mom and dad who loved us. My mom hated cooking and still does and wasn't always the best cook (sorry mom, but I still love you.) I learned to make food for myself at a young age. Spaghetti noodles with a pound of butter, macaroni and cheese, and ice cream. All things that kept me fed and satiated. I had a bowl of ice cream for breakfast everyday one summer, just because I could. I guess my eating habits were normal for a kid with the freedom to feed themselves but the quantity of my intake is what differed. I could eat an entire box of spaghetti noodles with butter or an entire carton of ice cream and I wouldn't even blink an eye. I am and always will be a binge eater. If you are a binge eater yourself, you feel me.
As I grew older, my eating and lack of exercise grew. I continued to binge eat all through middle school, high school, and even college. As my waist line grew, so did my lack of self-confidence. I hated going anywhere were I felt people would look at me. I hated going shopping. I hated doing anything physical. I hated myself.
Side note here: Being overweight makes you very self-aware. Aware of how much you jiggle when you walk or how your thighs stick together when it's hot out. Of how walking up one flight of stairs literally takes your breath away. Aware of how you might not fit into the seats in a movie theater or a desk in one of your college classes. Aware of how others see you and what they think when they see you. This self-awareness created anxiety and I found myself in a constant state of worry over my size.
The highest weight I ever actually saw on the scale was 287. I believe there were times when my weight did get higher. But at that point, I just stopped stepping on. I sunk very low and just accepted that I would always be a "big girl." The end.
The turning point for me was on April 28, 2014--the day I got engaged. This was the day I decided I needed to lose weight. I did not want to feel terrible about myself on my wedding day. Even though this was the day I decided I needed to lose weight, I didn't actually really start trying until June 3, 2014. I started counting calories using the MyFitnessPal app on my phone and I started watching my portions. I also started walking around my neighborhood everyday. I worked my way up to about 4 miles at a time. This was all I could do in the form of exercise. At my size, it was hard to do anything else. I continued this throughout the summer and up until my wedding. By my wedding on November 22, 2014, I had lost about 40 pounds and I felt great! I had dieted on and off for many years and had never seen a loss like that. Following our wedding, my husband and I went on our first big trip together. We honeymooned in Europe hitting my favorite spots in the world--Rome, Florence, and Paris. Nothing about our honeymoon was "diet approved." I ate gelato three times a day along with pasta and pizza and it was pure bliss and I wouldn't change a thing.
After coming back from our honeymoon, I decided to continue on my weight loss journey. I felt I still had weight to lose and so I just kept going. I continued tracking my calories on MyFitnessPal, walked and began using the Couch to 5K app, which included some running, and I even joined a gym close to my house. I began weight training at the gym and with all of these things combined, the weight started melting off. That sounds pretty magical. It didn't really melt off. There were plenty of times when I didn't see a loss on the scale after a week of hard work and dedication and that made me want to rage quit at life and eat 12 cheeseburgers, BUT I kept going. I purchased a Polar watch to help me focus on keeping my heart rate up while running and working out and I also joined a Facebook support group of a few women who held each other accountable. I also began posting regularly on Instagram to hold myself accountable. All of these things helped me drop about 90 pounds. I lost weight but I was still struggling with balance. How in the world do I stop myself from eating an entire pizza when I allowed myself to have some? I was happy with my weight loss but this is around the time when I also started feeling "stuck."
By June of 2016, I was tired of counting calories, logging workouts and water on my Fitbit. I was tired of my traditional weight lifting sessions at the gym. I was tired of obsessing over my food. I needed a change. I decided that after my husband and I returned from our best trip yet (Southeast Asia!) that I would try the Whole30. I read the book on my trip and was 100% committed to trying this semi-terrifying elimination diet. I had been experiencing some "tummy troubles" for awhile at this point and needed some relief so I decided to cut alcohol, legumes, non-gluten grains, dairy, gluten, and all other inflammatory ingredients from my diet for 30 days to see how things went. I was also really drawn to the "side effect" of losing weight. My Whole30 story will be a separate post in the future, one you're definitely going to want to read.
After my first round of Whole30, I lost 15 pounds. I loved the way I felt so I just kept going. I dropped to my lowest adult weight ever and celebrated hitting the 100 pound mark! I also began doing Crossfit during this time. I lived a Whole30 lifestyle for 100 days until October of 2016. I reintroduced all of the food groups I had eliminated and things went cray. I ate everything. I promptly gained back 26 pounds and then cried for 2 days. This was the biggest weight gain I'd experienced while on my journey and it devastated me. I decided to try Whole30 again after the New Year with the hopes of really changing my habits and building a healthy relationship with food. In January of 2017, I started my second round of Whole30. And that, my friends, brings us to today. I am currently in the reintroduction phase of this round of Whole30 which I've been doing for 125 days. This round of Whole30 is completely different than the last (more info in upcoming post). It has changed my life. I am currently at a 99 pound weight loss and feeling my thinnest and healthiest (both physically and mentally) ever.
So there you go. The good, the bad, the ugly of how I lost 100 pounds and how I'm working to maintain my weight loss by being fully well (see what I did there?) Without the struggles of massive weight loss, I wouldn't be who I am today. I have learned so much about myself and what I'm capable of. Thank you so much for reading along. I hope you see the courage it takes to share a story like this. If you have any questions about food, fitness, the resources I used throughout my journey, or you just want some tips on how to get started, leave a comment or shoot me a message under the contact tab! Don't forget to subscribe to stay up to date on new posts!
Apps and resources I used throughout my journey:
- Whole30 and the honorable headmistress Melissa Hartwig (whole30.com)
- MyFitnessPal app for tracking calories/macros
- Couch to 5K
- Polar FT4 Heart rate monitor
- Fitbit Charge HR/Fitbit Charge HR 2