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3 and a half years and 75 pounds ago…

May 9, 2011

Me at about 270 pounds

Life-Long “Fat Kid”

I have been a “fat kid” my whole life. I was a 43-pounds one-year old, for crying out loud! Unfortunately, that isn’t an exaggeration. I went through elementary school feeling like I could never do everything the other kids did. I had my fair share of taunting and teasing. I waded through my teen years as somewhat of a geeky fat kid, being an obese honor-roll student and a member of the marching band.

I’ve experienced the mortification of going shopping with friends, knowing I wouldn’t be able to fit into any of the clothes in the stores. I’ve been down to that dark place where getting your “fix” is number one. I used to find myself eating a package of place and bake cookies at a time, only to gain more weight.

For me, food used to be like a drug. I would want it so bad that if I couldn’t have it, I would feel

This was me.

the anger and frustration of a child. I would go to the store just to pick up a box of ice cream, a pizza, or a package of cookie dough. I remember seeing a Family Guy episode where they joked that the Cookie Monster was placing cookie dough on a spoon and using a lighter to cook it. This was me. Cookie Monster and sugar addict.

Nearing 300 Pounds

When I began losing weight (weight that actually stayed off) in January of 2008, I was trying to escape the 300 pound mark that I hovered uncomfortably close to. I was completely out of shape. If it wasn’t for college classrooms being spread out so far around campus, I probably wouldn’t have gotten any exercise at all. My eating habits were out of control although, at the time, I didn’t even realize the severity of it. I just wanted to see the numbers on the scale drop.

Me at about 258 pounds

And, if you eat only a half of a box of ice cream instead of the usual entire box, then you will lose some weight. From there, I added in occasional exercise, putting in a half-hour of cardio here and there. Before I knew it, I had lost 15 pounds. I weighed 258. I stayed at this weight for some time, having gained a safer distance from the frightening 300 mark.

Getting Fit

It was then that a friend convinced me to take things to the next level. She convinced me that, in fact, I could and should lose more weight. I would just have to commit myself to a regimen. A workout regimen? I was not looking forward to the task. Worse yet, it would be four days a week and include weight-training, crunches, and push-ups. Great.

So four days a week, my work-out partner and I did 30 minutes of cardio, push-ups, sit-ups, lifted weights, and afterwards would reward ourselves with Subway. I would get a 6″ sub, chips and usually some sort of calorie-infused soft drink. At the time, this seemed like an extremely healthy meal. These were the thoughts of an obese person addicted to sugar and fat, weaning off of them slowly.

Me at about 235 pounds

Still, I proceeded through the summer, eventually losing 20 pounds. At 238 pounds, I was fairly happy with my success. Once school began again, I proceeded to bounce up and down between weights, but generally remained around 238 pounds for the next semester.

Busy is Good

Unfortunately for my weight, I obtained a boyfriend around January of 2009, and we commenced in all of the wonderful dating activities – eating, movies, eating, bowling, eating… and cooking. We both enjoyed food, although he did not have a weight problem to the same extent as I did, and we ate! Before I knew it, I was back up to 250 pounds.

It was not until April after getting a job at Subway – ironically enough – that I started losing weight

Me at about 228 pounds

again. I worked 30-40 hours a week, and was able to eat free subs once a day. This made it easy to stay on track. I was on my feet, busy, and had healthy food conveniently at my disposal. I then obtained a second job at the bowling alley as a cook, where I had even more hours on my hands. I had a lot going on, and before I knew it, I was down to 228 pounds!

Well, the truth is, that after that initial drop in weight, I went back to a phase of up-and-down five pounds that basically equated to maintenance. I would eat poorly one day, and then starve myself the next. I would try and follow a diet for a week, and then fall of the wagon the next. It was not a good system, but it at least allowed me to keep from gaining weight again. It wasn’t until nearly a year and a half later that I began losing weight again.

Lose Weight – Leave the States!

September of 2010 I went on one of the biggest adventures of my life. I studied in London for a semester! It was a great experience, allowing me to immerse myself in culture, traveling to various cities in Europe on weekends, and meeting many diverse people. It was also great for my weight. Ironically enough, it was the first time in my life that I didn’t have access to a scale. I didn’t even weight myself for three months! Yet, I lost 16 pounds whilst living in London.

It is true that other cultures definitely have a lower

Me at about 212 pounds

percentage of fat people than the U.S. And with good cause. In London, most restaurants did not provide free refills on drinks – no extra calories there. They heavily rely on public transportation, which also means you must walk a fair distance to bus stops and tube stations – burning calories. They tend to use milk instead of cream with coffee and tea, and don’t include high-fructose corn syrup in their beverages. These are a few simple differences, but these are the kinds of differences that add up!

I came home in January and all anyone could talk about was how great I looked, now being 212 pounds. I loved the compliments, and I was starting to feel a lot better about the way I looked too. I was particularly excited to surpass that dark, dirty number – the one every woman hates to look at. I was so close to being under 200 pounds, I could taste it (no pun intended).

My Latest Progress and Goals

After dallying around with the “I’m going to not write down what I eat because it makes me think about food too much” idea, I finally decided to get serious about weight-loss and began an online food journal to keep track of my calorie count. I joined a local gym as well, and never looked back.

I’m now 197 pounds, and more determined than ever to reach a healthy weight where I am comfortable with how I look and feel. I am, perhaps pathetically enough, in the best shape of my life, despite being about 50 pounds overweight still. I have began running and am up to three miles without stopping on the treadmill. Every time I try to go a little further.

Me now at 197 pounds (taken 5-7-11)

My goal is to get down to 140 pounds by the time I graduate college in December, and to run a half-marathon along the way! I feel like I am in control, however every day is not perfect. I slip off the wagon. I drink. I eat. I am merry. But I always pick up the pieces and hop back on the wagon. Every time I try and go a little further. I hope to share that journey with you.

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