I was cleaning out my inbox a few days ago and came across this questionnaire from several months ago in my email. I thought since I enjoyed re-reading my own responses, you might like it too! This questionnaire was first sent to me when I was contacted about having my story featured in Fitness Magazine, which was published in the October 2011 issue.
What healthy accomplishment have you completed recently? When did this occur?
I just hit my goal weight, having lost 88 pounds since my peak weight in 2005. I used Weight Watchers to lose most of the weight and starting running, which was a big help in taking the weight off. I hit my goal weight May 12th, 2011, after two years, two months, and nine days of Weight Watchers.. but who’s counting!?
What did you learn along the way?
I learned so much about myself and my body. I learned that I am not destined to be obese or a couch potato, which was huge for me because my dad is very heavy and I always thought there was nothing I could do to avoid it. Despite my upbringing of being a foodie, I have learned how to transfer my love of food towards healthier food, and to balance it out with running, yoga, and biking. I also learned it’s very important to put myself first, so that I have more to give to others.
Did you have a support system? If so, who and how did they help?
I used Weight Watchers to lose most of the weight, and got a support system automatically with that since I went to weekly meetings. My sister was also following weight watchers at the time, so we were able to exchange meal ideas and check in with each other after each weigh in. I also started a healthy living blog, Beth’s Journey (bethsjourney.com) and the support I’ve gotten from readers and the healthy living blog world has been incredible!
What was the most difficult part of the experience?
My boyfriend is a chef and originally from the South, so when I started trying to eat healthier it was a huge challenge to our relationship. He wanted to keep living the same way he was, and never really had a problem with his weight so didn’t feel a need to change. It caused a lot of strain in our relationship, until we were able to both make some compromises. I would use my “cheat meals” for our date nights, and he agreed to use less oil and butter with cooking and more low calorie options for flavoring, like fresh herbs and vinegars. We also began to explore farmer’s markets together and got (and still get) excited about trying new ingredients. Since then, our cooking at home has gotten a lot healthier and we are both feeling a lot better inside and out!
How did you feel during and after?
I felt very unhappy and ashamed of myself before my weight loss journey began. I couldn’t believe I was so young yet so low energy and had let my health spiral so far out of control. Now, I feel refreshed, confident and athletic!
How has your life changed since this event?
My life has literally done a 180. I used to be very sedentary, eat a lot of fried, fatty, and processed foods, and was generally unhappy about how I’d let myself go. I was always very lethargic and ashamed of my body. Now, I cook at home most nights, exercise 4-6 times a week, and eat a mostly whole foods diet. I am now a very passionate healthy living advocate, and even work for Weight Watchers!
What are your three top tips for someone trying to reach the same goal that you did?
- Realize it’s OK to say no to others sometimes so you can make yourself a priority.
- Start small with your goals, and over time they can add up to huge changes.
- Realize that snacking is not a bad thing – its critical to keeping your hunger at bay!