“In Her/His Words” is a new series I am starting on Beth’s Journey for people who want to share their story and don’t have a blog or other platform to do so. There are so many different ways to reach success and all of us can use a little inspiration from time to time. If you’re interested in sharing your story, please email me at bethsjourneyblog at gmail dot com to get the conversation going!
Clichéd as it may sound, I’ve been heavy for as long as I can remember. My only “memories” of being thin are the ones I have from looking at pictures of me as a tanned and tall seven year old.
Skip over some period of time and my next image is of me on the scale, seeing it hover around the 80s. I can vaguely remember my mother saying that I was in danger of getting heavier and that we need to watch my weight.
But my first concrete memory of being “that fat girl” is when I filled out one of these cutesy American Girl journals in 5th grade — you know, the one where you filled in the answers to all these questions about yourself. Under “weight” I wrote something around 124 pounds. That, my friends, was not normal for a girl my age.
The rest, they say, is history.
Since that point, my weight kept creeping up and the next thing I knew I was a high schooler that weighed well over 200 pounds. Eventually, at my heaviest, I weighed 257. To put it plainly, I ate like crap (and ate a lot) and didn’t move. Ever. Well, unless walking to the fridge to get more food was considered exercising. And it didn’t get any better in college, when I had very little control over the food I ate for the first two years. When, in the last two years, I moved into an apartment and could cook for myself it didn’t get any better. I convinced myself that eating salads or scrambling eggs and veggies for dinner was “healthy,” but when you eat an entire avocado on top of that salad (plus black beans and more) and an unmeasured amount of full-fat cheddar on those eggs, yeah…not so healthy anymore. My vision of food was skewed, plain and simple.
My family (who were overweight as well), knew I was miserable. I tried everything — eating less, South Beach, you name it, but could never stick to it. (MORE!) I cried and cried and felt sorry for myself, but never did anything about it. My mom kept telling me to try Weight Watchers, but I kept telling her it would never work. Why would it work if nothing else did? But she never pushed me because, as she told me later, that her parents had always commented about her weight and then she ended up the way she was, and she didn’t want the same thing to happen to me. It needed to be the right time for me.
And then one day, in October of 2010, it clicked. My mom and brother had started losing weight and one day my mom tells me that she went shopping and discovered she’s a size 18. I was a size 18. We couldn’t be the same size! I wasn’t going to allow that to happen, however mean, spiteful, and childish it sounds to me now. So I made up my mind and took the plunge — the next day I finally joined Weight Watchers.
Again, the rest they say is history.
That first week I lost 6 pounds! It was hard and it was something I wasn’t used to, but I slowly made it work. I started reducing my portions (one of the biggest changes I made) and choosing healthier alternatives for what I used to eat — all baby steps, but they were (and still are!) crucial to my weight loss. Week after week the pounds came off and I started feeling incredible about myself!
Eventually I started including some activity into my daily routine. I didn’t go full-out crazy at the gym of first but, as with my eating habits, I took baby steps. I started walking on the treadmill at home, bought some of the Weight Watchers workout DVDs, and went from there. It was quite the adjustment, since I had never worked out a day in my life (I’m not exaggerating!), but with time I felt even better and healthier than I ever had before. This past November (2011) I joined a gym, had a trainer for a short time, and have been going back every week since. I may never be a runner (it’s not for me!), but I’ve discovered my love of strength training and kickboxing!
That’s not to say, however, that this has been all rainbows and roses. Weight loss isn’t easy, as I’m sure you all know, and I’ve had my fair share of setbacks. I’ve experienced many “OMG, did I just eat all that?” moments and weeks where the scale went up, then down, then up, then down…of course I’ve felt discouraged and frustrated. But Weight Watchers, and this entire journey in general, has taught me that a single serving of ice cream didn’t get me to 257. Double or triple that amount, which is what I had been eating, is what did it.
Coupled with an awesomely supportive family, the healthy habits that I have learned and adopted have helped me lose 108 pounds (and counting!). I made Lifetime at Weight Watchers last month and, according to my mother, I’m smaller than I was at my Bat Mitzvah 14 years ago! I can’t remember a time I felt happier or healthier — it’s the best life change I’ve ever made!