On April 21, 2012, my life changed.
That was the day I hit rock bottom. I needed to lose weight. I remember the exact moment. I was at a friend’s wedding and at the reception couples were dancing with their friends, husbands and wives. Guests old and young were in the arms of the man or woman they loved.
I was a wall flower and could not wait to go home.
I was embarrassed and thought everyone was looking at me and thinking, “What is wrong with her?”
I was thinking that myself but a stronger voice came through. It said, “I am tired of being on the outside looking in. I deserve love and will work to get it.”
The next day my sister and I went on a cruise. That voice and feeling came back. I did not have anyone to dance with or go see a show.
I was lonely.
I came home and started to lose weight to improve my self esteem.
I joined a weight loss program and started to exercise.
As of yesterday, I have lost 53 pounds and am engaged to be married. We can all lose weight and change our lives.
Here is what I learned and how I did it.
1. I decided this was not a diet. I repeat this is not a diet. This is truly a lifestyle change.
Now, I love to eat. I was raised with meat and potatoes, dessert every night and 2 percent milk. My grandmother cooked from scratch with real sugar, salt and fat.
I needed to change my attitude toward food. I learned to eat fruits and vegetables as well as how to read nutrition information.
2. I learned how many calories I needed in a day. In the past, I had no idea. I’m sure I was eating 2-4,000 calories per day. Now, I know I need 1600 to 2,000 to be at a healthy weight.
3. Do it to be healthy. Do not do it to get married, get a better job, or to buy better clothing. They are all by-products of weight loss but do it because it feels good to be healthy.
4. Track your food. Every day I track everything I eat. Even if I fall off the wagon.
5. Make exercise your routine. I work out at least 5 times per week for 30 minutes. I also use weights when I work out.
6. Find foods that fill you up without high calorie content. Examples include: almond milk, egg whites, bananas, mushrooms, salmon.
7. Cut out soda. I still love diet Coke but my secret to weaning yourself off soda is club soda. It has no calories and all the fizz of soda.
My weight loss journey will last a lifetime. I have confidence in how I look and feel but the most important thing I have learned from this journey is to know what is healthy for you and that everyone can lose weight if they follow a routine.
Below are my before and after pictures:
After with my fiance.