I don't really know
that I have any insights, but people are always asking me how I am
doing it and why.
I'll start with the why. I never really
felt good about myself, but I thought I'd lived fat for so long
that's just the way it was going to be. In 2000 I decided to make it
a goal to love and accept myself the way I am. I worked on self
acceptance and got there. For the most part I was pretty happy with
who I was.
So why change? Well, I had spent years
working on my brain. I had always told myself that if I couldn't be
pretty then I would be smart. I've pursued a number of professional
certifications. I finished my MaEd in the Summer of 2001. I had
worked my way into teaching the highest level classes in my
department. All in all, I was pretty darn happy with myself!
So what made a difference? Well, I
realized that if I truly did love myself I wasn't showing it by
continuing to eat like a teenager. I decided that I would work on my
body...just be a little vain and a little selfish for awhile. I
looked at a lot of programs (after trying to do it on my own...a
feat for which I didn't have the willpower) and decided that I would
try this only once, I would do it sensibly, and it would be a life
So here I am about nine months later truly amazed with how far
I've come. I am actually feeling good about the way I look!
My goal is to get to 130 pounds. I hit that on December 14,
2002. Now I'm on maintenance and am learning where my body
wants to stop.
Update: Here I am now on the anniversary
of my goal! I've been at goal for four years, but my focus
hasn't changed. Oh it's not always "easy", but it's
always worth it. I'm so thankful for the good health I have
now that I can't imagine going back to abusing my body with
food and lack of exercise!
There are a few things I'd like to do related to my physical
- I'm going to walk in the Relay for Life in June 2002 with
my kids in FBLA. I did it! I walked for
well over six hours. Oh man was I sore the next day, but it
- Run the 1 mile Berry Run. I am not a "runner"
but I can probably jog! I did this too! I came
in dead last, but that's okay. I was late starting and we
let these three little kids run with us who were also late.
They wanted to walk more than run, hence the stunning "20
minute mile." I'm down to a 10 minute mile now as I've
been running three days a week.
- Body for Life challenge.
- Join a Tae Kwon Do class.
- Work out every single day. I do this now! I
work out mornings and evenings. In the mornings I do Curves.
In the evenings I go to the YMCA.
- Stay with the Weight Watchers program for at least two years,
formally. I've been on it two years and I have decided
to stick with it. While I do journal on Fitday (available
at www.fitday.com) I also
journal every day on Weight Watchers Online.
- Continue working until I am a size 8 and weigh under 140
pounds. Wow, I'm a size 2/4 now at 115 pounds.
I think I'm going to stop here because I'm feeling really
good. We'll see!
- Participate in the Danskin Triathlon in August 2004. I
did it! I also did Danskin in 2005 and 2006! I am currently
seriously training for a half ironman, although I haven't
the guts to sign up yet.
- 175: Roller Coaster weight and Driver's License weight.
At this point I will match my DL and will feel comfortable
going on a roller coaster.
- 150: Cruise goal...my husband and I want to go on a cruise.
- 135: Goal! I may get another tattoo!
- Okay, 130 is now my new goal because at 145 I don't feel
like I have only 10 pounds to lose. So at 130, who knows what
I'll do to celebrate!
- Final goal was 130 but am now at less than 120 and I like
- Update: I've maintained between 117-120 for
four years now and I like that. We never did go on a cruise,
but instead I did the second best thing I've ever done for
myself (with weight loss being first) and got Lasik surgery.
It's like a miracle!
Secrets of My Success
I journal every
day using the online program at Weight Watchers. If I am out of town,
I journal on my PDA.
eats healthy with me. Even if he wasn't on program, I would never
consider making another meal for him nor for children if I had them.
If I am eating healthy I value my family enough to give them the same
I make food
choices based on what I like to eat, not what I think I should eat,
within reason. I try to think of my diet as a "training table".
Food fuels my body, it does not feed my soul.
I tailor my
eating to when it works best for me. For me that means light breakfast
and snacks in the evenings. I still get in my veggies, though! I promise!
every day, if possible. I now consider myself as an active person.
I have recently started thinking of myself as an athlete. I like that
I take on challenges
on the WW boards. I find that setting goals really helps me
to focus. I still do this even though I've hit goal.
I don't take
a day off...okay, I didn't journal on my birthday my first year and
enjoyed a healthy but non-point meal on my anniversary my first year...but
other than that I have been 100% on program. Since July 20, 2002,
I have been on program every day except when I was in the hospital
(who can journal that stuff they feed you through a tube?)
I do not believe
in going off program. If I choose to indulge I do it within the program.
That includes vacations. I used to use a modified vacation plan where
I eat all of my activity points. I earn a LOT of APs on vacation.
So far I've had only a one pound gain from a vacation (I've taken
at least two a year). I lost three the week after the pound gain.
That has been my only gain on program. The last vacation (Summer 2006)
I stayed on program without going into the AP thing and ended up losing
two pounds. I just ate 30 points a day.
I eat at the
low end and work out every day so I can bank 5-9 points a day. On
the weekends I feel free to dip into my bank. I always have one high
day on the weekend to keep my metabolism guessing. Now with the new
flex plan, I eat a target of 27, use APs on Friday, and use some flex
points on the weekend. Essentially I'm doing things the same way I
in mailing lists and the online bulletin boards.
I treat myself,
but only within points. I try to eat as "normally" as possible.
I know me. If I feel deprived, forget about it.
I set up milestones
for myself. For example, I treated myself to a pedicure after my 30
pound loss. After the first of the year I treated myself to Laser
Surgery on my eyes. Imagine being able to wake up and SEE!
My life gets
too crazy and too busy and when I get stressed I don't want to have
to worry about food! I try to make sure I have plenty of low point
meals around so meals are simple to put together.
I don't jump
on the excuse wagon. Stress, someone's birthday, the cookies called
my name, being really hungry, eating out, etc. are not excuses to
stop eating in a healthy manner. I simply do not bow to those temptations.
That doesn't mean I won't have a piece of cake on my husband's birthday.
It means I'll eat a light lunch, journal the small piece of cake,
and eat it within my program.
I don't think of this as a diet,
but as a sensible way of eating.
- Even though I've always been an energetic person, I have WAY more
energy than I've ever had before.
- I feel active! I love that!
- I'm wearing a size 2. I haven't worn a size 2 EVER. I can even
get into some size 1s and 0s!! I remember wearing a size 9 in high
school. I know sizes are different now, but I truly don't think
I've looked this good since right around high school.
- I am exercising seven days a week without excuse. I started slow
and worked up to Curves six days a week and the YMCA seven days
a week. I do the elliptical or run on the treadmill, then I do weights
(alternating arms one day, legs the next), I do 15 minutes of abs
and 10 minutes of stretches.Update: In 2006 I now run about
five miles a day five days a week, with a long run of at least ten
miles on the weekend (more if I'm training for a marathon). I swim
twice a week and lift weights twice a week. Fridays are rest days,
very important. I do back exercises (700 crunches and other things
for my bad back) every night that I'm able.
- There are muscles in my arms. I don't know how they got
there...but they are there! Update: They're still there!
- I am able to take off all of my rings! In fact, I had to get one
resized. My beautiful energy ring. The man who made it, who is an
awesome guy, actually replaced my size 10 ring with a size 7. Check
out the ring at his
website. I have the sterling silver one. Update: My
rings never did get resized and now I have smaller rings to hold
on the ones that are too big. I really should do something about
that. Oh, I did get the energy ring resized, though.
- I coached my first time ever in the summer of 2006. I was a coach
the red marathon team. Most of my people were first time marathoners.
It was SO much fun!
- I no longer feel like my fat tells people who I am before I have
a chance to open my mouth. I always felt like judgements were passed
in the first moments of seeing me that I had to "undo"...and
sometimes couldn't undo. It is so freeing to be able to walk down
the street and NOT feel like anyone is looking at me. Okay, maybe
every now and again I'm running in the rain and someone might think
"What a nut!" but that's okay! I'd rather be thought of
as a running nut than as lazy or unfit simply because of my size.
(And no matter WHAT size, I have never EVER been lazy!)
- I can tuck things in! I can wear belts! Someone told me I have
"skinny legs." Me! Skinny!
- I had surgery (Jan 21, 2003) to remove a pancreatic tumor. I have
bounced back so fast and the doctor says it's because I was so healthy
to begin with! Wahoo! I had to have two more surgeries, pretty darn
major ones too, in April of 2003 and even though I had a few setbacks,
I rallied very quickly again. By June I was back in the gym seven
days a week!
- Six days after the first major abdominal surgery I was back in
the gym working out very carefully and within doctor's orders...but
I was there! After the second and third surgeries I was back in
the gym within a week of being released from the hospital.
- A year after my surgeries I was as healthy as a horse! I'm exercising
90 minutes a day, training for a Triathlon and half marathon. I
feel just absolutely incredible.
- Three years later, still healthy, still horsey! I do suffer from
bouts of pancreatitis every 6-8 weeks, though. That can be a major
bummer. However it's better than pancreatic cancer, so I count myself
- I've been in two magazines (National Enquirer and Women's Own
from the UK), and will soon be in Family Circle. I was a Weight
Watchers Success Story in early 2006. I was on online ads for MONTHS
in 2006 (which was kind of funky).