Hello friend! Welcome back to Crystal’s Corner! Today, I’ll be sharing something with you that I never thought I would. The idea of putting it out there, in blog world, scared the bee-gee-bees out of me! You know, that whole “revealing too much about myself” thing. When I was sharing this thought with a friend, she told me to stop being selfish! Wait, what?! Yep, it caught me off guard for half a second, before I realized what she was saying. If I could tell my story and possibly inspire someone, why wouldn’t I? So, without further ado, here is my weight loss journey.
Brutal Reality Sets In
The reason for starting my journey, was due to my health! I had already been on blood pressure and cholesterol medications for years, when my doctor told me that I was pre-diabetes. To be honest, that word scared me, so I knew it was time to do something. I am a woman of faith, so one day when I was praying for my cousin’s health, it occurred to me that I was actually causing my own health issues by being overweight! Right there in the middle of praying, I had my Aha Moment! From that point on, I started thinking about ways to change.
Time for Change
I know not every person can change their health issues solely based on diet and exercise, but for me, that’s exactly what happened. This meant I was able to stop taking those medications, and my blood work has all been in normal range for years. I would like to point out that having an aha moment didn’t suddenly change my mind-set. It still took a lot of strength, determination, tears (a lot of tears), and a fantastic support team! I had all of that, but my loudest cheerleader was Jeff. You wouldn’t believe how often he had to encourage and reassure me.
Before I share what I did to lose weight, I would like to say that I am not a nutritionist, or a professional of any kind. I would encourage you to seek medical advice, before starting any weight loss program. Of course, I was already under a doctor’s care, and she was completely on board with my plans. We had a neighbor who had already seen success, so I knew I wanted to try what she was doing. She told me that she used an app called MyFitnessPal. It’s a free smart phone app and website that helps you track your progress.
Life Must Go On
Basically, it’s a calorie counter that has millions of food items in the database. You can either scan the bar-codes with your smart phone, or enter them manually. I found the website, set up my own account, and got started. Ultimately, it taught me to rethink the way I eat. I knew I couldn’t deprive myself of the foods I love, without failing, so I just learned how to balance. If I want ice cream I have it. I just don’t eat as much as I used to.
A New Friend
In my 55 years on this earth, I have only gone on 3 actual diets. What I learned from the first two attempts, is that I had to change the way I was eating, along with exercising! Focusing on just one isn’t as effective. The first time, I lost 30 pounds by following the Weight Watchers plan, but didn’t exercise. It didn’t last long, and I ended up putting more than that 30 back on. The second time was after our daughter gifted me with some workout clothes, and a DVD for Christmas one year. It’s called, Just Walk-Ultimate 5 Day Walk Plan with Leslie Sansone. It’s basically walking in place. They figured out what speed you need to walk to burn calories, and includes different moves to target all muscles. I later bought her book Walk Away the Pounds. It includes a 6 week journal section, where you can log your walking progress. I dove right into the exercise, but didn’t really change the way I was eating. I was thrilled when my doctor told me that I had lost 10 pounds!
Creating a Routine
For the following 6 months, I continued on the same path, and was ready to hear how much more I had lost (we didn’t own a scale). Imagine my utter shock, when she told me I had only lost 1 additional pound in that time frame!!! That was also the appointment where I heard the pre-diabetes I mentioned above. That’s when I brought diet and exercise together. When I started, I only did the 1 mile, 5 days a week and eventually increased to 5 miles, 5 days a week. I also did strength training with 3 lb weights. To maintain, I walk 5 miles, 4 days a week, and have increased to 8 lb weights, along with using a weight machine.
As I mentioned above, Jeff was a huge part of my success, but I also turned to my family and friends on Facebook. I knew that if I went completely public with what I was doing, then I would be forced to succeed! It would be too embarrassing to fail. I wrote a post about what I was doing, and clicked the share button. That was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do, but I immediately started getting positive feedback and support! On days I didn’t feel like exercising, I would think of all the people who were watching and believing in me, so I got it done. After a few months, I started getting messages that I was an inspiration to others. That, in turn, was more motivation for me to continue. Well friend, that’s how I lost over 100 pounds. I didn’t think to take my measurements when I started, but I went from a size 22 jean, to a size 4.
A New Mindset
It took me just under 2 years to reach my goal, because I purposely took it slow. I wanted to retrain my thinking, so everything would become a habit (which it did). It wasn’t easy by any means, but I reached my goal on June 5, 2015. Fortunately, I reached that goal before Jeff and I started this blog! We’ve had so many people ask how we can eat like that, and not gain weight. The truth is, when we take these week long trips, we do gain some. One of our tricks though, is to walk as much as we can, in every city we visit. When we get home, we go right back to our regular eating schedule. I still struggle at times, but the difference between now, and 100 pounds ago, is that I always get back on track!
A Lifelong Journey
If this article has lit just the tiniest spark in you, then I say go for it!! The main piece of advice I like to give, is to find what works for you. If you try what I laid out here and don’t like it, keep looking until you find what fits you. Weight loss journeys are not cookie cutter perfect. What works for one, does not work for all. If you have any questions, or just need some encouragement, please feel free to leave a comment. I would love to celebrate in your success with you!