This story is my weight loss journey. My name is Tara, 33-year-old mom of two beautiful girls. I have been obese basically since elementary school. Food was my friend. As I grew older, emotional eating took a huge toll on my weight. Food was my only friend when times were tough. I moved to Michigan in 2001, and easily put on another 100lbs. I moved away from all my family to be with my boyfriend and see where the relationship would go. He is now, my wonderful husband of 11 years. For the first ten months upon moving I was going to school full-time, had no friends and not working, my only friend was food, especially fast food.
I gave birth to my last daughter Addison in 2007, I was 285 lb. When I saw that scale and how close I was to 300 lbs it hit me hard. Two weeks after I had Addison, I got extremely ill and spent a week in the hospital. After, due to a strict gall bladder diet, I easily lost 20 lbs. Work stress, family stress and raising two kids 17 months apart was a handful and I never had time to take care of myself mentally or physically. Food seemed to be the only thing that could comfort me. The following year to add to the stress, my grandfather passed away and I lost my job.
During this time, I watched my sister lose an extreme amount of weight by joining Weight Watchers online. I would always make excuses for not losing weight, especially if I have to pay. In April 2008, I found out the health insurance at my new job covered Weight Watchers 100%. Now with no excuses, I figured if my sister could do it – so can I. I signed up for Weight Watchers that very month. The weight started coming off right away; I’d go for morning walks before everyone woke up and track my food. Then I hit a plateau and gained 20 lbs back easily. I was stuck with those extra 20 lbs for two years, no matter how hard I worked at it.
A client at work who always commented on my weight loss told me about a YMCA program and how to qualify for a discount. I couldn’t afford $60 a month for a membership. I needed to do different exercises as walking was boring. I applied thinking I would not qualify, but I did. I attended the Y 5-6 days a week, doing cardio and weight lifting. When my membership was about to end, a Planet Fitness opened in Kalamazoo for $10 a month, I joined and have been there every since. I alternate my workout, cardio one day, weight lifting and a little cardio the next. My workout usually starts around 5am on weekdays. That is the only time I can attend the gym, as my husband and I work opposite shifts. I have found that if I work out in the morning I feel so much better the rest of the day and if I don’t work out in the morning, it never happens.
Unfortunately in March of 2013, my dad passed away. I was glad he could see most of my weight loss journey. For some reason, something clicked and I knew I needed to get those 20 lbs off and meet my goal with Weight Watchers. I can finally say that as of July 2013 I met my goal, a 135 lb weight loss. That is the best feeling in the world.
I will say maintaining my weight is more of a struggle than losing the weight. I really have to watch what I eat even if I don’t track my points. I also need to keep a mind set of who I was and who I am now. There have been many occasions when I find myself indulging and literally making myself sick. I blame myself a lot because I know I am the only one responsible for over indulging. Emotional eating still plays a factor in my everyday life but I have much better control over it most of the time. If I do find myself eating uncontrollably I try to catch myself and stop and figure out why. And I keep myself as busy as possible so I don’t eat out of boredom.
I am happy to say a gal who was size 24 is now a size 6. It is hard to believe it. It’s an awesome feeling to be able to walk into a store and find clothes easily that fit. There are downfalls from losing all this weight, extra skin. However, I deal with it, even though it makes me feel fat at times, I look at old pictures of who I was back then.
The best part of my journey are my kids. They look at their baby photos and see a heavy mom. They love their new mom, and are conscience of eating healthy with me. I can play with my kids now, I can run around and not be exhausted, fit comfortably on an airplane seat and not squeeze tight into a roller coaster ride.
With my weight loss journey I sometimes think about my career, as a Bachelors Degree in Business hasn’t gotten me far. I wish I could somehow get a career in Health/Fitness and help other people like me, as many people especially at Planet Fitness have told me I’m an inspiration and motivator to them . I will never go back to overweight, no self-confidence Tara. Please comment & share!