Weight Loss Success Story: Haleigh C.
I'm honored to share Haleigh C's weight loss success story with you today. You'll want to read on to discover how her 101 pound weight loss over a period of three years, transformed not only her body, but her mind and spirit. Be sure to read all the way to the end for this lovely young lady's incredibly insightful words of wisdom and encouragement for others struggling with their weight and/or food addiction...
Tell Us A Little Bit About Your Weight Struggle
Since I was in elementary school I have struggled with my weight. Even when I was active I still had extra pounds and thunder thighs.
Throughout my life I attempted to diet, but would give up a few weeks in from not seeing results.
I became used to being overweight & eventually adapted to the lifestyle.
I did everything in my power to not appear "fat."
I would cover up when I went swimming, hide behind couch pillows, stopped taking pictures, and I still have the habit of resting my feet on my tippy toes when I sit. I have done this since the fourth grade to make my thighs appear smaller.
I honestly stopped taking care of myself all together.
When I look back, I wish I could shake myself for not sticking with one of the diets, or extra circular activities, instead of quitting.
Having to 'hide' my body should have been my wake up call.
What Was Your Wake-Up Call Or "A-Ha Moment" That Caused You To Really Commit Yourself To Succeeding?
My wake up call was literally just that...a wake up call. I woke up one morning with an extremely sore throat and I knew it was from not breathing properly while I was sleeping.
I became fed up with not feeling good which would affect the rest of my day.
My motivation to finally follow through with dieting was wanting to be able to breathe and not worrying that I would die in my sleep.
I was at my heaviest weight (233 lbs) and only 22 years old.
I knew I would not make it much longer if I continued on the route I was going on.
How Have Your Eating Habits Changed Since Beginning Your Journey? What Did You Eat Before And What Are You Eating Now?
My diet, pre-weight loss, consisted of fast food, frozen dinners, junk food, and once college came, booze became a part of my diet. Even as a child and teenager I consumed take out and fast food for the majority of my meals.
I will not say my diet has been consistent these last three-and-a-half years.
When I started dieting (Aug. 2014), I cut out grains, sugar, fast food, soda and alcohol. Which was working in my favor until I hit a plateau almost a year into my journey.
I transitioned to a vegan diet and dropped 20 lbs, but after several months, I found myself living off Oreos.
I slipped back into my old ways with fast food and began drinking heavily again. Doing so affected my weight and motivation to keep going. This lasted for a good year or so.
By the end of October 2016 I had gained weight and could no longer fit into my clothes, which was another "A-Ha Moment."
I decided that on the first of November, I would go back to eating healthy and trying to lose weight again. I planned my meals out and made them smaller—portion control has never my strong suit.
I dropped 20 lbs by the end of the year and continued to watch what I ate the following year.
My diet now is based off Whole30, which is similar to what I was doing the first time I started to lose weight.
I have fallen in love with cooking and creating recipes in the kitchen. I plan on continuing Whole30 but allowing myself to enjoy a fatty meal with an ice cold beer as a reward.
What Is The Difference In Your Fitness Before You Started And Now?
My fitness before I started included walking to the fridge and now it's pretty much the same, but I also go to the gym or run.
I find myself wanting to work out as a stress relief more than trying to burn off food.
What Has Been The Biggest Change/Payoff For You So Far?
Besides the obvious weight loss and health benefits, my biggest payoff has been going from "party girl" to "going to bed before nine girl."
Before and even a little during my weight loss, I was loud, obnoxious and wanting to be the center of attention—not in a good way.
Now that I have grown up (a little bit) I am a tad quieter, laid back, and view life differently. Don't get me wrong I still have my moments, but I have toned it down.
During the past three years, I have gradually taken a step back from going out and even social media, to reflect on my life.
I had no idea that losing weight would not only change my appearance but would affect me internally.
My Favorite Recipe Is…
Breakfast Hash is a staple meal in my household. I could eat it for every meal.
Haleigh's Breakfast Hash Recipe
- 1 pound lean ground turkey
- 1 tablespoon Breakfast spice blend (see recipe below)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 medium red bell pepper, seeds removed and diced
- 2 jalapeño peppers, seeds removed and diced
- ½ cup mushrooms, chopped
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 6 large eggs
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400F degrees.
- In a large bowl, mix together half the breakfast spice blend and ground turkey. Once blended, add turkey to cast iron skillet and cook until brown.
- Remove turkey from the skillet and set aside.
- Add olive oil to skillet and saute the onions, bell pepper, jalapeño and mushrooms over medium heat.
- Turn heat up to medium high, drizzle in the olive oil, add sweet potatoes to skillet along with the remaining breakfast spice blend.
- Occasionally stir until the sweet potatoes are tender and crispy.
- Add in the cooked, seasoned turkey.
- Create pockets in the hash and crack eggs into the pockets.
- Place skillet in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes, until eggs are cooked to desired consistency.
*PersonalPoints® calculated by WW. *PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® calculated by Simple Nourished Living; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc. All recipe ingredients except optional items included in determining nutritional estimates. SmartPoints® values calculated WITHOUT each plan's ZeroPoint Foods (Green plan, Blue plan, Purple plan) using the WW Recipe Builder.
How Much Weight Have You Lost? How Long Did It Take You To Lose It?
I've lost 101 lbs. over three-and-a-half years.
Any Advice and/or Words of Wisdom for Others Who Are Struggling?
We all go through highs and lows in life and losing weight is no exception.
One day you'll feel like you are on top of the world, while another day you consumed a large pizza by yourself.
Food addiction is real.
It's hard not to eat a whole bag of popcorn or a pint of ice cream in one sitting.
If you know you will eat all of something, then do not have it in your house. That is a rule I have made for myself.
One of the ways I have stayed away from over indulging is to bring my favorite snack to work and keep it in my desk. I'm more likely to eat the right serving size when I know people are watching, compared to being alone at my house.
It's okay to slip up.
Go at your own pace and find what works with your body.
Follow Haleigh on her website: Healthyish Haleigh
Follow Haleigh on Twitter: twitter.com/haleighmclark
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