I'm excited to kick today off with our first Weight Loss Success Story of 2017 - JuliAnn.
As someone also was overweight as a kid, having to endure the shame of chubby clothes and being teased by other kids, I could relate to her emotional story of decades spent yo-yo dieting.
But even with all the ups and downs, she never gave up. She kept trying new ways to lose weight, realizing that her health and happiness depended on it.
Learn from JuliAnn's powerful example: Even if you've lost weight and then gained it back many times in the past, your successful attempt might be right around the corner. In fact, it very well might be the one you are doing now, especially when you commit to it as a way of life...
Tell Us A Little Bit About Your Weight Struggle
I have been overweight since I was five years old. I wore chubby clothes and was picked on by the other kids. I finally lost weight when I left home when I was 21.
I lost 65 pounds on Weight Watchers, and I dropped from 195 pounds down to 130 pounds. I got in a serious relationship and gained weight again.
Then I went on a low calorie liquid protein ketogenic diet and lost 50 pounds. Then I gained it back and more.
Then I went to a diet doctor and got pills and lost 60 pounds. Then I got married and my husband sustained a head injury and I gained 100 pounds during my pregnancy. Another pregnancy and more weight.
I finally got to my highest weight ever and decided to have gastric bypass surgery in 2002. With that I lost 110 pounds.
Then slowly over 12 years gained 80 pounds of it back.
Finally, I turned 60 and my daughter became a doctor and I got scared about my health and the looming scare of diabetes. So I am back with Weight Watchers and exercise.
I started March 1, 2016, and have lost 78 pounds to date. I know that I will be a member of Weight Watchers for the rest of my life. I need the support and motivation that membership provides me. I have never missed a meeting.
I lost my father last month, and instead of turning to food for comfort, I continue to eat healthfully and I provide comfort to my mother.
I would tell others not to take the drastic measure of gastric bypass because of the problems that come with that; i.e., vitamin deficiencies and long-term problems yet to be discovered.
I need Weight Watchers just as an alcoholic needs AA. One day at a time always!!!
What Was Your Wake-Up Call Or "A-Ha Moment" That Caused You To Really Commit Yourself To Succeeding?
The scare of rising A1c levels, turning 60 at a very unhealthy weight, and my daughter's upcoming wedding and not wanting her to be embarrassed by her mother.
How Have Your Eating Habits Changed Since Beginning Your Journey? What Did You Eat Before And What Are You Eating Now?
Now I think about what I am eating and what I plan on eating. I choose healthy, fresh vegetables and fruits.
I am a very good cook, so I use that skill to create food that is healthy. Anybody can use tons of butter and carbs and create food that tastes great.
What I find challenging is making healthy food taste great. I eat wild salmon, shrimp, chicken sausage, chicken breast in multiple different preparations, organic Greek yogurt, farm-fresh eggs, protein powder in healthy shakes and in baking.
What Is The Difference In Your Fitness Before You Started And Now?
I have always been pretty active, even at my highest weight. But as I got older, my knees started to bother me. I would not get in a bathing suit. I was embarrassed to go to a gym for fear of people mocking the "fat woman" sweating like a pig.
So when I started Weight Watchers, I got Leslie Sansone tapes and walked at home. I started out with 20 minutes. Then I purchased the "Miracle Miles" DVDs and started doing 3 to 5 miles a day five days a week.
Now I go to the rec center and do the elliptical machine for an hour 3-5 times a week and am about to start some new classes to keep things interesting.
I also use my FitBit to get at least 10K steps per day every day.
What Has Been The Biggest Change/Payoff For You So Far?
I have gone from a size 22 to a size 12, about to be 10. My knees no longer bother me. For once in my life I am looking forward to my physical in January. My doctor will be so surprised!!!
My daughter is truly proud of me; she knows what a struggle this has been for my throughout my life.
I now know that I can walk on a vacation and not be exhausted. It is nice to walk without my legs rubbing together and my knees aching.
I can't wait to see my cholesterol and A1C numbers now!!
My Favorite Recipe
My daughter bought a spiralizer for my 60th birthday.
I use it almost every day to make some kind of "zoodle" (zucchini noodle). Zucchini and butternut squash spiralized into noodles are two easy ones.
Just spiralize a zucchini, flash cook in pan sprayed with olive oil for just a few minutes. Then pat dry the excess liquid.
Cook some chicken sausage and add the zucchini back in. Then add your favorite sauce, usually my homemade marinara, but Classico lite alfredo in a pinch.
Also I buy the best Pecorino Romano from the Italian store and freshly grate this wonderful cheese on top (1 Tablespoon adds tremendous flavor).
How Much Weight Have You Lost? How Long Did It Take You To Lose It?
To date, I have lost 78 pounds. It has taken a little over nine months. I still want to lose at least another 25 pounds.
Advice and/or Words of Wisdom to Others Who Are Struggling?
Try to look at your weight loss as a life change, not a diet. Having gained and lost weight so many times over the past 55 years, I have learned that it is a lifetime change.
I never ever thought that I would gain weight back after what I went through to have my gastric bypass. But surgery is not an answer in and of itself, it is the choices that you make every day for the rest of your life.
Find food and exercise that you enjoy and live it. Get the support you need. Be good to yourself so you can be good to others. Put yourself first. Love yourself. Don't hide away from people and things. Put yourself out there and do it little by little.
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