|04-19-2006, 09:36 PM||#1|
Senior LCF Member
Join Date: Jun 2003
Stats: 236.5 /132.5/ 128-133 @5'3"
WOE: Atkins Maintenance (Vegetarian + Fish)
Start Date: 6/03 & Goal! 5/06
My Weightloss Story: June 2003-April 2006
108.5 Pounds Lost
from 236.5 to 128 pounds
105 Inches Smaller
including 23 inches from the hips, and 17 from the waist
11 Clothing Sizes Down
from a size 30 stretchy trouser to a size 6 regular jeans
39.2% Bodyfat Lost
from 61.8% bodyfat to 22.6% bodyfat
9 Pounds of Muscle Gained
from a lean body mass of 90.32 to 99.07 pounds
This is the story of my first three years on Atkins. I do not think I ever believed I would be here. I am one of those people who have been overweight, well, obese (hate that word) for my entire life. Since I was a young child I always thought that my life would be better, happier, more meaningful, more fulfilled, more normal if I could only lose the weight. Nearly every act act and every human interaction of mine was colored by my shame, the weakness I thought I had, the results of which were so readily visible for the whole world to see, comment upon, and judge. Without even knowing me, people already had a good idea of what kind of person I was - or so I thought.
As a child and as an adult, I thought I had to go the extra mile to be accepted. I had to be the one to bow out, to put up with bad behaviour, to try to please everyone. I did not go out on dates like other teenagers. I was the one against the wall at the dances. And I grew angrier and angrier, turning to my secret shame for solace. Secret, because even as a child, I knew my parents and my family even would love me more if I was only thin. I tried all kinds of diets soaking in the glory of losing a pound or two and the disapproval when I could not keep at it for very long. Remember the melba toast and fat free cottage cheese days?
1980s Senior Prom ......... In My 20s .........
I spent much of my young life chasing acceptance, love, value as a human being as I thought it was defined by others, buying into the superficial definition of a person's value in society, chasing something I could not attain rather than looking inside to my own intrinsic value -- essentially wasting my youth looking for acceptance and doing a lot of things I am not proud of, things that were not meant to fulfill my own needs. And I became angrier and angrier inside at what I perceived as my own unfair shortcomings.
Luckily in the midst of all this, in 1993 I met a wonderful man, a good man and we married. In our first year together as boyfriend and girlfriend, I went on a typical lowfat high carb diet and lost more weight than ever before. 60 pounds. From a weight of 220 to 160. My then-boyfriend was very encouraging. At the time he decided to quit smoking cold turkey due to my allergies and asthma and he began to run to help give him positive feelings to counteract the negatives of quitting smoking (in other words, as he ran and stayed off the smokes, his breathing and lungs felt better and better giving positive reinforcement.).
I had never ever run before - couldn't go more than a few steps at a time at a weight of 220, or so I thought. He taught me to walk fast and take very slow jogging steps. I progressed little by little to where I could "run." We entered a few 10K races (6.2 miles) together and my times were very slow, but I was losing weight and having fun. And then one day I was sick of running. I had pushed it too hard and I stopped. I also stopped watching my food intake and I quickly gained back the 60 lbs.
1993 Wedding .... 2001 With My One Year Old .... July 2003 at 226 after 10 lb loss
I was so traumatized by having gained back that weight and all that it took to lose it that I pretty much gave up on serious dieting for a good long time. It got to the point where I actually was very proud that I could maintain my weight of 225 lbs. I had my first child in 1996, gained about 20 lbs with the pregnancy and got back down to 225 afterward without any real effort.
During that pregnancy a woman I worked with sensed that I might be pregnant. She was a woman in her 40s, never married, and always in the midst of some office intrigue - well-known for her viciousness. She cornered me one day and out of the blue, started telling me how obese women routinely lose their babies and how bad it is for the baby. This, I think was one of the most terrible things that happened to me, far worse than people thinking I was pregnant all the time because my face tended to always be somewhat thinner than my body, being called names, being shamed at the doctor's office as a child and at gym class … all the usual horrors we have been through.
My second child was born in the year 2000. Again I only gained 20-25 lbs, but this time it would not all come off and I was up to about 240+ pounds once some of the pregnancy weight came off. The difference this time, I felt as though I could not hide the weight as I had before (At 225, I had seriously thought I could hide it behind sweaters and long shirts), the fat was now depositing itself on my outer arms and I was getting a rounded shape to my shoulders. Not only that, now any clingy materials would show the rippled fat lumps underneath. I felt desperate once again.
Don’t get me wrong. I know my husband was deeply disappointed that the cute adventurous girl he had married who had showed such promise of getting her self-esteem and energy in order, had turned into a very large frumpy housewife who looked her age, although he never uttered a single word to me about it. It weighed heavily on me and affected our relationship deeply, only adding to my discontent, self-hatred and self-rejection.
I started to try different diets, even going on a diet drug for a little while and slimfast, but I could not stay on anything for more than a few days. I again went into a period of deep depression. Then on Memorial Day Weekend in 2003, I heard my sister's boyfriend talking about this "diet" they were planning to go on called Atkins. I had heard about it before, but had always dismissed it because it was a meat diet and I was a vegetarian. But after listening to his enthusiastic explanation of the science behind it, I thought to myself: well a protein is a protein is a protein. And I decided then and there to start it.
The whole way of eating was so revolutionary to me that I thought it might just work. I desperately hated lowfat diets and lowfat and fat-free products. Eating as a vegetarian since I was 12 years old, carbohydrates were always the basis for the meal with the vegetables and cheeses, etc piled on top. I did not think I would really miss the starches all that much if only I could come up with delicious satisfying dishes. I started June 3, 2003.
That same day I discovered internet Atkins sites and I registered right away, my only hesitation being, would I post my weight?! Dare I?! I reasoned that anyone on the site would have the same problem as I so that even if they recognized me, it shouldn't matter. So I took the plunge and posted my weight as well as an avatar picture.
Induction was hard as a vegetarian, but I made it through. I gave up caffeine at the same time and my induction hangover was absolutely horrid. But I was thrilled with my weightloss and the foods I was eating, I just plowed right on. I only lost 6 lbs in my entire two week induction and people with my large weight were losing 12 lbs and 20 lbs routinely. It did not bother me. I was on a ketosis high.
I knew that for this to be successful I would need to start to move, to exercise and I desperately dreaded it. After a few weeks thinking about it (I always think for a few weeks before I act), I started walking 4 times a week in the woods. I was afraid to go out in public and did not want the neighbors or anyone else to see my huge body struggling to do what normal people take for granted, so I began to walk in the woods in (a version of) my regular clothes. I wore my usual black stretchy pants, a t-shirt, and a windbreaker to hide the fat body. I started to enjoy hearing the birds sing and seeing the natural beauty around me.
In my first month I lost 10 lbs and then I was off to a two week vacation to Ireland to visit family. Luckily I was the cook in the house as my Mother-in-law suffers from Alzheimer's. It was a tough two weeks from the standpoint of taking care of my MIL, and my two children, but I stayed on plan. I did not have my usual Guinness or the great pastries and Irish bread. I walked when I could. And I lost 3 lbs while I was there.
My size and how I looked was still very upsetting to me. In the picture above, for example, I actually thought the brown jacket made me look slim .. that is until I developed the photos. I was now committed to getting this weight off and looking like the pretty girl (160 pounds) my husband had brought there to visit 10 years before, once again. I averaged about 7-8 lbs a month lost and was absolutely thrilled. I dallied with very low calories staying at 20 carbs but with OWL foods that included some nuts, a daily morningstart bar for breakfast and a sugarfree chocolate bar once a day as a treat.
By Month 6, I had miraculously lost over 50 lbs down to the low 180s. I was able to buy new clothes in small Plus sizes and was getting compliments left and right. I had that Atkins honeymoon glow about me. And I had progressed from walking 4 times a week to walking 6 times a week at as fast a pace as I could bear. Often with a small interval of jogging here and there. On days when I had my 3 year old with me, I'd put her in her regular old baby stroller and I'd walk as fast as I could on a paved trail near the house.
The snow and ice set in and I moved my exercise to the Mall, walking with the early-morning seniors. I soon realized I was walking faster and was turning into a menace with the baby carriage, so after much thought, I bit the bullet and started Curves, signing up for a year's membership.
( Part 1 of 3. To be continued in next post)