My Personal Transformation Story: How I Lost More Than 90 Pounds

As of January 12, 2016 I've been on a diet for over 1 year and I've never cheated once. To date, I've lost over 80 pounds (90 if you count what I lost a few months before I started really trying). That sounds crazy, right? I love sweets and have been known to have problems with binge eating. I've struggled with my weight my entire life. And for the first time ever, I feel like I am in control.

 I had such fun times with amazing friends, even though I wasn't always comfortable in my own skin. 

But before I dive into what is driving my success, let's back up. You should know that I've been heavy my entire life, with the exception of when I lost weight twice before. I was not able to keep it off, gaining back more than I lost each time. I can only hope I've developed the tools to maintain my loss and finally stop the yo-yo effect. Right now, I'm in a great place and don't doubt my ability to keep moving forward. What sparked my total life change?

One of my facebook friends was having bariatric surgery; and then another and another. So many people were announcing on facebook that they were having a weight loss surgery and it seemed like that was the only way I was going to gain control. This means changing your entire relationship with food forever, not to mention one long and very major surgery. I knew I didn't want the surgery, but I had given up on even trying to lose weight.

Niagara Falls, 2014
I knew if I didn't get it together, I would be headed towards the same surgery. That was a really scary thought. If I can't change how I binge eat now, why would having the surgery help me in the long run?

For me, I knew needed to address what lay beneath; the real reasons I was overeating. Not to mention how scared I had become of getting blood work done. I knew my cholesterol and blood sugar would most likely land me on meds I didn't want to take. I didn't want to risk diabetes, which runs in my family, as does heart disease. I just wanted to feel better, look better, be comfortable in my own skin and change my relationship with food. Where do you even begin to do that?  Is that too much to expect without a medical intervention? It certainly felt that way. I was almost out of hope when a friend convinced me to try to lose weight one more time. Try what, I wasn't sure. But I was open to trying and that was a big deal.

Then on the night of January 12, 2015, I saw a commercial for fast food and thought, "I'm gonna do Weight Watchers one last time and it's going to be different. Not because of Weight Watchers, but because I'm going to be different. I'm not going to put myself second any longer. I'm not going to tell myself lies. I'm not going to make unhealthy choices. I'm going to start living for me." I don't know if the ad made me actually mad, but I knew I was taking control of my eating and I was more determined than ever. I wasn't going to let any person, any meal or any "overhead video recipe for cookies" get in my way.

I signed up for Weight Watchers on my phone that second and never looked back.

If you haven't done WW in a bit or are new to the plan, here's how it works:

All food has a point value. (And it's not as easy to predict as it was in the past.)
You get a specific number of  points per day. 
You get extra points each week to use if needed.
You need to exercise enough each week to earn Fit Points. (While exercise was an incentive for more points, they weren't mandatory before the Oprah update.)

Most importantly, I stopped lying to myself about what I was eating. That is the key to everything. 

It's a special occasion! It's my birthday! The Chef is amazing! You must try this. Don't insult me!

That may all be true, and more than a little manipulative, but it won't help you lose weight. Don't lie to yourself. You know which decision means losing weight and which way means not losing weight. Don't lie to yourself. In the past, when looking down the barrel of a flan torch, I never made the healthy choice. Now I always make the decision that keeps me on my plan. Even when life throws curveball (after curveball!), my resolution is strong. Make No Lies your mantra for the year.

Then and now. 
I never feel like I'm missing out and I've never felt like I wish I had eaten more. Feeling good in my own skin after 35+ years of not feeling so great is the best reward, as hokey as that sounds. I've finally had a full physical and for the first time ever, all of my numbers are in a healthy range. All of them.

Over the last year, I developed my own coping mechanisms to deal with my weight loss journey that goes way beyond Weight Watchers. In my next weight loss post, I'll start to share them with you. I don't know that they will work for everyone, but they've been very helpful for me. I think they may help you on your own weight loss journey - I hope they do!

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NEXT:  Tip #1: Pick Your Zebra Cake and Eat It.

Would Weight Watchers work for you?

If you count every morsel you put in your mouth, you'll lose weight. The key in that sentence is every morsel. It's not as hard as you think. When you commit to eating with your brain instead of your "stomach", it's much easier. Planning out meals before you shop also makes things a snap on days that get rough. While I haven't attended any meetings recently, if you need an IRL community to help you, take advantage of the open and friendly community that Weight Watchers meetings can foster.

Yes, you will eventually get over that feeling of being compelled to eat sweets and breads. And I'm not sure what bread Oprah is eating, because it has a lot of points. I save six points per day for something sweet and I presume she does the same with bread. If wine is your thing, save some wine points. It's about figuring out what is important to you.

Please remember to always check with your doctor before beginning a weight loss or exercise plan. I'm no doctor, and my experience will be different than yours, so keep that in mind. 

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  1. I said it before, and I'll say it again: you look fabulous! (which is a lovely byproduct of taking charge of your health!) Congratulations for all of your determination and work.
    I also have to say that in the pictures you've been posting lately, I see delight, strength and such optimism in your eyes- you look really happy! Good for you! We want you to be happy!

    1. Thank you, Rita!!! I've had a lot of changes going on, both with my weight, career and everything else. I'm glad my confidence shows! xoxo

  2. Such and inspiring post. Thank you so much for your honesty!

  3. I have been waiting for this day! Thank you so much for posting. You are a true inspiration, and I look forward to reading more about your journey.


  4. Cheers to you!! <3

  5. All I can say is you look fabulous!! Great job. I know it isn't easy. But the payoff is tremendous.


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