Before I lost my baby weight, I would read weight loss articles and wonder how these women did it. How they could diet and exercise month after month and then submit their stories to run in a national magazine, their “Before” pictures prominently displayed beside their “After” pictures. After all, the whole point of losing the weight is leaving behind the physical person you used to be.
Once I dedicated myself to losing weight, I began to see things differently.
Losing weight is hard. No matter what method you use, whether it’s diet, exercise, or surgery, once you go back to eating the way you used to or slow down your workouts, the weight will come back. Maintaining a healthy weight requires you to commit to a complete lifestyle change.
came when I didn’t recognize myself in a photo at my son’s baptism. I didn’t realize how big I had gotten when I was pregnant with C. I thought the 60 pounds I had gained would magically melt away after the delivery. I am a southern girl and I grew up on fried, fatty foods that were oh so yummy, but not so healthy. The food portions on my plate were matching my husband’s, and I would usually go back for seconds.
The first thing I did was join Weight Watchers. I learned what a normal-sized portion looked like. I loved Weight Watchers because you could eat anything in moderation. I don’t believe in depriving your body of carbohydrates, protein, dairy, or even chocolate. Deprivation equals failure.
My husband MJ became my personal trainer and he helped me with a weight training plan that worked for me. I joined a women’s running group that met each Saturday. It was social time as well as exercise time and the runs flew by. The pounds began to melt away and 5 months later, I had lost the 60 pounds and was in better shape than I had ever been before.
I was so proud of losing the weight in 2004. So proud, that in 2008, having successfully maintained my weight for four years, I decided to submit my story to the “I Did It!” column in Health Magazine. They chose me for the article and in October of that same year, I was flown to Los Angeles for a photo shoot. Stylists were on hand to pick out my clothes and my makeup was applied by artists who had previously worked with Gwyneth Paltrow and Johnny Depp.
My “I Did It!” article ran in May of 2009 with my “Before” picture prominently displayed beside my “After” picture. It felt great. I now understood why other women did it. Looking back at myself before was like looking at a stranger. I was thrilled to see how far I’d come. I hoped others would be motivated to do the same.
A few months ago I was contacted by Health Magazine again. They were doing a follow up on some of their “I Did It!” participants. They wanted to know if I’d kept the weight off and if I would like to be in the update issue. I was happy to report that I have kept the weight off, through regular exercise and a well-balanced, healthy diet (that includes the occasional piece of chocolate). The active lifestyle I lead now is very different from the sedentary one I led pre-2004.
I’ll be one of the many success stories in the September 2011 issue of Health Magazine. The women you will find on the pages provided so much inspiration for me and I hope they will for you too.