Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Success Story - Lori

Lori chose the stealth mode when she started her weight loss journey.   She made the decision and quietly started to work on her weight.  It was quite a while before she actually announced to the general public (aka Facebook) that she had not only been working on her weight, but had been having some nice success.   As scary as it is to come forward and admit to the world that she was on this journey to health, Lori has showed us that you can have a busy life and have great success!

I had the pleasure of meeting Lori in college.  During my senior year, she and I lived in the same dorm and in fact our rooms were pretty much right across the hall.  Lori was the most vivacious and fun person to be around.  Her creativity and wit were a spark that made dorm life even more fun. (Seriously, who else do you know that would create a non-working fireplace in her dorm room at Christmas to celebrate the holiday!)  As I’ve seen her Facebook posts over the years I can see that the creativity and wit are still a driving part of her personality.   I was working on an idea for a success story page in my head when I saw her most recent post about her success and when I asked her, she very willingly accepted the offer to answer some questions.  Thank you Lori!

What sparked you to begin to lose weight?? I had a picture taken of me with my dad at Thanksgiving in 2016.  Thanksgiving has been tough for me, since my mom passed away and that Thanksgiving was especially hard, because it was the first since my dad had remarried.  I remember looking at that picture and seeing how sad I looked.  I mean, once you get beyond the fact that I was in desperate need of a dye job, I was overweight, sad, uncomfortable in my own skin.  I just didn’t like what I saw.   I also realized at 41, I was only a few years away from the age my mom was when she was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes and High Blood Pressure, that in some ways lead to her having the first of a series of debilitating strokes at the age of 50.  I knew I needed to make some changes in my life. It wasn’t something that happened all at once, but that picture kind of solidified a lot of my thoughts up to that point and haunted me in a way that helped me make the decision to quietly sign up for Weight Watchers about 6 weeks later in January of 2017.

What was your highest weight?   Current weight? My highest weight was 185.  That might not seem like a lot to some, but I’m only 4’10”.  My current weight is fluctuating around 136-140.How much weight have your lost in pounds? 45-49 – again with the fluctuationsWhat was your starting clothing size?  Your current size?  I was busting out of my 16s and fit into a pair of 18s, and now I’m around an 8/10.  I say 8, because I currently own TWO size 8 shorts!  Whoop! 

  What plan did you follow to lose your weight?  (ie weight watchers, slim fast, a plan of your own creation...)  I chose Weight Watchers and it’s been amazing for me.  I totally look at food differently now.  My son is a Type 1 Diabetic and has been since he was 7.  So, I’ve been helping him count carbs for years.  Counting points was an easy process for me to get used to.  It also allows me to have things I like.  In the past, I would give up all the things I liked the most – sugary things, CARBS!  With Weight Watchers I could still have those things, but only enough to satisfy that need and not exceed my points goal for the day.  I like the freedom of choice I have with Weight Watchers.

Have you reached your weight loss goal?  If so, how long have you been maintaining your weight?  I set out to get down to 120, but haven’t achieved that goal yet.  So, this is a work still in process.  I will say that I’ve started to get comfortable with the fact that maybe getting into the 130s is where my realistic, I’m-in-my-40s-now, health goal should be.  Still working that out with myself.

 Do you consistently track your food intake (via online or paperform) I consistently tracked my food daily on weightwatchers.com and their phone app for a solid year.  This year I’ve been hit and miss with my tracking.  Some days I’m great at it, some days….not so much.

 How often do you weigh yourself?  How did you come to that choice for how often?  I weigh myself almost daily.  I went a whole week once without weighing myself and I found I was super stressed by the not knowing and worried that I was gaining. So, I usually weigh myself first thing in the morning as a start to my day.

 What online tools do you use?  Beyond the Weight Watchers website, I use Pinterest for recipes.
Do your exercise regularly?  If so, what do you do?  I work with preschoolers, so in the beginning I just noted my daily steps.  But, I didn’t exercise intentionally until a good 4-5 months into my diet, because I really wanted to focus my energy into changing my eating habits.  Late April of ’17 I started walking with my family.  I now do power walks almost daily and sometimes incorporate jogging with that.  I love my walks!

 Do you have any words of advice for someone that is just starting out on this journey of weight loss and health?  I’ve had a lot of people ask me this question.  I’ve been struggling with my weight since Jr. High.  I’ve done tons of diets and failed at nearly all of them.  I think you really need to WANT it.  To realize that the bite of food you’re missing isn’t worth the struggle and sadness that often accompanies eating it.  I think they need to know that the mental part of a lifestyle/weight loss journey is MUCH tougher than the physical part.  I wasn’t prepared for the mental back and forth.  But, overall, I’d say that taking control of your life and your weight is one of the most empowering things I’ve ever done.  I know that this is not over for me.   My weight and, in turn, food will always be an issue for me.  This is a lifestyle change.  I won’t allow myself to eat like I used to.  I feel too good now to want to go back to that.    

 Is there anything else you would like to share?   I guess it just comes back to finding a way to be ok with this being a long-term goal and not a short term one.  Losing weight has always been about immediate goal-reaching for me.  If I wanted to lose 20 lbs and did, well, then I was done and would go back to eating my favorites all the time (Doritos anyone?), which led to gaining everything back.  This time the difference has been about doing it the right way.  Making life changes to my diet.  So, I’m a year and a half in and haven’t met my goal.  BUT, I’m still working.  I keep working.  I keep being aware of what I eat and when I exercise and look for ways to change things up to make more progress.  And, while the challenge of the mental part of it can be tiresome and overwhelming at times, the food part hasn’t been as hard as I thought it would be.  I still worry about failing.  I think anyone that has struggled with weight in their lifetime knows that Failure is that scary guy in the corner, but I feel equipped now in ways I haven’t ever before.  I’m no one special.  Just a gal who’s been right where everyone else has. The fact that I’ve lost weight in a way that others find successful is still a surprise to me.  

 Thank you Lori for taking the time to share your thoughts and weight loss success story with us.  You truly are an inspiration!  Keep up the great work!