I am so excited to kick off a new feature on Slender Kitchen - Weight Loss Wednesdays! Weight Loss Wednesdays will feature stories of weight loss success so we can celebrate the amazing progress people have made (Kara lost 177 lbs!!) and get inspiration! In my opinion there is nothing better than reading someone's real story to get motivated. Have your own weight loss story? Tell us about it!
Starting Weight: 412
Current weight: 235
Pounds lost: 177
How long did it take?: 4 years, 80 lbs and counting in the last year!
Lightbulb moment: I went to the doctor several years ago and was shocked when I weighed 400+ pounds. It had been years since I'd weighed myself (because every time I stepped on my home scale, which only supported up to 330 pounds, I got the dreaded "E"), but I had always convinced myself that I was fine. After the doctor revealed my weight, she gave me some other scary news as well: I had high blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol. She started me on a whole litany of medications at only 31 years old. I knew it was time for a change. I started slowly at first, making minor changes and losing 90 pounds over the course of three years. I finally joined Weight Watchers a year ago and lost another 80 pounds . . . and counting!
How did you do it? Weight Watchers. But really, it was about reshaping the way I think about food. When I started this journey, I could barely boil a pot of water. My go-to meals were takeout or junk food from convenience stores (example: an entire loaf of French bread slathered with real butter and topped with Cheetos... seriously). Learning to cook was a journey—one that I hated at first, but now I love. It's all about finding things that taste naughty but aren't. I even started blogging my recipes and experiments at www.karacantcook.wordpress.com.
I'm also a total foodie (despite what the bread-and-Cheetos example would have you believe) and I love to eat out, explore new cuisines, and Instagram my dinners. I've learned that I can still do all of those things--but instead of eating an entire platter of sushi, I order a single order of sashimi. With moderation, I can experience everything!
How has your life changed? Everything and nothing about my life is different. Makes no sense, but it's the best way to explain it. I'm more confident and willing to try new things. You don't realize how limiting weight really is until you start to lose it. I struggled to fit into restaurant booths, cars, chairs, airplane seats--I stopped doing things unless I could control my environment. My health problems have also been cured. At my last checkup, there were no signs of any of the diseases and I'm no longer on any medications. But all that said, I'm still me. I have the same insecurities and challenges as before, and I have to work every day to overcome them without resorting to food.
Exercise routine: I change it up constantly, and honestly I go through slack phases. I began very slowly (walking to the end of the driveway and back), and then moved on to low-impact group exercises like water aerobics and Curves. Now I'm snowshoeing and doing couch-to-5K, which I LOVE! (You will think your body is literally incapable of running, and then it just does... it's incredible.)
Favorite breakfast: Fresh fruit (embrace the free fruits and veggies on Weight Watchers!) and mozzarella string cheese or a scoop of PB2.
Favorite snack: Microwave popcorn (JollyPop SmartPop is the best), homemade guacamole and veggies, Fiber One 90 Calorie bars, dill pickles, hummus and pita.
Favorite quick dinner: I have two: my version of a "greasy diner breakfast" made healthy (egg white omelet filled with onions fried in 1/2 tsp. olive oil, topped with reduced fat cheese, served alongside a half of a potato sliced thin and baked in the other 1/2 tsp. olive oil, all covered in a generous squeeze of sriracha); and fresh "sushi" spring rolls (curly leaf lettuce, shredded carrots, shredded cucumber, and chunks of avocado wrapped in rice paper wrappers and served with wasabi and soy sauce).
Advice for someone just starting: Don't be an old dog--learn new tricks. I initially tried to do Weight Watchers the same way I had eaten my whole life, just less of it... if I had known how off-base that was, I could have saved myself a lot of drama! Sample, and sample again. I hated avocados my whole life, and now they're like one of my four food groups. Your palate really does change, especially the more fresh food you eat. And most importantly--weigh and measure!
Have your own weight loss story to share? Slender Kitchen would love to share your success and inspire others! Send us an email here.