Year One: The Weight Loss Chronicles

But first, let me take a selfie…


Every first of the month I change my profile picture on Facebook (except this June, no idea why). The first thing I noticed when creating the image above was how much I favored close-ups before. Around the 4-month mark I started to show a little more face, some shoulders and even one very flattering side picture (Jan 1) which made a lot of people misjudge how much weight I had lost at that point… and yes, I let them be confused. 😀

As I read my journals and took note of the journey I realized how much of a learning process it has really been. Many friends and family members are still surprised and I realize that what they fail to see is just how much time it’s taken to make the progress I have made. A year passes by really fast but you can accomplish a lot.


On Monday, August 19, 2013 I walked into my local Y and took my first Zumba class. I weighed myself that morning at 225.4 lbs. As I dragged my supersized body to my first fitness class in years, I held my head high although I could feel my mother’s gaze behind me and the worry in her eyes. I stood in the back and struggled through the 55-min class. I didn’t speak to anyone but I felt good. I wish I had taken a picture then but I didn’t because while I felt committed I wasn’t sure I was going to follow through.

That first month I went to the gym 3-4 times a week and started tracking my food some. I was sore and tired but I discovered that I really enjoyed Zumba. I would take a day in between workouts citing that my body needed to recover (not sure it did). I cheated a lot on my diet, and yet, so little compared to how bad I had been eating before. The first week I lost 2 lbs., the second 1.4 lbs., the third another 2 lbs., and then 3.8 lbs. on week 4. I lost 9.2 lbs. that first month and I felt amazing. I had a long way to go but I was 9.2 lbs. closer. This was a game-changer. In the past, 30 days of work for a 9.2 lbs. lost would have felt like a failure but for some reason this time it felt like a win.

During my second month I upped my game and started going to the gym more often; sometimes taking two Zumba classes in a day (morning and evening). The cheating became less and less and I could practice better self-control (so long as I didn’t go to a pizza or Chinese buffet restaurant). I lost another 9 lbs. and 7.2 lbs. in month three getting me to exactly 200 lbs. I was so close to ONEderland I could burst.

It is true… it takes 4 weeks for you to see the difference, 8 weeks for friends and family to see it (thanks mom), and 12 weeks for the rest of the world. On Nov 7, I posted a picture on instagram and facebook with the hashtag #25lbsgone. I wish I had had a before picture but my friends and family’s likes and comments were proof that I was in fact changing.

Screen shot 2014-08-17 at 9

I kept working on building better habits. I took online free classes on fitness and nutrition and worked on my cooking skills. I started to feel more comfortable at the gym and became a regular, made some gym mates, and the pounds kept melting away.

Happy New Year – I received the New Year at 185 lbs. and signed up for my first Dietbet. It was an amazing feeling to declare that 2013 was the last year I would be over 200 lbs. I decided to add a weights class per recommendation from all the many articles I had read that suggested building muscle to avoid sagging skin. A month later, I got injured. L I spend the entire month of February and half of March in bed and/or crutches. I still managed to lose weight yet upon returning to the gym and getting back in gear I hit the worst plateau to date which also means I did not win the Dietbet.

The Plateau – Between March 13 and August 11 I was stuck in the 170s. I reached my lowest (171.4) on March 13 and did not see that number again until early-August. Without changing too many things in my diet or exercise routine I would go up and down and up for four months. I searched high and low and asked everyone on what I could do to break the plateau but all the usual suspects were under control. I couldn’t figure it out.

Breaking through – One of the recommendations to break through a plateau is changing your exercise routine. I didn’t think that would work and I still don’t know if it did but in late April I agreed to participate in a MudRun and as a way to prepare for it (it’s in October) I decided to do the Couch to 5K program. I started on June 9. On July 7 I gave myself a 7-day challenge and completed one week of good choices. I was all the way up to 181.4 lbs. and lost 4.2 lbs. before starting my latest Dietbet. Since then I have been consistently losing and I finally escaped the vicious 170s just a few days ago. I am now at 168.6 lbs. making my one year weight loss total: 56.8 lbs. NO, My head did not grow larger. 🙂

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Year Two – I’m starting this new year in a very different place. I am now much more confident. I take measurements now, which I failed to do at the beginning (big regret). I am very good at keeping track of my workouts and food intake. I now crave salads and fruit, and you know… the healthy stuff. High-sodium is something that I tolerate a lot less now because I am more used to seasoning with herbs and such. I’m a runner now. WHAT! I can run for 30 minutes straight and I am even enjoying it quite a bit. I go to the gym six days a week because I force myself to take a rest day… yes… I FORCE MYSELF TO TAKE A REST DAY. I do zumba, weights, a little yoga, and some running and I am less afraid to try new classes. I’ll be trying Barre next month. This is the year.

The big lesson here is that…


… and I couldn’t have done this without the encouragement of friends and family. Going public forced me to stay accountable. Blogging helped too so thank you too!




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