How I did it: I wasn't a huge child, though genetically I was always destined to be a pear-shape with large thighs, wide hips, and a smaller waist at any size. At 6 years old, my parents went through a messy divorce, and I started packing on the pounds. I spent most of my high school years as a size 16, getting down to an 11 for a time during my sophomore year, but quickly ballooning to an 18 by graduation. I'm 5'9", and carried the weight pretty well, but after high school I got up to a staggering 256 and a size 22.
This was back in 2003, at the peak of the Atkins craze, and my mother and I decided to give it a try. We were very strict about it, though neither of us incorporated any exercise into our weight loss. In 3 months I lost 30lbs, and continued losing weight for the next 8 or so months after I stopped adhering to the diet, about 25lbs more.
When I met my husband in 2004, I was 21 and weighing 200lbs. I lost 12 more pounds in the year after we met, but 3 years later, right after we got married, I expanded back to 218lbs. My skinny little husband agreed to be supportive, and follow the Atkins plan with me, and over the next 2 1/2 months I lost 30lbs and weighed in at about 188lbs, though still a size 16.
We moved and in the process abandoned our diet. Over the next 8 months 20lbs returned, we were miserable in our new town, completely destitute, and severely lacking in the feelings of self-worth department.
In March of 2009, we decided that we needed to gain some sort of control. We were still broke, and couldn't do a whole lot about that where we were living, and were trying to stop smoking. I was concerned that stopping smoking would make me gain even more weight. So, we agreed that we would begin low-carbing again.
We began our diet on March 15th, and I weighed in at 208lbs. In the first week I lost 10lbs. I didn't lose anymore weight for 3 weeks, but when I did it was 5 more lbs. When we moved back home in July of 2009 I weighed 188lbs; 20lbs down and was able to fit into a 13/14. By September I was down 10 more pounds to 178 and wearing a size 11/12 again. It was the smallest I had ever been. In January I was down to 163lbs and buying my first 9/10's. In April I weighed 156lbs and bought my first 7/8's. I didn't actually think I would ever wear an 8, but I was and in only 13 months!
Over the next 2 months I continued to lose weight (though I thought it was happening slowly) and on June 26th, 2010 I bought my first size 6 dress at 150lbs.
Last week, weighing in at 146lbs, I finally got to replenish my sorely lacking and ever dwindling wardrobe of clothes that do not fit me. I had one pair of jeans that didn't fall of of me, my 7/8's, and they were in danger of falling off. I bought everything in a size 6 and tops in a small. It was the first time that I have ever had to send mediums back. For a girl who spent most of her life in a size XL, I can't tell you how good that feels!
My weight loss goal was to get to 170lbs. I was convinced I would be happy there. When I smashed through that goal quickly, 155lbs became my new goal. Then 145lbs. I am happy at my current size, and would be happy to stay there forever if I had to, but my problem that I am forever working on is exercise. My legs and arms are in serious need of toning (inner thighs and triceps) and my behind could be much tighter. This is my next big challenge. :) I find it easy to follow a low carb diet, but I find it next to impossible to make my lazy self exercise.
I don't really know what my goal weight is anymore. I know muscle weighs more than fat so I do believe I would like to lose a few more lbs while getting into shape to compensate for that. I don't think 135 seems outside the realm of possibility, but I would never want to be smaller than a size 4. For me that would just be too small. I love my curves and would never want to lose them.
I still have wide hips (conversely, I could hide behind a lamp post if I stood sideways) and always will, but I find now that I am (finally) beginning to really embrace my curves! I used to hate them! Now I feel that wider hips isn't such a bad thing. :)
Though my diet didn't cure the smoking thing, I quit for 9 months but returned to smoking, it did cure a lot of self esteem issues that I had consumed my life forever. My weight still consumes my life (it probably always will given my struggles with it for all but 6 years of my life) but its no longer a negative thing.
Now, I step on the scale or look in the mirror and I get a boost. I still can't quite believe that I did it. I cheat all of the time. I fall of the low carb wagon ocassionally for as long as 2-3 days at a time. (I really try not to do that), but I get up the next morning and I eat what I'm supposed to and I still (slowly) lose weight and I am happier with myself and enjoy shopping a whole lot more.
I recently went on a French chic kick, and feel that I wouldn't have had the confidence to pull it off before. I am especially enjoying the edition of skinny jeans and pencil skirts to my wardrobe. I would have never even considered either before. All in all it has been more than worth it. I feel like a new person. It's very sad to admit that I feel like people take me more seriously than when I was overweight. I hate having to admit that, because it is a horrible, horrible truth, and just is not right. I've always been taken seriously for my brain, but I can definitely feel a difference in the way strangers treat me. This is not necessarily a good thing. But I digress. I feel much healthier and happier, and my husband is happier because he knows I'm happier (though I think there is more to it than that :) )
BMI: 37.8 :0
July 09 2010
Weight: 146 and still losing!
BMI: 21.6 and still dropping!
Measurements: 35-26.5-36.75 and still shrinking!
I do lament that I went and bought my usual 36D bras last week without trying them on, only to find that miraculously over the course of a week or so (during the last 5lbs or so that I lost) I had lost an entire cup size. :( I had already taken the tags of them so I don't know if I should return them. So it looks like I'm now only a 36C, but I suppose that's okay. I probably look a bit more proportionate. Sorry to rattle on! It really is the most exciting thing I have ever done. I feel like I will go off to grad school, a totally different person!
(I will put a much better picture up later today!)
Lessons & tips: Low-carb doesn't work for everyone, but it did and does work for me. Omitting potatoes, white bread, and loads of sugar really does reduce bloating in your body. I can always tell the day after I have an unfortunate carb binge. My stomach is tellingly bloated and literally hurts. For me, this has been enough to make more swear off large amounts of carbs for life. I do of course have ice cream from time to time. It just can't be helped. :) I have been indulging in sweet potatoes lately as well. Luckily, my metabolism seems to have sped up a bit as I've lost weight. The most important thing if you do low carb, take it a single day at a time. If you fall of the wagon get right back on the wagon. One bad day does not ruin this diet, though you definitely do notice the effects.
Resources: Bryers carb smart ice cream bars/ blackberries/ raspberries/strawberries, coffee with cool whip and sweetener, and Taco Bell of all things. When I have to fast food I can concoct a decently low carb meal there.