In May of 2006 I began my weight loss journey when I weighed 442 pounds.
My first step was to begin moving so I started to walk for 5 minutes a day which at that time was a lot since I was carrying so much excess weight. What this did was get me into the routine of exercising everyday which I still do 7 years later in one form or another. I very slowly started to add more time to my walks so that I wouldn't burn out from over exercising. 7 years later I can now walk for as long as 3 hours at a time and also have incorporated resistance training to build muscle.
In the past I have lost large amounts of weight just to gain it all back plus more by starving myself and exercising in excess. I would then fall back into my old eating habits and gain the weight back plus more. This time I was determined to make a permanent lifestyle change but had no idea where to start. The best decision that I ever made was to join Weight Watchers which I knew wasn't the cool thing to do since it's mostly women that go there but I just wanted to drop the weight permanently and adopt a permanent healthy lifestyle which I have been able to do for 7 years now.
At Weight Watchers they go on a point system and each person gets so many points a day plus you can earn extra points by exercising which is an incentive to exercise. I track what I eat in a daily food journal and also track my daily exercise which keeps me accountable for my daily food intake and exercise. Foods that you eat are given a point value and you just deduct what you eat from your points that you get for the day. The best part of Weight Watchers is that I eat regular food just like everyone else and this is a permanent lifestyle change and not just another diet that we know all fail. We also get 49 extra points to use throughout the week which is great to use for special occasions, vacations, birthdays, potlucks, etc. Each week we weigh in and then have a 30 minute meeting with our leader with about 20 other members, the leader speaks about a different topic each week. They also celebrate members who have lost weight with the entire group and they can talk about what has worked for them which helps out others as well. I have been going to Weight Watchers for almost 7 years now and continue going even though I have been at my goal weight for nearly 5 years now.
I have also been a member at 24 Hour Fitness for about 5 years now which at first I used the treadmill, elliptical, stair climbers, and other cardio equipment. About 2 years ago I signed up to take a spinning/cycling class which I was hesitant to do at first because I heard how difficult they were. I was lucky to have an incredible instructor Judi Thiel on my first time going who really made it a lot easier. She told me to take it at my own pace and do what I can until I felt comfortable keeping up with the entire class. After the first class she was nice enough to help me with the set up of the bicycle settings, so that it fits my body perfectly. I have now began going to her J & B Outdoor Fitness Camps which is run with her good friend and fellow trainer Beatrice on Saturday mornings from 8:00 am until 9:30 am at Signal Hill in Long Beach, Ca. This is an awesome workout for all exercise levels and it pushes me to my absolute limit. 7 years ago I never thought any of this was possible but with determination, perseverance and help by so many awesome people that would not let me give up I have now dropped 248 pounds and weigh 194 pounds. I honestly believe that I’m living proof that absolutely anything and everything is possible with hard work, dedication, and perseverance.
This is how I've been able to drop over 240 pounds and maintain the weight loss for nearly 5 years now.