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It’s been a while since I’ve done anything for the blog let alone writing in general. Many things have transpired since 2013 some of which will be discussed in great detail while others will be summarized so that no one is offended or (God forbid) bored to death! For the longest time, I shut out the blog and gave up on writing because of some things going on in my life. However, taking a break from everything allowed me to gain strength, and now I’m back with a vengeance!
First of all, from this point on, I will be managing the blog myself i.e. the writing, recipes, photos, progress updates, and etc. Justin and I are no longer married or together. There will be no ex-bashing on here nor will this page become a public insight into what went right or wrong in our personal relationship. Instead I will be focusing on what this site was made for…to discuss the struggles of weight loss so that I can help myself and others. Overcoming Obesity may have a slightly different feel and look to it in the future, but the basis of it will still be same. I look forward to getting back in touch with everyone. If you have questions or would like to contact me, please do so via Facebook, Twitter, or my email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
I know that it has been three months since our amazing trip to NYC, but I figured it was better late than never to make a post about it! It all started back in the beginning of summer or perhaps even the end of spring. Our Twitter account had caught the eye of none other than Joy Bauer, and she told us to apply for the Joy Fit Club. We applied but did not hear back for several months and assumed nothing more would come of it. At the beginning of September when we were finalizing our plans for a vacation to Daytona Beach and Orlando, Florida. Justin and I were so excited to be flying for the first time since losing so much weight and even more excited about riding the roller coasters that Justin had been forced off of due to his weight at a much earlier age. He and I decided to take a break from our planning and walk a few holes of golf. On about the 7th hole, I received a call with a New York City area code. I answered immediately, and a woman named Patricia (one of the producers of The Today Show) asked us to be on the Joy Fit Club segment. I was over the moon excited! The only problem was that she wanted to fly us up there on September 15, which is one day after we were going to fly down to Florida. They offered to pay the air fare and put us in a room completely free of charge. There was nothing to think about on our end, and we instantly agreed. That week Justin and I had to fill out a pretty lengthy questionnaire and also go to the local WBIR studio to record a voice-over to be played out when our before photos were being shown. The whole process was so much fun, and yet nothing quite felt real until we actually arrived!
The afternoon of Saturday, September 14, my parents dropped us off at the local airport. We waited for about an hour and got on the plane headed for Daytona Beach. I let Justin sit in the window seat because he had never flown before. The buckles of the seat-belts snapped no problem with plenty of room to spare! That was such a great feeling because several years before the seatbelt would not buckle, and I was absolutely mortified. I tried to stuff the end on the side of my leg and put a magazine over it so that the flight attendant would not notice. Luckily she didn’t. Once we arrive we rented a car and drove for about an hour. We got to the beach house where Justin’s parents were waiting at about 7 or 8 that evening. The next morning we had to get up at the crack of dawn, eat breakfast, and head to the Orlando Airport. This is one of the largest airports I have ever been to let alone seen! There was an entire hotel in the front lobby for goodness sake. It was so impressive. Justin and I even had to take a tram to the Delta Airline portal which was exciting as well. We bought some raw almonds in the airport once past security, and bought waters on the plane. I did partake in the free pretzels (okay a shortbread cookie as well) on the flight. The flight seemed to drag on forever because we could just not wait to touch down in New York.
The aerial view of the gigantic buildings as our plane was flying over was unforgettable! As the wheels touched down, I was already unbuckled and ready to run through the aisles and out of the door into the airport. We, of course, had to wait for a few minutes. We flew into LaGuardia airport which was really nice as well. Instead of having to pay for a cab, The Today Show paid for a driver to come and meet us. A man in a suit held up a sign that said “Justin and Lauren Shelton” on it. He walked us out to a black Lincoln Navigator, and we hopped in. I kept my windows down the entire time so that I could take about a million photos!
There were yellow cabs everywhere and more restaurants as well as buildings than we could have even imagined! As soon we we arrived at the hotel I practically ran through the halls excited about what our hotel room would look like. It was located right across from the Radio City building and sign. One thing you may not know about me is that I love traveling and staying in hotel rooms (especially if it is completely free)! Even more than that I love free stuff in general. I could not wait to smell the shampoos and stuff them into my bag. The room had a modern decor with an overlook of some really tall building.
Instead of planning all of these touristy events, we decided to just walk around Manhattan and take it all in (especially since we were only going to be there for literally 24 hours). Before doing anything else, Justin and I decided to try and find Rockefeller plaza. I had my own kind of directions, so we basically went around in circles for three hours. Once we tried Justin’s way, we realized we had been five minutes away the entire time and that perhaps I should follow his lead next time. After exploring and trying some classic “New York” things like a hot dog from a hot dog stand (that was all me-Justin had much better willpower than me that day) we headed back to the room to get ready for dinner. There were literally thousands of options, but we ended up going with Bar Americain by Bobby Flay. It had great reviews and was pretty close by. Needless to say, we had a CHEAT meal. Well, I pretty much had an entire cheat day, but hey how many times will I ever be in NYC? It may never happen again, who knows, so I indulged big time. At dinner we did not deny ourselves anything. I had the duck confit and Justin had a pork chop. The dessert selected was a deep dish chocolate cream pie.
After pushing our stomachs to the limit, my husband and I walked around Times Square. Words cannot describe how amazing everything looks in person especially at night! Then we stopped by a little store, picked up protein bars as well as strawberries for breakfast, and decided we should get some rest because we had to be up early and dressed for The Today Show.
The next morning we woke up extremely early, and it was raining. Justin went and bought us some umbrellas after getting dressed. Then we headed over to the studio. I felt so important with so many people crowded around the windows and gates watching us as we were cleared to walk past security. Upon arrival an assistant told us to go to the “Green Room” which is actually orange in the new building. In there was a clothes designer, and Carson Daly sat a few feet away from us which was pretty cool. Then Nene Leaks as well as her husband came in. My husband and I do not watch any of the Real Housewives shows, but I easily recognized her. The husband was really friendly and briefly spoke with us. A real star-gazing moment for me, as well as my husband, was when Justin and I saw Giada De Laurentis. She by the room talking to a couple of people. She waved at Justin, but I had my back turned to her. Justin also saw Bobby Flaw walking by the room. Next we were moved to the hair and makeup section downstairs. I have never had a professional makeup and was just as excited about this as much as anything else! Justin was finished being touched up in less than 10 minutes, so he had to sit out in the waiting area. He sat right next to James Blunt! After hair and makeup was finished we briefly went over what was going to happen with the Producer of The Joy Fit Club and Joy Bauer. They were both really nice, and Joy has such a fun and bubbly personality. It is amazing that someone so beautiful and well-known can be that humble and personable!
We then received a tour through the building not because we asked but because we had to walk through several rooms and floors to get where we needed to go. We got to see the kitchen wherer we stopped as Joy explained and showed our before and after meals. Instead of being in the new studio we were bumped to the upstairs area because of the unfortunate military school shooting that day. Our segment was also cut a little shorter because of that which we completely understood because that was such a sad event that needed coverage. As we were in the upstairs green room, Al Roker walked through and said hello to Justin and I. I missed that completely because I was staring at the door that would lead us out onto TV. My nerves hit me a couple of minutes before whereas Justin’s did not hit until right before they were motioning for us to head out with Kathy Lee and Hoda. The nerves left our bodies as soon as we stood in place because, for some reason, we felt comfortable. Kathy Lee and Hoda were shocked at how we looked and were really impressed with our weight loss story. Hoda put her hand on Justin’s shoulder as she spoke with him, and Kathy Lee kept calling us Barbie and Ken before and after the segment. Justin and I spoke about our journey as well as how much we mean to each other. Then in a blink of an eye, it was over. They hugged us and could not have been more friendly (or hilarious by the way)! Afterwards Joy took some photos with us and even suggested we make some fun ones. What amazing women we met that day!
After that we had to rush downstairs to get our belongings and meet with the driver so that we wouldn’t miss our flight. Joy offered to send us somewhere fun for lunch, but unfortunately our flight was just a little over an hour away, and so we had to decline. Our driver took us to the Newark airport. Justin nor I had ever been to New Jersey. I took several photos there as well. All in all we visited 4 different airports in just 3 days! It was hectic, and yet I think I could go back and redo that whole experience over and over again. Justin and I are so grateful for the entire experience that The Today Show gave us. Patricia, Kathy Lee, Hoda, and Joy were all so kind and supportive of our entire journey. Another thing that my husband and I really appreciated was that not one person was condescending about our weight loss. No one said, “Oh, I bet you feel so much better NOW,” or, “How did you even function at that high of a weight?” Surprisingly,people do this a lot. It is almost as if someone wants to give you a compliment but take you down a notch at the same time. Anyways, moving on, everyone treated us like normal human beings there which was much appreciated. The Today Show, as well as NYC, was so amazing, and I hope that we get to visit again one day!
On this coming Friday, August 02, 2013, Justin and I will be featured on a local news channel. It will be on WVLT (channel 8 for those who live locally in or around the Knoxville, TN area). We will be on the 12 o’clock PM (noon) news hour for two different segments. First, we will be doing an interview about our weight loss journey. Secondly, he and I will be cooking our healthy chili recipe with Chef Walter. Chef Walter does daily recipes for their program. Here is a direct link to his page and recipes: http://www.local8now.com/features/chefwalter I am unaware whether or not our interview will be posted on their website, but our recipe more than likely will be. Here is a link: http://www.local8now.com/. If our segment is included, I will be sure to include another link/blog post so that everyone who is not local can also see or at least read about it!
We are so appreciative for this opportunity and are excited to share our story of weight loss so far! We hope to help make others realize that anyone can get healthy no matter how far away those goals may seem. We’ll update with another post afterwards.
Save The Date:
Friday, August 02, 2013
First off, Justin and I had a great month! He lost 18 lbs, and I dropped 7! I now weigh 174 lbs. We have now shed a combined 464 lbs. and individually lost 297 (justjn) and 167 (me) in 1.3 years! New pictures of us are at the bottom of the post! This month we decided to do things a bit differently after speaking with the PA who oversees my hubby n I through our weight loss. Last month she said we needed 1,200 calories minimum a day. She also said that we needed add more natural carbs to our diet because of the amount of exercising we were doing. By natural carbs she meant from fruits and vegetables. We first started by using more at breakfast along with protein to build up strength and energy for the gym. After our workouts we ate a protein based smack i.e. protein bar/shake, Greek yogurt, cheese, nuts, or Better’n Eggs. Then, occasionally we would have a slice of low carb rice bread or some CarbQuick later in the day. I started making green smoothies with a banana, 2-4 cups of spinach, and a protein shake or almond milk. Unfortunately, a couple of combinations I came up with were gut wrenching.
We ate at least 1,200 for the entire month! It was so much nicer than our old 700 a day then 1000. My husband stayed around 1,200 whereas I was really hungry and hovered around 1,300. This upcoming month we’re supposed to add even more calories (at least 1,300 daily) to our diet because of how much we increased exercise again. We went a little more lax and bought salsa, chicken stock, tomato sauce, a zero 0 calorie BBQ sauce (thank you Walden Farms), and etc. We didn’t eat that stuff every day or even very often, but once a week or so I’d grab one of those things at the store. I think we finally realized that we were holding ourselves to an impossible standard that was slowly driving us insane. On this diet we were on one side of an obsessive extreme whereas some might barely follow the diet on the other side of the extreme. The best way to do it is probably somewhere right in the middle! Justin and I had gone to such a high level of strictness in our diet that we had even cut out apples and bananas because they were high carb! That’s what led us to the decision that once in a while we would have a slice of turkey bacon, Better’n Eggs, a low carb bread, splenda, chicken broth, salsa, tomato sauce, or etc. We also started a tradition this month of having one special meal a week where we’d have something that we usually don’t while still staying healthy. For the first meal Just roasted a whole chicken in the oven without butter, oil, or salt. Instead he used pepper, lemon, thyme, and garlic for flavor. We only eat boneless skinless breasts normally, so having some dark meat and a little bit of skin was a nice change of pace. He and I even ate at subway a couple of times due to some extenuating/unforeseen circumstances (we hadn’t eaten anywhere in almost a year). It was either have something while out or nothing at all for several hours, so we grabbed some subs! I even had the woman scoop out some of the bread (and trust me I felt like a complete douche). We will be eating out at a real sit down restaurant for the first time in almost a year for our 5th wedding anniversary. As someone who used to be crazily addicted to eating out, I couldn’t be more excited! Furthermore, it’s not a chain which is where we had to go on the diet because they were the only places that would list nutritional information. It’s an upscale seafood restaurant with healthy options. You can choose what type of fish you want and how to have it cooked. Now, they do have some decadent desserts, breads, entrees and sides as well that look absolutely amazing and terrible for you at the same time. However, we won’t be partaking in those (let’s just hope someone sitting nearby doesn’t leave their triple chocolate 5 layer cake unattended because they make come back to a stranger scarfing it down). For crying out loud they have a rich chocolate cake with layers of chocolate ganache, white chocolate ganache, chocolate cream cheese, and cream cheese topped with a homemade frosting! That’d probably set me back about 1, 800 calories. Would I rather have fruit for dessert? Hec no, but I don’t want to get off track so the fruit will do just fine. Besides it’s a treat in itself getting all gussied up and going to a nice place! Maybe I’ll even rock some red stiletto pumps (I’m starting to wear heels again for the first time in years).
In conclusion about our nutrition for this month (sorry I rambled again), my husband and I still follow a very strict and healthy diet but have loosened the reins a bit and allowed ourselves some breathing room. It was driving me completely mad being as strict as we were for so long. My husband and I just have to be careful that we don’t get too comfortable with the occasional add-in which can be a slippery slope. There’s no doubt in our minds that either of us will ever go back to how we used to eat even if it meant I could never have cake or Chinese takeout again!
Exercise wise we still go to the gym six consecutive days a week. 2 days a week are for high intensity cardio, and 3 days a week are weight lifting amd high intensity cardio. We did this last month but have upped our weights as well as began the free weights in addition to the weight machines. We also upped our cardio intensity and time. We do 45 minutes of interval training on the elliptical 2 days a week, and 30 minutes of interval on the elliptical plus 45 minutes of weight lifting 3 days a week. In the evenings we do a second workout or try to do something active. On our one day off we usually try to do something as well and not just sit around the house (except for days when our bodies feel dead inside and just need a break!) Last Sunday I just relaxed all day with messy hair, a big old baggy shirt, and pajama bottoms because I was sore from head to toe. I had incorporated running in addition to my regular workouts a couple of times and had really overdone it. Plus the free weights are harder on you than the weight machines.
Mentally we’re still struggling, and at times we worry if that part of the battle will ever be over. Although we’ve come so far, sometimes it feels like we are still so far away. The further you go on this journey, the harder it gets emotionally. It really messes with your mind! Most will tell you all about how they made the changes by eating right and exercising, but few talk about this side of it. Even with each other’s support, my husband and I struggle with it almost every day. I’m more self conscious now than I was 2 years ago I think. However, we’d never trade in how we’re feeling now with what our life was before. Yes, there are days when I’m jealous of what I used to eat and would like to go back to eating whatever I wanted and not workout, but the truth is you have to work hard to lose weight and change your lifestyle. There’s no miracle pill or magic diet. Be weary of programs that promise that. We’ll never go back to how we used to be because no matter how emotional this gets, we were still 10o times more miserable before and just kidded ourselves into thinking we were happy. Plus, we can do so many things that we couldn’t before. Now I can paint my toenails without struggling to breath or bust a blood vessel trying to reach. I can cross my legs and do push ups! Later this summer we’re going to Florida to ride roller coasters which we hadn’t been able to do in years. We’re going to ride on an airplane, and I’ll be able to fit in the seat and buckle this time!
Just as a reminder this is us over a year ago:
Here is how we are looking today (as of May 02, 2013).
I’ve lost 167 lbs., and Justin’s lost 297 lbs!
This time last year my husband and I were morbidly obese and not very active at all. We were both unhappy with ourselves, had accepted that we were fat, and had kind of given up on changing. After the new year something was awakened inside of my husband because (last February), Justin decided that he wanted to change his lifestyle and lose weight. I immediately jumped on board and wanting to take this journey with him because I had a lot of pounds to drop as well. Justin searched for professional help and found someone that was quite reputable. The first meeting was on February 22, 2012. The woman told us that we were to toss out all of the unhealthy food and to start fresh. She said that one of the most important things to do first was to stop eating out all together unless it was for a special occasion or a circumstance that was outside of our control i.e. work or etc. In addition when we did eat out we were to still make conscious and healthy decisions. Therefore my days of going to Zaxby’s and getting a “wings and things” meal were over! Next it was made clear that we should have at least 64 ounces of water each day and more than that if exercising. Her recommended daily caloric intake was about 2,000 calories a day in the beginning (we now eat about 1,000 calories a day but are much smaller and require much less to sustain hunger). We were to have no sweets, sauces, butters, oils, breads (unless whole grains and no more than once a week), starches more than three times a week, high sodium, or a lot of processed foods. This is a high protein and low carb diet, so therefore we were recommended to have 140 grams of protein for a male and for a female 80-140 grams. We did not ask about nuts, cheeses, and snacks until a couple of months later. She said the first month not to even worry about the amount of exercise that we were doing.
Our official starting day of dieting and exercising began on February 23, 2012. I weighed 341 pounds at 5’5. This could have been seen as a new year’s resolution because of when we began this journey. However, I think that we were both just tired of being fat. It wasn’t really something that we wanted to do for the year but instead was more of a permanent lifestyle change. The night before we began, we scoped through every single item in our cabinets, freezer, and refrigerator. Justin and I threw almost ALL of it out! Well, some food items we gave away to family members because we did not want to be any more wasteful than we had to be. The items that were open we just trashed. By the time we finished that evening, our kitchen was almost completely bare. It was a good thing that there wasn’t a cake or anything at home that night because I probably would’ve scarfed that bad boy down before the “official” diet began.
The next morning we ventured out to the store and bought exactly what the professional had advised us to get. We bought fresh meat, vegetables, and fruit. We had no cheese, nuts, sweets, sauces (except for ketchup), processed foods, or any snacks. He and I used salt, herbs, and other spices to flavor our food. We stuck to the diet completely and really restricted ourselves. We had a serving of bacon and eggs each morning (we cut out bacon later on for cholesterol, fat, and sodium and the eggs for the cholesterol later on), 8 ounces of meat for lunch, and 8 ounces of meat for dinner. We had vegetables and fruit at each meal as well. We would have anywhere from 1,500 to 2,000 calories a day. As far as exercise went we took it pretty easy the first month or too and would just do ADLS (activities of daily living) or walks outside. Below is an excerpt from “Our Diet in Detail” blog post displaying a general idea of what our overall diet is all about.
- Eat out unless it’s for a special occasion or is unavoidable.
- Eat bread or grains, and if you do make sure it is whole grain.
- Eat any kind of sauce or sauces. (We occasionally use Heinz Reduced Sugar Ketchup)
- Eat butters or oils.
- Eat Starchy sides such as potatoes more than three times a week.
- Eat too many high in fat meats.
- Eat sweetsof any kind (yes that includes all of my old favorite desserts!) The exception to this for us is the Danon 80 calorie non-fat greek yogurt. I also eat one cupcake a month
- Have high intakes of sodium. My husband and I have cut out adding salt to anything completely. However, in the beginning we used it to add flavor.
- Over do it with exercise.
- Don’t beat yourself up if you have a few “lazy days” or cheat on the diet. Just move on and start over the next day!
- Calorie Count and be conscious of what you are putting into your body.
- Drink at least 64 oz. of water a day. Water is important, and it helps to flush your system. The first few weeks we lost a lot of water weight.
- Have at least 5 servings of fruits and/or vegetables daily. These are great for sides and snacks. You can practically have unlimited fruits and veggies throughout the day while staying within the calorie range.
- Have around 140g protein a day if you are male and 80-140g of protein per day if you are female. Protein promotes muscle growth and helps to keep the body strong and full.
- Use as many herbs and spices as you’d like when flavoring meats, vegetables, fruits, and etc.
- Experiment with different foods and recipes!
- Find healthy snacks that you enjoy.
- Exercise regularly
- Remember that you are human. People make mistakes, and cheating on diets and exercise happens. Just make sure it doesn’t become a regular thing, and don’t let it get you down! When you slip or feel discouraged, just think about the positives that this change is bringing you and will continue to bring you. Move on from it and start a new day!
Over the next few months we began to cut out as well as add some things into our diet. Exercise wise we starting swimming a lot because of the summer time as well as playing golf. Justin and I also began walking a mile a few times a week at the local dam or park. Next we began doing the Couch to 5K training. Although Justin and I are still not up to running 5k, that program really got us started on beginning to jog and run. Now we just build our own exercise regimen for the day by knowing our strengths and weaknesses. However, in the beggining the C25K was a great tool! We also started on the NuStep and treadmill. Food wise, the first thing that we cut out was any added sodium (therefore we no longer would use salt in the kitchen) which included that delicious bacon that we got to have every morning for breakfast as well as any other pork products. However, we will still occasionally have some grilled veal or pork (once in a blue moon). We also stopped having eggs for breakfast because of the high amount of cholesterol and switched instead to non-fat 80 calories Greek yogurt that is low in carbs, sugar, and etc. We introduced some nuts into our diet for a while, but overall, we still go without nuts because of the high calorie content and fat. Occasionally I’ll buy some raw salt-free almonds, pistachios,peanuts, or cashews. Cheese-wise we cut it out and bring it back into the diet a lot. In the beginning we used slices of cheese or would measure out 1/4 cup of part-skim mozzarella. Although, now when we do have it, we use the 80 calorie or less cheese sticks. That way the serving is controlled and the calories have been predetermined already. My husband and I will only occasionally buy it now and usually reserve it for a recipe about once a week, when we will be traveling, or when we will be out of the house for most of the day. We used ketchup pretty sparingly in the beginning of the diet but cut that down quite a bit because of the calories, carbs, sugar, and sodium in ketchup. We reserve it for potatoes (that is my little indulgence not my husband’s) and a couple of recipes that we have come up with. After suffering from a huge craving of food (but no more than once a month), Justin and I would indulge in a healthier Lean Cuisine version of that item. I was once just dying for some Chinese food, so I got the Lean Cuisine egg roll with rice.
After a while Justin and I had to start picking up the amount of exercise that we engaged in and tried to go out and do something active every single day. That led to exercising daily except for Sundays. We figured it would be nice to have a day off allowing our bodies to rest. On days where there are injuries, soreness, or illness we also try to take the day off. In the past few months we have incorporated an incline on the treadmill which really adds to the workout. The NuStep is great for cardio as well as resistance. Eventually the weights at home and resistance on the NuStep just weren’t cutting it for us, so we decided to try something else. A couple of months ago, we joined a gym! We go two to three times a week and try do at least twelve reps and two to three sets. Besides that we do circuit training which consists of doing the sets and reps with little to no break in between. Our caloric intake is anywhere from 800 to 1,200 every day depending on our hunger level. Some days we will have 8 ounces of meat at each meal, whereas others we only have 4 ounces at lunch and 8 ounces at dinner or 4 and 4. Like I said it really just depends on how hungry we are. We still have a fruit with every meal and at least two servings of vegetables daily. Generally we have anywhere from four to six bottles of water daily as well. On strenuous exercise days, we tend to eat more. Justin has since stopped Lean Cuisines all together, and I still have them (as well as my one cupcake) each month. I also occasionally now have a single serving packet of peanut butter that comes with apples (150 calories, 5 grams of protein).
We each set a goal to lose a certain amount per month and anything less would not be acceptable. I set mine at 10 whereas he set his at 20. Each month Justin loses at least 20 pounds (sometimes anywhere from 21-30). A couple of times he has lost 30 per month! The first month I lost 20 pounds, the second 15, and since have shed about anywhere from 11-13 pounds. The smaller in size we got the harder we have had to work in order to reach our monthly weight loss goals. However, we still have not failed to reach them. Now, 11 months since February, Justin has lost a total of 231 pounds, and I have lost 134 which brings us to losing a grand total of 365 pounds combined! This time last year I would never have thought that I could lose this much weight in such short a time. Although I am currently 207 pounds and have quite a ways to go on this journey, I already feel so much better about myself emotionally and physically than I have in such a long time.
In conclusion, we have lost a lot of weight so far, and I have discussed how we are losing the weight through exercise and dieting. Nonetheless, our weight loss also has had a lot to do with the fact that we each have a great support system. My husband and I have had the pleasure of being in this completely together. We push and drive each other to keep going. I know for a fact that without Justin, I would probably have fallen off of the bandwagon months ago if it weren’t for him being right there with me in this. We appreciate as well as understand exactly what the other one is going through. In addition we have both been severely overweight and understand the struggles that come along with it. Although it is nice to have any kind of positive support, I feel like those who have never experienced what it is really like to be extremely overweight, may never completely get it. That is our year in review!
My name is Lauren, and I’m overweight. It’s been a struggle for many years. I was always bigger than the other kids, but the pounds really started packing on during high school and continued to do so over the next several years. By December of 2011 I weighed 341 lbs. In February of this year (2012), my husband decided that he wanted to get healthy and shed the pounds, so I decided to join him! Since then he has lost over 170 lbs and I have lost 101! We stopped eating bread, butter, oils, sauces, sweets, salt, and processed foods as much as possible. In addition to that we have changed our lifestyle into a much more active one and make sure to exercise without overdoing it. Even though we still have such a long way to go on this journey, we already feel so much better about ourselves than we ever have before.
During this time we have had each other to lean on and look to for unconditional support. I know without a doubt that my husband will be here for me and help me through this whole process and vice versa. The lucky few who have unconditional support through the long process of losing weight should be thankful! However, some people don’t have that luxury. There are those that have “supporters” who are not overweight, nor have they ever been overweight. I put quotes around that because these supporters often have good intentions but just don’t get it sometimes. They can end up adding pressure and negativity to the one trying to lose the weight by accidentally saying something that comes off as degrading or condescending. Then there are some who have no one to look to for support or advice. That is a difficult route to travel alone. It can be done, but things are so much easier when you know that there are others out there going through the same struggles. Hopefully this website will provide some insight as well as a place for people to come together as an online community for those of us dealing with obesity one way or another!