October 28, 2011 at 5:11 pm
by Irina Gonzalez
Every week we’ll be bringing you diet success stories (from readers like you), healthy eating tips, fitness suggestions and anything else that has to do with weight loss.
But before we get started, let me introduce myself…
I’m the Web Assistant at Family Circle, one of the Slow Cooker Newbies and a diet success story myself. I’m currently keeping off 100lbs by eating healthy and writing a personal blog about my struggles with weight loss maintenance. And now I’ll be writing about diet success for Momster, so here’s my story:
My weight loss story started over 10 years ago. I was always a chubby kid and, as I started high school, my weight only got worse.
Then I lost about 20lbs when I was 14 because I wasn’t eating breakfast and only having a soda for lunch. It wasn’t the healthiest way, though, and the minute I started eating normally again, the weight came back and then some. I experimented with diet pills and not eating, but I bounced between losing 10lbs and gaining 20, then losing 15, then gaining 25. It was never working.
I weighed 190lbs at prom and by the time I graduated, I was up to 200. That’s a lot for my 5’2″ frame. But I still hadn’t really realized how bad the problem was until I gained the “Freshman 30″ by the end of my first semester at NYU. This picture of me was taken 4 days before I bit the bullet and finally joined a serious weight loss program: Weight Watchers.
It took the entirety of my college career, but I went from 231.6lbs (my highest weight ever) to 138.2 (my lowest weight ever). I had lost 90lbs! I was ecstatic.
The week after college graduation, I celebrated my taking my new thin self to visit London and Paris. I remember feeling (and looking) great in the pictures I took on a visit to Versailles Palace.
But the story didn’t end there.
Shortly after college, I started to slowly regain the weight. Pound by pound, they crept back up without me noticing. By Christmas, I was back up to 175lbs.
What happened? Well, I stopped caring about keeping track of my points and I never completed the Maintenance Program through Weight Watchers. I thought that I was finally cured and knew how to lose weight, so I could maintain it on my own. Boy, was I wrong.
It took me over 2 years to lose the weight but only a year to gain it all back. Well, I technically only gained back 80lbs. Still, being back up to 220lbs did not make me happy. I felt like all the hard work I had done before was down the drain.
So I tried again. I went back to Weight Watchers and tried. But nothing happened. I tried weight loss pills, then Jenny Craig, then another type of weight loss pills. And then back to Weight Watchers again.
I didn’t know why (I still don’t), but my body just wasn’t cooperating. I tossed the same 5lbs up and down, up and down. Knowing how frustrated I was, my mom suggested weight loss surgery.
Realizing that I was running out of options (and that I was about 2lbs away from being classified as “morbidly obese” according to the BMI chart), I read up on it: the procedure, the risks, the benefits and what the rest of my life would be like.
After much consideration, I decided that I could either spend the rest of my life struggling or I could get the gastric bypass surgery and have a powerful tool to help me lose weight.
Because, in the end, it’s just a tool. It’s not a miracle or an easy way out. I still had to work hard to lose the weight. But thankfully I was able to lose it again.
This time it took me a year but I lost 95lbs.
A year later, my body readjusted a bit and I went up to about 130lbs.
Now I bounce between 130-135lbs. I’m back in Weight Watchers and I enjoy going to meetings. Not because I think I need to lose weight, but because I know that I need to keep it off.
The best way I’ve found for my weight loss maintenance is to eat plenty of healthy meals.
These days, I stay away from the steak & rice and pasta dishes I had as a kid. Instead, I make sure to fill my plate with plenty of fresh fruits and veggies, cook at home 90% of the time and focus on eating quality meats only.
Although I don’t have any food intolerances or issues, I try to eat vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free when I can (like the spaghetti squash, vegetarian meatballs and mozzarella cheese dinner I enjoyed recently). I love experimenting with new products and I’m obsessed with shopping for produce at the local farmer’s market.
I hope you’ll join me in this weekly column, where I’ll talk about diet success, share my stories and stories from other readers who have lost weight, healthy eating tips and fitness suggestions (something I still struggle with).
Have you lost weight and want to be featured as one of our Diet Success Stories? Comment here!