One Woman’s Turning Point With Weight

mrToday’s post is written by blogger, Michelle Rogers. She candidly shares her struggle with weight and how she successfully lost 60 pounds – and gained so much more in the process. Her journey prompted her to start her blog, Healthy Beauty. I hope she inspires you!

My name is Michelle Rogers. I’m 46, and live in North Carolina with my husband of 27 years. Being a mom of two is my greatest joy, and I have a career in communications that I love.

But my biggest accomplishment has been overcoming a very personal burden. From childhood until five years ago, I struggled with self-esteem, eating and my weight. From an eating-disordered low of 124 lbs. as a teen to a pregnancy high of 230, I’ve been every size in the store.

Yo-yo dieting and sporadic stints of exercising were the norm for me. I’d see a magazine cover that promised “lose 20 lbs. this month!” and I’d believe it and try it. By the time I reached 40, my weight had steadily crept up. Five years ago, the scale was hovering at 200 and I wore a size 18.

I was always bloated, and finding clothes that fit and were flattering was a challenge. Worse of all, I felt sick and tired almost all the time. I’d get up from my desk feeling stiff and sore, and walk like an old woman to the copier. I was taking four Ibuprofen at a time, daily. After going grocery shopping, I’d need to lie down and rest for a while. Just getting through the day made me weary.

I wasn’t happy with myself, and I certainly wasn’t fully enjoying life. Not only did I feel bad physically, I felt terrible emotionally. I was so self-conscious and timid that I often shied away from activities that involved people. My self-esteem and energy levels were connected, and both were as low as they could go, it seemed.

I knew I wasn’t being the best I could be, and that bothered me. But with failure after failure at keeping weight off, I just felt so helpless to overcome it.

Five years ago, I’d had enough. I decided I was done with dieting, done with losing only to gain it back. I was sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, and too young to feel this old! So I figured that if nothing else, I needed to get my body moving to try to alleviate the stiffness and tiredness.

We’d just moved into a new house and money was tight. One day I was scanning ads for used furniture on Craigslist, and saw a treadmill for $100. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I went and saw it. Covered in dust in the garage corner was a practically brand-new NordicTrack! It even had a shock-absorbing cushioned belt, which would be good for my sore joints and feet. It was perfect. It was meant to be.

Because I was so determined that this time would be different, that I wouldn’t lose weight just to gain it back, or start an exercise program just to give it up, I really thought about how I should proceed with fitness. This time I decided to start small and keep it doable. And as it turns out, starting small but being consistent was a key point in my success.

I started walking 15 minutes on the treadmill at a scheduled time every day. The next week I did 16 minutes. Each week I added another daily minute. Gradually, I increased speed as well as time.  Once I got to 30 minutes, the weight started dropping off. By then I’d been at it a few months.

I wasn’t losing weight at first, but I didn’t give up like I had every other time in the past. Why? Because I realized I’d started feeling better. My legs were getting stronger. I didn’t feel stiff and sore when I got up from my desk like I used to. I had more energy, was more cheerful even. I was truly getting better, physically and emotionally. So I said, heck with it, if I don’t lose pounds then so be it…but I’m not giving up. I didn’t want to go back to feeling sick and tired all the time.

That was the turning point.michelle-pilotmountain

It was when I made exercise about my health and feeling good, instead of the scale, that everything finally clicked for me. And amazingly, that is also when I finally started losing weight!

All the effort I’d been putting into fitness made me want to start eating healthier, too. I began with small, gradual changes there as well.

For example, when we went to McDonald’s, I ordered a quarter pounder without cheese, instead of my usual big mac. I also quit eating late at night, because it gave me heartburn. I started eating high protein meals and fewer sandwiches, because that was better for my hypoglycemia.

After all these years I started listening to my body and what it had been trying to tell me for so long. It was craving nourishment and movement. It was rejecting foods and habits that were bad for me.

Five years ago when I began this journey, I didn’t tell anyone. With my track record I had no expectation of success and didn’t want to announce I was starting something just to once again fail. A fit body seemed like an impossible dream. But to my surprise, this time was different — I did succeed. I succeeded because I refused to give up.

Today, I’m 60 pounds lighter and a size 4/6. I’m still using that same treadmill, every morning before work. I look and feel the best I ever have. No longer stiff and tired, I bounce right up from my desk. And I can hike mountains on the weekends, instead of needing a nap from going to the store.

before-after2

Michelle’s before and after!

Every area of my life has improved and benefitted from this change in me. Not only do I have my youthful energy, looks and health back, I have more confidence and self-esteem than I have ever had.

And for me, that is the biggest success of all.

For more inspiration and tips on healthy living, please follow my blog at: http://www.healthybeauty.me

Comments

  1. Wow, what a great story! I think many of us can relate to the all or nothing attitude or the need to loose to get back to a certain size or weight. If you are not healthy than it matters little that you may be that “perfect” size or number on the scale. Healthy diets as opposed to “dieting” and some exercise can bring us great overall benefits as we see in Michelle’s instance. Thanks for bringing Michelle’s blog into my world.

    • Thanks Liz! Couldn’t agree more. I also love Michelle’s advice to take small steps and how that was really her turning point!

    • Brilliant article and it can easily apply to men whether or not they want to admit it. To my mind, the superficial motivation (our appearance) works for a while to enhance our health and weight loss but it does have a limited lifespan… it is, as stated above, the increased energy and the physical/emotional boost that provide the long term reason to change eating and exercise habits.

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