One of the biggest struggles for people who have dealt with weight issues all of their lives is the emotional element. Feeling insecure about one’s weight, and being ridiculed in the process, is a double whammy that keeps many people in the grips of obesity.
Emotional issues weigh on the mind, and keep us stuck in a rut, unable to make healthy changes. Kids can be cruel, and this played a part in Becky Danto’s early struggles with weight.
“I kept getting bigger and felt more and more like an outcast,” says Becky. “A so-called friend of mine found out and ridiculed me – I remember being called ‘orca’ and a ‘cow’ on the school bus. Needless to say, high school couldn’t have ended fast enough.”
By the 11th grade, Becky was a size 20. And while she managed to lose some weight in her senior year, she put some of it back on when she got married.
“After I got married, it all changed – my weight continued to increase, and then I had my first baby. I was about 265 after the baby,” says Becky. “I got pregnant again. And after I had Cody, I was the heaviest I had ever been.”
Many people who manage to muster the will to make dramatic changes in their lives can point to a breaking point or moment of clarity. For Becky, it came when her son got a trampoline for his fifth birthday.
“Mommy, can you jump on it with me?” he asked Becky. But, when she looked at the weight restrictions for the trampoline, she realized that she exceeded the limit. The level of disappointment she felt made her realize that a change had to be made.
In 2006, Becky joined Weight Watchers with a friend, and as she says… she never looked back. When she weighed herself at the beginning of her weight loss journey, she weighed 271 pounds. Here is the story of how Becky Danto got to her amazing 100+ weight loss goal:
I followed the Weight Watchers program. I started in January 2006 at 271 pounds and followed the points program. I made it to my goal weight in March 2007, weighing 167 pounds. I have kept it off for about three years. I still follow the points and I eat filling foods. Filling foods, according to Weight Watchers, is categorized by the whole foods. Non processed foods. A sample menu would look like this:
Breakfast: Steel cut oatmeal and an apple
Snack: carrots/green peppers/tomato
Lunch: Grilled chicken breast (shredded), whole wheat tortilla wrap/fat-free cheese
Veggies, fruit and a yogurt
Snack: apple/peanut butter
Dinner: Lean meat (pork, chicken), sweet potato, and veggies
Usually have a small bowl of cereal/almond milk.
We’re all human, and need occasional indulgences. What are your favorite “unhealthy” foods that you treat yourself to now and again?
My favorite “unhealthy foods” would have to be by far pizza, and well I will indulge in some red Swedish fish every now and then. I try to avoid those because, well, I can’t just have a couple.
What was your workout during your weight loss? What do you do now?
I have to admit, I was not a big fan of working out when I first started to lose weight. It hurt and I felt weird. When I initially lost my first 60 pounds I started to walk. Once I developed the routine and habit of exercise, I started the Couch To 5K program. I fell in love with running. I now run every day and do weights on alternating days. My goal while I was losing weight was to run a 5K. My first 5K was in May 2007 and then did the July 4 race that year too. I have done that 5K every year since. In May 2009, I completed my first half marathon, and then in May 2010 I completed it again beating last year’s time by one minute. I am now focused on training for a triathlon. I am addicted!
How does your day-to-day life affect your efforts to stay healthy? If you’re busy, do you have any special measures you take?
I have learned to adjust my busy life to be Weight-Watchers friendly. That has taken this long to do. I am a full-time working mom with two little boys that depend on me. I have learned to control stress eating, by finding alternative methods to eating. I reach for a diet pop when I am stressed and want that piece of chocolate or bag of chips.
I plan out my lunch and dinner menu for the week on Sunday and do all my grocery shopping for the week on that day. I will then cook my chicken breast that I use for my lunch on Sunday night and pre-pack my veggies and chicken in containers.
As far as exercise, I wake up every morning at 4:30, and at the gym by 5:00. I will get my hour workout in and then I am home ready to start my day and get my children off to school.
What is the key to your long-term weight loss success?
I am driven by motivation to keep the weight off. I know how easy 5 pounds and even 10 pounds can come back on. I just stay focused and committed to keeping this healthy lifestyle. I feel so proud to pass on all my knowledge to my children. I like being a role model to my children and setting good examples.
My key would be: choose the right foods that are going to keep your body going for the day. The right protein/carbs/fruits and veggies and fats is what my body likes and needs. I exercise daily. I try to aim for 60 minutes a day, but I will even settle for 30 on busy days!
Any final thoughts or advice you would like to give readers?
I see Weight Watchers as a lifestyle. Yes, it starts out as a diet, because you are restricting what you normally would eat and trying to adopt new eating habits, but eventually it becomes the normal way of life. You reach for an apple instead of the chips. Take one change at a time. Don’t try to start a 60 minute exercise routine and eliminate all the junk food in the house in one fell swoop.
Once you are truly committed physically, emotionally and mentally… the pathways to weight loss just open up and you will have success!
Tell us your True Weight Loss Story!