Marielle Doughty is one of the most positive women I’ve ever interviewed for our True Weight Loss segment. Time and time again she mentioned that although losing 113 pounds hasn’t been easy, she never considered it a struggle. Through the process she’s met new friends, learned how to cook in a different way, and found physical activities she truly enjoys participating in. Through her weight loss journey, she discovered it’s easier to embrace healthy lifestyle changes than consider them a burden.
We asked Marielle to share her story with us:
Tell us when your weight struggles began. It all began when I got married and learned how to cook. I found out that love to cook and I love food!
What habits specifically led you to gain weight? My love of cooking and my addiction to sugar. I also became a stay at home mom and didn’t stay active at all.
What caused you to realize you needed to change? Every year I would usher at my kids’ dance recital and come home every night with sore feet. One year two thoughts came to me almost simultaneously: 1- It feels like we were just here last week, not a whole year ago. 2- If I had made small lifestyle changes a year ago, my feet wouldn’t hurt as much. It was a light bulb moment for me. I started my journey the day after the last dance show and a year later I ushered again, 97 pounds lighter, and I didn’t get sore feet.
How did you lose weight? I used the Zumba diet to start. I chose it because it doesn’t cut out food groups, it teaches portion control and healthy habits instead of being a diet that has a finish line. I wanted to learn how to eat healthy, not get to a specific goal weight. The recipes were yummy too. I still love to cook – I just know how to make better choices.
What diet and exercise methods did you employ? After I lost about 75 pounds I started walking. A few months later I was brave enough to go to my first Zumba class. I started barre classes last year to help tone up as well. Cardio and strength with stretching. I think I have my bases covered.
To celebrate my journey, my best friend and I trained and walked the Bermuda end-to-end walk for charity (40 km/24.1 mi). It was an amazing feeling to cross that finish line!
Did you have any “ah ha” moments along the way that really made a difference in your transformation? Early on I realized that it didn’t have to be hard. I was enjoying my journey. My life wasn’t on hold until I lost the weight, but rather, I was enjoying life during the process. I think that’s made all the difference.
Current/future goals? Right now I am loving the physical freedom I have. I am trying new exercises and activities. My only goal right now is to keep enjoying my journey one day at a time.
Advice you’d give to other people struggling to lose weight? Don’t think of it as a fight. Make it a fun journey. Meet new friends, enjoy the food you eat, find physical activities you enjoy. Forgive yourself quickly for the setbacks and move on.