“I was always considered the big girl with a pretty face my entire life. From the age of 20 to 30 I gained over 100 pounds dealing with low self-esteem, taking care of two children and not taking care of me.” Cynthia Arnold says her weight never really bothered her, but as a diabetic with high blood pressure, she knew the extra pounds were taking a toll on her body.
One day, the woman who put everyone else first decided she needed to take top priority. “On May 6, 2013 I started to love me,” she admitted. “I dedicated one year to a journey of self-discovery and made a vow to get healthy.” After losing 76 pounds, Cynthia is declaring the journey a complete success, in more ways than one.
More from Cynthia in her own words –
What habits specifically led you to gain weight? Binge eating. I would go days without eating and then eat until I was sick. I didn’t know portion control and used food as a comfort zone. When I was sad, angry or depressed, food was my best friend.
How did you lose the weight? I realized that it was going to take discipline to get the rewards I was looking for, so I started out with NO white carbs at all for about a week so my body could detox from the sugar. After that I did no carbs after noon and tried to eat clean. I made sure I shopped the outer edges of the store, didn’t eat too much processed food and did lots of research.
What diet and exercise methods did you employ? After about five months of getting my eating down pat, I started exercising. I would walk 15 minutes and then when I got comfortable I would push harder. Eventually I joined boot camp and the gym, but I started off doing things on my own to stay dedicated to myself.
Biggest struggle in your journey? My biggest struggle was moving from Miami to Jacksonville. It was a big move. I looked at myself and said, “You dedicated one year to yourself. You can do this. Take it easy and one day at a time.”
My biggest triumph is looking back on the year and through the job change, a move, school, transition for my daughter, other daughter in New York in college – I STILL DID it, and I’m proud.
Advice you’d give to other people struggling to lose weight? The advice I would give to others is what was given to me, take one day at a time, love yourself through the process and realize that this is YOUR journey and you are worth it! It is not about size it is about how you feel on the inside and your health. Before, I was a diabetic with high blood pressure. I’m currently off all medication because I deserve to be to be healthy.