It’s been three years since Michele Moran tipped the scales at almost 400 pounds. Overweight as a child, Michelle adopted a habit of binge eating that only got worse when she moved out on her own. Now, with a new healthy outlook on food and a weight loss of 213 pounds, Michelle is looking forward to a bright future – and maybe even a triathlon.
More from Michelle in her own words -
Tell me when your weight struggles began. I have been bigger since childhood. When I turned 13, I was wearing a size 13. I remember someone mentioning that I seemed to be going up a pant size every year. From that moment on I was consciously aware and insecure about my weight.
“When I lived at home I binged when people were asleep. When I moved out on my own it got even worse.”
What habits specifically led you to gain weight? Lack of exercise contributed, but the main issue was binge eating. My dinner might be an entire pizza, bag of chips and a box of Hamburger Helper. I felt sick and I was in pain, but I did it every single day.
What caused you to realize you needed to change? I couldn’t fit into the largest sizes at plus size stores. I could only wear tights or elastic waist pants or dresses. I couldn’t fit into seats at the movies, sporting events, roller coasters, or even just booths in restaurants.
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After 15 years of being overweight, Cheryl Hanna says it took just one light bulb moment to realize she needed to get healthy for herself and her family. By having a positive attitude, getting her children involved, and reciting the mantra, “trust the process,” she is now 125 pounds thinner and proud to show off the “guns” she’s worked so hard for.
I knew I was overweight, but felt like I was being selfish if I took time for myself to go workout.
We hear it time and time again. Women take such good care of everyone else in their lives, that they often forget about themselves. Cheryl was no exception. Though she was athletic and fit in high school and college, her activity decreased significantly in nursing school. By the time she got married, found a great job and started having babies, her focus had completely shifted to being all things to all people, except Cheryl. At 283 pounds, she knew she was overweight, saying, “I sucked at controlling me.”
Cheryl’s light bulb moment
My kids were in a running club at school – they participated in local 3Ks and 5Ks. After a 5K in March of 2012 my kids crossed the finish line and asked me when I would start running with them instead of watching,” Cheryl said. “My light bulb! I wasn’t being part of their lives, I was only watching from the sidelines. I didn’t want my kids memories to be of me watching them, I wanted them to remember that I played with them, ran with them, challenged them, that I was PART of their lives!”
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Sometimes life can catch us off guard, whether for good or worse. Julie Ragland (right, in the photo) can testify to this truth. Her journey through weight gain and weight loss were not in her original life plans, but she’s managed to give this story a happy ending. With many positive changes since spring 2011, Julie has gone from depressed and weighing 243 pounds to being a spirited, happy woman who weighs 189 pounds. She says she’s not done losing weight (with 25 more pounds to go), but her weight loss to date has given her back much that she lost.
Julie admits that life was good leading up to 2008. Weight was not an issue for her, she had been an athlete playing soccer, volleyball, tennis, and was also a cheerleader. However, this all changed when her family was overwhelmed with many tragedies. Julie admits to falling into a depression that came with “a huge weight gain.” This weight gain manifested in struggles through many areas of her life.
Julie told us, “I struggled with my body image and the way that I thought that others perceived me because of my weight. I didn’t hang out with friends much because I was ashamed of my weight gain and I thought I was being judged.”
Julie stopped shopping for clothes because it only fueled her depression. She said she’d only buy shoes or purses, but never clothes. However, it was the clothes that caused Julie to see things differently.
“My Ah-ha Moment came when my size 18 jeans started getting tight on me and I REFUSED to put a 2 in the front of my size!”
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