Pamela Arias lost over 150 pounds. After being overweight for most of her life, Pamela admits she weighs 24 pounds more right now than she did in the 6th grade. “And to think that I lived my entire life this way until I was 38 years old,” she said. “I’m so glad I made the decision two years ago to change my life.”
More from Pamela in her own words –
What habits specifically led you to gain weight? I ate fast food, processed foods and fried foods. This was the only lifestyle I’d ever known.
What made you realize you needed to change? I was miserable every day. I had horrible sciatica, lower back pain, and my knees would give out going up and down stairs in my own home. One day I had taken the kids to the local races. You had to walk an incline to get into the event, but not very far. I couldn’t catch my breath. My husband had to go get the car and come pick me up.
How did you lose the weight? Through lots of hard work, dedication and research. I do both cardio and heavy weight training. I eat a much more healthy diet now than I ever did. I stay away from processed, boxed, canned foods and only shop the outer edges of the grocery store. I count my calories and eat depending on what my goals are.
Shelly Jones lives by the motto, “Keep moving forward.” After losing 57 pounds, she was waylaid by knee surgery and other external forces beyond her control. Though she’s been frustrated by the lack of movement on the scale, she knows there are other methods to chart her success including the way her body feels, the healthy choices she makes and in the way her clothes fit.
When Shelly went swimsuit shopping this summer she said she almost started crying. “I realized how much smaller I looked in the mirror and how much better I feel.” Regarding the picture below, Shelly admitted, ” That girl in the first two pictures, while happy, was miserable.”
More from Shelly in her own words:
Tell me when your weight struggles began. My weight struggles started when I was a child. Many of my fondest memories have food in them. I am not sure at what point I became fat, but I can recall being made fun of as early as 3rd grade.
What habits specifically led you to gain weight? God created me a little on the sensitive side with a flare for drama and these emotions were handled with food. They still are to this day. As much as I showed my emotions, I covered them up inside, calorie after calorie.
What caused you to realize you needed to change? I have always known I needed to change, I just had difficulty making it happen. I do not want to pass down a legacy of bad food choices, dependence on food, or an unhealthy body weight or image to my girls.
“The kids used to say ‘Look out, Pudge is having a big mac attack, get out of her way.” Andrea Green can still recall the cruel taunts from her childhood. Considered almost morbidly obese from a young age. Andrea grew to be an adult who lived in her body, but didn’t live for it. Then, a scary health diagnosis for her husband and an inspiring chance encounter at a wedding convinced her to change her lifestyle.
Now, 136 pounds lighter, Andrea is doing things she never thought possible, like completing a short course triathlon.
I lost 10 pounds the wrong way by under eating and over exercising, which damaged my metabolism.
Over the years, Andrea tried to lose weight on her own, but she pursued the quick fix instead of the long haul approach. By the time she married her husband, she’d gained another 90 pounds. “I used being busy as an excuse to eat takeout and convenience food,” she admitted. “I used to work two full-time jobs. I never packed meals so I ate out twice a day. Then when I got married, we ate a lot of pre-packaged foods.”
Before when I saw people succeed at this kind of weight loss, I thought they were somehow super human, had personal chefs or didn’t work.
When Andrea’s husband was diagnosed with diabetes, she realized that both their diets needed a huge overhaul. To lose weight, she considered gastric bypass surgery, but then she remembered the friend she had seen recently at a wedding. He was also busy with work and famil, but still managed to lose 100 pounds just by changing his lifestyle.
Before having the surgery, Andrea decided to give herself five months to see progress on her own. In that time she lost 60 pounds! (more…)
Susan Hanks is the reason this True Weight Loss segment makes my heart happy. At one point, her weight exceeded 500 pounds. Instead of turning to fad diets or pills, she just dug deep and swapped bad habits for good ones. She admits it’s been a mental struggle, and she couldn’t have done it without the help of her fabulous personal trainer.
Now, 118 pounds down, this courageous woman knows how to lose weight and stay healthy, she just has to stay the course. “I take it one meal at a time,” she said.
Food was my comfort.
It’s a sentiment we hear so many times at DIR. People turn to food for celebration, comfort, boredom, and it’s rarely bell peppers that they’re mindlessly munching. “I ate all the time, bad food was better, and I never ate healthy,” Susan admitted. “I was miserable. I had no friends and low self esteem. I knew I was eating myself to death. Finally I realized I wanted more out of life. I was tired of just existing.”
Almost two years ago, Deb Arneson-Suarez saw a new Planet Fitness gym in her neighborhood. She took this literal sign as a figurative sign that it was time! Time to get healthy and lose the weight that had been with her for as long as she could remember. Now, down almost 100 pounds, she credits her competitive nature for keeping her on the path to her goal.
Deb says by the time she was in the 5th grade she was already familiar with commercial weight loss programs and restrictive diets but for her, the very idea of restriction, always set her up to fail. In her twenties, Deb says “drinking and other bad lifestyle choices” contributed to her weight gain. Sadly, when she realized it was time to get clean and sober, she gained even more.
When Deb saw the “open 24 hours” logo at Planet Fitness, she knew there would be no more excuses for not treating herself better. “The city metro bus stop I used to go to work and come home was right in front of the gym,” she said. “I was sick of feeling tired, sick and miserable. I wanted to be healthy – truly healthy.”
She knew that losing weight would have to be a two-fold approach so she started going to the gym every night after work – even if it was only for 30 minutes at a time – and then adopted a predominantly vegetarian lifestyle. “I used the internet like crazy,” she explained. “If I craved something chocolate (like brownies) I would research healthier options like flourless black bean brownies. Yum!” (more…)