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Name: Barbara Hawkins
Before Weight: 250 pounds
How I Gained It: I gained my weight when I became pregnant with my twins. The pregnancy was high-risk and I was on bed rest for most of it. Blood pressure and gestational diabetes became a problem. The day the twins were born, I weighed 211 pounds. I continued to gain weight after they were born. I was careless, sedentary and went on to gain 40 more pounds.
I was tired all of the time and always short of breath. I continued to have problems with high blood pressure and sugar. I became tired of people asking me when my baby was due. A lady at the beach told me that a woman in my condition shouldn't be in a hot tub! I couldn't ride roller coasters and other rides with my children, because the belts and bars wouldn't fasten.
Breaking Point: One day in the fall of 2007, I woke up and decided I was going to do something about it. My husband bought me an iPod to help make walking easier.
How I Lost It: I started out walking three miles, three times a week. At first it was hard. I tired easily and my shins hurt, but I kept at it. The weight started to come off, and walking got easier, and I even started running some. I gradually increased my miles; now I'm walking at least 30 miles per week, and I could do more if I had the time.
I have totally turned my life around by changing my attitude about exercise. If you keep at it long enough, instead of feeling like you're going to die if you head to the gym, you can turn that into feeling like you're going to die if you don't do it. Find what you like. For me, it was walking. I love being outdoors with my iPod. It's my quiet time; it's like therapy
I've never been a huge eater, but I ate too much fast food just because it was quick and convenient. Now, I would never eat a Whopper or a Big Mac. If I'm in a hurry, I choose healthier options, like Subway. I gave up sugary soft drinks, although I will still drink diet ones.
I try not to load up on carbohydrates. That doesn't mean I never enjoy a plate of spaghetti or birthday cake, I just see that sort of thing as a treat. I've always enjoyed salads and fruits. Chicken, fish and lean red meats are an everyday thing for me.
The sad part of my story is that I remember how I was treated when I was larger, and I see how I am treated now. I can attest to the fact that life is much harder for overweight people and not just physically. People can be mean.
I feel great. All of my numbers are in a normal range, and I look a lot better. I remember the first time I got to shop for clothes in the Misses section. I was an 18 then, but still so much better than a 24W! I now wear a 6 or 8. I feel 10 years younger than I did 10 years ago.
After Weight: 148 pounds
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