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Name: Natasha Cosgrove
Before Weight: 308 pounds
How I Gained It: I started getting "fat" after about 16 years old and sort of let myself go. I stopped caring about myself, I guess. My eating habits were horrific! I ate out every single day -- Chinese buffet maybe four times a week, plus Denny's breakfasts, late night stops at IHOP for a full breakfast, Krispy kreme donuts, soda all the time, candy, junk food -- I just ate to eat, without control, with no understanding of portions, just eating so fast and gobbling up whatever was there.
Breaking Point: One day in my office I went to take out the trash and as I bent over I felt my jeans rip. Not just any jeans, but a pair of size 26/28 stretch jeans. I was so embarrassed. I just said, enough! I said to myself, "Natasha, you put this darn weight on yourself, you're getting it off!"
How I Lost It: I joined Curves gym and simply shut my mouth. No soda, no junk food, no breads -- I decided to eat sensibly. I took up walking shortly after. What a site I was in sweltering Florida in the middle of summer. Each time I would attempt to walk a little further without feeling like I was going to die because it was so hot and I was so heavy. I stuck to walking four miles every day for a solid year.
About seven months ago, I started to jog. I never, ever thought I'd be able to jog. I just wanted to see if I could do it. I'd pick a tree and run to it and feel like I accomplished something. Eventually, I could run a couple of miles, and then more and more. Two weeks ago, I ran my first race, a 5K. I nearly talked myself out of it, but I came in third place! I'm signed up to run a 10K next month!
I stick to a low-carb, low-calorie lifestyle now. I eat a ton of vegetables, fruit, chicken and fish and no soda. I am seriously "addicted" to water. I control portions -- I don't need to see the plate covered to know it's enough. I've found great recipes for beans and soups which are great alternatives -- and filling!
I know what a struggle it is to be "fat" in this society, and losing weight without the aid of surgery is so hard, but it can be done, and I'd like to think I'm one of the people who exhibit it. I have a way to go still, but being a size 8 from a 26/28 is something I'll take any day of the week!
After Weight: 158 pounds
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