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Name: Stacy Langston
Before Weight: 245 pounds
How I Gained It: I've had weight issues since puberty. I started gaining and gaining, eating and eating, I was depressed, lonely and found comfort in the foods that were always there for me. My peers, teachers and even church leaders would make comments about my weight. I tried to not let it bother me but it did. I was so sad and upset I almost dropped out of school my senior year. I had friends, yes, but nothing felt better than curling up on my bed or my best friend's bed as we ditched school indulging in fast food and ice cream. After getting suspended from school for not attending, I went to an adult high school so I could save my chances of graduating. I had no friends and the depression grew.
My mother took me to my physician after school was over who put me on anti-depressants and a weight-loss pill; at the age of 18 I weighed a whopping 260 pounds. I struggled with my weight and my inner demon of constantly putting myself down for years after that. I moved to New Jersey in 2004 to be a nanny (I was born and raised in southern Utah). I joined a gym a few years later and lost 40 pounds! I was so proud of myself, but I would get discouraged as I watched all the other thin girls at the gym. They made me feel like a big whale when I went to work out. After about 20 minutes, I would put myself down so much I'd leave the gym and hit McDonald's. I ballooned up again to 240. I ate whatever I wanted -- two slices of cake, pints of ice cream, Oreos, two bowls of cereal for breakfast -- and I rarely ate veggies or fruit. I would eat and eat without stopping until I felt so sick I had to lay down.
In 2007, my coworkers had a "Biggest Loser"-style competition. I did pretty well. After recieving free food from Nutrisystem and a guide, I lost about 40 pounds. It taught me how to eat with portion control. But once again my old eating habits would sneak their way in and I'd gain everything back. I tried all the diets out there, cleansing, diet pills, I even had my colon cleansed to help push the extra weight out. Of course I lost weight, but eventually I got bored and discouraged so I stopped and gained everything back. Yo-yo dieting about sums it up.
Breaking Point: During the summer of 2010 my current employer and her assistant lost a ton of weight, they looked amazing and I was totally convinced if these women in their late 30's who had demanding jobs and families to take care of could lose weight then there was no excuse for me. So when New Year's came along, I set a resolution to finally become healthy.
How I Lost It: At first it was hard to get into the routine. I started following the Nutrisystem guide I had done a few years back, but ate my own food. I struggled, but would somehow fight those inner demons and push myself to eat healthy. There were days when I would throw myself to the ground in hysterics saying "I can't do this, I cant do this," but there was always a coworker or family member by my side to cheer me on and give me support. One time, my boss even threw away cookies I had in my hands!
In the months to follow, I came across a "Biggest Loser" book that had a calorie guide and the suggestion to keep a food journal. So I bought myself a notebook and started counting those calories. I became excited about trying new fruits, veggies and meals. Water became my best friend. I ate whole-grain breads, low-fat cheese, Greek yogurt, fish, chicken, tuna and lots of oatmeal. I had two servings of fruit a day, a serving of veggies and a salad with my lunch and two servings of veggies and a salad with my dinner. I ate smaller portions more frequently and gave myself one day a week to eat what I wanted or go to dinner with a friend and have a drink. When I go out for the day, I make sure I bring along foods to snack on like veggies, grapes or rice cakes so I don't get the urge to stop for fast food.
The weight began flying off. I started adding some exercise into my diet and more and more pounds were shed. I was waking up every morning at 5 so I could work out at home to numerous DVDs. I did (and still do) yoga, Zumba, cardio and even strength training all in the comfort of my living room. By the end of December 2011, I had lost a total of 75 pounds. Not seeing my family since December 2010, they were completely shocked about my weight loss and made me feel so good and happy with myself.
I am so proud of myself and have never in my life worked for something so hard. I didn't think I could ever reach this goal I set for myself and am shocked by my determination to reach it. Not only has my recent success helped me look good, but now I feel good. I don't hide my personality as much as I had in the past. I feel beautiful and confident. I'm finally starting to truly love myself; that's what it's about right?
I went from a size 18/20 and now I am in a six! I have been overweight my entire life; I now weigh what I weighed in 8th grade. If I can get to my goal weight of 140, I will increase my calories just a little and maintain. I won't go back to my old eating habits. This is my new lifestyle, not a diet. It's no longer temporary for me.
My work has inspired me so much that I went back to school to study nutrition so I can help people lose weight the healthy and natural way. I would love to coach people to work out, make meal plans and encourage them to keep going. It's not about looking good but looking at yourself from the inside and finding who you are. I believed in myself and I want everyone to!
Current Weight: 147 pounds
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