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Before Weight: 208 pounds
How I Gained It: My weight gain was basically attributed to eating all the wrong foods and way too much of them. Pizza, burgers, chips -- you name it, I ate it. Fast food was the quick way to satisfy my hunger and was the easy route to take since I was just so lazy. I hated cooking even though I am really good at it, so we always ordered pizza, subs or takeout from local restaurants.
I was on a blood pressure pill and a water pill as well. At my heaviest weight, I was 237 pounds. I lost weight and got down to 200, but then went back up to 232. Then I was down to 190 and then up to 208 again. That's when I decided it was time to stop roller-coastering and start something that I was going to finish.
Breaking Point: In April of 2010, my husband had to go out of town for a week for some training for his job. We were living in an apartment until we could move into our house, and it was unseasonably warm for Ohio in April.
I decided to pull out some summer clothes that I had tucked away in October. To my surprise, they did not fit. I got on the scale and was astounded to see that I had ballooned up to 208. I cried for an hour. After I wiped away the tears, I decided that was not going to be me anymore!
How I Lost It: I started walking "laps" around our apartment complex. In the beginning, one lap nearly killed me, but I kept going. I changed my meals and lowered calories, and by the end of the first week, I had lost five pounds. I thought, "I can do this!" -- so I pressed on.
Weeks went by and as it got hotter out, I moved my exercise into the small gym the complex had on site. As a resident, it was free for me to use. It had a treadmill, elliptical machine and a small strength-training machine. At first, I thought, if I could burn just 100 calories without keeling over, that would be an accomplishment. Soon 100 became 150 and so on. Then walking became jogging, which then became running. I continued working out, eating right and staying on track. My goal was to be a size 8, since I had never worn "single digit" jeans before.
Well, size 8 arrived! I was so excited. I figured if I could get to a size 8, I could certainly get to a size 6, which I did.
Now I weigh 104 pounds and I wear a size 00 or 0. I work out every day to maintain, spending about 30 minutes on the treadmill, lifting weights to stay toned and doing crunches. I'm half my size!
These days, I eat a lot of veggies, lean chicken or fish, salads, fresh fruit, whole grain breads and soy milk. I can't tell you the last time I stopped for fast food, and I don't even drink soda these days. I love water, and flavor it with MiO zero-calorie flavor drops. I cook all the time. We don't ever order takeout, no pizza is delivered here and we rarely hit the restaurant scene, unless it's a special occasion. At that point, I will check the menu on my phone or laptop to get the calorie content and sodium content of the meals available and make my choice beforehand. I have no problem taking my own salad dressing with me, my own Splenda or Truvia and even my own bread!
An added little bonus -- I no longer take blood pressure meds and no longer have a need for a water pill!
I know how hard it is to do. No one can do it for you. It's like quitting smoking (or so I am told) -- you know when the day comes to start, no one can push you beforehand. The tried and true way still does work!
Current Weight: 104 pounds The Huffington Post publishes photographs as they are submitted to us by our readers.
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*Asked that her last name not be used.