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Name: Samantha Crossley
Before Weight: 274 pounds
How I Gained it: I love food. No, I really love food. This love for food has caused me to yoyo my weight for all of my life. As a child I was always “chunky,” and then into my later teens I lost weight not by eating right and exercise, but by starving myself. Then, when I went off to college, I gained all of the weight back, plus my freshman 15+. I continued to gain weight at college because again, I LOVE FOOD. And not being at home meant that I could eat what I wanted, when I wanted it. In my senior year of college, I moved off campus and it caused me to walk several miles one way to my classes. Much to my surprise, I lost weight again. Unfortunately, I still hadn't learned the important lessons about controlling my portion sizes, about eating healthier options and the importance of daily exercise, and once I graduated college and got married I started to gain again. This time though, my gaining put me at the unhealthiest weight that I every achieved.
Breaking Point: In September 2011 on a girls weekend away from home, I told my girlfriends that I hated myself. I hated everything about myself. My look, my weight, my body, my everything. Although I confessed this in September, I did nothing. I continued to dislike everything about myself and this disgust began to spill over into all aspects of my life… my marriage was suffering; my kids were feeling the effects; my job performance was low. My weight was now causing problems in every corner of my life and I knew that things needed to change, and change quickly.
How I Lost It: First I downloaded an app to my phone called Lose It! After reading about various “weight loss” programs and apps, I found this one to be the easiest to use for me. It is simply a calorie counting app that provides you with the number of calories you should eat in order to lose weight each week. I focused on my food choices and portions for six straight weeks, through two major holidays. The app really allowed me to learn about my food choices, how to eat right, how much to eat and how to budget my calories for an entire day. Although this sounds easy, for someone who ate what she wanted, in the amounts that she wanted for 30+ years, it was nearly impossible, but I was determined not to give up.
In January 2012, I joined my local YMCA so that I could begin to exercise. At first, I couldn't even do 15 minutes on the elliptical machine. But being the determined and strong-willed woman that I am, I went to the gym every day, seven days a week and gradually built myself up to doing 65 minutes on the elliptical machine.
Then, in March 2012, a lady that I met at the gym said to me “running melts the fat.” That's all I needed to hear. I downloaded a Couch to 5K app (C25K) and completed that in seven weeks. While doing the C25K program, I actually registered to run in the Pittsburgh Great Race 10K, which was on September 30, 2012. I wasn't even up to running a 5K yet, let alone a 10K, but I knew that I needed something to strive for. I am happy to report that I successfully completed the Great Race 10K on September 30, 2012 and have now signed up for the Pittsburgh Half Marathon in May 2013. It feels a little crazy, but this again gives me something to work toward -- a challenge.
I am now down 93 pounds and although the weight loss has slowed down, I will reach my goal of 101 total pounds lost. I love that I am able to do things that I never thought about doing… running, hiking, biking and even more, including some day watching my grandchildren grow up. There are still things that I need to learn, like how to ignore the brownies that are in the kitchen calling my name. But until that time, I will count the calories for the brownies that I eat and in turn budget my daily total appropriately. For the first time in my life, I can say that I love myself. I love how I feel inside.
After Weight: 181 pounds
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