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Name: Lisa Fox
Before Weight: 224.5 pounds
How I Gained It: When I was in grade school I remember not being as thin as the other kids, but I didn't really start to get chubby until later on. Once I'd gotten into my 30s and 40s, it started to become a problem. I was basically just eating what I wanted to, without limiting sugars or fats, and not getting the exercise I should have. I just wasn't paying attention. I went from being 130 pounds when I got out of high school to more than 200 pounds two years ago. It creeps up on you, but you don't realize how much it's creeping up. Several times I started different weight-loss programs, but after a couple of months I'd get bored with them.
Breaking Point: Once I saw that I was more than 200 pounds, I became very concerned. I also felt invisible. I noticed that when you reach a certain weight, people don't really look you in the eye; they seem to look right past you. It's a weird thing. I think they prejudge you and have the assumption that you're lazy. I considered weight-loss surgery, because I felt it might be the only option that would work.
How I Lost It: A friend of mine had joined a new-to-America online weight-loss program called Slimming World and was having really great success with it. I thought, "Let me try this." The main thing that I love is that you don't have to count everything you put into your mouth. I don't do well with tracking every little bite; it's not the way I want to spend the rest of my life.
As I started to lose weight, everybody wanted to know how I was doing it; they suspected some kind of gimmick was involved. But it's all about really healthy eating and a different way of looking at foods that satisfy your appetite, so they keep you feeling full for longer. And it's also about never feeling hungry or deprived, even as the number on the scale keeps getting smaller. This isn't being on a diet, it's changing your lifestyle -- for life.
Another key to success for me: friendship, support and meal-planning suggestions from other members, along with recipes and tips for overcoming hurdles.
Now, I no longer have the feeling of being constantly uncomfortable, or having so many physical limitations. I can shop for clothing without being limited to large-sized stores. And I'm much more social and so much more energetic. Before I lost weight, I was always tired. Physical activity was hard to do because I had no energy. Now, I've gone from couch potato to a very active person. I started out gradually, but now I exercise at least five days a week. My partner and I love going on long walks and bike rides, and I also enjoy yoga. The difference between then and now is incredible.
When I'm out and about in crowds and restaurants, it's made me realize there are so many people with weight problems -- especially children. It makes me so sad. I just wish I could help them all learn how easy it could be to change their lives, without having to be deprived or go hungry.
When I look in the mirror today, I can see the old me. I'd sort of forgotten what I looked like. It's a familiar face, and it feels good.
After Weight: 144.5 and still losing
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