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Name: Clara Osborn
Before Weight: 191 pounds
How I Gained It: I was an active child. Even up until high school, I was on my school's tennis team. Then came college. Everyone warns you about the Freshman 15, but I ended up gaining the Freshman 50. It's inevitable when you are less active, sitting (while studying) more and eating fast food every single day. Unfortunately, it didn't stop at 50 pounds, especially after being diagnosed with depression and put on medication. After college, I gained a loving husband -- and more weight. By then, I was in denial about how much I had gained, because I had stopped looking at the mirror. I stopped taking photographs. I stopped going outside of my home. I started building up a protective wall of comfort food.
Breaking Point: My "ah ha!" moment came in January 2011. My friend was cleaning out her closet and asked me if I would like some of her clothes. I brought the bag of clothes home and tried them on. They fit! See? I wasn't fat. Then I looked closer at the tags. They were her old maternity clothes! And she knew I wasn't pregnant. I remember getting dizzy. Big tears rolled down my face for a long time. It took me a while before they stopped.
How I Lost It: I remember telling my best friend about the maternity clothes and she encouraged me to sign up for Weight Watchers with her in March 2011. When I stepped on the scale it was almost a relief to see the numbers. I had been in denial and closer than I wanted to admit to seeing a "2" in the hundreds place. It was an emotional epiphany.
The first four weeks I just got used to journaling my food. I remember being amazed at how fast those calories added up and how little I knew about reading nutrition labels. After the first month, I slowly added activity. First it was walking the dog down the street to the park. Next, I tried Zumba and salsaed my butt off (literally and figuratively). I also started the Couch to 5K app on my iPhone. Eventually I joined a local running group, A Running Experience Club (AREC) and found my Best Run Friend who still inspires me to run on Saturdays at 6 a.m. to this day. Slowly but surely, I became a runner. Since then, I've run 15 5Ks, one 8K, three 10Ks and four half-marathons. Me! The almost 200-pound-girl that could barely walk her dog to the park without getting out of breath. When I stop and think about it, it's pretty amazing.
Fifteen months later, I hit my goal weight in May 2012. I started a new job that I love. I'm in control of my depression. I've reconnected with old friends. I've made new friends. I like my reflection in the mirror. I bought my first pair of skinny jeans! I'm a runner. I'm inspiring others through my Weight Watcher YouTube video, my See Cupcake Run blog and Facebook page. I'm healthy. I have confidence. I have more energy. I smile more. I'm happy. Remember, you only fail if you quit.Some advice:
- Focus on small goals so you don't get overwhelmed, like 5 pounds, 5 percent, etc.
- Forgive yourself. It's okay if you aren't perfect. You're human.
- Take it one day and one meal at a time. This is a journey not a race. Every meal is a new opportunity to get back on track!
- Don't deprive. Moderation.
- Track. Track. Track. Track your food intake. Every bite, lick and taste.
- Drink lots of water.
- Add activity when ready and make it part of your daily life.
- Celebrate every victory no matter how small. (There is no “only” in weight loss!)
Current Weight: 129 pounds
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