Huffpost Healthy Living

A Family Member's Bold Remark Inspired Cayla Duncan To Lose 100 Pounds

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I LOST WEIGHT
Cayla Duncan

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Name: Cayla Duncan
Age: 26
Height: 5'0"
Before Weight: 247 pounds

How I Gained It: I was not aware of how much I was eating, and I rarely exercised. I went from being very active in college to being not active at all afterwards. I gained a good 100 pounds in the course of three years after college. I wasn't depressed, I didn't have low self-esteem; I was just lazy and ate everything in sight.

I would get a large chicken nuggets meal from McDonald's with large fries and a large Coke for lunch, then snack throughout the day and then go home and have four to five helpings of dinner, which was usually pizza or fried foods. The last thing on my mind was my health.

Breaking Point: "Cayla, you are huge." Those were the words that changed my life forever. I was 24 years old, had a great job, a master's degree, great friends. I was sitting at the Thanksgiving table with my family (with my overflowing plate of potatoes) when my grandmother looked over and gasped at how large I had gotten. I was mortified. In front of my entire family, she put my weight on display. For the next month, I refused to talk to her. It took me that long to realize she was right. I was huge. At just 24 years old, I was weighing in at over 200 pounds, and the sad thing is I didn't even realize it. All the great things in my life made me forget about my increasing waistline.

How I Lost It: My grandmother has always been an advocate for Weight Watchers and she encouraged me to try it out. On January 9, 2012, I became a Weight Watchers member. When I got on the scale that night, I was shocked at the number: 247! I couldn't believe it. I didn't even stay for the meeting. I went home and cried myself to sleep. I woke up the next morning, looked in the mirror and said, "That was your last pity party, Cayla. Yesterday was the last day you will ever make an excuse for your poor behavior."

I turned around and never looked back. In that first week, I lost eight pounds.

Weight Watchers has taught me to stop telling myself that I can't have something and that making good choices will deliver results. It brought awareness (through food tracking) to how much food I was taking in on a daily basis. I now eat smaller meals and healthier meals because I'm aware of what I'm eating. I still like an occasional McNugget meal every once in a while. In a year and half, I've lost 100 pounds, and I'm not stopping until I hit my goal of 125 pounds. I know I will get there.

The three things I tell other members when they ask for my advice is are:
  1. No excuses.
  2. Go to your meetings.
  3. Believe in you. You are worth it. Because of this program, I can do anything.

Before, I was at risk for high blood pressure. My doctor suggested that I start taking medicine for the pending health risk. After losing 50 pounds in five months, he said I did not need medicine anymore and that my health took a dramatic turn for the better. At 24, I could barely walk up the stairs at my job without stopping. I am now running -- yes, running -- 5Ks. I hate running to this day -- I prefer Zumba or dancing -- but finishing my first 5K gave me a whole new respect for running. Feeling like I'd definitely accomplished something helped motivate me to keep going and try to hit a new goal. I even helped to organize a local 5K to help with the Special Olympics because getting healthy has become such a big part of my life.

Current Weight: 147 pounds
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The Huffington Post publishes photographs as they are submitted to us by our readers.

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