Reader Jaki Sinclair shares how she lost 125 pounds and is keep it off — one step at a time.
Starting Weight: 247
Current Weight: 122
I’ve spent most of my life overweight and, like most people that struggle with their weight, I was always looking for a diet or planning when to start my next diet in hopes of losing weight. I’ve been overweight since grade school and even started my first diet back then. I’ve lived the life of an over weight, child, teen and adult. I understand the feelings of pain, shame guilt and failure that go along with being overweight most of your life and feeling like a failure because you always gained back any weight lost. I understand feeling powerless and wanting to lose weight so bad, even planning what diet I would try next, while overeating on unhealthy foods.
I could make most of the diets work a while and I’ve lost large amounts of weight, over 100 pounds one time, to only gain it back plus a few more pounds. I was nearing 250 pounds and was so tired feeling so bad about myself and how I felt and looked. I was so unhealthy and out of shape and so unhappy with my life.
I knew that the dieting mindset was partly responsible for my weight. I would follow the latest popular diets that were ridged and had off-limit foods and start feeling deprived and punished and before long I would rebel against the rules and I was gorging on the forbidden foods.
I decided to think in a totally different way. I was wanting this to be a lifestyle change. I wanted to make healthy choices and live a healthier life inside out. When you have been over weight most of your life you already feel punished, often by yourself for feeling like you have no willpower from all of the failed diets and also from the “well meaning” comments you have received over the years. I decided my plan was going to be about add in things instead of taking away things from myself.
I started with adding in positive thinking and self-talk.
I have been beating myself up mentally for many years and I knew I had to start by working on the inside. I learn to believe in my myself and learn to like myself again. It was difficult in the beginning and I felt so uncomfortable giving myself compliments. It feel so good to start being kind to myself and want and believe I deserved to live a healthy and happy life.
I added in activity.
It was slow going in the beginning. 5-10 minutes of walking outside or walking in place. Now I am walking all over the neighborhood for hours or taking bikes rides. It feels so awesome to be able to say that!
I added in healthy foods.
Unlimited fresh fruits and vegetables. It’s funny because I used to think I didn’t like fruits, vegetables or water and now they are the first things I go to get when I walk in the kitchen. I never would have believed it was possible, but I actually crave healthy foods now instead of unhealthier choices.
I also added being more aware.
In the past I could quickly eat several candy bars or a bag of cookies and not really even notice it until I had a empty bag in my hand. So I take time to slow and am aware of what I am eating and I try to eat slower and actually tastes, savor and enjoy my food. I also get myself a serving of any items I want. I don’t grab a bag of anything to mindlessly piece on anymore.
This was not an overnight process. It took time and hard work and willingness to make changes. I have learned so much about myself during this process and was able to change my relationship with myself and food.
Not too long ago I would wake up each morning and think, Is this it? And now I wake up every morning excited for the day and the journey ahead and want to share with everyone what I have learned. You deserve to live a healthy and happy life. Believe in yourself and don’t ever give up!