Reader Success Story: From Overweight and Unhappy to Fit
We get so many inspiring emails from readers, and today we’re sharing another reader success story with you! Read on for Grace Goodman’s inspiring weight-loss experience. Grace has lost 115 pounds in the past three years and just ran her first half marathon this spring! Lost weight, too? Feel free to share your weight-loss story here!
I have tried numerous “diets” over the past 17 years and have done Weight Watchers more than once in my life. I decided the only hope I ever had at being “skinny” was to get the LapBand. I walked into the doctor’s office and said this is it; I’m finally going to fix all my problems in one surgery! At the consultation, the doctor told me my BMI was too high to have the surgery right away, and I needed to lose weight before he would operate. A doctor telling you that you are too fat to have weight-loss surgery…low point. But I was determined to have it done. My insurance was, of course, making me jump over hurdles to get them to pay for it (blessing in disguise) and wanted me to be on a doctor-supervised diet for six months.
I went to my first appointment with my regular doctor. I owe her a huge thank you because she was totally supportive of my decision to have LapBand, but looked me directly in the eyes and said “You do not need LapBand. You can do this without it; I believe in you.” No one had ever said that to me. How did this doctor who barely knew me, see a fire in me that I couldn’t see myself? I left that office and never considered LapBand again! While this was going on, a dear former friend of mine, Jennifer, had been doing Weight Watchers for a good amount of time and was having a huge amount of success. I give her a lot of credit for my final success at Weight Watchers. I watched her getting smaller and smaller and happier and happier and thought, “Shoot, if she can do this, I sure as hell can, too!” (She proudly lost 80 pounds and is now hotter than donut grease.) So for her, I am forever grateful that she found the strength in herself to lose weight, prompting my success.
I joined Weight Watchers and had a good amount of success (lost 30 pounds) but like my attempts before, fell off track. I did not gain back the 30 pounds but did quit losing. Months went by, and I finally decided I was sick of being over 200 pounds. I was having panic attacks (that I later found out were completely weight related) and was miserable. I hated that I couldn’t do the normal stuff regular people did. Then, when I attended my first Weight Watchers meeting, something felt different. I was finally there to lose weight for me. I didn’t care what anyone else thought about me. I wasn’t losing for my parents, my friends, my family, or for the boys I wished would look at me and think I was beautiful. Just me.
My first five pounds came off in the first week. I had been through this before, so I knew it would come off fairly quickly at the beginning, but it still felt great. I felt empowered. I felt in control of every aspect of my life. I, of course, have had some off weeks (and still do!), but even in those moments of weakness, I still felt better than I had in my entire life. As the pounds came off and the compliments came rolling in, I really started to believe this was my time. I was no longer going to live a life in the plus-sized section.
I hired a personal trainer who has been an amazing support. When I first started working with him, we were doing 30-minute sessions (I couldn’t physically do more). Each week, he pushed me a little harder and stretched me to a level I didn’t believe I could get to. (You can follow my workouts here, but I do want to say the working out part came VERY slowly for me, so don’t think I was able to do the workouts I do now back then.)
I wake up every single day with a smile on my face. I recently looked at myself in a mirror and didn’t see the “Fatty” I was for so long, and I SOBBED. Tears of joy, of course! Losing weight is the most emotional roller coaster I have ever been on, but I wouldn’t change any part of it. Sometimes it is hard for me to remember where I started, but the look on the faces of people when they see me for the first time since I’ve lost the weight is amazing. It never gets old. The confidence I have now is indescribable. I find myself smiling throughout the day for sometimes no reason at all…except that I am finally healthy. The feeling of good health is one I had never experienced, and it is amazing.
I am just a normal girl. I was just your average overweight, fast-food, candy, cookies, pizza-loving, non-active American. I have no secrets, no tricks. I will forever be a Weight Watcher and PointsPlus Counter. That is who I am now. Weight Watchers changed my relationship with food. It doesn’t happen overnight, but I promise you if you commit one day at a time…it will happen.
I no longer eat food simply because it tastes good. I eat healthy food that I know is good for my body. I indulge in moderation (I have a HUGE sweet tooth!), but find the junk I lived on for years doesn’t even appeal to me in the same way anymore. Weight Watchers and the PointsPlus plan changed my life and empowered me to do what I honestly thought was impossible. It’s hard. It takes work. You will have frustrating days (that will be totally overshadowed by the great days!). But you can do this. Because now it’s time for you to change your life.
Thanks for sharing your success story, Grace! You rock! You can check out more of Grace’s story over at her blog From Fatty to… Did anything Grace said resonate with you and your health journey? —Jenn