At my highest weight, I developed an injury called plantar fasciitis, which is basically a chronic inflammation of my heels. It made walking excruciatingly painful. Just walking across a room caused me pain. I hobbled around, slowly, as if I was decades older than my age. My husband loved to hike and take long walks, but I was in too much pain to join him. Also diabetes and arthritis of the knees ran in my family, and I knew that, if I didn’t do anything about my weight , I wasn’t just heading towards diabetes and arthritis but I was heading towards an early grave. I have seven beautiful children, and I couldn’t do that to them, let them lose their mother at such young ages.
But still, I couldn’t seem to take those first steps toward getting healthy. In my 5th pregnancy, I developed high blood pressure and, during the delivery, it spiked so high that I almost died. Still, I remained overweight, and wound up hospitalized towards the end of my 6th pregnancy because of high blood pressure again. I told myself that, if I ever had another baby, I would get myself healthy before getting pregnant, but then I got pregnant with my seventh baby before I had lost any of the excess weight. I was morbidly obese and I knew that becoming healthy was a real necessity; I couldn’t wait any longer.
I waited until my 12th week of pregnancy to get past the precarious first trimester (but before I had started gaining any pregnancy-related weight), and then I called up my sister-in-law. I had heard that she had lost over 5 stone and that she looked incredible. I hadn’t seen her in a long time, but I asked her if she would take me to one of her Slimming World meetings. When she picked me up for the meeting, I was amazed by how much different she looked with so much weight lost!
I wasn’t even sure, when I first started, if this was something I would stick to, but I knew I had to give it a try. And I lost weight the first week, despite being in my second trimester of pregnancy. My goal was to not gain any weight during the pregnancy, but instead, as of a day before my baby was born, I had already lost 3 stone 4 lbs. Within 2 ½ weeks of the baby’s birth, I dropped an additional 1 stone 5 lbs, for a total loss of 4 stone 9 lbs LOST during my pregnancy.
Within a year of joining Slimming World, I had lost 7 stone 2 lbs, which is equal to 100 pounds. I lost the final 37 pounds to reach my goal weight in the next 9 months. I lost 9 stone 11 ½ pounds in 1 year and 9 months. Over time, while at target, I lost a bit more and reached 10 stone 5 ½ lbs lost in total and changed my target to my new weight.
It has changed my life. My plantar fasciitis disappeared completely, despite the fact that I was told I would suffer with it for life. I have more energy. My blood pressure during my last pregnancy remained normal. I can play with my kids now, when before I never had the energy and it hurt too much. My husband and I walk everywhere. I exercise on the elliptical crosstrainer, by walking and also use the Wii Fit with hand weights. (We’ve even had our crosstrainer replaced eight times because they keep breaking on us! They apparently make them these days thinking that people don’t actually use them!) Needing a new challenge, my husband and I just started running outdoors about a week and a half ago. We are only able to run a mile in ten minutes right now (and it KILLS me!), but we’re planning on increasing that soon. I never thought I’d see the day when I would actually choose to run!
I love going to group meetings. I have made some of my best friends at my meetings. My husband and I both cook dishes to bring along for the “Food Tasting” nights, and the meetings are something I look forward too. Everyone there is so supportive and encouraging. My Slimming World consultant Sharon is wonderful. My husband joined with me, having lost some weight before joining just by eating what I was eating., and has lost a total of around 7 stone himself. My kids are all really proud of me and love the healthy food we cook and going for long nature walks with us.
I have family in the US, and my dad has been really struggling with his diabetes. He says I have inspired him and he has started losing weight too finally. He’s lost 1 stone 4 pounds so far, and my mom has lost 10 pounds. I have a neighbour who joined Slimming World. She said she kept seeing this lady walking by her window getting slimmer and slimmer and it made her want to lose weight too.
I have been blogging about my weight loss on Skinny Dreaming almost since the beginning, and the Facebook page for my blog has over 500 fans. I share recipes that I have come up with like a Garlic Pizza Crust made with Scan Bran.
Losing so much weight has helped me in other areas of my life too. Ever since I was a child, I wanted to be a writer, but somewhere along the way I lost confidence in myself and in my writing. Managing to lose so much weight has helped me gain my confidence back, not just in my appearance but in every aspect of my life. I’m writing again. I’ve written three children’s stories that I am trying to get published and I am working on a two novels. I also have several e-books coming out this year. I have been writing for a monthly magazine in California on the topic of helping our kids lead healthy lives.
I have seven kids, but I was able to make the time to exercise and cook healthy meals. There’s nothing overly special about me; I’m just like everyone else. The one thing I wish more people realized is that, if I can do this, anyone can!
If you are in the same boat I used to be in, if you have a huge amount of weight to lose and it looks like to mighty of a task for you to achieve, just take it one step at a time. Set up mini goals and focus on one mini goal at a time rather than looking at the bigger picture. I know that, with a huge amount of weight to lose, it can seem overwhelming, and it’s easy to tell yourself that you won’t be able to do it, so why even bother, but you can’t look at it this way. Take it one small goal at a time and eventually, you will start reaching those larger goals.
It’s important that you believe in yourself and in your ability to do this. Look at other people who have succeeded at weight loss. If they can do it, so can you. Quit waiting around for motivation. I had tons of motivation for losing the weight, but it took me years before i ever actually did anything about it. I had seven beautiful children and a loving husband who needed me to be healthy for them. I lacked energy. I was depressed and unhappy with my appearance. My health was failing. All of that sounds like pretty good motivation for wanting to change, but motivation can’t make you do the work to get you to your goals. Motivation gives you reasons to strive for those goals, but you still have to be willing to work towards them yourself.
Instead of waiting around for this magical “motivation” to appear and push you into doing what you need to do, treat your weight loss as though it just another part of your daily routine. You don’t shower each day just because you like to shower. You shower because it is necessary and part of your daily routine. Healthy eating and daily exercise should be treated the same way.
And because so many people have told me since I lost the weight, “I wish I could do what you have done,” I am going to stress this point: YOU CAN!!!!
Now go do it!