It is easy to be overweight. It isn’t fun. It isn’t enjoyable. It’s just easy.
When you are overweight, you get to eat what you want. I’m not saying that all overweight people are overweight because they overeat. In fact, for most, they eat the same amount of the same foods as some of their skinny friends, but they don’t process it the same. So for those people, me included, when I want to lose weight, I need to make sure that I am fueling my body with good nutritious food. I can’t slip up very often.
Sometimes, like when you are out for dinner with friends at a local restaurant or pub, it isn’t easy to make the right choice. It is easier to get the bacon cheeseburger with fries and gravy and wash it down with a nice cold beer , than it is to eat the nutritious chicken salad and wash it down with some cold water. That’s why I say that being overweight is easy.
Weight Loss Doesn’t Come Easy
Now is it easy to be an overweight person in today’s society? Certainly not. It isn’t easy to be teased and talked about. It isn’t easy to be judged for what you look like, rather than who you are. It isn’t easy to look in the mirror and not like the look of the person looking back at you. It isn’t easy to put on jeans that fit last month and realize that they are getting too tight to be comfortable this month. Those things are not easy.
Life for many of us becomes a see-saw of being disciplined, working out hard everyday, and losing weight followed by the easy road of no workouts, pasta dinner with garlic bread for dinner, followed by root beer ice cream chasers. Lose weight, gain weight, lose weight, gain more weight. Dancing the line between diabetes and marathon runner.
Discipline & Willpower
It takes discipline and willpower to commit to a healthy lifestyle for the rest of your life. I’ve mentioned in previous posts about how willpower has diminishing properties. The more times you go to the well of willpower, the lower the level gets. Eventually you go to the well, and it is dry. That is when you faulter. That is when you fall off the healthy bandwagon. I am writing this not to discourage you, or to lay blame if you are overweight. Rather, to let you know that you are not alone. You can look around and see that you are not alone, but you need to know that there are many others that feel like you, and that talk to themselves like you. There are strength in numbers.
This post is going to highlight some people who were in your shoes once. They were wearing an XXXL shirt and pants. They tried all of the diets, and they couldn’t win. They were where you are right now. But guess what?? They figured out a way to win. They found a way to lose the weight and keep it off. I am going to tell their stories in hope that they will motivate you today, next week, next month, next year, and all the rest of your life.
Stay off the easy road. It is full of other overweight people. The hard road is the one less travelled. These people took the road less travelled. See what they have become.
I’m starting my list with Bonnie Wiles, because I want you to decide right now that there is no excuse that is good enough for not getting healthier and getting into good shape. You see Bonnie was in her early 50s and weighed over 300 lbs when she decided to make a change in her life. Her grandson was just born and she decided that she wanted to play with her grandkids. That wasn’t going to be possible in the body she had. So she got active. She downloaded the MyFitnessPal app, which provided some structure. She also joined TOPS – Take Off Pounds Sensibly – weight loss support group, for motivation. 5 years later she is literally half the person she used to be. She weighs 148 lbs. And she gets to play with her grandchildren.
I love these 3 pictures of Jenna, because you can see her beautiful smile in all 3 pictures. Having some extra pounds didn’t put our Jenna’s light. You can tell that she is always happy. Jenna’s weight was a result of being in a career where she was constantly entertaining clients at restaurants and eating whatever was available. Over time, that lifestyle catches up to you.
Jenna tried almost every program to try and lose the weight. She tried Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, The Zone, Atkins diet, South Beach diet, Slimfast, etc. Eventually Jenna decided that the programs weren’t going to work for her and she would have to go it alone. So she decided to cut out starchy carbs, and eat mostly meat and vegetables. When she was out with clients she would make healther decisions.
Jenna decided to exercise, so she hired a trainer, and started walking more. She eventually started doing Crossfit. In one and half years, she has lost 140 lbs. Although she lost some pounds, she certainly didn’t lose that beautiful smile!
3. Kathleen Golding
Kathleen Golding was like many of us in that she gained weight easily and early. Between the ages of 21 and 22, she gained over 100 lbs, and at her maximum weighed 331 lbs. She had anxiety about her weight. She was depressed.
One week-end there were two triggers to change. The first was when she turned down going to an amusement park with friends because she was worried she wouldn’t fit in the roller coaster. The second was that she had an appointment scheduled with her doctor to discuss diabetes medication. She knew that she wanted to lose the weight, and she also knew that she wasn’t going to be able to do it on her own.
Kathleen decided to use gastric bypass surgery to lose the weight. She had the surgery in 2016, and the weight started to fall off. She currently weighs about 150 – 155 lbs. She looks great and feels great. Don’t be afraid to get help.
4. Donna Gillie
When you look at Donna’s transformation pictures above, it is hard to believe that both pictures are of the same person, but they are. Donna, like many of us, works behind a computer, and she was starting to feel uncomfortable so rather than do nothing, she decided to get active.
She wasn’t focused on entering a fitness competition on that first day, but to just get active. She joined a gym, took some classes and when her weight loss plateaued, she changed her diet. 7 years later, Donna weighs half the weight she started at, and has been in 3 fitness competitions. She has completely changed her life.
5. Jeremiah Peterson
Here is some motivation for the men out there. I love Jeremiah’s story. He was your typical Dad that gained pounds as time went on. Fairly active, going hiking with his sons and his wife, he found as the kids were getting older, that he wasn’t able to keep up with them.
He also had the challenge that he wasn’t processing gluten correctly and he was having bowel problems. Jeremiah decided to make a change, and he didn’t waste any time. He was able to completely transform his body and turn back the clock in 6 months. He lost 82 lbs.
To make this story that much more exciting, he actually got paid to lose the weight, which he used as motivation. He won a tranformation contest and a cool $50,000 at www.transformationstartstoday.com. Money for pounds, you gotta love it.
6. Kristine Strange
Kristine had a yo-yo lifestyle. She would do Weight Watchers, lose some weight, get away from the program and gain it all back. She did that a couple times and eventually she weighed 231 lbs. She decided that she would not fail. She would persevere and succeed. She started eating a high protein, low carb diet, and she stuck with it. She didn’t completely abstain from her favourite foods. She would eat them in moderation, and then commit to work hard to work it off.
She used her positive, no quit attitude to keep her on track after she took some opportunities to cheat. Kristine started in November 2012 at 231 lbs, and by November 2013 she was down to 130lbs, and she hasn’t looked back. She is looking good and feeling good.
7. Kate Chapman
When you are an actress and you are on stage in front of hundreds of people on Broadway, your weight certainly stands out. Luckily their are roles for overweight actors and actresses. Kate didn’t want to keep doing those roles. She also found that it was getting harder and harder to do shows night after night. Her stamina wasn’t what it once was. One day she was playing with her step son and couldn’t do the monkey bars. She had decided that enough was enough.
Kate started eating better food. She started walking, and when at the theatre she would run the stairs that went from the dressing room to the stage. In 6 months she lost 55 lbs, and eventually she got down to her goal weight of 130 lbs. She doesn’t audtion for the fat parts anymore. Now she goes for the leading lady parts!
For those of you that have left home and headed off to college, you know that those first few years away from home can be tough. With your new found freedom, you decide that you will not live by anyone else’s rules. You will eat what you want, and stay up late. That lifestyle catches up to you though and before you know it, you ‘ve put on 20 lbs. This is what happens to many students and it is what happened to Erin. She eventually weighed 235 lbs.
Erin started suffering from high blood pressure, panic attacks and other conditions associated with the extra weight. She didn’t start losing weight right away. It still took her some time to realize that she wanted to make a change. She started to use an online tracking tool to limit her food intake, and she started walking. It took her 4 years to drop all the weight. Now Erin is a personal trainer. She is healthy and happy, and weighs 146lbs.
Although these people have done remarkable things and have changed their lives for the better, they aren’t different than you or me. They just decided to take action. Use their stories and pictures as motivation to make your own healthy choices. If you have had a dramatic transformation in your life, share your story below. Even if you are just getting started, share your goals with us, and we will support you in your journey.