My Shop!

Friday, December 30, 2011

My Weight Loss Transformation Inside and Out

Gasp...cringe...gulp...oh boy, here it is, an old pic of me, before my weight loss! I have shared my weight loss story on the blog before, sharing my own personal struggles, in hopes of helping others along the way.  I however have never mustered up enough courage to share any pics of the "old me" as I call it, even though I was obviously younger 8 years ago, but let's not do the math ;)
Today I am finding the courage to share this dreaded pic, in hopes of bringing encouragement and words of advice to those making a New Year's resolution to lose weight. I think my story will surprise you.  You may be surprised to hear, I sometimes get hate mail, from folks thinking that I eat bacon all day.  One commenter even wished me a "heart attack".  I don't let it get me down, at least I do my best not to, because I know if they read and followed my blog, they would know it's not all bacon, and I don't live an unhealthy lifestyle.

  I am not a doctor nor expert on weight loss, but I have certainly found things that work for me.
 I was younger, but I didn't feel or look it.  I wasn't happy with myself, my weight was a heavy burden on me both physically and emotionally.  I had struggled with my weight since childhood, and it got out of control while in college.  I was watching what I ate, working out daily, and yet I kept gaining weight while in school.  I think the stress of overloading on classes and working full time too, really affected the way my body functioned.  Studies now are showing that stress can affect how many calories our bodies burn.  Then while driving one day, a man pulled out in front of me, running a red light, and I hit him going approximately 55 to 60 mph.  Luckily no one was killed, my truck was totalled, and unfortunately I was left with chronic pain in my neck and back.  This didn't aid my battle with weight loss.  After graduating college, getting married, and having my first child, I still struggled with weight.  Again I was working approximately 65 hours a week, and I believe the stress was my worst enemy.  Restricting calories and working out seemed to have no effect on my weight.  Finally one day I gave up.  I told myself that I would continue to try and make healthy food choices and stay active, but I wasn't going to beat myself up over my weight anymore.  I was simply going to do my best to be healthy regardless of that number on the scales. 

 So as crazy as it sounds, I quit going to the gym, and started working out at home using exercise videos.  I also started taking long walks once or twice a day. I was never comfortable working out at the gym, while heavy, so it made sense in my battle to relax and avoid stress, to simply work out at home. Guess what, it worked, I started losing weight.  I think in the past working out always seemed stressful, so my body never reaped the full benefits.  Now that I had focused on making my workouts an enjoying time, a peaceful time for me to be alone with my thoughts, I was seeing real results.  I didn't lose the weight over night, but over approximately a year and a half I reached my goal weight.  During that time, we went to a single car family, so that I could afford to work fewer hours outside of the home, reducing my stress load a bit more.  I would keep a food journal to keep me on track, watching my total calories and sodium.  In other posts I have talked about how important I feel a lower sodium diet can be.

The weight loss transformation really did affect me inside and out. Besides physically feeling comfortable in my own skin, I felt free to be the happy person I always knew I could be.  As time went on, I found I was not only able to maintain my weight, but eat more.  I know again, that must sound crazy, but I truly believe I reset my metabolism by reducing my stress and enjoying my peaceful power walks each day.  It is true when
 I say I eat more now then when I was approximately 100 pounds (gasp) heavier. Since being diagnosed  about a year and a half ago with hypoglycemia (hence the "hungry hypo") my appetite is always great. With continued workouts and frequent meals, my hypoglycemia has been little problem for me, besides always feeling hungry, that sort of sucks.  Both my parents are diabetic, but I am hopeful I won't develop it through a balanced lifestyle.

 So my words of advice to those trying to lose weight, simply be happy.  Find a workout routine that you find fulfilling.  If you enjoy going to the gym, then do it. I personally prefer getting outdoors and speed walking.  The fresh air, relaxes me, and makes my workout not only enjoyable but more beneficial.  With your diet, make changes that you can stick with.  If you reduce your calories to less then 800 a day, you may lose weight, but over all I really believe you will only hurt yourself in the end, by stunting your metabolism.  Then when you eat more, you gain weight, and will have the dreaded yo-yo effect that so many people battle.  For more tips that I have found work for me you can read my older weight loss post here.

In the mean time, I hope you found my story and advice helpful.  If you need someone to talk to for some encouragement, I am just a click away.  If you stumble with your battle to lose weight, or have a bad day, don't beat yourself up.  We are all only human, and no one is perfect.  Forget unhappy moments from the past, and start today with a smile.  Happy New Year's Eve everyone!

If you liked this post, please feel free to share it on Facebook, Pinterest, your blog, and or twitter.

To see where I party check out my LINKY LOVE page.

61 comments:

  1. You look amazing! Way to go! I have been struggling a lot lately and totally understand the stress factor. I loved my gym but could no longer afford it. I have this image of what used to be in my mind, and I have finally realized that I will not ever look like that again. However, I can still lose the weight I have put on and feel good about me. It just so happens that a new and very affordable gym opened up in my town and I am going tomorrow to join :) I have my wedding in July and I plan to feel good about me!

    Vanessa

    ReplyDelete
  2. You can do it Vanessa, it sounds like you are happy and positive, and I think that is the most important step. Congrats on the upcoming wedding.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great post. You are so brave to post your before picture (although you were pretty then and you are pretty now). I also had a big weight loss, but am not brave enough to post a "before" pic! Well, I think your advice was good. I think when people are ready to change, there is a determination that takes hold of them and (hopefully) doesn't let go. There's not magic formula for weight loss and it is different for everyone. Thanks for sharing your story.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow! You look amazing! Your story is also AMAZING and very Inspiring! Thanks for posting this!
    ~Brooke

    ReplyDelete
  5. You look great! Way to go girl. I'm not sure I would be so good at sticking with it. That is incrediably inspiring girl!

    ReplyDelete
  6. You are so inspiring! Thanks for being such a shining light to the rest of us!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Good for you!! I lost 50 lbs after high school, then my baby weight after each baby. Mostly after this last one. It was a great feeling!! bellesbazaar-heather.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. Way to go! I, too have lost a substantial amount of weight recently, and when a doctor yelled at me and said that was too much of a weight loss, it made me mad because I had worked so hard for it. I was working out and running almost 15-20 miles a week, plus eating a lower carbohydrate diet, and I felt and still feel great! I just graduated last May from college and I didn't like what I saw in my senior pictures, I used to be an athlete and I wanted to be again. Now, I am running an 11 mile obstacle race in three weeks, and I can't wait! Good job to you, I know it feels great!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thank you for sharing this story with me. I've battled weight my entire life, and in 2006 I decided to do something about it. I lost around 40lbs before my daily stress load overtook me and I gave up too. I think I gained it all back plus some, and when I got married five years ago I was at my highest weight I've ever been...I've tried to get back on the wagon, but slower, and at a steady pace. I have lost 80lbs this last year simply by moving more and making sure the food that goes into my body is healthy and has some nutritional value to it, instead of empty calories. (also helped with my diabetes!)

    You look amazing and I'm so glad you have this wonderful success story to share with others like me who need some motivation! Happy New Year to you and your family!

    ReplyDelete
  10. You go girl! Good for you! You are a beautiful woman full of life! Stay healthy and happy in the New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Beautiful. I haven't read your story before, but upon first glance, I honestly thought the photo of the girl in the hat was your daughter!

    ReplyDelete
  12. wow. thankyou for sharing your story. I am a miserable mess right now. I have gained about 40 lbs in less than 2 yrs, and have started 'feeling' the side effects of that like feeling heavy chested(even when just sitting), etc...Must change my ways NOW!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Lol, Apryl, that makes me feel great since there is about 8 years time in between those pics. I don't know if you have heard the saying "fat don't crack" well I always thought maybe I looked older after losing the weight, but I guess that's not true. I think the big smile makes all the difference in how young or old you look, and I certainly smile a lot more now. Thank you everyone for your touching words.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I can't believe people can be so cruel. The best part about your story is that your husband loved you and married you for the wonderful person that you are. Now, he has the best of both worlds! I never had a weight problem until I reached my thirties. I need to get with it and take it off again. I've done it before and it really wasn't that hard. You have been an inspiration to me! Happy New Year! Oh, and don't be embarrassed about the old pic, you were beautiful then too!

    ReplyDelete
  15. My husband is not helpful when it comes to losing weight and keeping it off, since he always wants me to put weight on. He is my chubby chaser, lol. Yes he has loved me through thick and thin.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Wow Good For you!! It is a gargantuan task for those of us who struggle with losing weight and keeping it off. I too lost over 100 pounds in 1999 yes over 20 years ago and still to this day its a battle not to gain it back.

    Keep on track and smile. You have done a complete transformation and look great.

    Again its work to keep it off but it can be done 20 yrs later I'm still going.

    And Screw those who send you nasty emails. I sense a tad bit of jealousy on their part.

    Take care
    Kevin @ Linkies Contest Linkies

    ReplyDelete
  17. So wonderful to read about your weight loss journey Mindie! Very inspiring and you are definitely a role model to look to. Thank you for being so open and honest. You look FANTASTIC!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thank you for sharing your journey. Mine began this summer. I have lost over 20 pounds. Not sure exactly becuase I don't weigh at home just at the DR. It is safer that way. I know I have gone down at least 1 almost two pants sizes. Taking it slow and keeping it off this time. Don't let the negative people get you down. They are just sad that some one can achive a goal and do it the right way.
    Melissa

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thank you for sharing this, and congratulations, you look amazing!! I think seeing the terrible shape my body is is in a swimming suit today, and almost not taking my kids swimming because I didn't want to put a swimming suit on is giving me the real kick in the pants to do something about my weight. I don't want my body to limit what I can or want to do.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Mindie, I'm glad you were able to find a method that worked for you to lose and keep the weight off. You're absolutely right, stress is a major factor. Things kind of snowball into a bigger problem and then a few years later, there is weight gain to deal with, too.

    Congrats on your success, you've earned every bit of it. TFS the before photo and keep smiling, a positive focus does make a difference.

    Happy New Year to you and your family!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thank you for sharing this story with us Mindie! Strong will, determination and a ton of effort always bring the desired results! You look amazing!
    Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  22. i think your *story* is one of the best/inspirational/empoweing i have ever read -- i think everyone can relate to thow stress affected your life & health -- even those who do not struggle with weight.
    you look amazing & so much younger & vibrant!

    YOU ROCK!!!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I love your story! It's so freaking difficult, but I know it can be done, you're living proof!
    I started eating better 2 years ago...the first year I lost 45 lbs or so and then last year only 15 or so. I think I lost my beginning philosophy on what I was doing and I struggled a lot because of it. So I have to get back to it this year!

    ReplyDelete
  24. congratulations on your hard work and meeting your goal! Thank you for sharing your story for all of us :o)

    ReplyDelete
  25. Wow-what a transformation! Congrats on the weight loss. I think you have a healthy perspective on exercise and calories that would help with a lifestyle transformation-inspiring me to continue to lose :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. You look amazing! What an inspiring weight loss story. I totally agree about not stressing out about weight loss. If I overthink it I become obesessive and miserable. Thanks for sharing your story!

    ReplyDelete
  27. I am a hungry hypo too. :-)

    I think you look younger now than you did 8 years ago. My husband thought the "now" pic was your daughter...haha

    Great job on losing the weight and keeping it off.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Amazing story! You look great!! Thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  29. You look fantastic! I've always struggled with my weight, and am trying to lose the SAME 30 pounds...again! Thank you for sharing your story!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Congrats on your dramatic weight loss, Mindie! It took courage to share like that.

    I tried and tried to lose weight for awhile, but it was harder and harder to lose weight as I got older. I was fortunate (or unfortunate) to have a severe gall bladder attack that made me drastically reduce my fat intake last summer. In 5 months, I lost 50 lbs, but I still have to eat some amount of fat, since everybody needs it, especially women. As much as I would love to go back to my old fatty ways of eating, my gall bladder keeps me eating better - much to my chagrin at times. (Oh, how I would love to have some mousse right now...sniffle).

    Anyway, congrats!!

    Cheers,
    Tracy Screaming Sardine

    ReplyDelete
  31. Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Wow! You look great! Thanks for sharing your story. You've accomplished so much!

    ReplyDelete
  33. You look fabulous! So glad to have found you!


    www.redrosecakesconnection.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  34. Mindie- thanks for sharing your story! you look amazing, and you definitely look so much younger in your recent picture! Amazing!

    Thanks for linking this to "20 Below Thursday" too!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Good for you! it is never easy, I too lost a large amount of weight, 140 LBS, no matter how you do it, it is hard work. And keeping it off is even harder. I am so inspired by you for doing so well for so long! A great encouragement to me.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Mindie, you are an amazing person, inside and out! I'll be featuring you tomorrow.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Thanks for sharing your story Mindie. I know you are encouraging so many others by doing it. I started working out at home a year ago and it's awesome. What programs did you use? Take care and congrats!

    ReplyDelete
  38. I already left a comment on here, BUT I wanted to let you know I featured this on my blog today:
    http://christinasadventures.com/2012/01/sunday-features-54.html

    And I pinned it too:
    http://pinterest.com/christinasadven/20-below-features/

    ReplyDelete
  39. AWEsome...GY-NORMUS KUDOS to YOU!!! YOU look great/healthy/happy!

    It's very encouraging to read your story. I do believe that WHAT we eat is just as important as how MUCH we eat. Healthy is my goal too. I know that a lower weight is healthier than what I'm carrying around right now. And, I keep tabs on my scale #. But, I want eating healthy to be a priority.

    I'm doing an "open house" - so to speak to kick off a regular Saturday post about healthy weighs. =) There will be some giveaways too =)
    I will deffinitely link back to your blog post! =)

    Thanks!
    hugZ,
    annie
    anniesrubyslipperz.com

    ReplyDelete
  40. Thanks for sharing your inspiring and realistic story!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Your story is very inspirational! We would love to have you come share your great ideas at our weekly link party every Saturday! -The Sisters
    http://www.sixsistersstuff.com

    ReplyDelete
  42. This is being featured on this weeks Serenity Saturday link party
    Feel free to grab an 'I've been featured' button

    Hope to see you there again this week
    http://serenityyou.blogspot.com/search/label/Serenity%20Saturday

    Natasha

    ReplyDelete
  43. Fantastic Apryl.. Way to go girl! You look awesome.. Love how you loss all that extra weight, and I can tell you did a really good job maintaining a balanced and well-planned weight loss schedule.. You look so fresh and vibrant.. :)

    ReplyDelete
  44. Look at your fabulous-ness. Of course you are fab at any size or weight, but being healthy and confident has no price tag. I applaud you and am happy that you linked this up on D2F! Ok, now you have to find more of your great projects for next time. :) (You won't have a problem doing that). I would like you to send me over some of your creativity. Thanks very much!

    Amy @ Sugar and Spice

    ReplyDelete
  45. Incredible! An example!
    You're a beautiful woman!
    Congratulations!

    ReplyDelete
  46. Your story is very inspiring. I'm 26 and have been having a hard time with the weight I've gained in the last three years. I feel like I've tried everything and nothing seems to work. I am however obsessed with the scale, so if I work my ass off for a couple days and see no change I get discouraged and it's over. I need to give your tips a try. I can't stand being this heavy. It's so depressing. Congrats to you! You look amazing. :)

    P.s. Thanks for the invite to your link party. I'm now a follower of your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  47. I adore your honesty here in this post- thank you for sharing this. You have inspired me to be happy with me, take one day at a time and not to beat myself up. I need to lose 60+ lbs and am scared to death of the gym (I have a membership down the street from work but have never stepped foot inside).
    Thank you sharing that your lifestyle, too much stress, working too much plays such an important role in your weight. I work FT, go to school FT, mom of 5 and wife to a husband who has been out of work for 13months- I too feel stressed and my weight often falls to the back burner with everything else taking the front seat.
    I hope you wont mind if I email you for help occasionally:)
    ~Jen @ hutchinsonherd.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  48. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Congrats to YOU! Sticking to it and never giving up its never too late to try, i have also always struggled with my weight and totally beat myself up but when I started forgiving myself and ate healthy stopped fast/restaurant eating (3 servings of dairy because am a milk-holic) daily walking dancing running routine of just 20min the weight came off and yes it took me 4 years to loose 40 pounds but I finally got the weight off. And its been 2 years without gaining it back. It feels great to get off the yo-yo dieting and weight fluctuation ordeal. You are my Inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
  50. That is great because it's the lifestyle and habits change that will make it permanent. It may have taken you 4 years to lose 40 pounds but it is a very healthy way to do it. You have reset what your body sees as the weight to maintain.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Thanks for sharing this! I love that you slowed your life down and found the key to weight loss. I know stress can wreck havoc on your body. Congrats!

    ReplyDelete
  52. Great post! I'm a living example of how stress affects your weight Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  53. Planning and control are management terms that often used in the commercial world. However, I will teach you how you can apply this term into your natural weight loss plans and efforts.

    travacor side effects

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you got paid for this commercial hidden in the comments. Really liked your story. Congratulations. Great site.

      Delete
  54. Hi, thanks for visiting my blog. Your story is inspirational and I'm shocked that it actually generated hate mail! Seriously?! Glad it did not get you down.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Thank you for sharing this. You've inspired me and over the last month I've been walking five times a week.
    Rachel
    adventuresofadiymom.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  56. Thank you for being so open and sharing this amazing story. And just so you know: I never thought anything negative about the title of your blog. I thought it sounded funny and silly and was meant to do so......
    but now I know what "Hungry Hippo" really means.
    You're awesome! Just remember that!

    hugs x
    Crystelle
    http://www.crystelleboutique.com/

    ReplyDelete
  57. This is very encouraging. thank you for being so honest and true! Little Bit from www.DecorateWithaLittleBit.com

    ReplyDelete
  58. Thanks so much for sharing your story!! I have just begun my weight loss journey and I linked up my post for this week's party. I need to postpone surgery for a Total knee replacement so my orthopedic surgeon challenged me to lose weight and ride a stationary bike. I have begun to do both and I am very motivated because I have had several surgeries in the past and hope to postpone this one for many years.....I have eaten one meal a day for many years and therefore stunted my metabolism so I need to speed up my metabolism. I think the exercise bike will do that for me.... You look fantastic and your story is an inspiration!! Thanks so much for sharing it!!

    Hugs,
    Debbie

    ReplyDelete
  59. Loved you story! Very inspirational, and your looking great. I'll be sure to take some of your advice and to check out your other weight loss story!!

    ReplyDelete
  60. How inspirational !! You look great in both pictures to me and the new-you is so healthy and happy looking that you have really done weight loss the right way! God bless... ox

    ReplyDelete

Mathew 7:12
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you.