Transformation of the Day: Alice lost 80 pounds. At age 49, she knew that she had to make some serious changes to walk into her 50s in better health. She shared with us about how she did it and had some very deep insights on what caused her emotional eating.
My name is Alice J. This time, my weight loss journey began in Dec 2014. I weighed 330 pounds, the highest weight in my lifetime. I was stressed and depressed at the age of 49. What triggered me to “change my unhealthy behaviors” was the memory of my mother’s health before she passed at 69 years old. At age 50 she could hardly stand on her feet to wash dishes because of severe back problems due to being overweight for a long period of time. She was also diabetic, a heart patient and had many surgeries due to damaging her digestive system from unhealthy eating and as a result of having to be on medications. Anticipating reaching age 50 in this unhealthy state scared me.
It started with self-image for me. Several years ago, I ate so badly that I was physically ill for most of the week, every week of my life. This increased my feelings of depression which triggered more overeating. After being frustrated and sick for sometime, I analyzed my overeating triggers and realized I overate out of a need to get control of other areas in my life (socially, financially, relationally). I felt that since I hadn’t reached other goals in my life and felt trapped as a result, that I would choose not to “control” what I ate as a response. Because I lacked other things, I choose not to be in lack when it came to eating. I realized this way of thinking was slowly killing me, diminishing my happiness and sense of self fulfillment. This realization empowered me to begin “changing the way I ate”, thereby changing the way I live!
This is actually my 5th time losing a large amount of weight in my lifetime. I’ve lost 80 pounds over the course of 1 year and I’m now maintaining a weight of 250 pounds. My goal is to lose my final 50 lbs by the end of 2016.
My journey is different this time in the following ways: My efforts are tried and true behaviors: exercise 4-6 days per week, alternating between cardio and weight training. I have decreased my carb intake to under 100 carbs per day. I drink up to 125 oz of water per day (half my body weight in oz) and eat an abundance of vegetables. I also have grapefruit with every meal. I may eat some sort of “fast food” occasionally, but only things like Asian cuisine, chicken salad at Subway or something from the healthy menu at a restaurant. Most importantly, I seek God constantly to help me appreciate who I am, inside and out.
My advice to anyone seeking success in losing weight and keeping it off is to first appreciate who you are now, no matter what size you are. Then, find out why you choose to overeat. This is what helped me succeed in applying healthy behaviors. Finally, don’t depend on the scale for reasons to celebrate. There are many components to successful healthy behavior modifications. Celebrate new fitness goals achieved weekly, that you didn’t cheat today, or that you drank all your water for 3 days in a row… things of that nature. These may not be your issues, but find out what your issues are and do what works for you.