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My Weight Loss Journey

(Last updated 7/19/2009.)

I started this journey to get healthy, trim, and fit on March 3, 2008.

A little background

As a child and teenager, I was never really heavy. I was an athletic teenager, swimming competitively and hiking 20 miles easily on weekends at school. By the time I started college, my waist was 23" (I’m 5’6") and I was lean and fit. Life progressed, I had two babies (and the dreaded baby weight) and lived through two divorces eventually ending up a good 100 pounds more than I was before my first daughter was born. (She is now, at time of writing this, 29.)

In July 2007, at 47, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and a severe vitamin D deficiency. I also have degenerative disc disease. I couldn’t walk two downtown blocks without experiencing burning muscles and severe shortness of breath. I had suffered from edema in my ankles off and on for years.

My attitude around food was that it was a necessary evil. It was required to keep my body going, but I hated cooking, I hated eating around other people, and I especially hated going grocery shopping. I had no clue how to put raw ingredients together, even if I followed a recipe, and have anything nearing tasty result. I could craft a beautiful outfit from flat fabric, but I couldn’t make a decent casserole.

After the fibromyalgia diagnosis, and also the birth of my first grandson, I dealt with some depression and battled what it meant to be a grandma. I love my grandchildren and am tickled silly about being a grandma, but I also didn’t want to be a traditional grandma with gray hair, crippled, and knitting in a rocker on a front porch. I also was not going to let the fibromyalgia cripple me. I was determined to try to find a way to live a full, active life with it. I realized that I could let the fibro kick my ass, or I could kick it back. I chose the latter.

Enter Weight Watchers.

On March 3, 2008, I joined Weight Watchers. I was done trying to lose weight by myself. I was done doing it my way and accepted the fact that I don’t know how to eat right, I don’t know how to manage my weight, and I needed help. Weight Watchers has changed my life. I decided to follow the guidelines – as they were taught to me by my leader – and do what was recommended. If it worked for so many millions of others, it had to work for me as well. I figured I’d try increasing activity, but I did it very, very slowly.

As I write this today (January 12, 2009) I have lost 54 pounds. I can easily walk two miles, even three, without getting winded.

I am enjoying cooking and learning new recipes. I have made new friends – lifelong ones, I hope – and I am told I have inspired others to join Weight Watchers or to start their own journey to healthy living.

As of April, 2009 – I can now easily walk a 10K walk (6.8 miles) and can bicycle about the same distance. Every Saturday morning, a group of my WW buddies and I go for a long walk – up to two hours at a brisk pace. I still have fibromyalgia and some days I’m still in a lot of pain. But I persevere and keep tracking, keep journaling, keep exercising, and most importantly, keep attending my WW group. I haven’t ever missed a meeting.

I’ve hit a stubborn plateau – mostly due to becoming more at ease with eating, and laxing off a bit on the tracking and diligence. However, I’m pushing past it and will hit my ultimate weight loss goal. I hope to achieve that this year – preferably in the summer – but we’ll see. I kicked that plateau!

As of July 2009, I can easily walk 10k (6.2 miles) and just completed running my first 5k (3.1 miles) race! And I didn’t come in dead last, either – about middle of the pack. Pretty good for my first time. The following day, I also hiked 5.4 miles up 1300 feet in elevation without any negative pain afterwards.

Before and After

 

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Chronological pictures of my weight loss journey.

February 2008, at my very heaviest.

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May 30, 2008 – 19.4 pounds lost

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July 13, 2008 – 27 pounds lost

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July 20, 2008 – 29 pounds lost

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August 14, 2008 – 32 pounds lost

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September 8, 2008 – 37.8 pounds lost

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September 27, 2008 – 42.6 pounds lost

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October 8, 2008 – 45.6 pounds lost

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October 31, 2008 – 50 pounds!

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Christmas 2008

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New Year’s Eve 2008 – 52.4 pounds lost

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March 15, 200959 pounds lost

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March 30, 2009 – Hit 61.4 pounds lost

April 24, 2009 – Floating between 63 and nearly 65 pounds lost. About 25 pounds left to go to hit goal.

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July 11, 2009 – My first 5k RUN! (I can walk 10k, but this was running! Not too bad for a 49 year old woman with fibromyalgia.)

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July 16, 2009nearly 75 pounds lost

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15 Comments leave one →
  1. run4change permalink
    January 13, 2009 7:33 am

    Keep up the good work. You look great. If my calculations are right. 4 lbs in 6 weeks could add up to 34.6 more lbs by Jan. of 2010. YOU CAN DO IT

  2. January 13, 2009 8:15 am

    Run4Change – I never calculated it out that way. That’s just one more year even if I do it slowly. I can do that. In fact, I know the pounds will drop off faster the more I exercise and focus on the right foods. I’ve been slipping and eating some bread and Wheat Thins and if I cut those things out while beefing up the exercise, I’ll do it sooner than next January. Thank you for your wonderful words of encouragement!

  3. Bev permalink
    January 13, 2009 3:21 pm

    You look not only like you’ve lost weight, but healthier and more comfortable with yourself. You are a fabulous poster-child of dedication and hard work!

    I lurve that picture of you above with the grandkids and the one with the Christmas hat. You are indeed a beautiful and happy-looking lady!

  4. January 13, 2009 4:30 pm

    not only do you look healthier, you look years younger. keep up the good work

  5. January 13, 2009 6:16 pm

    Bev – thank you. I am healthier, I am sure, and most definitely more comfortable with myself. I’m no longer hiding myself away out of shame.

    Mermaids – thank you! And I did it without Botox or surgery. LOL. I will keep it up, thank you!

  6. January 13, 2009 6:47 pm

    what a beautiful story. Very inspirational. I needed that. Thanks!

  7. adamsapple4 permalink
    January 13, 2009 8:47 pm

    Hello Claire,

    I too believe that Weight Watcher’s has changed my life! I have “fell off the wagon” as Oprah would say, but plan on getting back on and following you in your goal for happier, healthier living. Don’t get discouraged. Perfection takes patience, right? There ARE slow weeks at times on WW! If you need a running partner lemme’ know! You, Cin and I can run a local trail nearby. Keep it up! You look amazing! Good for you!
    April

  8. January 13, 2009 10:30 pm

    Hi April – Thank you. You’re right, there are slow weeks at Weight Watchers and I’m kinda glad in a way – it gives me experience and empathy for others who are on this journey as well. I think I realized that I’m bored with my little repertoire of recipes. I am going to change that!

  9. January 14, 2009 4:19 am

    Oh wow, way to journal and keep track of it here. You were beautiful to begin with and look lovely now too! What a major accomplishment- I’m so proud of you and happy for your success! I started last week and lost 2.8 my first week and am still doing well along with my 12 year old son. It’s so good to come here and see what you have done- gives me hope and encouragement, thank you Little Miss! You are looking fabulous! Congrats!!!!

  10. January 21, 2009 4:36 pm

    Oh wow, what great pictures! You look pretty in all of them, but you do look younger and healthier in the more recent ones. Way to go on the journey to a happier and healthier you!

  11. February 1, 2009 10:31 am

    This really is inspirational! 🙂

  12. maggieapril permalink
    February 3, 2009 4:56 am

    Excellent – you should be very proud of yourself! I have also had much success with WW. And (more interestingly) I have a little Lily who looks very much like your little Lily. She is not quite 2 years old and I just adopted her 2 weeks ago. She is sweet as can be, but very different than my last (very much missed) dog who was an 80 pound collie.

    Continued success to you!

  13. Rose permalink
    February 8, 2009 1:42 pm

    wow! you are doing so well! you should be very proud of yourself and you are an inspiration!

  14. February 28, 2009 10:47 pm

    Just passing by.Btw, you website have great content!

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  15. Kayla permalink
    June 15, 2009 1:26 am

    You look amazing and happy!

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