Tuesday, November 20, 2007
As the new year approaches, thousands resolve to lose weight. It's important for me to share my story with them. I have lost 200lbs and counting, and this is how it all happened...
In February of 2003 I weighed 419 lbs. I wore the largest sizes the Big & Tall shop carried (6X shirts, 60" waist). Life was miserable. I cried a lot. I ached a lot. Fat since the age of 8, I could only imagine what a healthy me would look like.
At first it didn't seem like I ate that much more than other people I knew. It didn't seem fair that I gained weight so easily. Gaining weight was a downward spiral. The more I gained the more people rejected me. The fatter I got, the more I needed food and my couch to comfort me. Towards the end, there were times I would eat to the point of making myself sick.
I would have pursued weight loss surgery except for the fact that I had no major medical problems (yet) so I doubted my insurance would cover it. I had never tried a diet, and I didn't want to if I was going to be one of those people I'd seen who talked about their diet contstantly but never lost weight, or worse, lost weight only to gain it right back. I hoped that I would one day make a complete turnaround, have some miraculous moment from which I would never turn back. Instead, a series of events brought big changes in small steps.
First of all, I prayed a lot, every day, for a miracle.
Later, someone introduced me to a book about eating right for my blood type. In particular, avoiding wheat and dairy resonated with me not just because that was recommended for me as a type-O but also because I suspected I have lactose and gluten intolerance. As I avoided those foods, I noticed many positive changes in my health. I realized that what may be good for one person is poison for another. I felt entitled to listen to myself and start eating the healthy foods I like, and avoiding everything I didn't think was right for me.
February 2004 I again stepped on a scale and weighed in at 419 lbs. Victory! For the first year in a long time, I did not GAIN.
June 2004. A friend mentioned how she went without sugar for a year. I woke up the next morning and the first thing that came to mind was that I was ready to start, right then, not eating sugary foods until my next birthday (almost one year away). I got rid of all sugary foods. Over the next six months, I gradually dropped 40 lbs. Below is a photo of me at 380 lbs.
December 2005, halfway through a 2nd year without sugar, I felt that I had found the key to stop the weight gain and felt confident that I could be successful on a diet. I joined Weight Watchers weighing 377.6 lbs and knew I was never going back.
A year later, I weighed 220. That's 150 lbs lost in one year. Below is a month-by-month of the year 2006. What a year.
February 2007. The euphoria started to wear off as the weight loss plateaued... People started to assure me they didn't see another pound I could lose, yet when I looked in the mirror I could definately see where I had more to go. No matter how diligent I was in my diet and exercize, some weeks I just didn't see a loss of weight. I tried my hand at dating and experienced (lots) of rejection. This time, not because I was fat, but because of the person I am. Ouch. Fat had always been my buffer and now I didn't have that. It kind of all got to me. My weight has bounced around between 210 and 195 since February.
November 2007. I'm in. I'm all in. I'm going for it. I'm going to weigh 175 lbs. I don't care how saggy the extra skin gets. I don't care how long it takes. I've got a few tricks up my sleeve... but I'll wait to tell you about those as the weeks roll forward. In the meantime keep your eye on my blog and you will see some amazing things happen.
Posted by John T. Candland at 11:00 PM