"Hi Lauren,My name is Becky Cutright and I wanted to send you my transformation story. I have been following you on Pinterest for quite a while now and find many of your posts inspiring, helpful and very informational. I saw your recent post about sending in transformation stories and I wanted to share mine with you, and if you like, your community.
Having been overweight my entire life, I made a change two years ago, by eating better and incorporating exercise, and I'm happy to say that I'm down 110 lbs! On my 5'3 frame, 250+ pounds was quite literally weighing me down.
I've been heavy for most of my life. As a child I was larger than all of the other kids, even though I played sports and was very involved in activities. I believe I started putting on weight at a young age because my family and I didn't understand proper nutrition or portion size. Every Friday night we would either go to a Chinese buffet or order a couple of pizzas, bread sticks, and soda. We ate out at fast food restaurants constantly, and when we weren't doing that we were eating loads of pasta and bologna and cheese at home. I remember eating lots of bread and sweets (especially ice cream). I loved healthy food, too, but we didn't eat that as much. Even though I was heavy I always had great self confidence, so I think I got used to being the "funny fat girl" at school and with my friends. I kept the weight on through college because I rarely exercised and didn't keep a routine eating schedule. When I did eat, I was usually starving and would eat too much too fast. I reached my highest weight right before my wedding in 2010. I was somewhere between 250 and 260 pounds. I had just turned 25.
My confidence started to wain after college. Once I got into the working world, I realized I wasn't ok with being the heaviest person sitting at meetings. Taking stairs was starting to wind me, and I just started to feel ugly next to all of the smaller girls I worked with at the office. After standing in front of the pantry one night eating an entire jar of Nutella with a spoon, I realized that those girls probably didn't do things like that, or as often as I did. Then and there I made the choice to do my best to make healthier choices and, instead of just focusing on only losing weight, to live a healthier lifestyle that I could sustain for the rest of my life.
I thought I knew more about "good" foods and calories than I really did. So I spent a lot of time researching specific foods, their effects on the body, etc. Also I would have sworn that my "trigger" foods were sweets, but I noticed that it was crunchy foods that I couldn't seem to stop binge eating once I had started.
The day I describe as my "turning point" was this: One day I had to walk up two short flights of stairs for a meeting with a co-worker, and by the time I got to his office I was so out of breath I couldn't even speak. I was SO embarrassed. I knew then if I didn't make a change in my health I would continue to head down a dangerous road. Heart disease runs in my family and I decided to make sure that I could do everything in my power to not be a contributing factor to coronary disease.
I started by replacing bad habits with good habits. I had a big problem with soda, so I switched to flavored sparkling waters with no calories or artificial sweeteners in order to still feel satisfied with the carbonation, but to avoid high-fructose corn syrup and other fake ingredients that were not good for my body. I kept a food journal (and still do nearly two years later) to keep track of what I was eating and how often. I stopped eating 100 calorie snack packs because I realized I was using the smaller portions of crackers and cookies as an excuse to blow 100 calories, when a piece of fruit filled me up more and was better for me. I began drinking a LOT more water and nowadays I don't even drink much sparkling water anymore. I have cut down on simple carbs but I still eat whole-grains and fruits. Instead of pasta I eat quinoa, cous cous, and I load casseroles with veggies. I started eating more fish for protein, as well. I make sure I start my morning off with protein and fruit, load up my lunch with veggies and grains, I always eat a snack around 3 o'clock in the afternoon (typically it's a piece of fruit and homemade nut butter), and dinner is usually protein and veggies. I stopped eating after 8pm at night to give my body at least a full night to digest what I had eaten the day before. I eat as clean as possible. Basically I just avoid processed foods or things that come out of a box/can. I keep an eye on sodium, as it really seems to affect me.
I love to cook so I make breakfast, lunch, and dinner nearly every day. When I go out to eat, I research where I am going to and do my best to choose wisely. I do, of course, allow myself a splurge here and there. Before I decide to splurge on something I will ask myself if I know what that tastes like. For example, when a co-worker celebrates a birthday and we have basic chocolate cake, I rarely eat a piece because I think to myself, "I already know what that tastes like. And I can have it, but I don't want it." That has helped me a lot. I find keeping my mantras positive instead of negative is really powerful.
I had lost about 50 lbs just by eating right before I really started incorporating exercise routines. About six months into my journey I started the Couch-to-5K program and took up running. I used to hate running but because I started slow and easy, I ended up loving it. I'm very excited to say that I am running my first half marathon at Disney World this November!
I just turned 28 in May and I'm happier and healthier now than I've ever been. I mentioned that I got married in 2010, and even though I felt SO beautiful that day, I also felt like the "fat bride". A couple of months ago my bridesmaids and I did a "wedding re-shoot", where we got back into our dresses and re-shot some photos. I'm attaching a before and after picture because the transformation is pretty shocking! I went from barely squeezing into my dress to having another bridesmaid fit into it with me. Seeing the after photo makes me feel SO proud!
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