Time for another Journey to Fit story!
Journey to Fit features an F&F reader with an inspirational weight loss story to share. The men and women featured in Journey to Fit each paved their own path to a healthy lifestyle, and I am thrilled they are willing to share their journeys on my blog. Everyone has a unique story and approach to healthy living, and each person had to start somewhere. I hope you find this series inspiring. Enjoy!
Up for this month is reader Laura!
Laura, tell my F&F readers a little about yourself.
Hi! I’m Laura, and I’m 23 years old. I live in Cambridge, UK. I recently got engaged to Philip, and I have a little fur baby (cat) called Kia. I work full-time as a test engineer.
I’ve been overweight most of my life. It goes as far back as primary school where I was always bigger than my friends. I gained weight throughout high school, college, and university. I never weighed myself or got weighed until I was in university and weighed in at 258 pounds. I had made feeble attempts to lose weight before then but to no success. Getting around campus was a nightmare, and I was always so out of breath walking to my classes.
After three years, I’m down 123 pounds. I now weigh 135 pounds and am currently maintaining my weight.
What lifestyle changes have you made since the beginning of your journey?
Since the beginning of my journey, I’ve made several lifestyle changes. I’ve considerably changed my eating habits. Before, I ate whatever I wanted when I felt like it. Now, I still eat what I would like to eat, but it’s in moderation.
From the beginning of my journey, I have always said that I wouldn’t restrict myself from any foods. It works for some people, but it doesn’t for me. Whenever I tried to restrict, I wanted it more and it led to binging. So, I’ll allow myself cake or a sweet treat, but I’ll portion it correctly with no second or third helpings! 😉
In terms of exercise, I was doing nothing before other than maybe a bit of walking between classes. Now, I run four times a week and fit in yoga and kettlebells at home too.
I track everything daily, both exercise and food. It’s been a staple in my weight loss, as I can control and monitor exactly what is going in and what is going out.
Did you encounter any challenges along the way, and how did you overcome them?
About halfway through my journey, I was really struggling with my motivation. My weight loss was slowing, and I wasn’t seeing much progress both on the scales and in measurements. It made me feel like giving up, like that was it, and I couldn’t do anything more.
Fortunately, I’ve had a great support system who has helped and encouraged me along the way. When things got tough and I didn’t want to exercise, my family and friends were there to spur me on. It’s been what has gotten me through lack of motivation.
I started my blog as a sort of diary for myself so that I could be accountable. I started following other fitness blogs too, and it’s been a great source of motivation and inspiration for me.
Aside from the weight loss, what has rewarded you? What differences do you notice in how you felt then versus how you feel now?
I think the changes I’ve noticed since losing weight would definitely be my energy levels and my confidence. I hardly had any energy before starting my weight loss journey. I was always tired and lethargic, and it was SUCH an effort to get around anywhere. Now I’m able to run for at least two hours at a time before I feel tired, and everyday tasks are just so much easier.
My confidence has improved too, though not as much as I’d like. I used to shy away and wouldn’t really like talking to people. I’m slowly coming out of my shell, but I’m not 100% yet. I still feel very awkward in social situations and worry about judgment a lot.
What are the next steps in your journey?
At the moment, my next step is to continue with maintaining my weight like I’ve done since November last year. In the not so distant future, I will be going in for skin removal surgery, as I’ve unfortunately been left with some loose skin in certain areas after my weight loss that cannot be removed via toning or exercise. After that, it will be a case of letting my body recover and building my fitness back up.
What tips would you offer others you are trying to lose weight or exercise more?
DON’T GIVE UP!
No one ever said that it would be easy. It definitely isn’t. You just have to keep pushing it and keep going until you get where you want to be. Set yourself small goals to meet over a reasonable time frame.
Get yourself a workout buddy. They do the world of good, and having just one other person giving you support can make a massive difference.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I think I’ve probably covered most things in the above, but if I was to leave behind my favorite motto that I’ve had since the beginning it would be that “the voice inside your head that says that you can’t do this IS A LIAR!”
It’s a quote I’ve stood by throughout my whole weight loss journey, through tough times, when my mind tells me enough is enough and that I’ve done everything I can. I just learned to ignore the bad thoughts and tried to think of more positive aspects of my journey.
You can do ANYTHING you want if you set your mind to it, and I’ve proven this to myself by losing 123 pounds when my mind told me I couldn’t.
Thank you for sharing your awesome story, Laura. Keep it up!
If you or someone you know has a weight loss story to share, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to feature you. This series will run as long as I receive enough content to keep it going.
For past Journey to Fit posts: