Monday, July 2, 2012

Aimee's Story

When I met Aimee, we were 18 years old and going to be college roommates. We were almost the same height- I think I'm a little taller by a hair, or at that time, really BIG early 90's hair. We were close to the same weight- she was maybe a few pounds lighter than I was at the time. She'd been a cheerleader in high school and I'd been more of a...non-cheerleader. I wasn't the most active. For some reason, I remember her telling me she was 138 lbs when we got to school, just in random new roommate conversation. I thought she looked great and we both rocked those ridiculous adult "bodysuits" or what I call adult onesies, that were also popular at that time, and we looked HOT (haha).

While it's definitely easy for me to gain weight as I've written about before, I always was boy crazy. And since I'm not married to any of the boys I crazed after during college or after, it's safe to say I was one of those girls who could completely abandon food in the wake of heartbreak. So, I've managed to maintain not really going too much above 165 lbs at 5'7 since I was a freshman in college. I'd gained here and there and fluctuated between 125 and 165 in the past 20 years but not like the struggle Aimee has had.

I sort of remember her gaining weight when she was able to go to bars by school. I was never into drinking myself (too busy chasing boys) so my calories never came from that. But you know, when you drink, you stay out late, you eat, you eat fries with cheese and gravy at the diner...alot, etc. And I wasn't with Aimee at the bars because we had different friends at this point and I also didn't have a fake ID (sorry to out you Aim!). So I'm not sure where the bulk of her calories came from then. But like she'll tell you- she got heavy. And I know it didn't make her happy.

So, here is her story....I'm having her tell it here because I know people are always interested in motivating weight loss stories. She doesn't want the pressure of her own blog but I want her to be able to have a place to share. Aimee is one of my favorite people in the entire world- we shared time together that makes up some of my most cherished memories. We've had those laughs only someone you've lived with can have together. I don't get to see her often because we have lots of miles between us, kids, and that busy you get from having kids, but I'm looking at her FB pictures and I'm just so happy and proud of how hard she's worked and where she is today.

After/Before pic at the bottom!!!
From Aimee:

I wanted to look good for my 20-year high school reunion. There are so many other reasons I could give for what ‘clicked’ this time for why I wanted to lose weight – avoiding disease, setting a good example for my children, overall health – but I have to confess, it was vanity this time around. I wasn’t fat in high-school, and I refused to be “Severely Obese” (as my BMI said I was) when I went to my reunion.

Like many people, I have been yo-yo dieting for years. When I was younger – in high school and college – I would ‘diet’ to lose 5 pounds, when I probably didn’t need to lose anything. I could eat Doritos (my favorite… Cool Ranch!), pizza, McDonald’s shakes and 7-11 Nachos without gaining. I was active, but not an athlete, and was a cheerleader and ran track. Things changed, fast, and after my daughter was born when I was 23 years old (she’s 14 now) I could never seem to get my body to a comfortable and manageable weight. I did Weight Watchers (several times) and it worked (kind of), but I didn’t follow the plan close enough or long enough. I tried LA Weight Loss for a short time and lost a little. I did it on my own, and lost. But each time, I’d fall off the wagon after a short time, gain even more back, and feel even more miserable about myself and my weight. There are many years where there are few pictures of me because I didn’t want to be in them. I wore clothes that were stretchy and although I never bought larger than a size 18W, I know I was bigger than that… I just couldn’t face the fact that I had gotten to that point.

In June of 2011 and at 240 pounds, I didn’t want to gain any more. I just wanted to weigh less than 200 pounds. I joined Weight Watchers on-line and lost 20 pounds in 8 months. It was something, but not enough.

I had looked at Take Shape for Life almost 2 years prior and thought it cost too much and doubted it would work. It consists of the Medifast Diet - 5 “Portion Controlled Meal Replacements” and 1 “Lean & Green Meal” each day… plus working with a Health Coach and learning Habits of Health. At that time, I had said I was doing Weight Watchers and thought that would work for me. I actually gained weight in those 2 years! After 14 years, a second child (my son is now 8) and on the verge of my high school reunion I started this new program in February 2012. I had nothing to lose, had just gotten some Tax Return money, so figured I’d give it a try… just for a month, I said.

In the first week, I lost 7 pounds… in the first month, I lost 14 pounds! So I kept going. After month 2, 24 pounds was gone… people were noticing, and I was feeling great! The scale moved each and every week! I am obsessed with the scale – I typically weigh myself every day. I’ve read different things about this… good or bad, I don’t know… but it works for me. Seeing the number go down is the best motivation to stay on track and stay on plan… and I did.

It wasn’t easy. The diet is restrictive. You can’t eat pasta, bread, rice, high starch veggies, or even fruit during the weight loss “phase”. Well, I wanted to lose weight! (Remember… the High School Reunion!) I was motivated. I said “No” to a lot of things and I was worried that people would think I was weird. But as the pounds came off, I didn’t care what people were thinking. And, after years of struggling to lose weight, I finally realized that it wasn’t supposed to be easy. I was making sacrifices in what I was eating – but I was getting the results I wanted in return. I still enjoy meals with my family – dinner every night together is important to me. I eat the same thing they do – chicken, steak, pork chops and veggies – but I don’t eat the other sides (macaroni & cheese, rice, potatoes) and I don’t miss them.

I set small goals (5 pounds by a certain date, 10 pounds by a certain date) and I was reaching them. Then, I got active… and it didn’t seem like such hard work anymore. I started walking on my treadmill (the dusty one in the basement), doing some weight workouts (moves I got from magazines) and it only improved my weight loss results. More motivation! I’ve even gone to Kickboxing!

I won’t take you week by week… but when I shopped for my reunion dress, I brought all size 14s in the dressing room. Guess what? They were TOO BIG! I tried on size 12s, found a dress I felt AWESOME in, and on the day of the reunion I was down 60 pounds from where I was 1 year before. I felt normal – not fat, not skinny… but great. I cheated on my diet that night… by drinking wine (way too much!)

The cost doesn’t seem to matter anymore either. I buy the Medifast meals, but I’m not paying for Weight Watchers, unused gym memberships, tons of fat-free yogurt and other “healthy” snacks. That other stuff is in the house (unhealthy snacks – for my kids, and ice cream – for my husband… they make their own choices) but I don’t eat it. When I’m tempted, I think of how far I’ve come… then grab a glass of water, some sugar free Jell-O, some almonds, or some cheese. When I reach my goal, I’ll start eating more ‘regular’ food and less meal replacements. But I’m not there yet.

People ask often what I’ve been doing to lose weight. When you lose 60 pounds (66 as of today!), it’s noticeable. I love to share what I did - it feels like anybody can do it if they are ready to make a change. The worst problem I have now is that I need new and smaller clothes… not a bad problem to have. There are people who have told me I should stop now (everybody has their opinion), but I’m not at my goal yet. I don’t actually know what my goal is, but I’d like my BMI to say I’m “Normal” and not overweight. That’s about 20 pounds away. If I get there and it’s too hard to maintain, I’ll pick a new number. I’m happy with what I’ve accomplished now. I know I can do more and am confident in my motivation. There are lots more pictures of me now!

Next week is my family vacation (and my birthday) and I’m not sure what I’ll eat. I plan to enjoy myself, but eat smart and continue to exercise… and whatever happens, I’ll get back on track when I get home… and continue to work towards my goals.


  1. Thanks for letting me share this here... and thanks for the intro! I can't believe YOU remember what I weighed as a college freshman, but I'm glad you do! That puts things even more into perspective for me. The heavy-Aimee did not feel like me... the past year has been such a change and I'm happy feel like ME again. Thanks for always supporting me!

  2. Congrats on working so hard to achieve your goals!