Weight: 260 lbs
Body Fat: 51%
Weight: 150 lbs
Body Fat: 22%
Why I Got Started
I was an overweight child. Through my teenage years, I lived with the embarrassment of wearing Women's sizes 16-18, while all my friends wore the latest teenage fashions.
I endured countless teasing and name callings all through my school years. My weight slowly increased as I went onto high school, college and into my adult years.
I never felt pretty or thought I looked pretty in anything. I remember hearing the phrase, "Annie has such a pretty face, if only she would lose weight!" As a teenager or young adult I never owned or wore a bikini or miniskirt.
At my Wedding in 1998, I wore a size 24 wedding gown, and weighed around 210 pounds. Even though they told me I looked beautiful, I never believed it. I was so self-conscious, but yet never did anything about it.
I gave birth to two boys. My first in 2000 and second son in 2005. Like most women who lose baby weight following the birth, I never did. I only added to it. My health was increasingly failing, as well as my moral outlook on life.
I stopped wearing shorts, and began wearing jeans, even in the hot summers in Florida. I hated seeing any of my body showing, and refused for years to have full-length photos be taken of me.
I couldn't ride regular rides at theme parks wit my children, and endured many stares and laughs when I walked by crowds or shopped for clothes. I wanted to hide from what I was and what I was allowing myself to be. Little did I know I was not the only one suffering the effects of my obesity, but my family was too.
My weight caused many problems socially and physically, but that never stopped me from eating. I began to get restless legs, blood clots and migraines with seizures. All ailments brought on by my weight.
In 2003, my weight almost didn't cost me my life, but the life of my child. While holding the hand of my 3-year-old son, we walked across a bridge suspended 8 feet above cold water on a late December day at our family farm in Missouri. As we were halfway across, the bridge gave way with my son and I falling 8 feet below in cold, murky water.
My son was pinned 3.5 feet underwater with rubble from the bridge atop of him for several minutes. Due to my weight, and also pinned, I couldn't move to free him or myself. Help arrived and my son was pulled from the water, and survived with only minor cuts and bruising.
My cuts and bruises were more emotional than physical. After the accident I sank into a deep depression of binge eating and seclusion. The images and thoughts of my son possibly dying due to my weight haunted me. During that time I remember thinking. "Oh my God! I could have killed my baby, because I'm so fat!" At the time I weighed 230 pounds.
After the accident, we soon moved to Florida from Missouri. Here in sunny Florida, attire is shorts and swimsuits. But I would hardly wear either. I would go to the beach in pants, and would only wear a swimsuit in the comfort of my own backyard.
After one of our trips to Walt Disney World in June of 2007, I came home and saw a full-length picture of me taken at the park. I looked at the person I had become, and for the first time in my life, I saw the "real me" underneath the layers of fat.
I had always wanted to change my weight, but defended why I was fat. So, I knew that until I let go of those defenses, I would never change.
I needed to do this not only for me, but for my family. Something that day snapped in my head. I heard my inner voice tell me "This isn't who you are, show the world who you REALLY are. Drop that sandwich and get your butt moving! You can do this!" So, I did.
How I Did It
I was 29-years old, at 260 pounds with numerous health problems, and was wearing a size 22/24. I was 5 1/2 months away from my 30th Birthday. My goal was to lose 30 pounds by that big day. But, I didn't lose 30 pounds by my birthday, I lost 50!
So on my birthday I set a goal for myself to lose 100 pounds by my 31st Birthday! Instead, I've lost 110 pounds and I'm 2 months away of my 31st birthday! In July 2007, I joined a local gym, and began walking everyday. I would even walk in my neighborhood or treadmill twice per day. I also designed my own diet plan by reading articles found on Bodybuilding.com and in several health magazines.
My diet plan began as a moderate to low carbohydrate diet (Ketogenic based) catered to my individual tastes, needs and likes. On a low-carb diet I felt I had more energy, and saw results sooner. My sugar cravings were gone; I didn't want bread or any foods that were full of carbs.
Once 30 pounds came off, I began to run and started weight training. I again turned to Bodybuilding.com for training routines, and other weight training articles to help design my workout plans. Each month I sat down and design my own workout and diet plan for the next month so that I will avoid any plateaus in my training.
The Keto board on Bodybuilding.com is the absolute best! The group really supports Ketogenic dieters and gave excellent advice, motivation and encouragement all along the way. It was a great place to connect and get recipes, ideas and make friends all in one board!
I created and kept daily menus and kept them on my refrigerator, along with an online food journal to keep track of my diet. I even placed a progress picture of me, along beside a before picture. This really kept me motivated, especially on my worst of days.
Any time I wanted to cheat or grab something bad from the refrigerator, I was reminded of that old me, starring back at me. I consistently took pictures every two weeks. And would find subtle difference.
Little changes really kept me going. Instead of asking someone "Can you tell I'm losing weight?" I wanted to SEE it for myself. And seeing the changes really kept me to push harder and longer for my goal.
I began taking vitamins and supplements that I ordered from Bodybuilding.com, and drinking nothing but water. After I lost 50 pounds, I noticed that I did no longer have to take medication for my seizures.
My blood clots and restless leg syndrome was gone, along with that horrible depression. I haven't taken any medication in over a year now. Not even an Aspirin! I have left my doctors in total amazement!
I began my transformation in June of 2007. As of July 2008 I have currently lost 110 pounds, and wearing a size 8 and 150 pounds! I'm healthier, happier and living life to the fullest. I'm a better mom for my transformation as well.
I now run with my children, swim at the beach, and ride in the regular seats at the Theme Parks! I no longer have to sit in the "large people" seats.
I'm 30-years old, and I've just bought my first bikini and miniskirts! I'm enjoying life as I should have as a teenager. I'm playing sports, running, and doing everything I should have done as a child. I hear people tell me how "beautiful I am, or how good I look." And it's something that the old Annie never heard.
I feel like a completely different person. Even my personality has changed for the better. In a way, I feel I've been given a chance at a second life, and with this life, I plan on living it to the fullest!
Oh, and the family bridge in Missouri? Well, it was repaired, and I have yet to go back home and crossover the new, updated one but maybe one day I will.
But, I'm content in knowing and feeling that the greatest bridge I've ever crossed was the one where I left the overweight me on one side, and met the NEW me on the other!
Suggestions For Others
My advice to Women is: "NEVER GIVE UP, and the biggest failure in life is to never try at all." Surround yourself with motivators. Make a list of the things you want to do, see, wear, etc. when you lose your weight.
Don't be afraid to take pictures of your "weight loss journey." One day you can look back and remember the person you used to be. Don't EVER forget who you were or how far you have come. Learn from your mistakes of the past, but keep your focus toward the future to be the woman you WANT to be.