Hey everyone – we’ve got another awesome weight loss story here.
Last time we profiled Lamine who lost 66 pounds (without starving himself – by focusing on eating real food), and today we’ve got Lauryn who lost 100+ pounds (also without starving herself).
Check out the interview below !
#1 Can You Quickly Tell Me About Yourself And How Your Health Got to its Worst Point?
My name is Lauryn. I’m 27. I teach high school English and have a 5 year old son. I started gaining weight in college like many young people, but instead of the freshman 15, my weight gain turned into the sophomore 50, then the junior 75, and so on until I was well over 200 pounds.
After I graduated, I realized how heavy I had really become and knew I had to do something about it. Now, I have lost 100 pounds and counting!!
#2 What Were You Eating, And How Active Were You? What Did Your Daily Life Look Like?
When I was at my heaviest I was eating fast food on an almost daily basis. I didn’t work out. At all. Ever. I was in school and had a newborn baby, so I typically drove to Clemson from Greer, which is about an hour commute.
On the way, I would invariably pick up a fast food breakfast, eat fast food on campus for lunch, and then make the hour drive back home to take care of my son in the evenings.
It was very routine; the routine just didn’t include any exercise or attention to what I was eating.
#3 What Made You Decide to Get Healthy?
The thing that really made me decide to get healthy was the fact that I started to be embarrassed about the way I looked. I pretty much went to school and came home and that was it.
I stopped talking to old friends because I didn’t want to go out and have them see how big I had become. I didn’t want to run into people I hadn’t seen in a while and think about them saying, “I can’t believe how huge she is now!” I have never been “skinny,” but I was healthy and active in high school.
I knew people would notice the weight gain and talk about it. When you become so ashamed of your weight that you don’t even want to leave your house, it’s time to make some changes.
#4 How Did You Stay Motivated?
At first, motivation was easy because when you have as much to lose as I did, the weight comes off pretty fast in the beginning.
Once the weight loss slowed down, it was harder because I wanted to see results immediately. The thing that kept me motivated was remembering how far I had already come and how I just couldn’t go back to living the way I had been before I started losing weight.
5. What Things Did You Try To Lose Weight That Didn’t Work?
One thing that I would do when the weight loss seemed to be at a standstill was go on some crazy fad diet. I would do no carbs, or the “soup diet,” and lose like 8 pounds in a week.
And that’s the thing about diets like that. They actually do work at first, but they are impossible to maintain. I would feel so sick and become nauseated at the sight of meat and eggs if I was doing no carbs, and after the first week or so, I would go nuts and stuff myself with any carb in sight.
And all the weight that had come off in the week of dieting was back.
6. What Was The Hardest Part?
The hardest part was getting started. I had become so used to my unhealthy lifestyle, that I had to completely change the way I did almost everything.
But just like I had become used to being unhealthy, I got used to eating healthier and working out. At this point, I couldn’t go back to the old eating habits and laziness if I wanted to.
In fact, it’s hard for me to even fathom that I ever let myself get to that point!
7. Did You Ever Quit, or Give Up?
Not completely. There are definitely days that are harder than others, but I haven’t had extended periods of relapse. There is no part of me that misses the old Lauryn, so giving up has never crossed my mind.
At this point, I’ve been on the weight loss path for over four years. It was harder not to give up in the beginning, so were there days when I found myself in the drive-thru ordering things I knew were not going to help my efforts? Absolutely!
Did I let that deter my entire goal and decide that since I ate one cheeseburger I might as well give up altogether? Absolutely not! It isn’t about being perfect and never doing an unhealthy thing again because that just isn’t going to happen.
The change is gradual and slow, and it has to be like that if it’s going to last.
8. How Did You Find The Time to do This? Lots of People Say They Don’t Have Time.
I have definitely used that excuse before, but if something is important to you, you will find time for it. Right now, I am a single mother working a full-time job as a teacher, a part time job as a teacher at an alternative school, and we live 3 hours away from the nearest family member who might be able to help out.
Am I busy? It’s not even a question! But I work out more now than I ever have in my life. I work out in the afternoons when I get off work.
I work out at night if our schedule was booked during the afternoon. I wake up early and work out before my day really starts if I know I won’t be able to later.
Once you decide that it’s worth the time sacrifice, you will set aside blocks of time for working out.
9. How Did You Deal With Sugar Cravings? Did You Use Any Particular Techniques?
Honestly, sugar has never been my weakness, but if someone had told me that I could never lose weight unless I gave up Mexican food, I would have never tried.
Whatever your food weakness is, it’s not about giving it up and never eating it again. I was eating at a Mexican restaurant AT LEAST three times a week when I was at my heaviest, and that is not an exaggeration. And I wasn’t ordering one taco and passing on the free basket of chips.
One thing I do to practice some self-control is cooking what I like at home. I can make a Mexican meal that is just as delicious as and 10 times healthier than a restaurant’s. Also, when I do go out, I have learned to order reasonably. I do not need to eat an entire basket of chips, a burrito, a taco, an enchilada and a plate of rice.
That’s absurd! It’s ok to treat yourself to your favorite foods sometimes, but it doesn’t have to be an extravagant splurge that’s going to undo the rest of the week’s moderation.
10. How Did You Know What To Eat To Lose Weight? Were You Ever Hungry? How Did You Deal With the Hunger?
Everybody knows that fast food is not the healthiest thing for the body, so I knew that was the major change I would have to make. Sure there is a period of withdrawal that feels like hunger, but here’s the thing; when you’re hungry, you should eat.
I have never felt like I had to starve myself to lose weight. I changed the food choice, not the intake. With all of the resources and information that are available to people today, “I don’t know what to eat to lose weight,” is not a legitimate excuse.
Google “healthy recipes” and you’ll be set. Also, drink water!
[Side note from Alex: Have you guys noticed a trend? Both of the dramatic weight loss stories I’ve profiled before had people just change their food types, not how much they ate. Lamine lost 66 pounds while eating 5 meals a day. In fact, I’ve talked about this ad nauseum in the post “Myth: Eat Fewer Calories if You Want to Lose Weight” ]
11. Did You Have Any Other Health Problems Improve or go Away After Losing Weight?
I didn’t grow up being obese or having any weight related issues. My weight gain happened relatively quickly, so I hadn’t really developed any documented health problems.
There is, however, a dramatic increase in my overall energy and feeling of well-being. When I was at my heaviest, I just felt bad all the time.
I would have digestive issues and feel generally bloated and gross because of the way I ate. With 100 pounds off, I have the energy and stamina for intense workouts and activities that wouldn’t have even been possible for me before.
12. Undoing Bad Habits is Pretty Hard For Most People, How Did You go About That?
It is hard! One thing that helped me originally was joining Weight Watchers. I went with my mom and it was nice to have someone there who had a common goal.
I also started exercising with my cousin in her basement. Accountability is a big part of success, so I would advise finding people who you’re comfortable around to help you stay on track. Another thing is to be realistic about your goals. Don’t set goals of never eating fast food again and doing 1,000 sit-ups every night.
It won’t happen and you’ll feel like you’ve failed. Set goals like eating fast food only once a week for a month and walking a mile at least 3 times a week.
Eventually, you won’t even care for the fast food and your exercise goals will become to run the miles instead of walk. If you work your way up to realistic goals, the bad habits will disappear almost imperceptibly.
13. What Piece of Advice Would You Give to Other People Who Want to Feel Healthy and Pain-free, Lose Weight, And Start Feeling Better ?
The best advice I can give is to not get hung up on the ultimate end goal in the beginning. I’m still not where I would like to be with my weight, and when I started four years ago, I had over 100 pounds to lose! That’s a daunting task. Imagine a 260 pound girl setting a goal of weighing 130 pounds.
She starts to make better food choices and exercise for a week. On the seventh day of this new lifestyle, she steps on the scale and weighs 255 pounds. If the girl is anything like me, she doesn’t celebrate the five pounds she has lost.
She thinks about the 125 pounds she has left to lose. Set small goals, and be proud when you reach them! Every pound is progress.
14. How Did You Deal With Hanging Around People That Didn’t Share Your Same Health Goals?
People were really supportive of my goal, but that doesn’t mean they shared it. You have to learn to say no. If they bring donuts to work every Friday, they aren’t going to stop just because you’re trying to lose weight.
I had to really focus on all the work I had done to reach each goal. Is a donut really worth undoing my hard work? No way!
15. Any Last Pieces of Advice?
Yes! I get bored with routine easily. If you’re getting tired of a particular work out or health food, change things up! Since
I’ve started I have done P90x, distance running, yoga, pilates, kickboxing, Zumba, crossfit, and you get the idea. Exercise and eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring!
Got a Weight Loss Story? Email me
Last story in the weight loss series was how Lamine lost 66 pounds and fixed a number of chronic health issues – all without being hungry.
If you have a story, get in touch with me by emailing Alexander / at / modernhealthmonk.com.
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