I thought, "This is silly. I'm 33 and I'm literally eating myself to death." I had no confidence.
In January 2015, I weighed 233 pounds. It was the heaviest I'd ever been. I'd started to let myself go after my mom passed away two years earlier. On a typical day, I woke up and had three to four slices of toast with butter. At 11 a.m., I'd start snacking on cookies to satisfy me until lunchtime. For lunch, I'd have a ham and cheese sandwich and a bag of chips. After work, I'd eat pizza with cheese sticks and garlic bread. I was out of control.
When I started losing my breath going up stairs and experiencing back pain after walking short distances, I started getting scared. I thought, "This is silly. I'm 33 and I'm literally eating myself to death." I had no confidence. I thought everyone was snickering at me when I went into town. I even felt embarrassed for my husband to be seen with me. I never went on vacation because I knew I wouldn’t be able to enjoy it. Life was passing me by and I knew I had to change.
Since I wasn’t ready to step foot in the gym, I got a Fitbit. I knew my desk job wasn't helping, but I had no idea how inactive I was. On my first day, I only managed to hit 8,000 steps, which is below the recommended 10,000. I knew I had to work harder. I started using my entire lunch break to go for walks and worked my way up to 15,000 steps a day. Since I was still heavy, walking was enough to make the weight come off.
A few months into my journey, I started taking Zumba classes. After seeing some progress, I started using cardio machines at the gym three days a week. I'd do five minutes on the stair stepper, and then move to the bike or treadmill for the remainder of the hour.
Today, I work out three to four times a week by doing a mix of high-intensity interval training and weight-lifting classes.
In March 2015, I decided to join Weight Watchers, which taught me a lot about how to eat in moderation. I never deprived myself or stopped socializing, and I still lost weight. I realized that being too strict only makes me binge eat. Now I eat lots of egg whites, chicken breasts, low-fat burgers, and fruits and veggies. It’s all about allowing myself treats when I want them, which is pretty much every day! The key is keeping it small by having just one cookie or a bit of a chocolate bar.
STICKING WITH IT
Today I weigh 162 pounds. Though I lost 75 pounds total, I've gained about 14 back. But I'm OK with that. This is a lifestyle change, not a race. I have time to accomplish my goals.
I still struggle sometimes, but I just wake up the next day and try again. My Instagram account is also a great source of support. It blows my mind that 60,000 strangers are cheering me on. Because of them, I don’t give up.
I am so much happier now. When I wake up, I want to live again. I want to go on vacation, go shopping for clothes, and do my hair and makeup. I respect myself again. And of course, my health has improved drastically.
LOBKE'S NUMBER ONE TIP
Set small goals for yourself. When you hit those goals, treat yourself. Maybe buy some jewelry, get a massage, or go get your hair done. I set a goal to lose eight pounds a month. And when I lost 20, 30, 40, and 50 pounds total, I made sure I took care of myself.