Family Status: Single
Occupation: Retention Advisor for College
Starting Weight: 428 pounds
Current Weight: 153 pounds
Pounds or Inches Lost: I lost 275 pounds in 22 months!
Theresa’s Weight Loss Story!
When did you become unhappy with your weight?
Due to my obesity and rheumatoid arthritis, I was dependent upon the use of an electric wheelchair, wheeled walker, or cane to get around. I could hardly take care of myself and was in constant physical and emotional pain. I was considering selling my home and moving into an assisted living facility because it was so difficult to take care of myself. I was working a full-time job and then just coming home and going to bed each night. I had hit rock bottom and was at the point of just giving up.
What made you decide to lose weight?
The final straw was when my sister called to inform me that she had decided to have bariatric weight loss surgery and was given a date for the surgery. I was afraid for her and did not want her to go through with the procedure. We exchanged tense words and I hung up the phone and literally, just like that, said, “I’ll show you! There is another way”. At that point, something just “clicked” in my head and in an instant, I changed my entire life! I emptied out the soda bottles and dumped the sugar bowl in the trash and never looked back.
What were the most important changes you made to lose weight?
I started counting calories and eliminated sugar completely from my diet. I began to limit myself to approximately 1,200 calories a day and began to drink close to two gallons of water a day. The pounds just fell off at a rapid rate.
What was most challenging about losing weight?
Sticking to the new plan was the easy part; dealing with the emotional changes of losing weight and adjusting to the “new Theresa” in the mirror were a bit more challenging. I have never been a “normal” weight before, so I did not know how to function as a person of average weight. And a lot of internal changes happened as the visible transformation was taking place. I went down 14 sizes in clothing, so I was continually outgrowing clothes faster than I could replace them.
How long did it take you to start to see results?
In the beginning I lost weight at a very quick pace. I was losing about 3-5 pounds a week at first and lost 180 pounds the first year. Because I was so heavy, I was used to wearing big, baggy clothing, so I was able to wear the same clothes for about the first 3 months, then others really began to notice and I started buying smaller sizes.
How long did it take for you to reach your current weight?
How long have you maintained your weight loss and how do you do it?
I’ve been maintaining within 5 pounds of 153 for the past 7 months. I’ve added a few more calories to my daily intake, but still will not allow myself to go off plan, not even once in 2.5 years. Not a chip, not a lick of ice cream, not one M&M candy. I’m too afraid to try because I’m not sure I trust myself to stay in control.
What keeps you motivated to continue your weight loss success?
I have a Facebook group called “We Can Change our Lives” where I share my journey with others. I also have been invited to speak to various groups, so this keeps me motivated. I have so many people who are looking to me to give them hope and inspiration, when in actuality, it is them that keep me motivated. Plus, I AM ABLE TO WALK! I never want to go back to that chair again!
How has your life changed now that you’ve lost weight?
Mostly, I am no longer dependent upon a mobility device or daily pain killers. I can walk and ride a bike. I am less than 1/2 the size I used to be and for the first time in years, I am a participant in life, rather than just a spectator. I have so much energy and many of my health issues have been eliminated or resolved. I am a brand new person and LOVING LIFE!
Do you have any advice for others who are trying to lose weight?
Don’t give up and don’t look at how far you have to go, just start today!
How did ShapeFit help you reach your weight loss goals?
ShapeFit.com provided me with inspiration along the way!
Theresa’s Weight Loss Tips!
Weight loss tip #1:
Find a plan you can live with for the rest of your life.
Weight loss tip #2:
Don’t focus on the end; take it one step at a time.
Weight loss tip #3:
Celebrate the journey and enjoy the process.
Weight loss tip #4:
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again!
Weight loss tip #5:
Don’t give up, EVER!
Theresa’s Weight Loss Eating Plan!
2 eggs with dry reduced calorie toast or oatmeal. Coffee with sugar-free French vanilla coffee creamer.
Can of Progresso Light soup almost every day for 2.5 years or salad, yogurt, fruit.
Chicken or pork, stir-fry, a lot of vegetables, sometimes turkey chili or bean soup.
Snacks or Mini Meals:
Greek yogurt, protein or fiber bar, fruit (I love watermelon), rice cakes.
Just a multivitamin and a B-complex vitamin.
Theresa’s Weight Loss Workouts!
I lift light weights while sitting in my lazy boy having coffee, but I don’t do much resistance training exercise.
After a year, I was able to walk a short distance without the walker or cane so I began to walk a few yards at a time until I could walk up to 1 mile. Then I started to walk on the treadmill, but not for cardiovascular purposes, but just to strengthen my muscles. Now I walk and ride a bicycle just for enjoyment, not for exercise.