- Posted August 5, 2013 by
Wallkill, New York
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Your 'Aha' weight-loss moments
Weight Loss with a Furry Fitness Trainer
I have battled the bulge most of my life. Having grown up in the 1970's, I was an original modern "fat kid." I have lost plenty of weight during my lifetime totaling approximately over 500 pounds. It wasn't until recently, I figured out the ultimate battle, the mind. At nine years old, I lost a considerable amount of weight on Weight Watchers. When my parents divorced, I had to move to CA from upstate NY, I regained the weight back and more. I moved back to NY for high school and I lost weight again in high school through the Optifast liquid diet program and Weight Watchers,, but was chunky on and off and was teased. I kept the weight off until I got pregnant at age 22. After having my second child at 28, I weighed 322 pounds.
I lost the pregnancy weight and an additional 90 pounds on Weight Watchers again but had regained the weight. After watching my uncle die of diabetes,I decided to have lap band surgery. I weighed 283 pounds. I lost 110 pounds. However, I was incredibly stressed after this time from personal issues. I adopted an orange tabby kitten we named Cheeto. I leash trained him because a friend recommended I do so, and took him out for walks on a local walkway for exercise. It's the longest pedestrian footbridge in the world called the Walkway Over the Hudson. It helped me, because it made people happy and smile. Cheeto would walk halfway on his leash and only on the way back to the car. Apparently, the stress was still too high and was told I would have to have my lap band removed three years after having it in. I pouch packed and it expanded my esophagus. This upset me so much, but I never went back to have it removed. The fluid that makes it work was removed though., I regained most of the weight, by turning to ice cream, juice and sugar in the coffee. It became incredibly hard to walk with Cheeto, and to move across the room without pain, so I decided to turn it around in March 2012 when I weighed 255 pounds, and it was an 80 pound regain. I pushed myself to walk the whole length of the walkway, 1.28 miles one way. I also worked out at the local Planet Fitness. I cut the sugar and processed foods. I ate fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds, then started making fruit smoothies. I also did two short juice fasts. I had been vegetarian since 2009, so I also ate meat alternatives. I got to a point where I was exercising every day and have run a few races. I am at a point now where I realize that I will have to battle the rest of my life with my with mind and not succumbing to what I feel will feed my emotions.
Taking Cheeto to the Walkway has been the best thing for me to do because it creates such a happy environment for everyone and that uplifts me. I am writing this and one may read this story, but the mood can be felt if one is physically there to see it. He doesn't always walk. I had bought a pet stroller after getting him. As I was able to exercise more, I decided to put him in the stroller. I will run and he will sit in the uncovered stroller looking chilled out. How many cats will do that? It's a little difficult some days because I use music when I run, and I can see people smiling and talking as I'm running by them. I feel rude, but if I'm not race training, I will stop and people will take pictures. Cheeto is so friendly he will walk up to people and loves children. As of today, I have lost 105 pounds in 17 months. I have two pounds left to lose to get to a healthy BMI. I will continue to take Cheeto to the Walkway and to go to the gym. I will not allow myself to get in a slump again. If I have not taken Cheeto out in awhile, he will let me know it's time to go out by running around the house frantically. He is the best fitness trainer ever, even if I am doing all of the work.