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    Posted July 7, 2014 by
    Akron, Ohio
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Your 'Aha' weight-loss moments

    Sick of being fat...

    I was never what you'd call "thin." I was teased as a kid/adolescent/young adult for being overweight. I rationalized the taunts as being the other person's problem, not mine. Obviously I knew I was overweight, but I didn't think I could actually do anything about it - or I knew I could, but I was too lazy. There were times I skipped social events because I felt too fat to wear any of my clothes in public. Instead of being a wake-up call, these incidents spun me into depression, which I would ease by eating pizza, sweets, fried foods, and other junk.

    My aha moment: I was 26, on a trip with a friend to visit another friend in California. The three of us girls were sitting on the beach, watching the sunset, and I nonchalantly proclaimed, "I'm sick of being fat. I think I'll fix it." At 5' 7" I had topped out around 220 lbs. - a BMI around 34.5, which is classified as obese.

    Starting the next day, I began eating better - more fruits and veggies; less fast food, processed food and refined carbohydrates. When we returned from our trip, I went to the grocery store and stocked up on healthy foods. I had to go on an emergency trip out of state within the next few days, as a family member was having an emergency C-section. I wasn't going to miss the birth of this little guy (who was recently the ring-bearer at my wedding!). While I was on this 2nd trip, I stayed with family and bought whole grain breads, avocados and other fruits, veggies, and low-calorie soups instead of eating out the whole time. In the first 2 weeks, I'm pretty sure I lost a whole pants size.

    When I returned home the 2nd time, I started using a website to count calories - eating between 1200 and 1500 calories per day, split between 3 meals and 1-2 snacks. I lost about 75 lbs. in the course of only about 7 months. This was too fast - I ended up gaining about 30 back over the next year or two, as I was eating closer to how I had been before.

    January 2014, 5 months before my wedding, I didn't want to be a fat bride. I started working out to Jillian Michaels DVD's 6 days a week, and I counted calories again. I actually had to up my caloric intake, as I felt I was losing weight too quickly again - I alternated between 1300-1700 per day, with a "cheat day" every 3-4 weeks (usually holidays, birthdays, etc.).

    Now I'm in the mid-140's (that's a 22.7 BMI - healthy!), and I don't intend to go back to being fat. I definitely wasn't a fat bride - if anything, my dress was too big! I look at old pictures, and I can't believe I ever let myself look like that. I felt bad too - knee pain, easily out of breath, tired quickly, etc. I am often tired now, but I chalk that up to aging and getting up at 5:00 to work out!

    I know it's a constant battle, and I will slip occasionally. But I need to persevere even through these setbacks and realize that I owe it to myself and to my new husband to be healthy. I only have this one body - I intend to take care of it and make it last for a long time.

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