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    Posted July 22, 2014 by
    New Jersey
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Your 'Aha' weight-loss moments

    Losing it all, To Gain So Much More

    Three years ago, I began my weight loss. For me, a lightbulb went off when I saw my reflection in the mirror and didn't recognize the person looking back at me. It was then and there that I decided to make a change, and the first step in making that change was in my mind. I think that's the key to the success that I've had because from the beginning, I envisioned the person I always wanted to be. I began my journey at 215 seeing that number on the scale is what did it. I decided right then and there to change my diet and eating habits and gave up sugar, chocolate, carbs and most of my favorite foods cold turkey in favor of low, carb high protein and clean eating foods. I joined a gym and began working out 4-5 days a week and working with a train once a week to once every two weeks. One of the most important lessons I learned at this time was the importance of setting goals for yourself and being the overachiever, I set big ones for my self and my first one was my weight loss goal. I was going to lose 100lbs. It was a lofty goal but that was the only number that I had in my mind. Once the pounds started to come off it motivated me even more to set new goals, whether it was run a mile in ten minutes or less to running a 5k, climbing a rock wall or trying a new exercise I believe in the saying " If it Doesn't Challenge You, It Doesn't Change You" and for me that couldn't be more true. After I lost fifty pounds, I hit a plateau and first frustration hit but then my determination kicked in and I found new goals, exercises, trainer and challenges that helped me reach my goals. On July 28, 2013 I reached my weight loss goal of 100lbs. Through it all I have won weight loss contests, reduced my BMI and Body Fat in half and am literally half the person I was. However, the most important thing was I found myself, and an inner strength I always knew I had but that had been lost for awhile. Now, I will never stop setting goals for myself after running my first 5k this year, I am determined to do a 10k and then a marathon. Sure not everything is perfect, parts of my body are not as tight as I would like them to be but I think that's what makes me real, and makes me beautiful. Eventually, I would like to get skin removal surgery but I also accept where I am and know where I am going and want to be and continue to envision that everyday. To date I have lost 103 lbs and am dedicated to a life of fitness and clean eating. I hope my story can inspire others like others have inspired me.
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