Losing the weight. My friend Julie’s weight loss story.

Everyone has a weight loss story and it’s important to share these stories so others can be inspired, motivated and know they are not alone. Today, I am sharing one of my best friend’s story with you. Julie and I met in high school, she was a sophomore and I was a senior sitting in a sophomore class. We instantly gravitated toward each other and from that day forward we were great friends. We fell out of touch because of a stupid argument after I graduated, but we reconnected 5 or 6 years ago…and continued to this point now. She has an amazing story; a story that I identify with as sat down to edit it.


Julie and I in high school my senior year, 1999!

Please take the time to read Julie’s story of determination, yo-yoing and weight loss below:

As far back as middle school, I can remember being heavier than most of my classmates. I developed a thick skin to protect myself from the fat jokes I heard regularly and became the stereotypical “funny big girl.”

Throughout grade school and college I slowly gained weight. I’d drop some weight with the latest fad diet, but it always came back, and then some.

Disney, Summer 2008

Disney, Summer 2008

By the age of 25 I was at 270 lbs. and a size 22. Living in Orlando, working long hours as a restaurant manager at Disney, I ate mindlessly; I ate because I was happy or sad or angry. The bottom line is that for any reason whatsoever, I ate.

I remember thinking of myself as heavy, but I don’t think I realized just how bad it had gotten until I went to the doctor when I was sick. After discussing my illness, the doctor said he wanted to take some time to discuss my weight. I didn’t realize all the added health risks that the extra weight on my body posed. At that point I was pre-diabetic, considered severely obese based on my BMI, and regularly experienced hip and knee pain.

The week after the doctor visit, a man approached me at work and struck up a conversation. After a few minutes he said the real reason he wanted to talk to me is because he had seen me all week during his vacation and thought I was a beautiful girl, but that my weight was slowly killing me.

Now had some stranger said this to me before the trip to the doctor, I would have probably gotten upset and eaten a carton or two of ice cream that night. But this time was different; it was like everything was pointing in the direction of a life change.

photo 3

I started 2009 on Weight Watchers and really learned a great deal about nutrition and just how badly I had been eating. By May I had lost 30 lbs. and I was feeling awesome! I would walk a couple of miles at night and do lightweights at home. But after May, I opted to leave Weight Watchers because I felt like I could do it on my own. (I’m some expert after a couple of months, right?)

Without a disciplined plan, my weight stayed the same. I would work out maybe once a week and eat somewhat healthy, but I still regularly cheated on my diet. I signed up to run 5, 10, and even 15K races just to prove to myself that I was in shape enough to do them. I would train for a couple of weeks prior to each race, struggle through, but then go right back to not working out. My weight yo-yoed within a 20 lb. range.

With no clear focus on exercise or healthy eating, a stressful job in which I was surrounded by food, and no real motivation, time went by and my weight stayed the same. By 2011, I was 215 lbs. and feeling defeated. I realize now that it was easier to feel defeated, to complain about my weight and use it as an excuse, than it was to make a change.

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