Drinking, eating high-fat foods and not exercising was a way of life for me until I gained almost 40 pounds in a year. I had a desk job where my meals consisted of large portions of takeout food. When I wasn't working, I partied with my friends, drank too much beer and ate high-fat snack foods. I also smoked five to six cigarettes a day. As the pounds crept up, my self-esteem went down. Instead of doing something about my weight gain, I made excuses and bought larger clothes. When I reached a size 14, I realized I needed to do something to control my weight. I cut out high-fat foods, like cheese and cream sauces, and replaced them with yogurt, skinless chicken, bagels and salads. Frozen, low-fat entrees helped me control portion sizes. I started exercising at the local gym, where I stair climbed and weight trained. I lost 35 pounds in eight months and I felt better than before, but I didn't feel fit. Then, one night after a workout session, the owner of my gym asked me why I didn't look better since I was working out at the gym five nights a week. It was then I finally realized that my drinking and smoking were hindering my progress. I had to quit both if I truly wanted to be healthy. After I quit smoking and drinking, I took my fitness to the next level. My lungs and head cleared and I was able to increase my stamina and push myself further when I worked out. Giving up cigarettes and beer also boosted my self-esteem. I knew if I could give those up, I could do anything I set my mind to. Being fit and active has led me to do some physically and mentally challenging things. I completed the California AIDS Ride, an almost 600-mile bike race from San Francisco to Los Angeles. It was a great way to use my fitness achievements to help others and to challenge myself. I've also completed a marathon and finished in the top 30 percent. Now I feel strong and healthy and my self-esteem is great. I also have helped friends become more health-conscious. I carry around a photo of myself from when I was overweight to show those who ask me for advice that I've been in their place. I hope to continue a lifestyle of healthful habits and pass them on to my children. It's wonderful to like the way you look and feel.

Comments (1)

December 13, 2018
Hi, my name is Kate and I would like to share my story. Up until about 2 years ago, I was 30 pounds overweight. Over the years I had followed many different diet plans, but failed every single time. I was "blessed" with a pear shaped body and no matter what i did, I always retained lots of stubborn fat in my lower body. Everything changed when I found the right diet program. Read my story here ==>