February 27, 2009

My Weight-Loss Journey

Growing up, I was so energentic and rowdy I couldn't even manage to sit still at the dinner table. To help get rid of some of my pent up energy, my mom enrolled me in pretty much ANY physical activity that could keep my 3 year old short attention span in line. I fell in love with dance and took classes and competed with my studio from the ages of 3-15. I was also on a gymnastics team for a couple years and was ready to compete untill I broke my leg (TWICE in one year OUCH!).

(dress up w/ my older sister Erin-like my heart-shaped glasses?!)

Once I started High School, I decided to focus all my attention on competitive cheerleading which was so rewarding (we made it to the UCA NATIONALS on ESPN!!) Being so active, I never really had a problem with my weight. I rarely watched what I ate and managed to stay in the healthy weight range (usually between 130-142). I had the time of my life in High School, had lots of friends, always was going out and just enjoying life!

(Senior Homecoming 04-I'm 2nd from right at about 135-140lbs)
I graduated in June of 2005; my intense cheerleading practices ended; I got lazy and was begining to get really anxious about moving away for college. I didn't work out, comfort ate, and managed to gain 20 pounds before college even started!

(August 05-at about 155-160lbs)

Once I got to college in the fall of 2005, (almost 3 hours away from my home) I felt lost. I had no more cheerleading which took up 90% of my free time in High School, my close friends and family were all far away, and I was on my own in EVERY sense of the word. I turned to food for answers but of course that just made things worse. My dining hall diet consisted of pizza, chips, cheese fries, fried chicken etc. Add that with no physical activity and you've got another 20 more pounds added to my 5'4 frame!

I was so depressed and sad, I figured moving home would be my best bet. I returned back home after one semester away feeling like a failure at life and packed on another 15 pounds. I didn't even recognize myself- INSIDE OR OUT. What had I done to myself? How did I let my eating get so out of control? I was so unhappy, stuck in such a rut, and by March of 2006, I was tipping the scales at 189!

(At 189 my highest weight!)

(Below: I'm second from the left- I look SOOO happy NOT!)

I went from a size 3 or 5 jeans to a 12/13. I never wanted to go out. My poor eating habits left me with no energy and no confidence. I started classes at a college close to my home in the spring of 2006, and monotonous cycle of "gain and lose" soon started to form and would last 2 years.

During those two years, besides many crazy changes in my life (getting my heart broken, being single for the first time since I was 14! AH, traveling to California, Las Vegas, a cruise, starting to LOVE college) I DID manage to drop some pounds just by cutting back on the gross foods I was consuming and stayed in the high 150's-160's til January of 2008.

(Cruise 2007- 155-160lbs)
I was still so sick of being unhealthy & out of shape, I just wanted to get back to the "real me"...the happy healthy Dana from High School! After a trip to visit Erin in BEAUTIFUL Colorado in February of 08', and my first backpacking trip quickly approaching in May- I decided it was time for me to feel better about myself and get my butt back in shape if I wanted to survive climbing mountains with 40 pounds on my back. If I wanted to survive PERIOD!

(Colorado-the trip that made something "click"-Feb 2008-about 165lb)
Once I got back from Colorado, I started going to the gym everyday...no questions asked. Thankfully I had two friends who already were gym rats and they helped show me new exercises and inspired me to push myself physically harder than I ever had before. I also drastically changed my diet. I knew what I needed to eat to lose weight before, I just could never stick with it long enough to see results. I started counting calories, created a log of EVERYTHING I ate, stopped eating junk food, started eating more protein, swapped fast food for some lean cuisines, and starting seeing results! I was super strict and the weight came off pretty fast!
By my backpacking trip at the end of May 08', I was down to 142lbs! I was thrilled....I was starting to feel like myself again.

(my backpacking trip in the White Mountains....changed my life!)
I stepped on the scale after my strenuous backpacking adventure, and saw 139! I cried. I swear I thought I was never going to get back to "myself" ever again....it inspired me to keep going.

I kept up with my long sweat sessions at the gym- strength training, cardio classes, and also started to run?!?! (I used to hate running but now am starting to love it) continued my healthy eating and by the end of June 08' I was 132 pounds and at a comfotable size 5 again.

(Summer 08'-best summer of my life!)

(Halloween 08'-w/my sister)

As of February 2009, I have lost another couple pounds and one more size!! I'm now 129lbs-so so close to my goal! I have found new ispiration through all your blogs, my newfound love of running, YOGA, and juice fasting. I look forward to finding peace with the scale, putting an end to counting calories!!, and finally getting to my goal weight and my ideal self (Happy & Healthy).

1 comment:

  1. This is so happy. I am so proud of you and am jealous of how much motivation and dedication you have, (more than me). If it wasn't for you I'd prob. be a fat lard by now, hahaha. Love you sister & sorry for drinking your coffee this morning, lol.