New Year's Dieting Post

My email has been flooded with emails from girls asking me how I lost my weight and if I could give tips and how I did it and many more questions. In this post, I'm going to try to cover everything for all of you! And in celebration of being on Weight Watcher's for 1 year, I wanted to do a post where I share my success with you all. I thought I'd put together some forms, export my dining out guide and write up a daily example for anyone out there struggling with their weight or who has dieting at the top of their new year's resolutions. It was mine in 2009 and I'm so very proud to say I accomplished my goal (and lost more on top of that!)

My personal experience: A brief history is.. I was always a bit heavier. In high school, I averaged 135 pounds, size 4 jeans, which is a comfortable weight but never ideal for what I truly wanted for myself. When Brett and I were planning the wedding and I was stressed with school, I went up in my 140's. Then, after we were married, I was having a meltdown because I couldn't afford college and I was stuck in a full-time job I was super unhappy at. We moved into a town I thought I'd escaped forever and I was just really unhappy and got up into the high 150's. I think one point I even hit 160. I tried in 2008 to do Weight Watchers. I lost 15 pounds before giving up and going back to old habits of fast food, being stressed and having no self control. After we moved to Grand Rapids, I was in my low 150's. Felt awful in the summer, could never find a bathing suit I loved and instead of swimming in Lake Michigan (my favorite) I was on the beach wrapped in a towel.

In 2009, I made another new year's resolution to lose the weight. I hated paying the money for a gym membership, but I did it, and on New Year's Eve, I started. We went to dinner with friends at Applebee's and I ordered off the Weight Watcher's menu and I stuck to it. I started doing the elliptical machine at the YMCA four times a week at about 30 minutes each period. Then I'd run around to a few different weight machines attempting to tone my arms, my legs, and my belly. I stuck it out.. and by the end of January, I lost 10 pounds to bring me down to 140. I felt so much better after just 10 pounds. In February, I got a pinched nerve in my calf. I could barely walk. Brett had to help me down stairs after a movie one night because I couldn't move. I limped everywhere. I cried my eyes out... honestly. I was like, I'm being punished. I don't deserve to be thin. But I never cried over a bowl of ice-cream or binged on my favorite comfort food. I cried over the sink, I sobbed into my low-calorie chicken noodle soup. The doctor said I could slowly get back into working out, but said I was doing too much too fast. So I tried the elliptical again and my leg got worse and worse. So I went into the gym and walked around the track. It felt like I wasn't exercising, like I was wasting my time, but it made my leg feel better. After a few times, I started doing more laps, walking faster. My leg started to finally feel better in March and I decided to sign up for our 5K. Never having done a 5K before, I was so excited and so nervous. I started running around the track, increasing laps each week, until I hit April and I could run 3 miles. 3 miles. Me? I know... it's crazy.

By the time I ran my race, I finished in good time, crossed the finish line and felt like a brand new person. I had lost 25 pounds. I was 5 pounds away from my goal and I've never felt more on top of the world. After the race, I stopped running so much, but never gave up on my diet. Finally, on my birthday, July 29, I was down 30 pounds to 120. My goal. My 23rd birthday gift to myself was a brand new body. And with losing weight, I didn't just lose weight. I seriously became a different person entirely. I was happier, funnier, a better wife to Brett even. I felt confident and I bought new clothes and I cried when I looked into the mirror at myself. Losing that weight was honestly the best experience and I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat. I swear the more you struggle, the more rewarding the whole experience is.

In September, I was down 35 pounds to my very ideal weight, 115, which I plan on staying at for the rest of my life. Well, not when I'm pregnant, obviously, but right after having babies I will go back on Weight Watchers (they even have plans for nursing mothers!) so I plan on staying on this diet for the rest of my life, and that is an amazing feeling. I know... dieting for the rest of your life? How could that be fun? It truly is.. coming from the girl who's favorite food is chicken alfredo from the Olive Garden and chicken tenders from Red Robin. I mean, seriously? The girl who sits on the couch and hates sweating? If I can do it, anybody can do it. It changed my life 100% and I'm in love with who I've become. And it's not just being thin. It was the whole dedication, self control, struggle that got me to where I am. And I'm not saying that being thin is the only way to be, it was just something I really wanted for myself. I have so many friends who aren't the "ideal" weight and aren't dieting either and are completely happy because they are gorgeous and have the self confidence. I think no matter what - self confidence is the sexiest thing you can have.

My biggest advice: Don't give up. It's as simple as that. I had gain weeks when I had counted every bite and thought I did so well. My leg swelled up like a blue balloon and I limped around with mascara stains all over my face, but I kept walking at the gym and sticking to my diet plan. If I had given up even after 5 gains, I would have never made it. If I thought this was going to be a piece of cake and those pounds were just going to "slide off", I would have never made it. And this is also coming from the most impatient girl  ever. This is something you have to work at.. and struggle over.. and have patience with. It doesn't come easy, but if you want to do it, it's worth it in the end.

Need help?: Honestly.. if you need help or have questions or want to ask me whatever, please do. You can email me at tieka@selectivepotential.com and I will try to help you in any way I can! I had Brett's mom to talk to this about and help me through and it was a blessing so it's really nice having someone who is going through it (or went through it) and knows how hard it is. If you're doing this, good luck! And also.. if you're trying to diet, do it the healthy way. It's an average of 2 pounds a week, which I know doesn't sound like a lot.. but trying to do more than that isn't healthy. Eat everyday, be healthy, lose it the way you should and it'll stay off. Fads don't work.