Please welcome my dear friend Amy as our guest author today. Amy and I met in college at Drake 15+ years ago. After graduating she moved to Nome, Alaska, which is why I commonly refer to her as “Amy in Alaska.” She now lives in Anchorage with her husband Jason and their three beautiful daughters. I invited Amy to share her awesome story of how she lost 115 pounds (so far). I’m inspired and I think you will be, too!
How I lost 115 pounds
by Amy Miller
I just did a full hour on the elliptical machine. Two nights in a row… 10 miles in 2 days… I didn’t give up after 45 minutes… I actually read a book while I worked out!!!
Some days, this seems kind of normal for me. Other days, I am amazed at how much I can do. Other people notice, and comment, but it’s the little moments, like these, when I can’t believe where I’ve come from and what I’ve accomplished…
After two babies, I weighed more than 300 pounds, and hated how I looked and felt. I’d like to say the weight crept up on me, but the truth is I’d never really paid attention to my weight, and just let it pile on. My office offered a Weight Watchers “at work” program. I needed it! I might not have sought out a weight loss program on my own, but this was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.
My husband Jason and I in Nome, just before we moved to Anchorage. This is one of my few “before” pictures.
I was shocked at my first weigh in – I’d never seen a number like that before… not when I wasn’t pregnant! I was so embarrassed — I jumped in feet first with the program, counting points and watching what I ate. During the next year or so, I lost about 55 pounds. I felt really good about myself! I had my ups and downs – holidays, weeks where I didn’t keep track of my points – but I never thought I’d be able to lose much weight, so 50 pounds felt amazing.
Then I became pregnant with baby #3. When I went for my first pregnancy visit, my midwife and I talked about my recent weight loss. She encouraged me to continue Weight Watchers during my pregnancy. I was surprised. I knew she was right, but…
I had decided this baby would be my last. And I did what many women do when they’re pregnant — I ate whatever I wanted! I enjoyed being pregnant, and had another relatively easy pregnancy, but I gained 70 pounds by the time Emilie was born. All of the work I’d done before was out the window and I had to start over, at my heaviest weight yet.
Me at a baby shower just after my third baby Emilie was born. This is me at my heaviest.
I re-joined the “at work” program in February 2009 and haven’t looked back. I lost 30 pounds in the first three months. My family was impressed when I brought the baby home for a visit in May. Another 30 pounds later in October, I met my sister in Chicago while on a business trip. It was exciting to show off my hard work, and she was amazed at my transformation! She helped me shop for new clothes on Michigan Avenue – how fun! I bought a suit that didn’t quite fit yet, but I had confidence those pounds would come off! I wore it to work six weeks later looking fabulous!
With my sister Gwen in Chicago – I had lost 60 pounds here.
In February 2010, I had lost 75 pounds total. Another big milestone! All of this weight had come off with virtually no exercise, just good, healthy eating. I had surpassed my “pre-Emilie” weight! And then my Weight Watchers leader said something that caught my attention — that in order to maintain my weight (after I met my goal), I would need to exercise one hour a day, five days a week. That motivated me! I wasn’t exercising at all at the time, and if I ever wanted to maintain a healthy weight, I was going to need to work up to that hour a day.
Adding in exercise
I started walking. After dinner, I’d sneak out of the house and get back as quickly as I could before my children noticed I was gone. When you’re not used to it, two miles can seem like a long way! I found some great iPhone apps that increased my intensity. It took a little time to find the right one, but once I settled in to a routine, I was having a blast! It became a challenge to walk farther, or faster, than my last walk. My apps posted my walk statistics to Facebook so my friends could see my progress and send their encouragement. I got brave enough to work out in a hotel gym while traveling for business – I’d NEVER done that before! I changed my routine to create time for exercise in my day! And then I started participating in big events – I walked a 12K road race… and finished earlier than some of the runners! I even climbed a mountain!
In mid-June of this year, I hit a milestone I never thought was attainable – 100 pounds of weight loss. One Hundred Pounds!!! That’s more weight than two of my kids put together! I never thought I’d get this far, and I’m excited to get the last of my extra weight off!
Being a role model
This picture was taken today and shows my weight loss of 115 pounds.
Throughout this journey, I’ve worked hard to ensure that my daughters see me getting healthy. We talk about getting exercise and eating healthy. I don’t use the word “diet.” They know I’m losing weight to get healthier – so I can play on our swing set with them. My seven year old is thrilled to ride her bike with me while I walk on the weekends. I need to continue my journey so I can help them build good habits.
I’m trying to get others involved in my exercise, too. I invite my entire office to join me on the weekends for walking events around the city. This month, I’m challenging my co-workers to raise money through their exercise – I’m donating a quarter for every mile of activity they complete during the month. They’ve logged close to 150 miles so far!
Getting support and encouragement
I’m often stopped these days by people who notice my transformation. It’s a great motivator! While many could argue I’ve done this work myself, I’ve needed the support of others to get here:
~ My husband to hide the snacks he knew would be my downfall and watch the kids so I could exercise.
~ My friend who found the “regular” Weight Watchers meetings when our at-work meeting disbanded.
~ My co-worker who steered me away from the birthday cake in the break room.
~ The cafeteria staff at the office who kept the nutritional information for the food I ate so I could count my points.
~ My friends at Weight Watchers for their encouragement – my leader made me cry when I reached 100 pounds because she was so proud of me!
I’m not done yet, but I know that with all of these people behind me, I’ve got what it takes to reach my goal!
Me and my girls, Anne, Emilie and Paige — August 2010. 115 pounds lost.
The author finished another 2.5 miles on the elliptical machine before she finished writing this post!
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