Jennifer (160 Pounds Loss Maintained Since 2004)
I grew up with amazing parents that celebrated life to the fullest. A big part of our celebrating involved food. Weight was an issue for all of us but we were so happy together, I didn't really notice. By second grade I was on my first diet. I got to my goal weight (whatever that is when you're 7) but that didn't last long. I was active as a cheerleader, played soccer and took dance but my weight slowly crept up. In junior high I went from 160 to 180 and by the end of high school I was over 200 pounds. I was relatively happy and although I was the biggest of my friends, I was the captain of the cheering squad and had a kind boyfriend. I used these things to justify that I was "ok". With graduation the activities ended and the weight piled on even faster. I had tried every diet TWICE! By the age of 28 I was just over 300 pounds and miserable. I had ended a bad relationship and started dating Ben and Jerry on a full time basis. I held a corporate position and longed to wear all of the beautiful clothes that my counterparts in the field wore. I was totally inactive. I worked and watched TV. I have always kept a journal and it was through this process and re-reading old entries, that I came to my breaking point. Or as I like to call it, my opportunity for inspiration. I was 28 years old and MISERABLE!!!! I was not living. I was slowly dying each day that passed me by. These should have been some of my best years. That night it was perfectly clear. If I wanted something I had never had, then it would require doing what I had never done! I broke up with Ben and Jerry's, fast food and diet Pepsi. I started eating lean chicken and vegetables. I also learned that I loved salad! Who knew?!