Tag: Success Story

Describe your success and what factors led you to change your life?

My REAL weight loss journey started in July 2010 when I finally realized I needed to make drastic changes in my life and health!

I started the journey @ 309 pounds and to date I have lost 70 so I need to lose 70-80 more at least.
I had my doctor do all my blood work. I found my triglycerides to be elevated in the 400’s and my blood pressure was high.  I’ve been taking BP meds since 2003. (You would have thought then I would have woke up)
The doctor told me I had Syndrome X (A metabolic disease). I was also a diabetic.
In addition to wanting and having the desire to be healthy, another huge motivating factor are my husband and children. I have a daughter that is graduating from high school and in 3 yrs my other daughter will graduate.
I want to be around a long time to see both of them grow and make lives for themselves.
What was the journey like?

So far my journey has had so many ups and downs, emotionally and physically! I have come to realize this journey is more mental than anything!!
Whatever You Think…You Are!
I make it a point to think of myself as successful. Don’t get me wrong, they’re many days when I feel defeated but I go to the Facebook page I created and see others success and that gives me a big boost of “I CAN DO IT”.
How did you do it?
When I first started I did Optifast (a hospital run program) for 3 wks and it was HORRIBLE!!
I could only drink shakes, soups and eat fruit/chocolate bars. Eventually, my insurance stopped paying so I wasn’t able to continue through the hospital but I figured that by doing Optifast and losing 17 lbs in 3 wks I could do it on my own with diet and exercise AND FOOD!!! (Just the RIGHT food).
I started going to the gym and pool daily. I would walk on the treadmill then bump it up and run for a minute then back to walking then running about 10 times in a span of time. I would do the elliptical after the treadmill then hit the pool for another hour.
When I hit a plateau I continue to push myself.
What are your top 3 tips for success?
1. Commitment – You have to stay the course
2. Dedication – You have to make it your #1 priority for    instance not skipping the gym or your exercise video
3. Stay focused and don’t give up- If you aren’t seeing results quickly remember healthy weight loss is approx 2 lbs a week, some weeks might be more or less depending on your caloric intake and workouts.
What inspires or motivates you?
I felt inspired to create a page on Facebook called Our Weight Loss Journey, It’s a page for people to share their weight loss journey, whether they’re having a good or bad day we’re here for them!
When I read stories of success and hard work it keeps me going to be committed and stay focused.  I wanted to give back and give back what has been given to me.
If I didn’t have people saying, “You can do it” or “Way to go” I might have thrown in the towel and quit.
How do you feel now and where are you going?
I feel great even though I’ve plateaued for the moment. I haven’t seen big numbers in a while but in 3 short months my triglycerides dropped from a very dangerous 400 to 196 just by diet and exercise.
I started a new workout routine called Insanity…I’m looking forward to doing more cardio workouts, losing weight again, building muscle and making my heart stronger!
Here is the link to the FB page:
Please feel free to visit and join our community.
You have to open it up and click “like” I hope to see you there!! – Shannon

Describe your success and what factors led you to change your life?
I’ve struggled with food all my life. Because of my family having it so tough financially growing up, I can remember stuffing myself when we did have food because we just didn’t honestly know when we would have another meal. I became obsessed with having food. Weighing 92 lbs. in the second grade sticks out in my mind. Then weighing 160 lbs. in the 6th grade hurts too but the biggest factor that led me to my life change was that I was 37 years old, 5’2, weighed 372 lbs. and was sick constantly from silent acid reflux. I had two daughters to raise. I was miserable in how I physically felt and disgusted at how I looked. After I was diagnosed with silent acid reflux and being prescribed Nexium. I thought this is just plain crazy to have to take medication because I am letting my eating get so out of control. After having seen 3 friends have gastric bypass with success and doing a lot of research and seeing a surgeon, I knew that this is something I had to do. I tried unsuccessfully all my life to lose the weight and keep it off in every way a person could imagine. What was sad was my grandpa who was in his 80s thought he would live longer than I would because of my weight. That thought made me feel so bad.
What was the journey like?
March 3, 2011 will be six years since I’ve had my gastric bypass. I lost 200 lbs. in the very first year. It’s been an up and down journey mentally because gastric bypass is a tool not a fix. The obsession in my mind with food never goes away. I struggle every day in my mind with food. My want for a healthy life far outweighs the battle in my mind with food though.
How did you do it?
March 3, 2005 I made the life altering change of having gastric bypass.
What are your top 3 tips for success?
Keep moving;
Eat healthy to stay healthy;
Support from friends or a support group
What inspires or motivates you?
Going to the gym and seeing people of all shapes, sizes, and age inspires me to keep moving. Knowing how much better I feel and that I am not physically limited to do what I want motivates me even more. To be able to shop in the same clothing department as my teenage daughters is a great feeling. My fear of my two daughters ever having to struggle with their weight the way I have is always something I keep in mind. I feel so good that the three of us go to the gym and work out together.
How do you feel now and where are you going?
I’ve gone from a size 32 to a size 10-12. The only way I want to continue to go is in a healthy direction. Sometimes I fall off the wagon but I get right back on because feeling good and looking good is too important to me.
I tell myself all the time “If I eat good, I feel good. If I eat bad, I feel bad”.
Carla’s a champion in the fight against obesity and continues to inspire and motivate others to lead a healthier life.  Feel free to leave comments for Carla.

Describe your success and what factors led you to change your life?
HI…. My name is Amanda. I’m 30 years old and my success is surviving multiple heart conditions and many heart surgeries:( But I am here to tell u about it all:)
The factors that led me to change my life…. I have to keep myself heart healthy for my kids and my hubby…. It’s hard but I manage and I most of all do it for me:). It was either change how I live or die…not a hard decision. I suffer a lot and need to stay healthy:)
What was the journey like?
The journey has been a long one, almost 8 years of suffering and surgery after surgery. I started with A-fib at 23 when I was pregnant with my daughter and since than I have had A-flutter, A-Tachycardia, and scar tissue on my heart, Atrial myopathy and a pacemaker. I now suffer from congestive heart failure on top of everything else…WOW!!!!! I have had 6 Ablations, 3 cardio-versions and recently an open-heart surgery (Thoracotomy) to put my pacemaker. I deal with anxiety and post Thoracotomy syndrome, very painful and I have tachycardia arrhythmias daily.  Still keeping my head up though…. It could always be worse!!!!
How did you do it?
All in all I think of my hubby and kids, the most important people in my life and I stay positive. Heart disease is very hard to deal with, but I have an amazing support system…. Including u Keith:). Before every surgery I put it in my head that when I came out I would laugh instead of cry and I do that every time I wanna cry…. trust me it works:)
What are your top 3 tips for success?
3 tips for success…
#1. Positivity
#2. Put yourself before everyone else, U are the most important person in the world.
#3. When you have heart disease, take it seriously. Eat right, stay active and DO NOT smoke or do anything to hurt your body. You only have one body…take care of it.
What inspires or motivates you?
My family inspires me everyday. My hubby keeps me smiling and happy, so most of the time I don’t feel like I’m sick at all.
There are amazing people like Keith Ahrens that Inspire me with positivity…. Thank you Keith:)
My kids motivate me to stay healthy, happy and positive. I want to see them grow up, that’s enough motivation:)
How do you feel now and where are you going?
I am still suffering a lot, but I’m Happy and I have so much to live for, I will stick to my diet and do everything I can to be heart healthy so I can be around for a long, long time:)
I will keep moving in the right direction and I will always stay positive and keep my head up. I have more surgeries ahead of me and a lifetime of heart disease, but for now, I AM HAPPY and Thankful for all the blessings in my life.
If you have heart disease, stay positive and keep smiling. You can live your life and still stay heart healthy. Keep your head up, U are the most important person in the world, so love yourself and just believe that you will be just fine:) Give or take a few speed bumps in the road:)
Please feel free to post a comment about Amanda’s story below.

Describe your success and what factors led you to change your life?

On August 20th, 2010 I had a Life Changing Experience. That experience will haunt me for the rest of my life.
My grandmother (age 42), my mom (age 62) both passed away at this age from the same exact thing I just survived.  Heart Disease and Heart Attack runs on the female side of my family. I knew this when my mom passed in 1992. That information was put into my health filed and collected dust.
On January 29th 2010, I under went a Rotator Cuff repair (shoulder surgery). That’s when things began to change for me.  I couldn’t take meds with out eating food. I was not cautious what I was consuming.  My weight spiraled out of control without me even knowing.  7 months later I was weighing 191 pounds as I lay in the hospital bed.  Standing at 5’6, I weighed 160 pounds before my shoulder surgery.
It was a Friday morning on August 20th 2010 at 3:45 a.m. I deliver the daily newspapers for 179 customers 7 days a week.  As usual, I left my house at midnight and started delivering the papers at 12:45 am.  I finished half my route when I found myself throwing up on the side of the road and at times pooping.  Yes u heard me.  I kept pushing myself to finish my route not even knowing what was about to happen to me.  This is how dedicated I am to my customers.  Then it came to a point where I was getting tired and was not remembering where I was.  I called my boss. I was in an area where cell phone service was poor.  My cell phone lost signal twice with me calling him back to let him know my location.  I went back to my car because I couldn’t walk another inch.
While sitting in the car I figured to call 911. I couldn’t even talk. I was so busy throwing up and pooping on the side of the road.  I couldn’t even talk to the dispatcher.  I don’t remember too much of what happened next.  All I remember was my boss waking me up from being slumped over the steering wheel of my car.
When the EMT’s arrived I heard the one E.M.T laughing at me cause he found me bent over pooping and throwing up.  Just another part that will haunt me for the rest of my life.
It seems that anything that could have gone wrong — went wrong.
Because I didn’t have the symptoms of a heart attack, I was treated very slowly.  No rushing TO the hospital and no rushing AT the hospital.  Remember, this all started at 3:45am. By the time they realized I was having a heart attack it was almost 6am.
They finally called out a STEMI Team which is a Specially Trained Emergency Heart Care Team at 5:52am.
What was the journey like?
How did you do it?

My life has since changed drastically.  I’m on a Low-fat, Low-sodium Diet.  I eat as many fruits and veggies as possible.  I eat sugar free jello, yogurt, applesauce, and low-fat sugar free sherbet.  When I eat meat its once a week, baked, broil or boiled.
No fried foods at all. I use to eat fried foods just about every day.  The day of my heart attack I had French fries with lots of gravy ugh.  Just the thought of it makes me sick to my stomach.
I’m on 5 medications and I drink 5-20oz bottles of water a day.  After 2 stents in my heart, another stay in the hospital overnight, 9 days after my heart attack I was right back out there doing what I loved doing.
How do you feel now and where are you going?

It took a heart attack for me to realize the importance of eating right.  Now that I have gathered all this information I have passed it on to my mothers only living sister, my 2 sisters, my daughter and my female cousins.
The scary part of this whole story is my mother was pregnant when her mom died.  I was pregnant when my mom died.  My daughter in-law was pregnant for my grandson when I had my heart attack. How strange is this? My heart attack came 4 days before my mom passed away 18 years ago. Now when some one gets pregnant I think of this. 42,,,52,,,,,62,  you tell me, is this strange or what?
I weighed 191 the day of my heart attack, and was 177 when I went to see my cardiologist at my 4-week check up.  I lost another 3 pounds and now weigh 174.
My goal is to get down to 160 pounds. That’s what my weight is supposed to be with my height at 5’6.
What inspires or motivates you?

I don’t thank God enough for saving my life. I have a whole life ahead of me and that’s my lovely grandchildren.  I was able to see the 5th grandchild born and, of course, I cried.
This heart attack has caused me to look at myself differently now.  Thanks for reading my story.  Of course this isn’t an exact detail to detail of everything that happened to me. I tried to save some horrific phrases out.  Pooping was bad enough.
Thanks for letting me share, Bess M.S. Robertson
P.S. (M.S.) stands for Matilda & Sophia. I was named after both of my grandmothers.
Please share your comments and words of support for Bess below.

Describe your success and what factors led you to change your life?
I was tired of having to go to special stores to buy clothes and being the “fat guy” in the pictures with my friends. One day I decided something has got to change. I never felt sick or unhealthy but I knew the days of feeling comfortable were limited if something didn’t change. Diabetes and High Blood Pressure run in my family and I did not want to become a victim. I started off small, exercising lightly 3 times a week and progressed over time. I started out walking, which led to running, which led to Boot Camp classes, and now I compete in 5K’s as well as other obstacle runs. I have lost 80 pounds to date and trying to shed a few more. I don’t focus as much on my weight as I do on how I look and feel. I set my fitness goals on a weekly basis.
What was the journey like?
The journey has been a roller coaster. There were definitely more ups than downs but it is not an easy road (however if I can do it, anyone can). The trick is to stay disciplined and most importantly, try to find a way to make it fun!
How did you do it?
I got active and made better food choices. Activity is definitely the most important factor for healthy living altogether. I won’t say I really ever “dieted”, however I will say I’ve made better food choices as well as controlling portion sizes. You also have to get in the right frame of mind and think that we “eat to live” and not “live to eat”. There were times I would crave a nice juicy burger and just go for it. I was happy while eating it for a couple of minutes but afterwards I would kick myself and ask why I ate that. You have to ask yourself what is more important, a few minutes of satisfaction or life of good health? Do I always eat healthy and make the correct choices? Absolutely not, but it’s a goal I hope to eventually stay with.
What are your top 3 tips for success?
1) Have fun! Have fun!! Have fun!!! Did I mention have fun?? The reason I emphasize this because instead of looking at exercise as a chore, find a way to have fun with it. I am an all around music junkie so in my case, I use running as a reason to have a good jam out on my IPOD. Also, don’t be competitive; just do the best you can do. You have your good days and your bad. Celebrate the good workouts, and laugh at the bad ones. Today there are so many kinds of exercise programs; there is at least one that can be made for anyone whether it is yoga or Zumba.
2) Find a support group. If you join a gym or even on a social network group, post your activity. You will meet friends with similar goals and instead of hanging out to go eat, meet each other for walks.
3) Stick with it! Don’t give up. Yeah I have slacked off some but you always have to pick yourself back up.
What inspires or motivates you?
Wow, I’m not sure I know where to begin. There are people I see at the gym all the time that it takes all they have to even walk. There are also a few people I see with personal trainers that are in wheelchairs and they are on the weight machines. If they can do it, I have no excuse. With my success story I have had a couple of peers getting into working out and they inspire me! I’m single without children and to see people with families find time to fit exercise into their schedule, that really keeps me going.
How do you feel now and where are you going?
I feel great now however I feel challenged as well. Our nice warm days are numbered and to those that know me, I despise cold weather. I am going to have to get myself re-acquainted with the treadmill and saying goodbye to the nice warm long runs outside. Not to mention the holidays are coming up which means there will be food all around no matter what. I will try my best to keep the mind frame of food being just a temporary satisfaction and choose the celery sticks over cheese balls.
The next big event I have planned is the Palmetto State O-Run in March, which is a 4.2-mile run with 30 obstacles. It is a team event, which we all are excited to accomplish and most importantly have fun with. Until then, at least 5 days a week of activity (45-90 minutes).
Nicholas is on Facebook and his message is to Have fun! Have fun!! Have fun!!!

Describe your success and what factors led you to change your life?
At the age of 17 I was tipping the scales at 230 lbs. I was obese and very unhappy with how my life was turning out. One day, I decided that enough was enough. I made a change that would effect my life forever, in many ways I would have never thought. I started off with a small goal to lose 10 lbs. After losing those 10 lbs. I made another small goal and so forth. Today, I have lost over 100 lbs.It is a constant battle, but not a battle I am not willing to fight. I had the opportunity to compete for the title of Miss SC, a dream I had had since a small girl. I competed in a local pageant, won, and made my own personal platform “Eating Healthy and Fighting Obesity”. I have a facebook fanpage that allows me to connect with over 2,500 people from across the world. I speak to schools,organizations, and individuals daily about the importance of our health.I share my own story to encourage others that anything is possible through hard work and perseverance. I made it all the way to the top 10 in the competition and strutted my new body in a two piece bathing suit. Everyday is a new adventure and I push myself to see what else I can accomplish. Without losing over 100 lbs. I don’t know where I would be today. It has become my life passion to encourage others that we have the power to control our lives and the way we live. I am currently working on my group fitness certification and was honored with the Lifestyle Change Award from the American Heart Association.
What was the journey like?
The journey for me was not an easy one. My whole family has always been stick thin, eating whatever they wanted. My lifestyle change made my family change as well. Leaving the junk food behind was very hard for me because it was always around. My high school only served fried, greased, buttered, cheesy, foods. I had to learn how to plan accordingly. I packed my lunch and stayed away from the devilish foods that were being served. Exercising was something I had to get used to and now, I couldn’t go a day without it! I started off only being able to walk 15 min. and run 30 seconds or less! I now run 6-9 miles a day, weight train, and do group fitness classes. This is one journey I will never regret. It’s been hard but I would never take it back. It has made me who I am today. A strong, confident, motivated, and driven individual.
How did you do it?
I started off with setting a gaol of 10 lbs. After I lost the first 10, I decided that I wanted to lose another 10. I ended up losing 13 lbs. I was so excited that it motivated me to continue setting goals for myself. (Which, I still do to this day) I joined the gym and stocked up on fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. I learned how to cook and avoided fried greasy foods. My exercise has helped me the most and has made me stronger than I ever thought I could be. I never knew I could be so physically fit.
What are your top 3 tips for success?
1) Never NEVER say the word DIET. You are not going on “another diet” you are simply changing your lifestyle and the way you look at things. As with a car, it needs gas to be driven. Not just any gas, but quality gas. We as humans need food to live. As with the car and it’s fuel, we must have quality put into our bodies to be quality humans. This helped me when I looked at food for comfort and not for living healthy.
2) Get sweaty- The more you sweat the more calories and fat you burn. Don’t be afraid to try new and exciting exercises! I competed in my first mud run and it was a new and dirty challenge that made me appreciate what my body is designed to do.
3) Tell yourself everyday that you CAN do it! Don’t wait around for others to motivate you, but motivate yourself. Every morning I wake up and tell myself that today is a new day and I can do anything I set my mind to!
What inspires or motivates you?
At first, my inspiration was to get healthy. I was sick of being sick and having asthma and my doctor told me that if I lost weight I could possibly get off my inhaler and be at less risk of heart trouble, diabetes, and other diseases caused by obesity. Now, after winning Miss Florence and creating my platform, it is those who share their stories with me that motivates me. Also, having others to ask me for help and tips to weight loss motivates and inspires me to never give up and to always fight the good fight.
How do you feel now and where are you going?
I FEEL AMAZING. I have not used my inhaler in almost 2 years, I hardly ever get sick, and I have energy that shoots through the roof! I am so proud of myself and what I have accomplished. Everyday is a new challenge and I look forward to the future more than ever knowing that I can do anything I set my mind to! After losing over 100 lbs. every other obstacle seems like a piece of cake!
You can follow and join Bree’s fan page on Facebook – “Eating Healthy and Fighting Obesity”