Before and After pictures of Angela
I have found a very inspirational woman online recently, just by searching other blog’s of interest to BGDC. I was especially interested in this young girl because her blog was amazing. She has written her diary entries of what is happening in her daily life as well as her weight loss story. She also has some interesting articles of the facts about food, nutrition, and all kinds of health issues associated with being obese. She has recipes, menus and ideas and links to other people’s blogs that have ideas of what to eat.
What really stood out for me is that once reading her blog and commenting we had sustained a repour and I knew she knew what I was going through myself. Let me introduce Miss Angie All The Way to you ladies.
Her strength and determination has inspired me not to give up, even when I have felt very low and just wanted to quit. I haven’t because reading her story and the journey she is taking still has helped me personally to stay on track.
Angie is a 28-year-old woman from Halifax, Canada. She works full time, has a wonderful fiancé, and has only recently started blogging. Angie was kind enough to allow me to delve further into her journey of weight loss by agreeing to do an interview. The transcript is featured below this article.
As all who are trying to shed some pounds know, it is a never-ending battle to keep this up. It is a life change and that means that you have to fight to stay on track. It won’t just fall in your lap. It will be the hardest thing you probably do. So I hope Angie’s story helps each and every one of my readers to find the courage that she has given me to continue on with my journey.
We can gain support from people like Angie and myself – sometimes our family and friends don’t know how to support us and therefore with the wonderful group of people out there who are doing the same thing as we are should definitely stick together and help each other through the very tough times.
The times that you don’t think you can exercise any more, the times when you overeat and you think what is the point and quit. This is a time to all stand together and be strong. We can achieve anything with great support systems like this. Don’t give up ladies we can do this together.
I am sure I can speak for Angela in saying that we both hope you enjoy this article and if we inspire one person it was all more worth doing.
Tell me about when you decided to start your weight loss? What was the contributing factor that pushed you to do this?
I was always chubby as long as I can remember beginning in elementary school. In high school, I was overweight, but remained active playing soccer and basketball. I loved playing soccer and I always attribute my healthy self-esteem – despite being unhappy with my weight – to my involvement in sports. In my final year of high school, I sustained a knee injury playing soccer, which prevented me from continuing being active in sports. It wasn’t until I was 22, that I had surgery to repair my knee and from the time of my knee injury to the time of my surgery, I had let my weight creep up to 298 lbs.
I was happy in every other aspect of my life. I had found the man I am now marrying, I had graduated University and additionally completed another college program and starting work in the real world. I had achieved most everything I had wanted to achieve up to that point in my life accept, of course, I was unhappy with my weight. Then came the craze of Dr. Phil and his Ultimate Weight Loss Solution.
For the first time in my life I was ready to face losing weight and ready to give it a sincere effort. My knee was fixed and I had no excuses. I jumped on that bandwagon and was successful at losing 28 lbs. I can’t remember exactly why I stopped, or the day I stopped, but I drifted away from that regimen through what I can only explain to be boredom! Sure it was a healthy way to lose weight, but I got bored and that was that. I never did re-gain that 28lbs back even after going back to my previous lifestyle.
Two years passed and I was 270 lbs. Any person who is that overweight can relate when I say not a day (or hour) would go by that I was not saddened that my weight was not where I wanted it to be. Then came February 19, 2006. I don’t know what it was specifically about that day that made it “the day,” but I remember thinking to myself that here I was again, another new year had come and the first month was already gone and the second month was almost over and I had still not taken control of my obesity.
Another year would come and go and time would still pass by even if I didn’t take that step to commit and I decided that there was no way that I was going to be standing there another year later in the same position. No way. Immediately I knew that through all of the diet programs that have flown through the mainstream through the years, Weight Watchers was the only one that I had not heard negative things about and it was a program that was still alive and well.
It was healthy and I was going to do this right. I was only going to do it once and so I was willing to take the safest, most healthy approach to slow and steady permanent weight loss. I signed up online that day and promised myself that if I found that the online program wasn’t working, I would switch to attending meetings. Even though I was nervous and excited about my new commitment, I knew that if I kept it private it meant that I was hiding behind the fear of failure. I knew that if I spoke up about it, I was creating my own element of accountability.
Because I was not a meetings member, I needed to create my own real feeling of accountability. At first it felt almost embarrassing to admit that I had joined a weight loss program because I was in such a state of denial I felt that I was almost “admitting” to others that I had a weight problem which is absolutely ridiculous because that’s a problem that is obvious to anyone who sees you! That was the day I became real with myself and my need to lose the weight.
How many years have you been trying to lose weight?
Having been overweight for most of my life it was something which was always on my mind constantly, but not something I actually had attempted for real many times. There was the one time I mentioned on the Dr. Phil’s Ultimate Weight Loss Solution and before that, there was only one other time when I was a University student and during my working summer, I committed to healthy eating. There were no scales and I got a lot of attention from people who commented on my success. It felt great, especially not being tied to a scale at all, but once I got back to school and back into the student life routine, it didn’t last and I eventually gained it back.
How do you feel each week when you lose a kilo?
In Canada, we weight ourselves in terms of pounds, which actually seem a little bit more encouraging when you see them drop off more quickly than kilos would. A healthy weight loss in pounds translates to about 2 lbs per week and that was where I held steady for many many months. At first it was so exciting to see that scale dropping lower and lower each week and I would have weeks where I would lose more than 2 lbs too. However, because I knew that I had such a long way to go stepping on that scale every week, I tried really hard not to be too emotionally affected by what it said. I began recording my losses like it was any other day. I realized that a day would come where the scale wouldn’t be declining so steadily, so by not attaching too much of an emotional response to the result, I knew it would help me get through the stages where the scale would go up or stay the same.
When you exercise, how did you feel the first time you did that and how do you feel now when you exercise?
As I mentioned before, I had always been relatively active, even at my largest, but there is no comparison whatsoever on how much easier it is to do after losing such a large amount of weight. I was able to compare the drastic difference because unfortunately I was in a terrible car accident when I was about 30 lbs into my weight loss that rendered me immobile for months. I had broken my hip and my foot and suffered various soft tissue injuries to my neck and shoulder. I was completely unable to exercise for a very long considerable period of time.
I worked at physiotherapy for a very long time to work up to being at a point of being able to exercise normally again. Ironically, during that time of immobility, I had lost the majority of my weight without meaningful exercise. Good healthy nutrition was entirely to credit. There was no way I was going to let it stop me from getting to my goal because I knew that it would only make me feel worse, given my current situation. By the time I was able to try regular exercise again it was like I had an entirely new body and I experienced what it was like to exercise like a “normal” person and feel what it felt like. Everything is all relative, and you become used to the body you are in, but it was not nearly as difficult to sustain the same period of time of cardio.
I know for me the menus are the hardest things to juggle, how did you tackle your menu planning and how has this affected your other half? Do you cook separate meals?
I find the menu planning and grocery shopping a very challenging part because it takes constant attention and effort. This was the part that I just had to accept. There is work to losing weight and you have to put in the time and effort required in a consistent way to be successful – period. This is particularly difficult in my house because my other half is a very picky eater who does not eat vegetables or even regular staple foods in most households. So to answer your question, yes I do end up cooking two separate meals almost every day for my Mister and myself. I have gotten quite good and cooking for “one.” Having said that, he has been so supportive of my weight loss and efforts to better health and has tried very hard not to let his own issues with his picky eating affects my food decisions. I still remember on my first birthday after jointing Weight Watchers Online, he looked up a cake that he could make me that was low point!
I am trying to fall pregnant and this is why I am doing this, on a personal level, are there any health issues with you? Or are you just trying to get fit and healthy because you want to be healthy?
This is so so important. As I mentioned above, I was in a very serious car accident where I sustained serious injuries. One of which was a dislocated and fractured hip, even though I was already 30 lbs into my weight loss at the time (and so very proud), the doctor could not stop stressing how important it was that I LOSE THE WEIGHT. My hip injury was serious and the more weight I carry on my body, the more stress my joint would feel and the inevitability of arthritis would rear its ugly head much sooner. At that point, I was still 240 lbs and he did not believe that I was going to continue with my weight loss. He was a great orthopaedic surgeon, but lacked bedside manner to say the least.
No matter how many times I stressed to him that I had my weight problem under a control, he would always look at me like I was a drug addict who had been sober for a week and couldn’t be trusted. It was devastating. I also plan to become a mother in the next year or so, in addition to the obvious reasons to be a healthy mom, the additional weight gain during pregnancy will inevitably be bothersome on my hip, so getting down to a healthy weight before becoming a mom is extra important to me.
What is the thing that most motivates you when you are feeling down and feel like you want to quit?
As you know, I started to blog. Through blogging I have been introduced with the greatest, most supportive comrades a person could every encounter that understand all of the ups and downs through the weight loss journey. I am first and foremost inspired and encouraged by all of my fine ladies who check in on me daily. They are amazing individuals. I try to be as positive as possible in every aspect of my life, but there are of course going to be times when you’re not feeling so great. When I get the courage to post during those times, my girls are always there to bring me back up and remind me how far I have come. I try not to focus on the small set backs and keep the perspective on what I have overcome and how far I have truly come on this journey so far.
What exercise do you undertake to stay fit? – Please do a list in point form.
- I started running! I am so very excited about this because this was not fathomable when I was at my heaviest, or even as I was losing weight. The impact of running just wasn’t doable. I am running my first 5km race at the end of May and I am committed to crossing that finish line with open arms.
- Strength training is very important as well. Even with the struggles I have with my shoulder, I am working hard in this area. Having lean muscle mass at my goal weight is another goal of mine.
Do you have a source of where people can go to find healthy recipes?
I am a member of Weight Watchers Online Weight Watchers Canada and that is a huge resource for recipes and the like. In addition, I have found Spark People to be an amazing site. It is a free site that provides tools to track food, weight loss, recipes, message boards, exercises etc.
Lastly, what would be your most important advise for others who are trying to lose weight?
My biggest piece of advice to those trying to lose weight is to be 100% honest with yourself. You have to accept what it takes to be successful with losing weight and you have to be consistent. DON’T ACCEPT ANYTHING LESS! Successful weight loss is not for chumps! 😉 Anyone can do it, but you need to be realistic and serious. Life is chalked full of obstacles and set backs that will try to stand in your way form time to time, but it’s all about learning to be flexible and not to let it take over your direction.
If you find yourself whining, you are most likely making excuses for why you didn’t or couldn’t. You have to become good and knowing yourself and recognizing excuses when you hear them. Learn to move past set backs quickly and not to let them keep you down. Your mindset IS the driving force behind your success, so stay positive and keep going no matter what! Show yourself what you are made of and it will be the biggest personal accomplishment of your life.
A picture of Angela Now April 2008