Meet Wendy, a 43 year old stay at home mom from rural Wisconsin. She’s been married for 22 years, and she has three children: Dani – 23, Riley Kate – 17, and Evan – 7. She enjoys baking, reading, rubber stamping/card making and most anything crafty.
This mom’s weight loss journey is remarkable.
She reached and exceeded her weight loss goal by losing 120 pounds over the past 10 months!
I’ve known Wendy via facebook over the past several years, and I was so impressed with seeing her weight loss journey that I just wanted to share it with you all. She was gracious enough to say yes. I’m so excited for you to hear her story.
What made you decide to go on this weight loss journey?
I felt old. Every part of my body hurt. At nearly 300 pounds, it took effort just to move. My joints ached. It hurt to stand, it hurt to sit, it hurt to bend over. I was watching my life pass me by and I was too tired and overweight to participate in it. I was embarrassed of my body and how badly I had let myself go. It was taking a toll on my family and my marriage. I started isolating myself and depression had set in.I was watching my life pass me by and I was too tired and overweight to participate in it. Click To Tweet
Honestly, though, the biggest factor was my 7 year old son, Evan. He was diagnosed with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) at 18 months old. In October 2012, Evan started 3 years of intensive therapy in our home. For 3 years, I have had therapists in our home to help me care for Evan.
In January of this year I realized that I had just a few short months of help with Evan left, and it frightened me. I would be solely responsible to care for Evan during the day. Unlike typical children, Evan has no concept of danger.
My worst fear is that Evan would get away from me and I wouldn’t be able to catch him before he was injured or worse. At nearly 300 pounds, there’s no way I could have chased him, let alone catch him and keep him safe.
When did you make that decision?
Well like most people, I thought I would start my journey on New Year’s Day. Isn’t that when everyone starts? The first of January came and went.
I was still making excuses and eating the same junk and feeling crummy. On the 9th of January, I decided that it was time for me to change my life. Strangely, it wasn’t a Monday or the first of the month. The 9th of January was my day. It was the day that I decided that I was worth it. On January 9th, I told myself that I was going to lose 115# in 2015.
What steps did you take to reach these goals?
The very first thing I did is started setting goals. I grabbed a pen and paper and started with the big one: 115# in 2015. I set some daily, weekly, and monthly goals.
Next, I started tracking EVERYTHING that I put in my mouth and worked on being consistent. About a month into losing weight, I decided that I would try a gluten free diet to help with my joint pain.
I started limiting my sugar intake, and cut out breads and pasta. My joints quit hurting in less than 2 weeks after modifying my diet. I also decided that I would restrict processed foods and started eating cleaner.
From January to the end of May, I focused solely on what I was eating. I was losing steadily and my body felt so much better that I started to think exercise. I lived a very sedentary lifestyle. I walked some on the country roads where we live, but I wasn’t “loving it”.
When I was young, I loved bicycling. I decided to give it a try. It had been 25 years since I had been a bike. I wasn’t even sure I could still ride and at 240 pounds, I wasn’t sure I was physically capable. On June 3rd, I went to my friend Stacy’s house. She had an extra bike and I asked her if I could just take it out on the driveway to see if I could still ride.
Well long story short, that day she convinced me to take a short ride on the nearby trail. We rode 14 miles that day and I was hooked.
I found an exercise that I enjoyed.
My husband found me a used bike the end of June, and I began riding every chance I could get away. From June 3rd-November 2nd, I rode between 600-700 miles including one 50 mile ride.
What were some of the obstacles you faced along the way?
My first obstacle was Evan’s schedule.
His therapy required me or someone over the age of 18 to be in the house while the therapists were here. Therapy was 5 days a week for 6-8 hours a day. When therapy finished at the end of the day, Evan was tired, so going anywhere was out of the question.
Three years of being cooped up was hard on me. I gained a lot of weight during those three years (approx. 80 pounds). I knew I was doing what was best for him, but felt like I was a bit of a hostage.
During the summer months, I was able to sneak away some afternoons after my oldest daughter got home from work and drive a half hour to the nearest bike trail. It was very hard when she left to go back to college in August.
My second obstacles was carbs.
I had no idea how much my body loved carbs. In fact, when I decided to deny my body the carbs, it protested heavily. For about a week, I felt terrible. I felt so bad in fact that I started looking online for answers. I learned that I was having withdrawals. I personally feel sugar is the biggest enemy of weight loss.
Third obstacle: The Haters.
I have had some pretty negative reactions to my weight loss. I had a few good cries when I learned that some people close to me were not nearly as supportive as I thought they would be. I learned that I needed to do what was best for me and look inward(and upward) rather than outward for support.
Last obstacle: Emotional eating.
I am an emotional eater. I decided that I will no longer eat my feelings. Food is FUEL. It is not a friend. It is not comfort. It is fuel for my body and I needed to stop thinking that when something didn’t go well or I felt sad, or happy for that matter, that food was the solution.
I learned that you cannot out exercise your fork. You cannot eat badly and think that you can walk 7 consecutive hours to make up for a binge meal.
What advice would you give to someone else who is wanting to improve their health, lose weight, or become physically fit?
Weight loss is a very personal thing. You have to have the mindset that you are going to take the steps to personally improve your health and well being. No one can lose weight for you.
I have had a lot of people ask me how I lost 120# in just over 10 months. When I say by changing my diet and implementing exercise they seem disappointed.
It seems they are waiting for the name of “the magic pill”. There is no magic pill to long lasting weight loss and physical fitness. It is a personal decision to take control of your life and it is something that you need to consciously work at daily.There is no magic pill to long lasting weight loss and physical fitness. Click To Tweet
You need to be willing to make changes and try something different. You put more limitations on yourself than anyone else. You will be amazed what you are capable of if you mentally jump over those boundaries you have set for yourself.
When I was asked by one woman I gave her this list:
To lose weight and keep going during those times when I wasn’t seeing much progress, I needed a complete personal, emotional, and mental overhaul.
I needed to become my friend.
I would never say to my friends what I was saying to myself. All those negative little voices swirling around in my head that would tell me how wasn’t strong enough or smart enough or good enough were controlled by me.
I started with writing down the things I liked about me and using a lot more positive self talk.
I became my own cheerleader and filled my head with “good things”. I learned that the more I liked me the easier it was to treat me well.
For the first time in 43 years, I am coexisting better with myself AND that makes me easier to coexist with. I smile more. I’m happier. People respond better to me. I had to heal and become well on the inside to transform the outside.
I did it. I told myself on day one that I was going to lose the weight. I didn’t do it for anyone else.
I did this for me.
I wanted to prove to myself that I was worth it and I am enough.
Wow. I just love Wendy’s story! I hope you are as inspired as I was reading this. If there’s a change you’ve been wanting to make for yourself, know that you CAN do it!
Want some help getting started on your journey?
I’ve got a free pdf download with 2 different quick workouts you can do right at home! No equipment necessary.