How a Wedding Picture Sparked My Weight Loss

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Hi everyone!  My name is Laurali and this is my weight loss story.  I decided to share this story because there’s a lot of women out there who are struggling to lose weight and feel that it is impossible.

I am here to tell you from my own personal experience, that losing weight is absolutely possible for you.  The reason I know is that I did it.  I’m hoping by sharing my story, it will motivate and inspire you to spark your own weight loss story!

In order to tell you my story, let me give you a little background first.  Before 2012′, the year I lost all the weight, I had only been “chubby” for less than two years.  Knowing that, didn’t make losing the weight any easier for me, believe me.  In fact, it may have made it harder because I didn’t know “how” to lose weight.  I had never been in that position before.

Before 2012′, my life was kind of a wreck.  I can practically pinpoint what caused the sudden weight gain.  It started with my ex-boyfriend.

Now, I’m not blaming him for making me gain weight, I take full responsibility, but he was a contributing factor.  I was in an abusive, extremely toxic, unhealthy relationship with a man that I was so desperately in love with at the time, I would have done anything to be with him.

Other contributing factors were an extreme amount of stress.  I had quit my full-time, hourly job as a receptionist to become a writer.  Because of this, I was enduring financial hardship.  I was in my mid-thirties, being jerked around by a guy that I loved, and under duress.

My life was chaotic and seemingly out of control and the more that I tried to lose the weight, the more I seemed to pack the pounds on.  Before this, I had never been overweight in my entire life, even while pregnant or after having each of my daughters.

Being overweight was brand-new to me but finally, in January 2012′, I went to my friend Nichole’s wedding, and that’s when I had my moment of clarity.  That’s when I knew it was time to lose the weight and this time I was ready!

A Wedding Picture Sparked My Weight-Loss

The day that I went to my friend Nichole’s wedding, I met her best friend that she knew since childhood.  She was tiny, just like I used to be.  I felt “big” standing next to her.  My whole life, I had always been the “tiny” one and it was weird to see myself in this new light.  To be honest, I was a little jealous.

The real moment of truth came the next day.  Nichole had posted pictures of the wedding on Facebook and I was in them.  I was wearing a long, tiered black and white flowered dress and I looked like a cow.  I saw myself for real for the first time and what I was seeing wasn’t pretty.

It wasn’t just that I was overweight, which was bad enough, it was the fact that I looked sad like I had no body confidence.  My presence was that of a “fat” girl, insecure and unhappy.

Sidenote:  Please know that if you’re overweight, I don’t necessarily think you’re “unhappy” or “fat.”  These statements are about me and how I felt about myself.  When I looked at those pictures, I saw a cow.  I am much less critical of other people, especially since I know the struggle.

Immediately, that day, in that moment, I had an epiphany and knew that I was going to lose weight.  All of it.  I called my niece who was going through a similar struggle and told her the news.

Right away, she told me about juicing.  She said many of her friends juiced for months until all the weight was gone.  If you’re interested in juicing, you can Follow Me on a Week-long Juice Fast.

I started research that night and found a few recipes.  All I had at the time was a blender but I didn’t let that deter me.  I was going to do this and nothing was going to stop me!

How I Lost the Weight

The first thing I did, started juicing or I guess in my case, making smoothies.  I ate virtually nothing else.  I also took to the trails and started walking every single day.  While I was walking, I kept visualizing myself skinny.  I was determined to make it happen!

I was tempted on more than one occasion by free McDonald’s french fries and cheeseburgers while I was working but I didn’t give in.  I was hungry but I was hungrier to lose weight.

My starting weight at my highest was 133 pounds and by the time I started juicing, I weighed in at 128 pounds.  Before you crucify me and say this isn’t overweight, please hear me out.  I am tiny.  I am 5’2 with an extra-small frame.  Even after I had babies, my highest weight was 108 pounds, and that was from muscle tone and working out.

This kind of weight was very noticeable on me.  I went up several sizes and had to get all new clothes.  Luckily, I held onto my “skinny” clothes, in hopes that someday I’d lose the weight.

While I was losing the weight, I kept myself distracted a lot.  I was gone a lot.  I’d go to stores, hit the trails, hang out at my Mom’s house, and watch movies.  Anything to distract me from thinking of how hungry I was.

The hunger pangs were the worst at night but my willpower was so strong at that time, I didn’t give into the pain.  I’m not going to lie, there were a lot of sleepless nights.  During the daytime though, I had a lot of energy and an upbeat and positive attitude!

In the middle of this, my life was going through a major upheaval.  My car threw a rod while I was driving it and I was lucky to get off the road in time.  I also was trying to move out of state and my plans, along with my car, blew up in my face.

Still, I kept clear and focused.  A week after juicing, I made the decision to give up meat and become a vegetarian.  Juicing made it easy for me to do and I have never looked back!

Phase Two of My Weight Loss

After losing my car, I took to working out on my treadmill and pushed myself even harder and further.  I would sometimes burn up to 1500 calories a day!

I eventually got to a point where I added a little bit of solid foods to my diet but no more than 500 calories a day.  I would eat things that would make me feel full longer, like a handful of nuts or a couple of spoonfuls of avocado.

I was on a very strict diet at this time.  I didn’t partake in drinking with the exception of two occasions.  Once, when my friend Nichole made me a vegetarian dinner, I had a couple drinks.  Once on my birthday, I had a glass of wine and that was it.

I had only one plateau months later.  That was when I got to a 113 pounds, so I pushed myself a little bit further and harder.  When I got to about a 110 pounds, I stopped dieting.

A 110 wasn’t necessarily my goal weight but this was the point in which I felt like I could relax a little, you know.  I still wasn’t eating much, I just didn’t have much of an appetite, and I never missed a day of working out.

Sure enough, the rest of the weight came off naturally.  It took a couple more months but it shed on its own.  By the fall of 2012′, I had surpassed my wildest dreams!

I weighed myself at Publix, a grocery store on the east coast, and I weighed 96 pounds!  I was in shock.  I did it and then some!

I pretty much stayed at this weight all the time for years, give or take a pound or two.  In January 2013′, I became a vegan, and by the end of that year my weight got a little low at 93 pounds.

As soon as my metabolism balanced out, I started gaining a little weight back and looked amazing!  That happens a lot with new vegans.

Today, I weigh a 102 pounds and have kind of been lingering there for a couple of years.  While I incorporate juicing into my diet, it isn’t the staple.  I eat lots and lots of fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds.  I definitely get enough to eat and keep a healthy balance!

Weight Loss Tips

Here are a few things I did to lose weight that worked for me.  Maybe they will work for you too!  I encourage you to experiment with all of them, to find your inner weight loss goddess.

  • Change your diet!  This is the number one thing you can do to lose the weight.  The weight won’t budge without taking a look at what you’re eating.  I highly recommend keeping a food diary for the first couple weeks to see where you need to make cuts.  You can also decide on making a huge dietary change and become a vegan or vegetarian like I did.
  • Detox!  You’re going to have to detox to reset your metabolism.  During this period, it’s a good time to make big dietary lifestyle changes.  You’ll also rid your body of toxins, making it easier to start fresh.
  • Do lots of cardio!  Cardio will become your new best friend if you’ll let her.  Most people burn a couple hundred calories at the most.  You’re going to have to go above and beyond that.  Challenge yourself a little more each time.  When you rise to the occasion, that “feel-good vibe” will be like your own little personal reward for meeting the challenge head-on.
  • Visualize yourself skinny!  I swear by this.  Anytime I went for a hike or hopped on my treadmill, I’d see myself as thin like I used to be.  I didn’t just see the picture though, I felt it in the heart of me!
  • Get your “thin” clothes out!  Set them out and look at them.  Keep them in a place where you can see them.  This will help remind you why you’re doing this.
  • Give up alcohol!  If you get to a point where you’re strong enough to have a cocktail or two, then I think it’s okay to indulge a little.  For the most part, avoid alcohol, as it can definitely make you gain weight.
  • Get a weight-loss buddy!  For me, that person was my niece in Sedona, Arizona.  She was in an almost exact situation as me and we would talk on the phone several times a day.  It was very motivating and uplifting.  If there’s someone who would be willing to lose weight with you, try it out to see if you’re a good fit.
  • Never miss a workout!  I never did and that’s how I kept myself from falling back on old ways.  It’s also a great way to fill your time and keep you distracted from your hunger.
  • Eat your protein and “healthy fats!”  Whenever you get hunger pangs, give yourself permission to eat a handful of nuts, have peanut butter on a spoon, or eat a whole avocado.  It will keep you going and keep you strong!
  • Keep yourself active and distracted!  You’ll want to keep busy.  If you didn’t have a social life before, now might be a good time to get one.  If being around people makes it to tempting to indulge, try music, hiking, watching a Gilmore Girls marathon, or shopping.  Just don’t have idle hands and what not.

So, here’s the thing:  I believe in you!  You can do this.  I know because I did the impossible.  You just have to believe in yourself and don’t second-guess.  If you want to lose the weight, start today.  After that, take the next step and then the next one.  Eventually, each step will take you to where you lose all the weight!

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