Weight Loss Wednesday–Running and Losing

Happy Wednesday! Like I mentioned a few weeks ago, I want to weigh in on Wednesdays (like Roni) and am down one pound from 2 weeks ago. Not too shab.

Ha!twenty pounds overweight Weight Loss Wednesday–Running and Losing

Today’s WLW is about long time reader Adrian, who contacted me to share her weight loss journey. She lost over 100 pounds and now is maintaining and running and blogging at Chase Fear. In addition to being an inspiration she’s super super cute!!!

  • Name: Adrian C.
  • Age: 24
  • Location: Port Vue, PA
  • Current weight: 120 pounds
  • Starting weight: 230 pounds
  • Weight lost: 110 pounds
  • Occupation: Recent graduate of a medical assistant program; currently seeking job

Before:BEFORE 2 thumb Weight Loss Wednesday–Running and Losing

After:Pittsburgh Marathon Sport Photo thumb Weight Loss Wednesday–Running and Losing

How did you view food (as comfort, solution to boredom etc)?

For me, food wasn’t a means of survival. My life became evolved around food. When I think back to my relationship with food, it’s actually quite alarming how common it is amongst today’s population. It’s no surprise to me that I often ate because I had “nothing better to do,” but I believe the root of the issue was much deeper than keeping myself busy for several moments.

Recently, I came across a quote by Ann Wigmore; “The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.” I read this quote dozens of times because it’s as if Ann knew me herself. You often hear about individuals who are addicted to drugs, alcohol, etc., but you rarely hear about food addictions. Food is cheap, easily accessible, and will always be legal, no matter the age of a person. Why? Well, we need food to survive. What we don’t need is excess. Too much of a good thing can be bad. Unfortunately, these thoughts never crossed my mind every time another morsel of food made its way to my mouth. Food was my drug of choice, and it gave me intense feelings…almost like a high. It helped to fill a void. What I didn’t know is that I was slowly killing myself.

How did you start your weight loss journey? What sparked you to start?
Upon graduating high school in 2006, at 17 years old, I knew that something had to be done if I wanted to have a fulfilling life. I was fed up with living the way I was. I made the mistake of trying a quick fix diet. I won’t name the diet, but lo and behold, it wasn’t something that I could stick with for the rest of my life. I lost 40 lbs at that particular time, but I gained it back (plus some) shortly after I continued with my previous eating habits. Feeling defeated, I assumed that I’d never lose the weight and gave up until April of 2009, the year that I started my journey to find inner peace. “Enough is enough…” I had to stop feeling sorry for myself. I knew that I couldn’t live like this forever. It was no longer an option. Where did I regain the motivation? Ironically enough, it was while I was sitting in front of the TV. Watching The Biggest Loser became a ritual of mine for a while in the beginning of 2009. I was fascinated by these brave individuals conquering what I have been struggling with for nearly my entire life. I couldn’t even dare to do what I usually did while watching television, which was mindlessly eating a pile of junk food. When I think back and realize how much I was poisoning my body with unhealthy foods, it’s no surprise that I weighed 230 lbs. I don’t blame anybody but myself. Nobody shoved the food down my throat. It was me who made the wrong choices. My parents sometimes blame themselves, but I never did. So going back to watching The Biggest Loser…the more I watched that show, the more I said to myself, “if they can do it, I can too.” And, I did. I started my journey amidst season 7. Tara Costa, a contestant on the show, was my main source of inspiration. She had an “I can do this” attitude the entire time she was on the show and I admired her for that and still do. She lost over 100 lbs, just as I did, and she’s also ran marathons and other races since she’s lost the weight. I’m a firm believer in the “if you change your attitude, you can change your life” outlook. If you can’t even believe in yourself, how do you ever expect anyone else to?

What was a typical day of food before you started your journey?
Breakfast:
I would eat between 2-3 large (unmeasured) bowls of cereal. Cereal choices included sugary varieties such as Lucky Charms, Fruit Loops, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, etc. My choice of beverage was always pop (soda), usually Mountain Dew. I hated juice, water, and anything close to being healthy.

Lunch: In high school, I ate a fried chicken patty sandwich with a side of French fries every single day. Sometimes, I’d also go into the snack line and purchase a large soft pretzel with a cup of cheese. Upon graduating high school, my choices were primarily of the high fat variety – chicken strips, French fries, and cheeseburgers.

Dinner: Fast food. McDonald’s was always my first choice when it came to fast food. Before they put a halt to the super-size option, my go-to meal was a two double-cheeseburger “super-sized” meal, which naturally included French fries and a large fountain drink.

Snacks: Snacking was my biggest downfall, especially in the evening. I’d lie in bed, watching television, and mindlessly eat for hours upon hours. I could finish nearly an entire family-sized bag of Doritos and think nothing of it. I could also make a huge dent into a pint-sized Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food ice cream carton. Sometimes, I’d also wake up in the middle of the night and rummage through the kitchen for snacks, which were always unhealthy choices (brownies, cookies, chips, pop, etc.).

How’d you lose it? Did you follow a specific plan? Try a few? What worked for you?

“This is it; I’m starting tomorrow…no ifs, ands, or buts about it!” I dove into my journey headfirst with no goal, plan, and so forth. The only person that knew I was trying to lose weight at the time was my mom. I was afraid of hurting my pride if I would’ve failed after telling people about my goal. I didn’t have too much knowledge, resources or people to reach out to if I needed help along the way. It was basically me, myself, and I. It was, after all, my life that I was aiming to create.

I threw the word “diet” out of my vocabulary and focused on changing my lifestyle. That was the only way I was going to sustain permanent results. I had to make changes that I knew I could stick with for the rest of my life, most of which I learned through watching The Biggest Loser or through my own research online. I started with small, gradual adjustments to avoid becoming overwhelmed with the feeling of deprivation. The biggest surprise to me came when I discovered true portion sizes. In restaurants especially, we are often served meals on family-sized dinner plates, causing portion sizes to become distorted. First things first, I purchased measuring cups/spoons, and then I began changing my eating habits…swapping products made with white flour for the whole grain variety, drinking skim milk, eating lean cuts of meat, and including a lot more fruits and veggies with my meals. I ate three square meals per day along with a snack in between each meal. I also utilized the “out of sight, out of mind” notion in that I kept all junk food out of reach.

When I first started my journey, I didn’t exercise at all. Why? My job had a lot to do with it. I had a physically demanding job as a summer intern at Bombardier Transportation, so I didn’t really need to overwhelm my larger figure with more exertion. The weight still came off, only proving my point. Once the internship was over, I began walking with my best friend and playing Wii: Just Dance as my means of exercise. I did that until I made the decision to join Planet Fitness, a local gym. It’s basically where the 2nd leg of my journey began, which you will soon read about.

What is a typical day now that you’re maintaining?

Breakfast: 1 – 2 cups of coffee with Splenda, 1 whole grain English muffin, 1 Laughing Cow cheese wedge, 1 egg with ½ cup egg whites, and 1 medium apple

Lunch: 2 slices whole grain bread, 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter, 1 tablespoon sugar-free grape jelly, 1 cup frozen grapes, and 3 cups garden salad with 2 tablespoons light raspberry vinaigrette

Dinner: 4 oz grilled chicken breast, 1 cup brown rice or whole grain pasta, 1 cup steamed broccoli or another veggie of my choosing (Instead of pasta, I’ll also sometimes choose a medium – large baked sweet potato.)

Snacks: snack options include: 1 cup Greek Yogurt with a small banana, 1 Luna Bar, 1 cup veggies with 2 tablespoons hummus, or 1 cup whole grain cereal with 1 cup light vanilla soy milk

**My caloric intake varies throughout marathon training. For instance, 3 days prior to a scheduled long run (13+ miles), I’ll increase my carbohydrate consumption.

What’s your biggest piece of advice for someone struggling with their weight?

Get your mind ready for the battle. Your greatest opponent is yourself. When your mind tells you that losing weight is “impossible,” use that as a dare. Dare yourself to become a better you. Say to yourself, “I’m not going to disappoint anyone except for that little voice inside of my head telling me I can’t.” Next, slow and steady wins the race. Just like a marathon and racing in general, it’s important not to start out too fast because it will lead to burn out early in the race.

Also, weight loss involves behavior modification. Poor habits didn’t develop overnight, so in contrast, they won’t disappear overnight. Trust me when I say this: changing lifestyle habits isn’t easy, but I can guarantee the worth. With a triple D effort, dedication, discipline, and determination, you’ll soon find yourself heading in the right direction. The key to permanent success (keeping the weight off FOREVER) is finding the best way for you to stay on the path. Key word: YOU. What works for someone else may not work for you, vise versa. Sure, there will be wrong turns, dead ends, and unknown territories, but as long as you’re willing to find your way back, you’ll keep traveling along the road of success.

If you’d like to know more or follow my current journey, please visit www.chasefear.com!

(I have never deleted a mean comment directed toward me, but I want to encourage readers to share their stories and not be subjected to hurtful comments. So, my new policy is if you say something mean about someone else I will have to moderate. Please try to read and comment as if you are talking to a person, not a website. Thank you for understanding.)

Question: It’s Wednesday – how’s your week going??

Send me your Ask a Monican questions in the comments or to runeatrepeat at gmail!

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Comments

  1. says

    Thank you for sharing this inspirational story! (especially on a day when all I want to do is sit on my couch and eat an entire family sized bag of doritos.) “Your greatest opponent is yourself” is awesome advice :)

  2. Melissa says

    Monica I absoloutley love your blog
    You are an inspiration and I just love how you put things out there on your blog…seriously you are awesome
    Anyways I have a question for you! It’s about when you got married to Ben! I’m engaged and in the middle of planning ask we speak….god help me.
    any advice for the ladies that are going through this too?! how long did you wait from the time you were engaged until the big day? did you know exactly what you wanted for when the time came? I seriously went through a time where I truly never thought I would get married and just like they say when you don’t look for it, things happen and tadaaaa I met my fiancé
    Some people say planning isn’t hard and then others say they had a hard time and became bridezillas…I’m pretty laid back but my luck it won’t be easy hahaha
    Soooo any advice?!! lay it on me :)

    • says

      Congratulations!!! We planned our wedding in 6 months, so it was not the ideal situation. I think 8 months to a year is better because there is just so much to order and organize.

      All I knew for sure was that I wanted an amazing ball gown dress – and I ended up with a mermaid style! So, I think it’s good to take a look at a few magazines and websites and then make a “must have” list. But, be flexible and open to ideas too :)

      The most important thing to remember is this is YOUR and your fiance’s special day. Wear what you want, pick the cake/food you want, invite who you want. It’s a lot of work to plan a wedding, but remember it supposed to be a fun happy day.

      Let me know if you have specific questions!

  3. says

    I saw your comment on Meghann’s blog, Meals & Miles, about a certain something needed to fit into a duffle, not a mere purse … You might be my new favorite blogger. :)

  4. says

    I am so happy its Wednesday, YAY hump day. I have a question that is non running related – when you moved did you bring your cat? and if so any words from the wise about driving them for long periods in the car?

  5. Breanna says

    Congratulations to Adrian!! What a beautiful girl with a great attitude.

    My question for Ask a Monican is how to find a running group!? I’ve been interested in joining a running group for a few months and my interest especially increased after you posted about your run with Sole Runners. I live in SoCal so there are a variety of groups that I’ve heard of and considered but I just don’t know how to go about picking a group that I will be happy with. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Monica!

  6. says

    That’s awesome…She did it herself! She motivated herself! She deserves a BIG THUMBS UP! Or High Five! Or just a Gold Medal or something! ;-)

  7. says

    This is so inspirational! I also love the biggest loser! Even as a person who only really fluctuates 10-15 lbs up and down, I am so inspired by their journeys. Heading over to check out Chasefear.com. A really excellent guest blog – I loved everything she said! One thing I just don’t understand, though, is how she got through high school not feeling completely terrible about herself: my issues with food/exercise started in high school because I saw the pretty girls and wanted to be like them so badly. I wonder why she waited until she was in her 20′s to do something! Just curious, not criticizing – I felt that peer pressure so strongly as a teenager after having been chubby my whole childhood.

    • says

      I see what you’re saying – I think I’m eternally messed up because I was so much bigger than my high school friends. I felt like a big ol’ chubby giant and it’s hard to keep your head up in those times.

      • says

        I was heavy in highschool too but I had so many family issues going on that it was the least of my problems at the time. I still had lots of friends and was generally quite popular but I was always ‘that’ girl in the group which does really hurt thinking back on it. I think it’s almost more of an accomplishment for me now. I run a household, have a full time job and still managed to drop the weight, it makes me feel like I can do just about anything :)

    • says

      Thank you so much Sarah. My problem in high school was that I just didn’t care about myself. At all. I drowned my feelings with food until I couldn’t feel anything at all. In fact, there were several instances in which I didn’t even want to live. Sure, I wanted to be thin in high school, and yes, I was extremely insecure, but I lost all hope of ever becoming healthy. That is until 2009. The light bulb suddenly turned on, and I let the light guide me through my journey. The light flickered, and it even burnt out a few times, but I did everything in my power to find another bulb.

      Again, thank you. :)

  8. says

    This is a truly inspiring post. I wish everyone who is trying to lose weight would read this. It’s true that focusing on changing your lifestyle instead of going on a “diet” is much better in the long run. Mindset is everything.

  9. says

    What an amazing story! I can totally relate to the “seeing yourself as you were” comment. I still think of myself as 227 lbs most of the time, when shopping I just assume things won’t fit me or they’ll look bad but a friend will make me try them on and I’m amazed at the sizes I have to get or how things look, it’s super hard to make that transition.

  10. says

    So impressive! I love seeing posts like this–it’s an inspiration to me as I sometimes struggle with my own weight loss journey. Adrian, thank you for your story, and Monica, thank you for highlighting her!

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