On How I’ve Lost 52 Pounds

A common question I get asked is “what are you doing to lose the weight.”
I’d like to answer that question here. On my blawwwg.
The first thing I did was get proper medical care. I didn’t give up when Doctors told me to “work out harder” or “eat less.” I knew that there was something wrong with my body and I fought until I got the tests that I needed to get a diagnoses and treatment. It’s important to know that I was unable to lose any weight before I was on the proper medications.
When I first found out I was insulin resistant and that I’d have to take Metf*rmin, I pretty much stopped eating sugar and All Things White (bread, pastries, etc) I was terrified of developing diabetes (insulin resistance= pre-diabetic.) If the only option for breakfast was a muffin, I’d skip breakfast. That is no longer the case. I’ve learned to cut most sugar/White stuff out of my diet, but I will allow myself a dessert (CHEESECAKE!) or a scone every once in a while now.
Here’s the thing– I am not on a diet. In fact! I will not go on another diet for as long as I live. And here’s why– I never want to gain the weight back. I want to be able to maintain this loss, I want it to be forever. The reality is that simple sugars aren’t something I should eat and for the most part, I don’t. If I want a burrito, I use a whole wheat tortilla. If I want a piece of toast- it’s whole grain/wheat. I no longer choose sourdough bread for sandwiches, nor do I have a sugared up latte every morning. However, if I want a piece of cheesecake while out to dinner with friends, I’ll have a piece of cheesecake.
So, while I’m not “on a diet.” I most definitely have made some changes, but these changes are for the rest of my life. I am not going to go off of a diet and binge. It won’t happen. I may have a piece of sourdough bread sometime in the future, but I won’t be writing a blog post about what a failure I am for going “over my points” or “blowing it” ever again.
The most drastic change for me has been in the form of physical activity.
The first few months were difficult. Workouts had become complicated due to my thyroid condition going untreated for so long. Irregular heartbeats. Chest pains. Difficulty breathing. Nothing like a ride to the ER in the back of an ambulance and 2 shots of Nitro to make you live in fear of dying of a heart attack on the treadmill. The first few months of working out after that incident were rough. I was scared to push myself. Even after I was medicated properly and my heart was working as it should (according to two doctors)– I was terrified. I would stop and check my pulse every other minute. And if it got too high, I would stop.
That is why I said that I never imagined I’d be able to run 3 miles. I didn’t think I was capable. I was operating from a place of fear.
I’ve since conquered that fear. While I am still mindful of my heart rate and how my body feels, I no longer fear to control me. I push my body a little bit more each time. And I am constantly amazed at what it can do.
I try to work out at least 5 days a week. 30 minutes or more of cardio (usually running, sometimes elliptical and sometimes step, jump rope.) and alternating upper/lower body workouts with weights, squats, push ups each night. For instance: Last night I worked my arms with free weights and some machines. Tonight, I will do legs.)
The night before last night, I ran another 5k on the treadmill. I need to prove to myself that the first time wasn’t a fluke. That my body is truly capable of such things.
I not only did it again, but I improved my time by 2 minutes.
I don’t write about that to brag- there are millions of people who can run farther and faster than I can. I write about them because I am in awe of how far I have come on this journey towards a healthier, more efficient body.
The truth is I’m stuck in the weight loss department. I’m still holding steady at 186 pounds. (180′s are the new 200′s, apparently!) But that isn’t stressing me out because my body IS changing for the better. It’s stronger, faster, healthier and that is what this journey is all about for me.
(Although, I really do need to drop another 36 pounds so I can get off of this metf*rmin, which is still wreaking havoc on my body– more specifically, my digestive system. I’ll spare you the details, but HOLY NOT POOPING FOR 5 DAYS AND THEN FOR 4 HOURS STRAIGHT ON THE 6TH DAY.)
So that right there is what I’m doing to lose weight. Eating as healthy as possible for my body and exercising at least 4-5 days a week.
And because I’ve not posted photos in a while- here is a before and a current (taken today) photo of my progress. There is a very good reason my hand is covering my belly button and that is because my belly button is JACKED THE EFF UP. No one needs to see that. Gaining 100 pounds and losing 50 of that 100 can do that to a belly button, I guess. I cover it up because I care about you, is what I’m trying to tell you.
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Here’s to losing another 50.

94 thoughts on “On How I’ve Lost 52 Pounds

  1. Motherhood Uncensored

    I love when you do these posts because it’s so nice to see a real person losing weight the real way – which is often challenging, often slow, and often frustrating.
    But based on the pictures, it’s obviously EXTREMELY rewarding.
    I’m so impressed with you.

  2. Misti

    You look fantastic! I’m on Metf*rmin too & really need to work on cutting out sugars. My hubby was diagnosed pre-diabetic last week so we definitely need to be making some changes around here anyway. I’m very inspired by your story.

  3. Norma

    You really are amazing! No more white stuff for me. I’m a believer! You seem to write just when I’m at my wits end. Thank you. I’m going through a really tough time right now. I’ve lost my motivation after getting at it for over a year. Now, I’m too depressed to do anything but eat it seems like.

  4. statia

    The thing is, and a lot of people (including myself) need to realize, is that, you didn’t gain it overnight. You aren’t going to lose it overnight. It’s a tedious process. And it doesn’t help that skinny people are idealized. Before kids, I wanted to be this tiny little thing, and now, I’m “settling” (i.e. not really) for a healthy, respectable weight for my body type. I’ll never be a size 2 again. It’s not the way my body is built, and especially not after two kids. I’m ok with that. I just want to look better, not perfect.
    I can see a little bit of your belly button, it doesn’t look bad. Although, WTF is it with belly buttons becoming a cavernous hole post children?

  5. Karen

    First, you look fabulous! I know just how you feel about not being able to push yourself b/c of fear. I was the same for so long. I too have conquered some fears and am getting stronger! I’m down 25 and I am so focused. Like you, no diets, just sensibility and persistance! Keep up the great work!

  6. Mel

    Wow! Congratulations! You look amazing and it sounds like you feel amazing too. You should be proud of yourself, what a wonderful accomplishment.

  7. Julie @ The Mom Slant

    Dude. My belly button is seriously jacked the eff up. Don’t think another thought about yours.
    But do keep thinking about how much you’ve accomplished. I’m absolutely in awe of the changes you’ve made.

  8. Kate

    You are the wind beneath my wings. F’rrealz.
    You are a constant source of inspiration. And this time, I’m actually gonna DO something about it. As soon as I get back home from a business trip next week, I’m joining the local gym.
    :gulp:

  9. AmandaL

    Delurking to say that I’m so jealous! And now I literally have NO excuses not to lose weight. I don’t have the health issues that you do… and you’re DOING it. Congratulations!

  10. Evelyn

    You look great and just generally happier :) I’m just starting out on the non-diet changes myself… at 26 I’m type 2 and my blood pressure is starting to go up. Wacky I tell ya! The idea of continuing life with an ever increasing daily pill count doesn’t much interest me, so, changes will be made.
    But enough about me! Congrats on your accomplishments and can’t wait to see more!

  11. Marie Green

    Wow, just wow. And not just to the weight loss- though that is AMAZING, but also to the grounded mental place from which you speak… I love your honesty, bravery, and integrity in writing these post.
    Way to go! Keep it up! I’m cheering you on…

  12. Jamie Lovely

    You’re very inspiring, Y. I’ve gained a TON of weight (like so much, the number makes me want to cry) lately due to stress and general shit happening in my life and I’m about to start to get it all back off.
    So thank you for sharing your story. Really. You look fantastic!

  13. Emily

    I’m so proud of you! I read your site religiously (and have for years) but since it’s in google reader I never click through and comment. I don’t have much to say in this comment but seeing what you are doing for yourself is amazing. Good for you!

  14. Melissa

    Congratulations! I haven’t been on your blog in a while. You look wonderful. I just lost 10 pounds, 30ish more to go and I love to hear others success stories and tips! Keep up the great work!

  15. amy

    Wow-it ‘s great to see a real person losing weight the right way! You look fantastic. After trying every crazy diet out there I discovered that a healthy diet and excercise really can work!

  16. Twenty Four At Heart

    Remember our conversation at Las Brisas on Bossy night? It made me realize something was wrong with MY body too. I promptly got checked out and discovered I am also insulin resistant. Thank you for enlightening me! I’ve lost 18.5 pounds since I saw you! I used to try cutting calories, and try diets and nothing worked. I AM on a diet, but it’s one my doc recommended for insulin resistance. It is the first time EVER I’ve been able to lose weight. And basically, all I’m doing is eating healthy. Lean protein, vegies and small portions of fruit. After adjusting over the first week or two, it no longer even feels like a diet. It is just the new way I know I have to eat for the remainder of my life. I gained 30 pounds post car accident … and I had a good 10 or 15 to lose even before that. Thank you so much for sharing your story with me. Honestly, you were the one that made me realize I needed to go get checked out. Also, I’m SO inspired by what you’ve accomplished. Can’t wait to see you again and give you a gigantic HUG! xo

  17. elizabethk

    You look SO much healthier. It is so true – to focus on what you are, that you might be stuck at a certain weight (for now – just temporarily) – but you are feeling good, healthier and JUST know. I too have something *off* and I am working to figure it out.
    It is so encouraging to read this hope-filled entry! You are in my thoughts!!

  18. Karla

    Holy Moly! You look great! I’ve been a long time reader of your blog and I can’t type just how proud I am of you. You worked through something really hard and I applaud you.
    On a side note, I have that same bedroom set :) Great minds think alike…or maybe you got it on sale like I did ;)

  19. Christine

    SO inspiring! WAY to GO!!! I’m impressed. And I should finally make that doctor appointment I’ve been putting off, because I know there is metf*rmin in my future too. Unless I kick the weight off on my own.
    Thank you for sharing your story!

  20. kelly

    I’m struck by how relaxed you look in the second photo – this may be a function of photo taking, but you look stressed out in the before and zen in the after. Good for you for making progress and Not. Quitting. I look to you for inspiration for me to lose the last 20lbs I need to shed.

  21. kay

    Adding to the chorus on how great you look, and your attitude is so inspiring. Just wanted to let you know that no matter what stage of getting fit, your “just do what you can, and some more next time if possible” thoughts really hit home with me. They will definitely help get me out on the road for my next go. Congrats and thank you for sharing!!

  22. Shannon

    I agree with Kelly. You look better on the inside too! More important than looks though, you FEEL better and are able to be more active! AWESOME job!

  23. Rebecca Grace

    You look great. And do you realize that you look at least 10 years YOUNGER today than you did in your “before” photo? I love your healthy attitude about dieting, too. I was so inspired by your last post that not only did I go right upstairs and dust off my treadmill (and actually use it!) after reading, but I scheduled exercise in on my Outlook calendar as a recurring appointment.

  24. Karen

    You are amazing. And cheers to making it a lifestyle, not a diet. Me too. I think that will serve us better in the long run.
    I am so proud to know you. xoxo

  25. jessica

    I am in AWE of your hard work. I truly don’t know if I could ever work that hard and stick to it, no matter the stakes. Keep it up :)

  26. brandee

    Unbelievable story… you are right on track. I have tried telling many a friend on a diet that they DONT work! Lifestyle change is everything and you have obviously made it happen. Good for you for pushing to find out what was the matter with you! It is really unfortunate when you have medical/physical obstacles, but what amazes me more, is when people decide to not give up… even with these issues. I am a sucker for the Biggest Loser… have watched every episode, and cried during every episode. The biggest loser’s are my heros…they are inspiring and show the world that it can be done at any weight and that you can be in the best shape of your life, even if you are still taking off pounds in the process. Keep it up, you have made and amazing change to your body and physical self. I can also hear that emotionally you are really on track as well! You go girl!

  27. Lotus / Sarcastic Mom

    I know that you have worked so, so hard. I am so damn happy to see your progress. Loving the every so slight Mona Lisa smirk in the current photo. :)
    Rock on, strong woman. Here’s to healthy for life.

  28. Jenn

    You are such a superstar. I really love your posts about it too because you’re so honest and you tell it like it is and you don’t tout some magic “trick”. While I need to follow my own advice, I have been complaining for EVER that people need to stop looking for a magic trick and just do the simple things to get in shape! (And obviously this includes getting on the proper medications if you have specific medical issues!)
    Good job Y. You are doing great.

  29. Lauren

    WOW.
    Just…. WOW.
    I am impressed, inspired, and in awe!
    I’m struggling too- and I fear I’m having much the same issues with the Hash’s, but am fighting to get a doc to take me seriously.
    You have no idea how much you helped me keep moving today. :) Much love!

  30. schmutzie

    No diets! Exactly. When I stopped dieting and just became more mindful of eating decent food over junk, my mindset began to change. Plus, without diets, there is cheesecake. I love cheesecake.
    You look awesome, and you look like you’re feeling awesome, which is… awesome.

  31. Kim Tracy Prince

    Remember? That one time? When you were all insecure because you felt inferior to college educated writerly types?
    Sigh. I hope you never feel that way again because you’re SO good.

  32. Lee Laughlin

    Don’t know if I’ve mentioned this to you before, but I too am on Metf*rmin and I take compressed acadophelous tablets. The brand I use is called Bio Beads. Makes my digestive system much happier. They are OTC and it is the good bacteria in yogurt. Keep up the good work.

  33. BMom

    Fantastic post Yvonne! I’ve followed you for quite a while now (love your writing!) and I want to reach out and post back today, tell you what an inspiration you are and that I love your honest writing. You look amazing girl! I have never been able to run and I don’t know why — you inspire me to figure it out and get with it. I can do this. Thanks for sharing and inspiring.

  34. Madge

    Thank You for sharing your story. It is because of YOU that I finally decided to stop ignoring the glaring symptoms of insulin resistance and metabolic issues. I saw my doctor and I’m now on Metformin also. He also suggested a really good book to me, a “diet” for people with insulin resistance. It’s really not a diet at all, but a lifestyle change that can last a lifetime. I hate diets, I think they are nothing but set ups for failure. Good luck to you. I’m looking forward to continuing to follow your progress.

  35. Leah

    You are doing so great! What a change. And no diet is definately the way to go for long term success. Thank you for the continued inspiration.

  36. Jamie

    I hate to get all sappy on you, but I have to. I know you have written before about the struggle you have with yourself over continuing to write about your weight loss journey.. I hope that you NEVER stop writing about it. You have no idea who I am, I think I have only commented once or maybe twice. You have been a HUGE inspiration for me during this journey of yours. I have type II diabetes, and PCOS. Losing weight is difficult, but not impossible for me. You’ve helped to give me the motivation I needed to get my medication regimen lined out, and start working my way to a healthier life. Since March of this year I have lost 42lbs (although that’s a lot, it is, it was all done correctly, with proper eating, exercising and under my Endocrinologists care. I am betting the first 15lbs were water weight lol).
    Never give up Y! You’re making a difference, not just in your own life, but the lives of all of us who have read along during your journey. Thanks for being a true inspiration!

  37. neeroc

    Fairly new to your blog and I just want to say you look fantastic! Good job with your balanced approach to changing your lifestyle and congrats on the 5k. Oh, and as for messed up belly buttons? I’ve had 3 surgeries through mine. That leaves a mess!

  38. Mr Lady

    I hope you know how much these posts mean to people like me, people who know there is something wrong inside, and cannot get help. People like me who know this, and let that serve as an excuse to not work out. People like me who need to see someone else triumph. People like me who adore you and think you’re beautiful no matter what your scale says, but can at the same time see the changes inside of you shine through.
    I celebrate this with you, mostly because I see you becoming stronger in your mind, and more confident, and thereby more beautiful every day. Thank you for so openly blawwwwing all of this. It means a lot…to people like me.

  39. Cristin

    Wow, you look just GAR-geous.
    And it’s true. You gotta get up off your ass and exercise. I thought I could find a loophole in the rules, but no. Amazing what simply walking can do.
    Work it, mama!

  40. Christina

    You look amazing! I love reading your story, because it inspires me to keep going as well.
    It’s so easy to find stories of miraculous, easy weight loss, and we all want to believe it, but the truth is that’s not how it works for most people. Reading a story of how it really works – the pain, the sweat, the frustration, and the sweet payoff – is far more inspirational and uplifting. And it sets up a more realistic goal – I know it’s not easy and won’t set myself up for failure.
    Keep going! You’re doing great!

  41. Emily

    I’m delurking too so I can let you know that on days that I’m bowled over by the new mummyness I think of what you’ve achieved and it tends to get my ass out the door. So thank you , thank you , thank you!

  42. Margie K

    People always say “diets don’t work,” because they define the word “diet” as a restrictive eating plan that you go off of once you lose the weight.
    But that’s not the only definition of “diet.” It’s also a way of eating for life. A diabetic diet. A healthy diet. A vegetarian diet. A lactose free diet. It’s a way of eating, and yes, a lifestyle. The “South Beach Diet” is that kind of diet, one you go on for life (due to the different phases), and one that allows you to enjoy a treat (like cheesecake) once in a while, as long as most of the time you’re following their principles.
    What is the deal with Sourdough bread? It’s allowed on South Beach, because of the acid (i.e., sourdough). Acids are one of the four “sugar stoppers” (something we used to discuss on the South Beach forums at Prevention.com, back when they had a South Beach forum), because they slow digestion and therefore blunt the spike you get when you consume high-gi carbs (like white bread, white sugar, potatoes, etc.). You make it sound evil (and if it’s something you’re unable to eat in moderate quantities, then perhaps it is for you) but according to what I’ve read, it should be considered a “good” bread, one you can eat — just like whole wheat — on occasion, if you choose to have bread.
    Woo-hoo for you! Glad you’ve found the combination (meds, healthy eating, exercise…) that works for you. Keep working it! :)

  43. soukii

    Y, you inspire me. I am restarting my journey to health, and you have the same health issues I do: hashimotos & insulin resistance (only real difference is that my thyroid was removed because of thyroid cancer 3 years ago, oh and in case you are wondering, my hashimotos antibodies are still attacking my non-existent thyroid, making my synthroid dosing a nightmare to keep track of!! So, even thyroid-less, I’m still plagued by it- cool, huh? NOT!).
    Anyways, I feel like I can’t do it all the time, but then I think of you and how you’ve lost 50 POUNDS!!!, and I think that it may be possible for me to do it too.
    Thanks for inspiring me.
    YOU ROCK!
    Oh, I wanted to mention that I’ve recently been switched to the extended release version of metfor***, and have had none of the tummy issues this time. It’s been so much better. I don’t know which met you are taking, but it is worth looking into if you are just on the immediate release (regular) version.

  44. Denise

    Okay I have tears in my eyes. Go ahead and call me a cheese ball but I am SO FLIPPIN HAPPY for you. I have been reading your blog for yearrrrrrrrs. I know what this means to you. And you look incredible. You’re so narrow! I can’t wait until you can ditch the Metawhatever. And you are an inspiration, you’re helping me, too, not just yourself. I just got done working out for 45 minutes. I have 30 pounds to lose and like you, I’m not dieting. EVER AGAIN. God bless you, Y!

  45. Vicky

    That is so damn amazing and inspiring! I am so glad you are doing it for good reasons and are so positive. Way to go!!!

  46. Debbie

    You look great! I know it’s been hard for you, and that makes it all the more special what you’ve achieved.
    I want to add something here. I’m not a runner, but I am a type 2 diabetic who has way out of control blood sugars and who is about 70 lbs overweight. With my A1Cs continuing to rise, I decided finally to do something serious about getting healthy. I began a program called C25K – meaning couch to 5K, designed for those who are couch potatoes to get up to running 5K in 9 weeks. Since I’m not a runner, I’m taking each week of the program and doing it for 2 weeks. In addition, I’m using an app on my iPhone called Calorie Counter by MyNetDiary (which is also online and backs up online); it allows me to input my weight and measurements, my exercise each day (to get amount of calories burned), my food intake each day (to determine calories taken in), etc. It has a “plan” for me on how much to eat each day in order to lose weight. Using the two things, I’ve been able to lose 8 lbs since May 27. And I’m up to running a total of 9 minutes over a 30 minute period (C25K has you run then walk in cycles, gradually increasing the time you run and shortening the time you walk to recover).
    Just a suggestion on things you and your readers can look into to help them out.

  47. toni vadala

    I stumbled on your site and the first thing I saw was your before and after photos. Then I had to read. And I read every word. Thanks to your post, I have a renewed sense of hope that this gross 265 pound body of mine can again be the 150 pound body it once was. I, too, and insulin resistant and have been for 4 1/2 years(ever since my daughter was born) I’ve steadily gained over 100 pounds, and have completely lost faith in my ability to lose weight. The Metformin kept me in the bathroom 8-10 times or more a day and at the time I worked in a call center-not the best environment for that situation! I stopped taking it and begged for something else.
    Anyway, Awesome job finding your path to better health, and hopefully, I’ll be joining you sooner rather than later! Sincerely, Toni Vadala, mother of 5.

  48. Pauline

    you are my new hero. I’m insulin resistant, PCOS, and hypothyroid, and have wasted a year chronicling my weight loss efforts in a book. i say wasted because my mind is still where it shouldn’t be—and DIET is a very bad word indeed.
    anyhoo, thanks for this. i think it’s a kick in the pants i needed to get back on track. because if i keep trying, i’m succeeding.

  49. Nic

    I came here today specifically to reread this post. I’m struggling with my weight (PCOS related, exacerbated by the fact that I just like food) and your effort and loss is inspirational to me. FIFTY TWO POUNDS! That’s amazing. I want to do this, I NEED to do this, but I’m struggling. Than you for sharing this and letting me know I can.

  50. Laura Taff

    You look like a completely different person from the first picture to the second. I just had a baby (well- 9 months ago isn’t “just” anymore I don’t guess) and I’m still dealing with the weight. This is a very good post. Thanks!

  51. Janet

    I am delurking today to tell you that you look amazing and to congratulate you on your progress.
    Keep going – Obviously, this transformation agrees with you!

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