Success Stories - Amy

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For as long as I can remember, I've always been "a big girl". I was always bigger than many of the kids in my class all throughout my school years. In middle school I wasn't just "a big girl" anymore, many kids just called me fat. In those days I felt hopeless about my future of ever being a "normal" size. In high school things started changing and I thinned out a little until my junior year of high school when the pounds started coming back. That was my first attempt at Weight Watchers. I lost 23 pounds going for a few months and for some reason thought once I got to goal I'd be cured of my eating problems. Boy was I wrong....

After I got married the weight just seemed to pack on over night. My eating habits were horrible and I didn't care. All the good things I had tried to do for myself while at Weight Watchers seemed to go right out the window.

The hardest time for me was after my first daughter was born. I lost weight right after I had her and within months I had found it, plus at least 20 more. When my first daughter was 2 years old, I knew it was time to do something about my ever rising weight. I was about 220 pounds at that time and I decided to do it all on my own. Thinking I didn't need anyone or anything telling me what I needed to do, I set out on a horrible weight loss nightmare. Sure, I lost over 70 pounds, but I starved myself until I was blacking out. My skin was dry all the time and I was always sick. The first month on my own program, I lost 30 pounds. In a matter of 5 months or so I had lost over 70 pounds. I felt terrible. I forced myself to exercise too much and eat too little. Water wasn't something I knew about. I'd go days without a simple glass of water. So, I'm sure you all can imagine that it was VERY easy to start putting weight back on. I was eating less than 800 calories a day and if I did eat more, the weight came back in many pounds at a time.

When I got pregnant again with my second daughter in 1998, I had already gained back about 40 pounds, putting me at around 182. I told myself I had to just concentrate on getting my baby here healthy and I'd worry about my weight after her birth. Well, I gained over 30 pounds during that pregnancy putting me at a delivery weight of 216. I was okay with that and sure enough, after she was born, I started losing again. I got down to about 190 and guess what? I started gaining it all back and then some!!  In December of 1999, I took a look at a picture of myself that my daughter had taken of me on a Polaroid. I was shocked and very mad at myself for getting myself back into this mess. Who was that person in the picture? I hadn't been paying attention to myself in ages. I was wearing pants that were too tight and shirts that could have been made into a tent if someone needed. I did my makeup in a small mirror and never looked at the rolls of fat I developed. I knew they were there, I just figured that if I didn't look at them, they'd go away on their own some how.

On December 28, 1999 I walked through the doors of Weight Watchers again and weighed in at 221 pounds. I had heard about their new 123 Success Program and thought it sounded like something that would work for me. I went in there with no expectations from myself. I didn't even know if it was going to work for me. I read over the material and got very excited about the program. I kept thinking that there was no way a program could work if you could eat sweets or fast food. How could it work? Well, after only 2 weeks on the program I had already lost 10 pounds and my hopes were very high. There was some lady in my meetings that looked way too thin to be there and I wondered what in the world she was doing there. Come to find out that lady had lost over 95 pounds on the program and she had a HUGE website on the Internet that I had already visited. I just couldn't believe that it was the same lady. What were the chances of me being in the same meetings as the famous Dotti? I knew right then and there I had made a great choice and my success was unlimited.

As of today, I have lost 71 pounds and it has been a great journey. I made goal on September 6, 2000 with tears in my eyes. All the hard work had paid off and now I am below goal. There have been days when I have not wanted to do program, but I always get back on the wagon as soon as I can without even realizing it. The weight has dropped off before my eyes and still to my amazement. I exercise at least 20 minutes a day and I don't beat myself up if I have a day where I am unable to do my walk. This is for the rest of my life and I can't have guilt for things I cannot take back. What I know now is that the journey never ends. I will always have to keep a close eye on what I eat, but I don't have to starve myself to be thin. I CAN eat out and I CAN have some dessert once and awhile. I CAN live a little and not feel guilty. I am a totally different person than the last few times I lost weight. Things are clear now and I have finally understood the concept of program being a way of life and not a diet. This isn't something that happens overnight and then you are cured.

I'd like to thank Dotti for her support and inspiration. Seeing her strut in her jeans every week with a new food find to share with us all really helped me. She is living proof that program works and she is living it daily. I just hope that I can help inspire someone as much as she has inspired thousands of people out there. Thank you Dotti!!!! And another thanks to our leader, Renee! Your humor and support have been so valuable to me. I can't stress enough how important those Weight Watcher meetings are. I always come out of there renewed and ready for a new week. On a daily basis I have found support from a Weight Watcher board hosted by Thrive on the internet (Keyword: Thrive for those of you on AOL). I may have never met any of you, but your posts have helped me so much. Thank you all.

To those of you reading this out there that feel hopeless at times, I just want to tell you to NEVER give up. This can be done and there are so many people out there that can be of great support to you. Good luck to you all!

Some personal stats:

I was almost a size 20 (my size 18 jeans were very tight) when I started and now I am an 8.

Starting weight was 221, current weight 149, goal weight was 153. I have a personal goal of 145. (Hey, I'd like to weigh what my drivers license says I do..heee-hee)

I've lost:                             

10 inches off my waist
4 inches off my upper arms
10 inches off my waist 
7 inches off my thighs 

(11/7) I became a Lifetime member on October 28, 2000, and was really excited to find out that I was below my own personal goal weight of 145.  I am now around 143 and plan on trying to get to 140.  I'd like to maintain a weight anywhere between 140 and 145.  Making Lifetime was such a great
accomplishment for me and I feel great.  For one of the first times in my life, I have accomplished everything I set out to do and I didn't give up. 

I'd like to thank all the great people out there who have sent me such nice emails about my story.  You all have kept me focused and motivated.  I wish you all tons of success.

Updated stats: I can actually fit into some size 6 clothes...woohooo!  But just being in an 8 was a HUGE accomplishment for me. I have lost 78 pounds, 11.5 inches off my waist and 10.5 off my hips!

(12/3/03) Here is my latest photo of me holding up my "old" pants that I used to wear next to the NEW me!  (photo bottom, far right)

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Photos - L-R:"before" family pic; Sept 1999; "after" pics

Amy's Email

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