Wellness Wins is an original Yahoo series that shares the inspiring stories of people who have shed pounds healthfully.
Taylor Alexandra is 5 feet tall and currently weighs 100 pounds. In 2018, after gaining weight over the course of three pregnancies she saw a picture of herself that inspired her to change. This is her weight loss story, as told to Yahoo Lifestyle.
The Turning Point
As a teenager, my weight started to creep up, but I was only about 15-20 pounds overweight. When I was pregnant with my son at 21, I remember weighing 136 pounds at my first ob-gyn appointment. They told me that I shouldn’t gain much in my pregnancy. But I didn’t listen, and with my second pregnancy (three years later), my starting weight was 154. Then, after having yet another baby, my weight just kept going up until I was 31 years old, had three kids, and was 75 pounds overweight. Throughout those years, I started and stopped dieting more times than I can count; every other week I was between a new diet plan and stuffing my face full of Oreos.
My turning point happened when I saw a picture of myself and it blew my mind. I knew I was heavier than I’d like to be. I knew that I needed to lose some weight. But when I saw that picture of myself, I just knew I had to change. I was way bigger than I thought. So, I decided now is the time — I was done having kids, that chapter is closed, so now it’s my time to take back my body. This was in October 2018, and I started gradually by eating a little less each day.
It started with my mindset. I looked in the mirror and told myself that I was going to do it this time, that I wasn’t going to lie to myself. I wasn’t going to fail again. I needed to do this for me.
I started slowly because I knew I needed this to last. I knew if I went in guns blazing it wouldn’t last and I’d fail, just like every other time before. Growing up, my dad was a personal trainer and he always ate healthy (still does). So I knew all the right things to do. I didn’t want to do any fad diets, any weight loss plans, etc. I wanted to do it the old fashioned way — calories in, calories out. I am a busy homeschool mom of three, so I couldn’t commit to an extended workout regime. I knew my success would come from mainly what I allowed into my body. So I’d say 90 percent of my success has been from cutting calories to about 1,200. I ate three small meals and one snack per day. In the beginning, I definitely got hungry in between meals, so I would take a scoop of peanut butter or a handful of cashews to get through to the next meal.
It started out slowly, and I really didn’t see much weight difference for a few months. But I just kept going and had faith that, eventually, I would get there.
My mindset really was the key factor — I often looked in the mirror and told myself that I’m doing it, that I’m going to be so proud of myself for not failing yet again, and told myself nothing tasted better than being healthy felt. You have to be strong enough to say no to things that aren’t helping you reach your goals. As my clothes started to get big on me, I became so motivated. I went through my entire closet and took out all of my “fat” clothes and donated them. I vowed to never ever need those large sizes again. It was so freeing.
I feel so much better than I ever thought was possible. I knew I’d be happier and healthier, but I had no clue how much life I was missing out on simply because I didn’t want anyone to see me. That old friend who hasn’t seen me in years? No way was I going to see her. But now, ‘Yes, let’s get together!’ That pool party my kids were invited to? No way was I going to get in a bathing suit in front of anyone. But now, ‘Yes, let’s get our bathing suits on and head on over.’ That family picture? ‘Let’s take it now!’ I said no to so many things before because of my weight and how embarrassed I was to be seen. Now, I’m up for everything.
I used to have so much foot pain (I was born with a foot condition called clubfoot, and I had four surgeries before I was nine years old), and that foot pain is completely gone. My feet can easily handle the 100 pounds it carries around now, but at 175, I was barely able to walk more than 100 feet without pain. So that was a huge plus for me in this weight-loss journey.
Something that surprised me was how others acted around me. I get so much more attention from others now. I felt invisible when I would be out and about before, but now people are so much more friendly to me. It’s sad but true — women and men alike are just nicer to thinner people in my experience.
I’m still doing the three meals per day and one snack per day, but I give myself more grace than I did before. I am eating a few hundred more calories a day now. But eating healthy is easier now than it’s ever been, so sometimes I eat a little less.
I weigh myself every single night and morning. I know that sounds extreme, but it seriously has helped me stay on track and has allowed me to learn what my body needs to run and be fueled but not stuffed.
When I look in the mirror or take pictures of my body now, I am so happy with my results. I have vowed to never, ever go back. I am a different person than I was before I lost the weight, and I really love this person now — inside and out.
Food tastes good. I think the hardest thing is fighting that urge to overindulge. It is, and probably always will be, a battle within myself. But I’ve learned to tell myself that it isn’t worth it and that it’ll be over within a few minutes. But the guilt of eating too much will last for days. Again, it’s all just a mental game.
Don’t wake up every morning saying today is the day you change, and then go to sleep every night [feeling like] a failure. Stop the self-sabotage. Stick it out — you know what you need to do. And you will be so thankful that you didn’t let yourself fail again. You got this!
Need more inspiration? Read about our other wellness winners!
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