“Now I know that because I’m getting healthier, I can spend those years making great memories with my friends and family.” (Photos courtesy of Sara Lugger)
Sara K. Lugger, age 36, is 5′9″ and currently weighs 195 pounds. But just two years ago, she weighed 342 pounds. This is the story of her weight-loss journey.
The Turning Point
I was turning 34 and closing in on being 350 pounds. At that time, I didn’t want to go out with friends, or to any events and outings, because I wasn’t sure if I could even fit in the seats.
One of my best friends was losing weight while being a part of a community weight-loss challenge site called DietBet.com, and after seeing her positivity and the support she was receiving from others in this group, I decided to join as well. In addition, I started working out and trying to incorporate physical activity into my daily schedule. In the mornings, I would exercise on the elliptical for 30 to 45 minutes. I made sure to walk around outside my building at work in the afternoons. And in the evenings, I would either take walks with friends or do dance workouts on my Wii.
In addition to the physical activity, I changed my eating habits. I lessened my calorie intake, eating four to five small meals and avoiding junk food and processed breads. Once every few weeks, I would allow myself to have a “cheat” meal.
I felt awesome, amazingly energetic, and accomplished. I was winning in so many ways — not just by losing pounds, but by participating in DietBet games, which earned me extra money and bragging rights! I think the best part of my weight loss, however, was being able to inspire other people through sharing my journey. I was finally able to feel like my true self again.
The most gratifying part of losing weight was adding extra years to my life. Now I know that because I’m getting healthier, I can spend those years making great memories with my friends and family. Since my weight loss, I’ve traveled, been to many sporting events, and participated in a handful of 5Ks. I’m finally excited to see what the future brings!
The Lessons In Maintenance
It’s hard to maintain sometimes, because people can easily slip into their old lifestyle habits. I try to make sure my morning and afternoon workouts are consistent and only allow myself treats occasionally. I’ve also learned to stop bringing trigger foods into the house. If I want ice cream, I buy a cone instead of a pint — that way when it’s gone, it’s gone.
It’s hard to not eat junk food! It’s also hard to consistently exercise in the morning … I love to sleep in! Also, it can be easy to talk myself out of a hard evening workout, so I make sure that my morning workout is a priority and my evening workout is a fun activity, like dancing. If I make sure to work out in the morning, it leaves my weeknights free to hang out with friends and family if the opportunity arrives, and I won’t feel guilty for going out.
Find activities that you love. It is so much easier to talk yourself into working out if you actually enjoy doing the exercises. Another piece of advice that is probably the most difficult for people: Don’t buy food that you can’t stop eating!
Read This Next: Andie Lost 135 Pounds And Gained A Sense Of Strength
Weight-Loss Win is an original Yahoo Health series that shares the inspiring stories of people who have achieved healthy weight loss. The series is authored by Andie Mitchell, who underwent a transformative 135-pound weight loss of her own. Have a success story of your own to share? We want to hear it. Tell us at YHTrueStories@yahoo.com.