I find inspiration in many things, but few things are as inspiring as seeing someone reach the same kind of goal that you’re trying to reach. And Sarah has done it. She has lost 185 pounds and kept it off for over five years!
Though I’ve never seen her face to face she has quickly become one of my favorite people. But it didn’t start that way. When I first connected with her on Twitter, I found it very hard to read some of her posts – so hard, in fact, that I quit following her for a few days. Then something clicked in my mind. She was an awesome person, but it was extraordinarily hard to read her posts because they seemed so far away from where I was – and exactly where I wanted to be.
But guess what…it took Sarah quite a bit of time to get where she is. And she works at it to stay that way. It’s not easy, but it can be done. She’s done it, and I’m half way there. I asked her to share a bit about her weight-loss, maintenance and life because she has done something phenomenal. And if you get to know her, it will be nearly impossible not to respect her.
So here are my questions and her answers. I hope you’re as inspired by her as I am. Thanks for taking time to answer my questions Sarah!
1) How long did it take you to lose 185 pounds?
When I lost that first 100 pounds I was going from 345 to 245. I arrived back at a weight I was familiar with (that had been my max in high school) and now that I was taller in my early twenties I felt thinner.
After losing 100 pounds in just under 18 months my body had had enough and I hit a massive plateau. It did not matter what I did, my weight was stuck. I convinced myself that 240 was my set point, the weight I was supposed to be and stopped trying to actively lose weight.
Due to some changes in my personal life ( I met the man who would become my husband) and a history of diabetes I decided in 2004 to see if I could take off the rest of it. In November of that year I hit my goal, even though it would take me a while to realize I was there.
2) Is your life different now? If so, will you share how it’s different?
I think that through this process I realized that we only have one chance to make the life we want for ourselves. It’s as simple as working towards what you want and figuring out that no one else is going to do it for you. It’s cliche but nothing is worth having that you don’t have to work for.
3) You’ve maintained this weight loss for over 5 years..how have you done it?
I had never really been a yo-yoer and had no intentions of becoming one. When I lost it I wanted it to last, I didn’t want to have to do it again and I knew that it had to be permanent.
I go up and down a bit– 6 pounds or so (3 on either side of 158) and a few more than that after a nasty knee surgery, but for the most part my weight has settled.
I eat around 1800 calories a day, more protein probably than most but not enough fiber. I eat 5 times a day, mostly 3 meals and two snacks, however occasionally the evening can involve two small dinners based on my husbands schedule. I drink water and iced coffee, still trying to kick the caffeine free diet coke habit, but other than that I have rule about not drinking calories.
4) What has been the hardest part of your journey to shed these pounds and maintain it?
5) Are you happy with your body now that it’s much smaller? Will you elaborate?
When you have carried more fat around than what you weight now, I don’t think you can’t help but be happy with your body. It is so resilient and so functional.
The skin is what it is. I lived with it for years and skirts and dresses went a long way to camouflage problem areas. That being said I did finally have some plastic surgery last summer and will again this May. It took me a several years after reaching goal to make peace with the idea. 11 knee surgeries has made me scalpel shy, but after a great deal of thought I went ahead and had a panniculectomy (for below the belly button) and abdomniplasty (for above the belly button) last summer. I am artificially flat but again, so happy with the results despite the complications involved in my healing process. The novelty has not worn off.
6) On an average day, what makes you happy?
7) Any advice for people who are struggling to lose or struggling to get started?
Wow Sarah….thanks for taking time to give us such honest and thoughtful answers. You can connect read her blog by clicking here.
Though most of us are on a similar journey, each of us will experience it differently. But Sarah is a source absolute and unwavering proof that we can reach our goals and become the person we want to be. And I’m glad she took time to remind us of that today.