Weight Loss Story & Photo Gallery

I don't recall being heavy or really even chubby in high school.  But for some reason, my parents took me to Medical Weight Loss during my junior year.   I hated taking their nasty supplements and documenting what all I ate so they could analyze it. And yes - they would gripe at me for what was in my journal. Toward the end, I tended to lie and write down miscellaneous stuff on the way to weigh in, more of what they wanted to see and not what I was actually eating. I got down to 145 pounds - which sounds great - however, I am not a petite, delicate flower by any stretch of the imagination. I have shoulders like a linebacker so I think I looked sick with my bones sticking out.

In March 1992, I joined the Navy. I totally didn't eat right at all. During A-school in Pensacola, I lived for a good 4 months on Mountain Dew and Rugers Chocolate Wafers from the vending machines. I went to the base galley exactly twice during that time - it was never open when I needed to eat! I was going to school from 5 PM to 12 AM (with dinner from the mobile "roach coach"), then trying to work in mandatory PT, mandatory study times, mandatory inspections and all the rest. Not that I thought about it at the time, but my healthy choices were limited.  How did I live??

When I transferred to the USS Canopus (AS-34) that fall, I ate better because the mess decks offered real food conveniently. On the downside, no one forced me to work out or run, and I had discovered the demon rum (and beer.... and whisky.... you get the point!!) I guess I was probably getting heavier, I'm not sure. I did realize that I ran better in formation than I ever did on my own. Must have been the cadences. One night I tagged along with some friends to a country bar in Norfolk, Virginia and I met some people who taught me to do a few line dances and the 2-step and I discovered that dancing was fun! I will never forget one night at the Chief's Club on NAS Alameda (which is now closed) being the only girl at a table full of guys and they decided to have a contest of who was the best dancer. I didn't sit down at all that night! Fun, fun, fun!!! But I digress.

In late 1994, I was transferred to the USS Abe Lincoln (CVN-72). After the '95 West Pac (cruise around the western Pacific) I was in awesome shape! Hauling 100 pound bags of mail up and down 6 narrow flights of ladders in desert heat will do that to a person, I guess! And I ate fairly normally on the mess desks (just not in port - LOL!).

Then in late 1996 I got pregnant with Angela. I gained 60 pounds, of which only 8lbs 13oz was baby! It's funny that I don't remember ever having the mindset that I was eating for two, so I can't use that as an excuse for the huge gain. I have no excuses. It was tough to squeeze back into a regular uniform when maternity leave was over! But at least I wasn't one of those girls who still had to wear their maternity uniform when they went back to work. Whew!

After Angel was born, I had a hard time with PT (physical training). I just couldn't breathe when I ran! The PT coordinator thought I had angina, but I never went and had it diagnosed by a real medical person. In fact it was years later before I even bothered to look it up and see what that is. Anyway, so after I failed several of the semi-annual PRTs (physical readiness tests) for not being able to run a mile and a half in a certain time and for not being within body fat standards, I was not eligible to take the E-6 advancement exam and lost my orders to Signonella, Italy. Apparently to the Navy, if you can't outrun the natives you're not a good U.S. ambassador. Pppft. Whatever. I wasn't eligible to re-enlist, either. I could, however, extend my current enlistment. But the only orders I was offered at that point were my choice of destroyers out of Pearl Harbor. Meh. This was in 2000, and I was also going thru a divorce, so I opted for an honorable discharge while I could still get it, packed up my kid & my stuff and came back home to Michigan.

Looking back - I wonder why I never tried to swim the PRT. It was an available option and I probably could have done that. But I didn't. I pretty much screwed myself out of ever making the Navy a career. Or do something like Weight Watchers?  Oh well.  They say hindsight is 20/20, but if I never thought of myself as being overweight or out of shape....~shrug~

Moving on.... in 2001 - I tried Herbalife, which also worked well as long as I was taking it. It was quick, but SO expensive! I was spending about $100+ a month on that. I lost a lot of poundage, but as soon as I stopped....you know the story. I puffed right back up like a balloon. I don't remember ever getting on a scale, so I can't tell you what the before & after was on that. I know I looked pretty good. I think that was the only time in my life my thighs were thin. (FYI, mid 2012 - their prices have more than doubled.  $100 will get you maybe 2 week's worth of product)

So I made those couple half-hearted attempts to lose weight over the years, but mostly just sat there and let it grow and spread, sort of like mold on a piece of bread.

I met Randy in January 2002 and we both gained weight once we started living together. I guess we got really comfortable with each other! When we got married in July 2006, we had both put on some serious weight. I found the perfect wedding dress, but it was one from a line that had been discontinued which meant they didn't have my size anywhere: it had to be altered. The tailor let the seams out as far as he could without adding material, but I still had to wear a corset in order to get it zipped.  I don't know how women used to wear those things for day-to-day life.  Torture!!

Moving on again, I got fed up with looking like a blob. Plus I got a good look at my backside in a mirror. Learn from that fail - don't EVER do that! Scary! Overall, I just felt lousy. I couldn't sleep for more than a couple hours at a time before my back hurt so bad I had to get up and walk around. I tried to blame that one on our old mattress. But my knees always hurt, I had a heel spur, and had borderline high cholesterol (looking thru my Navy medical records, I had it then, too, but no one ever said anything to me about it). I just generally felt and looked like crap. I hated clothes shopping, since I couldn't find any cute stuff in my size. Everything either looked like it was meant for old ladies or it made me look pregnant!

In the back of my mind, I never forgot when one of the truck drivers at work asked if I was expecting. I am happy to say that he was not injured or maimed in any way after that comment!!!!

As my 35th birthday approached, I wanted to do something for ME and my health. I want to be a wife and mom to be proud of. I don't want to be one of those women who people wonder what my hubby sees in me and I don't want to be one of those moms taking their kid to dance class and looking like it would kill me if I attempted to do what my daughter was there to do! And if along the way, I inspire Randy to lose some, too... then that will be great!

Sooo, on August 13, 2008 - I took the plunge and joined Weight Watchers.


Update! On April 9, 2009, I finally reached my 50 pound mark!!! I got my awesome shiny gold charm to go on my keychain. I really wanted that charm!!

It really isn't a diet, but a change of lifestyle. It's by no means easy and it's not a quick fix. The weight didn't appear overnight, it won't come off that way, either.


October 10, 2010 ... I've decided to take a break from WW for a while. I've been hovering in the same 5-7 pounds for over a year & its getting old & REALLY discouraging. I just need to step away for a bit. I don't plan on jumping off the bandwagon totally, because I don't want to screw up all that I've already accomplished. I will join back up again in a few months so it will all seem new again.


March 3, 2011 ... I went back to WW tonight! I've had a nice break & am ready to rejoin the journey. And since there is the new PointsPlus program to learn, it'll be all new & interesting! Can't wait to start!


July 7, 2016 ... I'm having a hysterectomy in a couple days and it just happens to coincide with my WW account being cancelled.  It's a funny story - someone tried to use my credit card in another state so the bank cancelled it.  That card happened to be attached to my WW account, and I was out of town and didn't see the emails about it.  Ooops.  But that's OK.  Now I don't feel guilty about not going to meetings for a while.  But I will go back!

November 30, 2016 ... I'm back!  I gained pretty darn close to 10 lbs during that time I was off.  But is also included Pumpkin Spice Ice Capp season at Tim Horton's, Halloween & Thanksgiving.  So I guess I should be happy it's only 10 lbs!

Photo Gallery

This is the most embarrassing collection of photos ever. 
I am normally the one behind the camera so I had to look hard to find these.

But this is reality.

My bridal shower - 5/6/06
WTH was I thinking when I let someone take a pic from this angle??? 
8/3/08 - the weekend before joining Weight Watchers
269.6 lbs 
12/26/08 - down 35 lbs
On the fire escape of the West Mountain Tower in Hot Springs, AR.
45 lbs down
55 lbs down
size 14/16 dress! 
1/15/10 61 lbs down!
5/29/10 61 lbs down
7/4/10 - my first ham radio event
Clawson's 4th of July parade 
62 lbs down 
62 lbs down
3/3/11 - the restart
225.4 lbs 
44 lbs down from the very beginning
It's been a while!
216.8 lbs and the beginning of a downward trend!
I can honestly say I'm OK with having my pic taken in a bathing suit here!

I can't believe I've never taken pics like this......
This was 1/6/14, 201.4 lbs.
My lowest weight in many years.

I can only imagine what I looked like before!