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! 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!


January 2, 2020 ... I've still been plugging along, hanging out within the same few pounds again.  But my "why" has changed!  Grandson Adam James was born and I want to be a healthy & fun grandma for him.  I also am looking to go to the police academy this fall to become a reserve deputy sheriff along with some of the people on my search & rescue team.  I don't want to be a fat cop!  (edit - police academy ain't happening!  Too much other stuff going on in life!)


March 18, 2020 ... Change of plans.  The Spouse & I both got laid off of work until further notice, so we're cutting back on unnecessary expenses.  Gonna 'yeet' the WW for now.  


September 18, 2021  Sigh.  I'm back again!  Piled around 22 lbs back on.  It's been a struggle this time around, even with the new personal points.  Meal planning and tracking are the bane of my existence and I know what's what I need to do to make this work!  I have the most obnoxious alarm set on my phone with a reminder to track each evening.   

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!
235.1 lbs
I'm sure Kisses will be happy when I lose more #s!