How Mae Found Her Way
Mae Lost 134.8 lbs
“ I realized that this is how life should be for everyone, not just those trying to lose weight. ”
As she was approaching her 30th birthday, Mae was also coming up on 300 pounds. She knew she had to change her life of being a couch potato and fast-food lover.
In Mae's words:
When you’re overweight all your life, it’s always in the back of your head. I would constantly say, “I’ll start Monday,” or, “The first of the month is coming up. I’ll start then.” It would always be another excuse. I’d tried other diets in the past and had actually lost about 70 pounds on a low-carb plan. The problem with that was that I wanted a doughnut every single day of my life. So when I finally broke down, I would have ten doughnuts instead of one. I gained all the weight back and then some. Being over 280 pounds, I was on the fast track to Type II Diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol, you name it. My 30th birthday was coming up and I finally decided once and for all to get healthy. Weight Watchers appealed to me because it’s not really a diet. It’s more like healthy guidelines for lifelong eating habits. I subscribed to Weight Watchers Online and haven’t looked back.
I chose Weight Watchers Online because I’m sort of a tech geek. I love to do everything online and on my phone. Using the eTools seemed natural to me. Having the app to track my food and look up foods and the values was a real no-brainer.
I loved that with Weight Watchers most fruits and vegetables have zero values. And nothing is off limits. If I want a doughnut, I can have it. What’s funny is that once I knew I could have it, I didn’t really want it so much anymore. I also realized the importance of drinking water. I used to drink so much soda, but now water is the only thing I drink. I have about 100 oz a day!
Before I started Weight Watchers my food habits were terrible. I’d have fast food two or three times a day sometimes. Since I work a lot, it was the easiest thing to do. I never cooked, and didn’t know my way around the kitchen, so it was so much easier to grab something from a fast food restaurant. I also didn’t measure anything so my portions were out of control and I ate so many deep-fried foods. I had the worst diet you can imagine, really.
Now I’m learning to cook! Using the recipe builder has been a huge help. You just type in the ingredients, divide it by the servings and it tells you the value of that meal. You can save it as a favourite and then next time you make it, the work is already done for you.
At the beginning of my weight loss I started a blog and joined Twitter to connect with others out there trying to lose weight. I didn’t intend for a lot of people to actually read my blog, I just thought it would be a fun way to document my journey. Suddenly I had this huge readership. Over the years I’ve had lots of people e-mail me and say they’ve been following me since the beginning and that I’ve inspired them to lose weight. It’s a really amazing feeling.
At my heaviest, my fitness routine was non-existent. I could do maybe one flight of stairs at my office. If I tried to do two flights, I’d be completely winded. But after I started seeing results on the scale, I hired a personal trainer to up my fitness regimen. One memory I have is of one of our first sessions. She simply asked me to run across the street. I was still more than 200 pounds at that point, so I was exhausted after just that tiny distance. Now I’m running 5Ks and have so much more endurance. I work out about 5 days a week. It’s weird because if I miss a few days at the gym, I feel lost. I can’t wait to get back in there. That’s something I never thought I’d say.
Slow and steady
I’d tell other trying to lose weight to be patient. Take it five or even three pounds at a time. Even if you don't see a loss each week, you’re still improving your health. I know it's easier said than done, but the number on the scale shouldn't dictate your diet. Whether you’re thin or overweight, you should always eat healthy foods and stay active. When you do that, you’ll see the rewards in the form of lost inches and pounds.
A renewed hobby
I’ve always been a huge tomboy and ever since I was old enough to drive, I’ve been into cars: making them faster or prettier. I especially love small, compact sports cars. Most of them are tiny and have bucket seats, so squeezing into them was really embarrassing for me. I even needed a seat belt extender so that it would go all the way around me. Now that’s a thing of the past. I can fit into any car. Losing the weight has definitely made my hobby much more fun.
At my heaviest, I wanted to blend into the background as much as possible. I didn’t want anyone to notice me. I wouldn’t wear makeup and would just throw my hair into a sloppy bun. But now before I go to sleep I’m thinking about what I’ll wear to work the next day and how I’ll do my hair. It’s just strange because I’ve never been a girly girl and now I care about shoes and how a certain necklace looks with a certain dress. I walk around like I own the place sometimes and I love it.
Weight Watchers taught me that this is how life should be for everyone, not just those trying to lose weight. I’m so much healthier now. I'm not quite to my goal weight yet, but I constantly have my eye on the prize. Other than losing weight, there are other successes as well. Now I have a slightly out-of-control shopping habit since I can buy single-digit sizes now!
The best part
Every year at my annual review, my boss would always say the same thing: “You’re great, you just need to be nicer. You need to be more bubbly.” At the time I didn’t get it. Why do I have to be bubbly? Why should I be fake? And now I realize being nice isn’t about being fake. Since losing weight I’m just happier. I’m happy being me — I’m just a smaller version of me. I feel great knowing that I’ve improved myself from the inside out. And it shows when I walk into a room.