Losing weight to improve your health

Tanya-Jane Evans is one of the few people who have gone from obese back to ‘medically normal’. It took a warning of a potential early death from her doctor to get her there. Here she discusses her motivation and her realisation that weight loss was just the start – it was actually lifestyle which would permanently make the difference.

In 2008, I was 21 years old and tipping the scales at almost 20 stone. Throughout the year I had tried various different diets to shift some weight and get healthy – all to no joy. I had tried a plan with the nurse at my local doctors and when that didn’t work I was prescribed a herbal food suppressant; and when that didn’t work I was prescribed what’s now known as Alli.¬†(Alli is a weight loss drug that attaches itself to fat molecules which renders them much less likely to be absorbed in the gut – ed.)
Again, that didn’t work. It was on a weigh in check up with my doctor that he told me if I didn’t lose weight I would die young. Those words were the kick up the bum I needed. Life was a struggle. Even climbing the set of stairs in my home got me out of breath.

I had a couple friends that had tried a diet called Lipotrim. I had never considered it until the point of being told I’d die young. So in January 2009 I decided after a weekend away with a friend I would come back and start Lipotrim. It involved 3 shakes a day. Absolutely no food. The only extras that were allowed was water, green tea & black coffee. I faced alot of negativity from family & friends as they had seen me try ‘fad’ diets before and fail but something this time around clicked.

The first week was tough but seeing the first loss of 11lbs on the scales spurred me on. It was plain sailing from then on in. I got to June 2009 and had managed to stick to the plan 100%. Even going on nights out and sticking to water. I had two breaks as I had 2 holidays over the course of the summer whereby I put back on 1.5st but come September I got right back on and got focused again.

15th November¬†was my final weigh in on Lipotrim & my total loss was 8st 0.5lbs …. I had lost in effect a person. I could finally walk stairs without being out of breath, I could shop in any shop I wanted and finally, felt like I had my life back. Looking back, I could say I wish I had lost the weight sooner but since finishing the weight loss part of my journey I’ve realised I wasn’t ready. I had hit rock bottom, and I was ready to change my life, I didn’t want to die young.

But, here began the hardest journey of all. Keeping the weight off. Between November 2009 & April 2010 I watched what I ate and drank obsessively, fluctuating within 7lbs of my weight loss. It was April 2009 when applying for a job that I decided I’d take up running & I’ve never looked back. I’ve now completed a 5k, 3x 10ks & 3 half marathons.

I solely place the fact I got out there and did exercise on me being able to keep the weight off. Of course, watching food & drink also plays a huge part but without running I don’t think I’d still be the same weight now. I’d have probably put it all back on and then some.

It’s been 3.5years since I had my last weigh in and I’ve still kept the weight off. Never will it go back on. Fitness and exercise is now a huge part of my life. I regularly do fitness classes & get out and run. I plan my life around being able to get in for a class or get out for a run, I’m not obsessed but I can’t imagine my life without exercise now. I’ve finally found something I enjoy, and that’s important. Of course, I allow myself an off day every so often and my treat is always a glass of wine (or 3) but it’s all about moderation.

My journey is far from over, there’s always some goal I’m striving towards whether it be lose a few holiday pounds or run a sub 60minute 10k, goals help keep you focused & on track, so my journey is on going. I didn’t just lose weight but I changed my life. Everybody says it & I never believed it, but its true, losing weight isn’t just about doing a certain diet for a certain amount of time it’s a complete life style change.

Feature Photo Credit: Body Image by Flickr user Charlotte Astrid, adapted and used under a Creative Commons

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