This entry is part 2 of 13 in the series 100 lb Weight Loss Series

As I share how I’ve lost 100 pounds, it’s important to also consider how I gained (then lost) 100 lbs.

100 lb Weight Loss: How I Gained (then Lost) 100 pounds

What People Say When You’ve Lost 100 Pounds

People often ask me how I lost 100 lbs, but curiously I can’t remember a time I’ve been asked how I gained 100 extra pounds.  Why is this?

Is it because there is no mystery of how to gain extra weight?  Eat too much, move too little.

Then again, there isn’t a mystery to weight loss either.  Eat fewer calories than you burn and you lose weight. Yet because of the emotional relationship many of us have with food, it becomes so much more complex!

Maybe people are curious how I became so overweight but feel it would be impolite to ask.

My son Paul asked me the other day, “Mom, why are you writing this blog about your weight? Isn’t it rude for a woman to talk about her weight or her age?” (We’ve been attempting to teaching our boys social etiquette. Some concepts are getting through. The other morning I was in the bathroom half clothed, putting on eyeshadow when Zack came in and announced to me, “I can’t touch you, Mom. Dad says to touch a naked woman is in-po-pi-at.”)

I let Paul know I’m allowed to talk about my weight, but it would be rude for someone else to ask for a specific number. “Just tell a woman how beautiful she is, and you can’t go wrong,” I assure him.

How I Gained (and Lost) 100 Pounds

I will tell you how I gained 100 extra pounds.

I have had a love/hate relationship with food for as long as I can remember. I’ve been a compulsive overeater and binge eater since I was a teenager.

Food was my best friend and my greatest enemy. I thought about food constantly. Whether I was overeating or strictly dieting, I was thinking about food.

before picture, 100 pound weight loss

Sara “before” picture

It’s like the hunger dial in my brain was constantly cranked up to “extra high” when everyone else’s was set to “medium.”

If you had asked me why I overate, I would have told you I just really liked food. Or maybe I would have said I didn’t know why, but I couldn’t stop. Now I have greater insight into why. I used food to numb the feelings I was afraid to feel.

As a teenager, I would come home from school to watch TV and eat junk food snacks. It put me into a zone where I didn’t have to think about my problems. As a young mom, I lived for nap time. Ah, the silence. With babies down for their naps, I could sit, read a book and eat chips or ice cream. I was into the zone.

Later when the kids were toddlers and I was frazzled, tired and so…bleh, I would sit, read and eat while they were running around trashing the house. Just to tune them out for a few minutes was worth it. Then I would feel guilty that they could see what I was doing. I hoped they weren’t old enough to remember.

Hitting Rock-Bottom with My 100 Pound Weight Gain

I didn’t have one rock bottom moment when I knew I needed to lose weight, but rather a series of low moments.

Sara Before and After weight loss

I distinctly remember a time when my daughter Kiersten was 5 or 6 years old and caught me eating ice cream out of the carton mid-morning. She asked why I got to eat ice cream for breakfast and she didn’t. My face burned with shame and my heart sunk. What was I teaching my children?

Yet this low moment wasn’t enough to stop me. As awful and embarrassing as compulsive overeating is, it is a relatively safe addiction. I could binge eat and still safely get into my van and drive my children. The desire to stop the addiction was there, but it wasn’t strong enough to pull me out of my behaviors.

Unlike some people who try every diet known to man, I really didn’t try too many different types of diets. I either counted calories or use Weight Watchers. Counting and writing down calories on my own at home usually lasted 3-4 days, maybe a week at the most. Using the Weight Watchers program and going to meetings gave me more success. I joined 5 different times over a 10 year period and always lost weight, once over 50 lbs. Each time, though, I quit the program for different reasons and gradually regained the weight.

My lowest weight as an adult was when I was in college. I was still technically overweight but I looked and felt good. I wasn’t on a specific diet program, but I was young and in love! My husband Mike and I were dating and were finally together at college after having a long distance relationship while I was in high school and he was in college. Being busy with friends, activities, and classes and not having constant access to food also helped.

When I hit my final rock bottom moments in 2004 and was ready to make life-long changes, I considered all this history, especially the weight loss I had in college. I knew the right step for me was to start therapy specifically focused on my eating issues. The changes I needed to make had to start in my heart and my mind in order for me to be successful in a lasting way.

Before and After 100 Pound Weight Loss

My 100 pound weight gain has a happy ending. I eventually lost the 100 pounds and have been maintaining my weight loss for over 10 years. I went from a total coach potato to triathlete.

My Before – 100 Pounds Gained

image19-5-2007-medium

My After – 100 Pounds Lost

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If you are struggling with a weight gain and feeling low about your “before” photo, allow me to encourage you. Weight loss is absolutely possible! It’s important to consider how I gained 100 pounds and then how I lost it for good. You can have fat loss and get to your healthy weight, too.

Can you relate to my “before”? Leave a comment below to join in the discussion.

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100 lb weight loss: How I gained (then lost) 100 pounds

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