Weight-Loss Win is an original Yahoo series that shares the inspiring stories of people who have shed pounds healthfully.
Christine is 30 and 5-foot-7, and she currently weighs 165 pounds. In 2016, after a lifetime of being overweight, she turned to weight-loss surgery to finally take control of her health. This is her weight-loss story.
The turning point
I was a fat baby, a fat child, and a fat teen. I’ve always known my weight was an issue and have always felt too fat for every situation.
Since age 14, I had been trying to lose weight, and I was always active. I used to do CrossFit, weightlifting, rock climbing, I even ran a Tough Mudder, but I never lost any weight. By the time I was around 28, after trying pills, shakes, and crazy diets to no avail, I was so exhausted from the constant fight to lose weight that I had resigned myself to being fat forever. One day I was sitting on the couch watching TV when a story flashed through my Facebook feed about gastric sleeve surgery and I started crying. I realized I couldn’t give up until I had tried everything. The thought of surgery terrified me but not as much as spending the rest of my life unhealthy and unhappy.
I had a vertical-sleeve gastrectomy, and post-op I lost around 65 pounds quite easily. Then the weight loss slowed considerably, and I had to put in the extra work. I walked every day, counted calories, gave up snacking entirely, and stopped drinking all sugary drinks.
There were many times when I lost motivation. Weight loss is hard! I fell off the wagon more times than I can say, but every day that I stayed strong, I felt a little healthier. I slowly felt stronger and started noticing that not only was I living a better, fuller life, but I was also inspiring those around me to be better as well.
My life has changed completely. No matter what I was doing before my weight loss, I was constantly aware of my weight. Hanging out with friends, working, shopping — I was uncomfortable at all times. While I never let it hold me back from trying new things, the only place I ever felt comfortable was in my own home.
Now I feel like an entirely new person. I can go places and actually enjoy being there. I’m trying new things and soaking up the experiences instead of smiling and pretending to be happy. I feel so much healthier, and for the first time in my life, I can go clothes shopping without needing to mentally prepare myself and have a support team present.
People treat you differently when you’re no longer fat. I had no basis for comparison because I had never been a normal weight, but people are polite to me now. I’m making new friends, socializing more, and I’m sure a lot of that is to do with my newfound confidence, but I genuinely believe people treat me differently.
Every morning, I go for a walk — no matter if it’s raining, hailing, or frigid outside. I also do yoga and mobility, and because I am still trying to lose a bit more weight, I am focusing on trimming down. My day-to-day diet consists of protein and vegetables with small amounts of quinoa or brown rice. I still have my two full-fat lattes — you’d have to kill me to take them away — and I focus on keeping my calories at around 1,200 per day. But I don’t torture myself anymore; if I’m going out with friends, I’ll eat. Walking, drinking water, and not snacking are all habits I try to practice.
What keeps me motivated is the goal of looking hella fine in my wedding dress. The further I get into this journey, the more self-motivated I am, but if I’m ever having a rough day, I love looking through Instagram at some of the amazing weight-loss girls and their progress.
The main thing I struggle with is my loose skin. It puts a lot of pressure on my diaphragm when I jog and means I need to wear larger pants than I should, but when I wear good compression pants, it all tucks away nicely. I try to keep my sense of humor with everything I’m experiencing now though. It’s all an experience and makes for great photos.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I couldn’t have done it without my surgery, but I know many people who have. Join a support group, work with friends, or speak to a doctor. The most important thing is to never give up! No matter how long it takes or how you get there, reclaiming your life is worth it.
Follow Christine’s journey on Instagram @rx_coffee
Need more inspiration? Read about our other weight-loss winners!
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