29/F/5'3": >150 pounds lost (11 months)

emilyCPA Posts: 16 Member
Hi everyone,

Here's my on-going story:

My name is Emily and I'm 29 years old. In 11 months, I've lost just over 150 pounds through nutrition, exercise, and focusing on identifying and modifying habits. Visual progress is directly below, followed by more of my story and what I've learned to date:


On June 4, 2015 I made the decision to seriously commit to changing my life. Overwhelmed and with almost no energy to spare beyond getting through my day to day responsibilities, I made very minor changes to my lifestyle.

I started by trying to improve my nutrition, which naturally led to having a little bit more energy. My definition of 'good nutrition' continues to evolve, but the premise of what I was and am trying to achieve has stayed the same (progress, not perfection). Through trial and error, I was able to find things that worked (and didn't work) for me.

I live a very different life than I did 11 months ago, and the changes I've made (both in terms of nutrition and physical activity) have had a tremendous impact on my health (blood levels are all normal, no more obstructive sleep apnea, etc).

I'm a bit of a data junkie and have worn a Fitbit Charge HR every day. For comparison purposes, here's an overlay of my heart rate measured throughout a 24 hour period on June 4, 2015 vs. March 4, 2016):


I was barely active on June 4, 2015 (3,675 steps and no 'active' minutes), yet by looking at the orange line (June 4, 2015) vs. the blue line (March 4, 2016), you can see how much harder my heart had to work throughout the day (including while sleeping) compared to March 4, 2016 when I walked over 20,000 steps and was active for just over 2 hours.

I've learned a lot along the way. I still have a lot to lose, but weight loss is not my primary focus. Below are five of my principles that I fully embrace:


#1: Willpower is a fleeting resource. If you’re not happy and you do not enjoy what you’re choosing to do, you will eventually stop doing it. Humans do not enjoy suffering.

#2: The majority of your day is driven by unconscious decisions. Your mind is efficient - how you act/react is so habitual that you do not consciously think about many things that you do on a day-to-day basis. Isolating and modifying your habits can therefore become your best tool to initiate and sustain real and substantive change.

#3: Habits can be broken down and thought of in terms of either being a barrier or facilitator to success. What can you do to either minimize/remove the barrier or enhance the facilitator so that you can better achieve what you want to accomplish? Remember #1 though - you have to be happy with whatever changes you make in order to sustain them long-term.

#4: Good nutrition is paramount. You can’t consistently out-exercise what you are eating and you can’t adequately fuel sustained exercise without good nutrition. Combine exercise and good nutrition in a manner that you enjoy and you will experience a synergistic improvement to your overall health. The internal struggle/battle with yourself will slow and weight loss will happen almost effortlessly.

#5: Don’t be so hard on yourself. You don’t expect others to be perfect, and it’s unfair to expect yourself to be. Perfection is an unmaintainable standard that is likely to lead you to feelings of disappointment, shame, and guilt when you feel like you’ve “failed” for doing something you “shouldn’t” (but obviously wanted to in the moment you did it). These feelings may drive you to eat more than you would have had you just been easier on yourself from the beginning.

Instead of struggling in a world where you “must” (unhappily) deprive yourself of everything you enjoy, aim to live the healthiest life you can while continuing to be happy (lesson #1). Recognize and appreciate that your version of “healthiest, happiest life” looks different than someone else’s and even your own version can vary in response to a variety of factors - some days that may mean you eat more or “junkier” food than others. That doesn’t mean you’ve failed. The path to “success” is continuous, but far from linear.


Thanks for reading and hope some of you find the above helpful.


  • BeLightYear
    BeLightYear Posts: 1,550 Member
  • LilDsMom2
    LilDsMom2 Posts: 211 Member
    Amazing results!
  • Cedarwren
    Cedarwren Posts: 73 Member
    Wow! Inspirational!
  • 120poundstogo
    120poundstogo Posts: 700 Member
    Wow such an amazing transformation
  • RoseTheWarrior
    RoseTheWarrior Posts: 2,035 Member
    Great job and excellent points!
  • sparklyglitterbomb
    sparklyglitterbomb Posts: 458 Member
    You rock!
  • memotic
    memotic Posts: 8 Member
    Awesome job!
  • LaceyBirds
    LaceyBirds Posts: 451 Member
    Congrats - you've done a great job! The pointers you've listed will help many others.
  • lynder64
    lynder64 Posts: 285 Member
    Just the cup of inspiration I was looking for today :-) Fantastic accomplishment!!! Thanks for sharing!!! Wishing you continued success on your journey.
  • barbara3213
    barbara3213 Posts: 98 Member
    Great results and excellent principles. Thank you.
  • lisahebert186
    lisahebert186 Posts: 736 Member
    Amazing, thank you for sharing.
  • sadrac4683
    sadrac4683 Posts: 80 Member
    great job
  • hypodonthaveme
    hypodonthaveme Posts: 215 Member
    I am so overly excited about your progress, I am teary eyed. What an inspiration! Congratulations on the major loss. You are beautiful. Your story is very touching. I am speechless.
  • Gamliela
    Gamliela Posts: 2,468 Member
    edited May 2016
    You look great! Well done. I thought your 5 points were super. :)
  • butterfli7o
    butterfli7o Posts: 1,319 Member
  • lporter229
    lporter229 Posts: 4,907 Member
    Fabulous work and all around wonderful post! This should be stickied for all to read!
  • KombuchaKat
    KombuchaKat Posts: 134 Member
    You look amazing, great work! I totally agree with all your principles.
  • MaGrl523
    MaGrl523 Posts: 101 Member
    What incredible dedication and work! Congratulations! Great read too!
  • mankars
    mankars Posts: 115 Member
    Congrats.... awesome.
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