Weight Loss Success Story: Angela Gardiner

This week’s weight loss success story is an amazing 30 year old lady named Angela.  This picture was taken when she weighed her  heaviest at 230 pounds:

Angela before losing weight

She has two small boys and wanted to look good and feel better about herself!  She was also sick and tired of being sick and tired (and sweating constantly!).  A year later, and 100 pounds lighter, she is a whole new Angela:

Angela after losing weight

Check out her story and see if you can relate to anything she has gone through!

Tell us a little about yourself, your family, your job, etc…

I am 30 years old, have been married 5 1/2 years and I am a stay at home mom to 2 boys (ages 4 1/2 and 2 1/2).

Angela with her family after losing weight

What was your motivation to lose weight?

My motivation was pretty much the same reason every woman wants to lose weight:  to look good and feel good.  I was very unhappy weighing 230lbs and I ate way more than I should have.  After my youngest was born in April of 2010, I had big plans of hitting the pavement after 6 weeks. I did, but not nearly as often as I should have and certainly didn’t change my eating habits (not even a little).

What made you decide to start your weight loss journey?

I joined a gym in March of 2011.  The gym membership was my birthday gift and it was all I really wanted. I started going regularly but still the eating habits had not changed….and neither did my weight.

The real change happened in May.  I remember going to my one year checkup after having my son and talking to my doctor.  I told her I felt something was off because I was ALWAYS hot and sweating. Was it my thyroid??? She said perhaps, but that I really needed to get some of the weight off.  At that moment, I made a commitment that I WAS going to change (both my eating and my exercise).  It was the first time EVER that a doctor told me that my weight was becoming a problem and it truly scared me.  I said at that moment, I had to change.  I had to change and this time I was going to be serious about it!

How long did it take you to get to your ideal weight?

To get to my ideal weight it took 6 months (June-November).  After that, I still wanted to lose a bit more and after a year, I had lost a total of 100lbs.  I am still at my 100 pound weight loss.  My starting weight was 230 and now I weigh 130lbs.

Angela and her two boys after losing weight

What kept you on track losing weight?

I did Weight Watchers back before my husband and I got married.  My mother is a lifetime member so she gave me the materials and I knew how to follow the points system (tracking, calculating, etc).  I did not “join” but held myself accountable and made sure to track everything.  This had worked back in 2007 and I knew it would work again.

So, I began Weight Watchers again on Memorial Day, 2011.  I went back to calculating points, tracking what I ate and holding myself accountable. The first week, I dropped 10 pounds and that gave me the motivation to keep going. I also made mini goals (instead of saying I wanted to lose 100 lbs, I chose to try and lose 30 by the end of summer and then another 30 by the end of the year).  I follow the  Weight Watchers points system, not the new points plus.  I use the old slider and keep one in the kitchen and one in my purse.  It works for me!

Tell us about a typical day for you.

I work out every day. I’m a nut, I’ll admit it! Seriously, my alarm goes off at 2:40am (everyday) and I work out for an 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours. I get up that early because it is the one time that I can work out uninterrupted from the kids and husband. Could I work out at 5 or 6am? Sure, but it’s become a habit for me now.

I continue to track my points and watch what I eat, religiously. My favorite foods include Boars Head Low sodium turkey, Yoplait 50 calorie yogurts, red seedless grapes, Thomas’ english muffins, Flatout Foldits and 94% Fat Free Popcorn (that is my usual nightly snack).

What is the biggest difference you have noticed because of your weight loss?

The sweating stopped. I have not had a problem at all and actually feel colder than before.

It’s a wonderful feeling to go into any store and feel good about what I’m trying on (and that fact that it looks good and I feel good makes it better). I remember going shopping at 230lbs and crying whenever I had to try on another size 18 dress/pants and absolutely hating what I wore. The next size up was Plus Size clothing and I didn’t want to get to that point if I could help it.

I definitely have much more overall confidence!  I feel much more outgoing and have made lots of new friends that I probably shied away from before.

What advice can you give to others struggling to lose weight?

It may sound a bit corny, but if you really want to lose it, really, really, want it, you can find a way to do it. For me, I HAD to change my eating and my fitness routine. You have to eat well and sweat a bit, or you will not have change.

How do you keep the weight off in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle?

Whenever I see pictures of me at my biggest weight of 230lbs, that is motivation enough to keep the weight off.  

One of my success tools is to prepare meals at home and pretty much cut out the eating out.  I still eat healthy when we go out to eat (which we do not do as often) and over the Holidays.

When we travel, I pack snacks that won’t get me off track and sometimes even pack my own foods. I know it may sound silly, but I prefer to know what I’m eating and how much. I don’t want to rely on takeout and getting off track. When we do go out (and it’s rare now) I don’t feel as bad when I indulge.

I have essentially cut all sweets and junk food COMPLETELY out of my diet (which was my favorite). Before, it was nothing to eat a bag of Starburst Jelly Beans in one sitting.  I just don’t buy that stuff anymore. If it’s not here, I can’t eat it. After a year, I don’t even think about buying it.  I just don’t want it!

What is your favorite motto?

Angela's Weight Los Motto

Amen to that motto, Angela!  I love it!

One thing I took away from Angela’s story is her getting up at 2:30 a.m. to work out.  You stay at home moms know how hard it is to be “on” for your children, especially young children, all day, everyday.  She has made a commitment to herself that she is worth the time to get up early and give herself health.  WOW!  I complain when I think of waking up at 4:45 a.m. to work out.  You go girl!

Thank you Angela for sharing your success story with us.  You are amazing and you are proof that we can do anything we put our minds to!

What did you take from Angela’s story?  What small changes can you make in the new year to be your own success story?

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About Jennifer Swafford

Jennifer is an elementary school teacher who is trying to lose 100+ pounds. She has certainly learned how much It Sux To Be Fat and is here to motivate you to live a healthy lifestyle.