Amy Dautreuil (AMY-MIMI77)
Weight Lost: 63 pounds
Hometown: New Iberia, LA
What was life like before your weight loss?
My children are 15 months apart. I gained quite a bit of weight with my first son and hadn't lost it when I found out I was pregnant with my second son. I don't know how much more I gained at that time. Then, I never really did anything to try to lose the weight. Years went by and the weight just kept on increasing.
I thought I was happy. In reality, I was restricted in most activities but blamed it on working so much and being busy with two children close in age. I now realize that the weight stopped me from really enjoying my children at a young age. I would get winded when trying to run and play with them. Don't get me wrong, I still played with them; but not like I would have liked to. However, my weight never stopped me from trying to do things or kept me from going places. For example, I still went swimming but just swam in shorts and a t-shirt rather than a bathing suit.
What was your ‘light bulb moment’ that made you get serious about losing the weight?
I knew that it was time to change something in my life as I was getting more winded with activity. My oldest son is a Boy Scout and I was becoming his Leader. Part of the Boy Scout Oath is to promise "to keep myself physically strong". I have to help these boys work on certain Merit Badges (i.e. Physical Fitness; Healthy Eating); but I felt like a hypocrite educating them about these things when I wasn't following the rule myself. All of the Leaders (including myself) were overweight and we were short-changing our scouts by being unhealthy. What kind of example was this for our young Scouts? It wasn't fair to them when we had to "shut down" activities for a while because the Leaders were too winded and fatigued to continue. I wanted to do better for my Scouts. This realization, along with the minor health issues I was beginning to have, was just the kick I needed to get on the right track.
Tell us a bit about your weight loss journey:
I was so motivated and determined to make this happen that I went "all out,” so to speak. I eliminated all caffeine from my diet and actually got active. I started doing at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise at least five days a week (alternating Treadmill and Gazelle). I also started strength training at least four days a week. I gradually started reintroducing healthy carbs back into my diet. I am now eating properly in my calorie range and making healthy choices.
In my walking program, I varied my route often, but always managed to do two to three miles daily at least three days a week. Most often early morning walks were done on my treadmill. I did however get outside on the weekends for my walks. At times, I walked on my road, or went to the local high-school track. For a month, a co-worker and I met in the morning and walked around the block before work.
SparkPeople gave me the extra motivation I needed. It showed me that other people are in the same boat as me. I used the site for everything! I tracked everything- food, drinks, and fitness. I used the SparkPeople strength and toning videos and I also got an individualized fitness plan to help with strength training at home. I used the nutrition information and healthy recipes from SparkPeople as well. The daily emails were an added incentive- inspirational quotes, exercise of the day- little extras to keep me going.
What is your current typical exercise routine like?
I suffer from exercise ADHD and need to vary up my regimen. I found a love for running and try to do run/walk intervals twice a week for at least four miles. I’m currently running for three miles without walking and working my way up to running a full four miles straight through with no walking. I am also starting Jillian 30 Day Shred and try to do this twice a week. Some weeks I get on my Spinning bike or my Gazelle and sometimes I get another run into my schedule.
How would you describe your typical diet now as compared to before your weight loss?
I am more mindful of what I am putting into my body and limit the junk. I still might have that cookie if I want one, but I actually look at serving size/nutritional information before eating more than one or two. I definitely eat more fruits and vegetables and drink more water. The biggest thing for me was the coffee. I used to drink coffee all day long with the flavored creamers; I now only allow myself one cup every day or every other day.
What advice would you give to someone just beginning a weight loss program?
Remember that you didn't gain the weight overnight, so don't expect it to come off overnight. Stay active and focus on the positives of this wonderful journey. It helps to break your weight loss down into smaller amounts so you don't keep the focus on the entire amount and get overwhelmed.
How has your life changed since losing weight and improving your health?
I feel so much better about myself and my self-worth has improved dramatically! I have so much more energy. I have a more positive look on things and I am not negative all the time. It has been a little over two years and I haven't looked back since! I still have 15 pounds to go until I reach my final goal; but I finally understand that I didn't get where I was overnight so I know that losing it all won't be easy. I’m determined to keep at it, though!
Great job, Amy!
Have you lost weight and kept it off using SparkPeople.com? We'd love to share your story. Email us: sparkpeoplesuccess (at) gmail (dot) com
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