Friday, November 15, 2013

63.6 pounds later...

(Scroll down for before and after photos)

For those of you who have just joined reading this site, occasionally I post about the commitment I made in December of 2011 to change my lifestyle and get my weight under control after topping out the scales at 318 pounds.

The first step was to ditch my SUV. The lease was up on January 4th, 2012 and I decided not to exercise the purchase price or buy another car. Instead, I would take the GO bus to and home from the train station.

I gave the vehicle back at the end of 2011. At first, it was more of a financial decision, but then I realized how it would force me to be more active (and visit less drive-thrus) and I realized this would benefit more than my pocketbook.

I bought a bicycle and a bike trailer and for the spring and summer of 2012, I biked my daughter to daycare every morning and rode back home to change in time to catch the bus.

I won't bore the regular readers with all the details but if you want to catch up, you can read the last update here.

The last time I recorded my weight was September 24. I weighed 259.5. Today I weigh 254.4

63.6 pounds. Gone. That's the total from 318 pounds to today.

My biggest inspiration for coming this far is my husband who was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in late 2010 and had to completely change the way he ate. Second is my friend Sandra who made a commitment in early 2012 to combat her weight problem (and won the battle). Third is my co-worker Kolette, who is a fitness addict and probably my biggest cheerleader and now, is my personal trainer.

Kolette, along with another co-worker, got me into long-distance walking during our lunch hour. Right now, we're up to 6.22 km in a little over an hour. I burn 690 -780 calories during these walks. My total daily kilometres for walking stands at 8.72 kilometres. I burn 900 calories a day and eat anywhere from 1622 to 1790 calories a day.

This is our walk report from yesterday:

Amazeballs, right?

Recently a co-worker asked why I thought I've been so successful this time around with combating my obesity.

One word - support.

In the past, I never had anyone in my life willing to join me in making a wholesale change. Dieting is often done as a solitary initiative with everyone around you still enjoying food and life in excess, while you sit in the background watching the cake go in and feeling miserable.

My husband was my food buddy. Neither of us could demonstrate restraint. We drove to Dairy Queen for each other. I never said no to him. He didn't dare say no to me. All that's changed. We've changed. We're so much better for it. I'm not saying it should have taken the diabetes diagnosis to make us both smarten up, but it was a huge reality check.

Watching the success Sandra had with making her wholesale change, and the fact that she struggles with the same demons I do, made me determined to make this work. She and I can relate on many levels and this is helpful psychologically. I don't have to explain to her why I want to eat a banquet burger, AND RIGHT NOW. She knows why and we talk each other through it.

Kolette kicks my ass. And this is important. We all need that one person who will tell you to can the bullshit excuses and remind you that if you don't walk, you're not disappointing that person, you're disappointing yourself.

But I can say that giving up the car made the biggest difference. The impulse to seek out food and indulge is kiboshed by the fact that you don't have a means to satisfy the need. I can't ask the GO bus driver to stop at Harvey's while I walk in and grab a burger.

Changing my entire diet also made a tremendous impact. I do not eat fast food. I don't consume sugar. I do not eat anywhere near the amount of pre-packaged food that I used to eat and I cut down on my saturated fats. I eat more protein, less dairy and healthy carbs.

Most importantly, I got through Halloween. I didn't burn my daughter's Halloween candy and I haven't broken down and gorged on bite-size chocolate bars.

But it's not all good times. I have bad days. Days where I crave salt and chicken wings, and poutine, and pepperoni pizza with anchovies. I don't give in but I struggle. What gets me through these days is I go back and look at a picture of myself at 318 pounds. It's very sobering.

I am not going back to this.

It's very hard to share this photo as it strips me bare but I am telling you, if you are battling your own obesity problem, you need to create a support system for yourself. If you can't find it in family, you will find it in friends, co-workers, healthcare professionals and even strangers.

I know it seems impossible but it's not.

You can do it.

Here is a photo of me taken on September 27, 2013:


Anonymous said...

I don't know you but I am so proud of you.
I am big lady myself and I stress about how to change this.
Because I pick up my kids after getting off the train, I can't give up the car but I can do the long distance walking.
Can you share how you started? I can't imagine walking 6 k's.

C.J. Smith said...

Send me an email and we can chat.
No, I had to condition myself and that took some time.
I started at 2 km a day.

Jenn Jilks said...

Well done, Cindy. These are wise words. Yes, support is crucial.
My husband's stomach issues mean we eat less. he's cut out dairy, which doesn't hurt.
It must help that your hubby is on the same path: diabetes isn't pretty.
Give yourself a pat-on-the-back!

Anonymous said...

No up to date photo?

C.J. Smith said...

Yes. Soon.

C.J. Smith said...

Thanks Jenn!

marie said...

Great job!

Anonymous said...

Cindy - you just rock. I've known you on a professional level for 5 years and have never even met you face to face. We have amazing conversations and have had a few good laughs over the years. And I love reading your stuff - you're hysterical. I've watched over the last couple years as you take this health challenge head on. Your take no prisoners, call it as it is attitude that I've grown to admire and respect clearly fuels your motivation.

I'm so impressed and proud of how you've changed your life! Amazing work <3

lilnat86 said...

Yay C.J.!!! Congrats, so inspiring. I know exactly what you mean about support. It's the only reason I've been successful with the 40 lbs I've lost over the past year.

Still looking to lose another 10-20 which keeps me at a healthy weight for my size (and hoping to fit into my size 12 wedding dress next September) and see if the ellusive flat tummy will ever appear. I'm the happiest I've been in a very long time, so proud of you! Keep up the great work!


Skin Man said...

Inspiring....but more importantly thought provoking!

You go girl!!!

George said...

Your map goes right by where I work on Queens Quay.

I used to walk all over downtown on my lunches until my knees went south and I haven't recovered enough yet for any long distance walking.

Keep up the good work though. From my experience with weight loss I know how hard it can be, although my gain was from steroids and not food.

Make sure you post a picture when you reach your goal.....

George said...

Oh yeah, those umbrellas kind of look like green angel wings in that picture..:)

C.J. Smith said...


You're right, those umbrellas so look like wings

Anonymous said...

You look 10 years younger and incredible! Well done.

Squiggles said...


Anonymous said...

That's great CJ. I'm proud that you made a commitment to losing weight and achieved it. Other people aren't so lucky.

I hope ex-mayor Ford is taking notes on this.

Sylv said...

Just one word : AMAZING!

Bicky said...

That's awesome, CJ! You look great!

Bronc said...

Rock on Cindy! You're great!

Anonymous said...

I really do enjoy your blog, your writing and humour is fantastic and you are inspiring in your weight loss! you look amazing.

C.J. Smith said...

Thanks everyone for the continued support. Everyone has been really positive and the positivity is very inspiring for me.

Anonymous said...

Hi! I just read the Toronto Star article in which you are the star for ditching your car and using transit to get everywhere. Kudos to you! And great blog!

C.J. Smith said...

^ Thanks so much!
The support is welcomed and it's encouraging to me.

andrea said...

Great job....I only have one comment to add to the others...I recently took control of my weight and lost almost 60lbs as well (over a year) and I can say it makes me so much better able to move and go about my daily business not to mention the fact that my clothes actually fit now...lmao the only downside to the weight loss is how darn uncomfortable those bus seats are now that all my extra padding from my rear end is gone....just sayin...sometimes that derriere cushioning comes in handy