By Sarah Klein
Name: Jamie Aston
Before Weight: 271 pounds
How I Gained It: I am a mother of three. I started gaining most of my weight when my mother passed away 11 years ago. Seven months after she passed, I had my youngest child. I was in a horrible marriage; he was cheating and lying, and I could never depend on him for anything, but I stayed because I felt completely alone after I didn’t have my mom. I just kept gaining and gaining. I ate anything in sight and lots of it. There wasn’t a night I went without dessert. I would go downstairs after everyone went to bed and eat more. If no one saw me, then it must not matter, right? I stopped looking in mirrors. I took pictures from the shoulders up.
Breaking Point: Last February, I got out of the shower and looked at myself in the mirror and broke down crying. My friends wanted to do a neon 5K, and my shirt could barely cover me. I was so embarrassed. I decided enough was enough! I knew if I didn’t start losing weight and changing my lifestyle and the way I ate I would just continue to keep gaining. I had to do something or my kids wouldn’t have their mom.
How I Lost It: I started eating better. I eat lots of veggies and fruit and protein now. Breakfast usually consists of egg whites, spinach and turkey or oatmeal. Lunch is usually turkey or chicken breast with veggies or a salad, and dinner is the same. I usually have carrots, celery with a little peanut butter, hard-boiled eggs, apples or strawberries for snacks. I drink nothing but water or fresh-brewed tea with little or no sugar now.
I also started hitting the gym six days a week. The seventh day I would find something to do to be active outside, like roller skating, swimming or riding a bike. I was so nervous starting at the gym. I didn’t want people staring at me. I wore oversized clothes to try and hide the extra pounds bouncing around. I started with 20 minutes on the treadmill and 20 minutes on the bike, then about 10 minutes on the elliptical. After about three months, I decided to go to a trainer. I started wearing real gym clothes and buying new workout shoes. I noticed I was getting stronger, and I no longer hated going to the gym. Sweat dripping, muscles hurting, legs shaking, bright red face — perfect.
I left my husband, and that lifted even more pressure and weight off of me. I went from sitting on the side watching my kids play sports to participating with them! I still have some weight to go — I’m trying to hit my goal of 100 pounds lost — but I feel alive again! When you have all those pounds on you, you feel trapped. Inside, you’re screaming, “Help! I want out!” You have to push yourself outside your comfort zone and try new things. Once you do, the world looks bigger and better.
Current Weight: 186 pounds
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As told to Sarah Klein
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