Tough Love Inspired Melissa to Lose 70 PoundsPosted on Mar 31st 2011 2:00PM by Martha Edwards
Name: Melissa Murphy
Height: 5 feet, 7 inches
Start Weight: 269
Current Weight: 196
Goal Weight: 140
My Weight Loss Approach: Looking back, my weight has always been on the extreme side. When I married, I weighed 110 pounds, and when I gave birth to my first son, I weighed 180 pounds, so there was no healthy middle ground. I lost 30 pounds after his birth, but I gained another 60 pounds when I became pregnant with my second son. It spiraled from there -- I began comfort eating out of boredom and stress, and I never worked out. As my weight ballooned, I started hiding: I deliberately avoided my last class reunion because I was ashamed of my weight. I was very thin in high school, but now I was on the opposite end of the weight spectrum and I couldn't stand to admit I'd become obese.
I knew something had to give when I turned 40 and was having one health crisis after another. A doctor advised me to lose weight, and it worked -- my health improved when I lost 20 pounds. But despite my health issues, losing weight seemed like too much work, and I quickly gained it all back.
Finally, it was the angry comment from someone I love dearly that pushed me to do something about my weight. They said: "You're not young; you're not cute; you're just old and fat and gray." I felt like I'd been slapped in the face. I was too floored to reply, but once I got my bearings, I decided I couldn't do anything about the old part, but I could fix the fat and the gray. Pride does have its strong point sometimes.
I'd watched so many of my friends and family fight with fad diets and gimmicks over the years that I knew they didn't work -- at least not in the long run. I knew it had to be a permanent thing. I started with the Atkins approach then modified it to something I could live with. I also recommend Anne Louise Gittleman's book "Before the Change."
I started drinking more water, cutting out salt, and eating more fruits and veggies -- my favorites are baby greens, avocados and pretty much anything that's brightly colored. I serve lean cuts of meat and stay away from pasta and white bread. You won't find anything highly processed in my house. I try to stick to free-range and organic foods, and I love sushi. But when I'm tempted to eat things like cookies, I let myself have a small portion, and I don't punish myself for indulging.
I also try to spend some time in the sun every day (responsibly). The natural vitamin D is good for my skin and nails, and it helps with my iron absorption.
Why I wanted to blog about it: I wanted others to see that we're all human. It's okay to make mistakes. It's okay to stumble and fall. I want to be a positive influence and show people that they can be sexy, fabulously fit 40-somethings even when battling obesity. It's also a check mechanism for me. If figured if I posted my weight and measurements on a fairly regular basis then I would be forced to stick with it. I'm not one to admit defeat.
The best part of blogging is: The therapeutic qualities in writing about my successes and failures and seeing the real progress even at times it feels like nothing is happening are what keeps me going.
Best comment I've received: "Whoa! Look at you! You're so skinny!" That was from someone who hadn't seen me in about a year. The other best comment was from a woman who also hadn't seen me in about a year: "My goodness! I didn't know who you were!" And the best comment was from my mother, "You have a waist again!"
What's next for my blog: I hope to turn my trials and errors in weight loss into a book. I want to help others realize that cookie-cutter diets don't work. It's a real commitment and a "what next after I reach this goal" plan to changing your lifestyle that works best.
Melissa's next big challenge will be running a 5k at the end of April.