Getting Below 200 Pounds: A Huge Victory

199 pounds on the scale

305 pounds was about 150 pounds more than I should have been carrying around as a 5’10” woman in her 20s and 30s. The truth is that walking around with an extra 150 pounds on my frame left me fatigued, tired, frustrated, and quite frankly – disgusted with my appearance and my life.

Every time I started a diet I looked forward to one thing more than almost any other. I looked forward to seeing this number in front of my weight.

The number “1.”

I longed to see 199, I dreamed what it would be like to see 199, I imagined all the good things I would feel if I could just see the “1” in front of my weight. Alas, I tried about 513 diets where I barely got under 300 pounds and never even came close to seeing 199. That was frustrating.

The last time I had seen a “1” in front of my weight was in 1990. I was obese according to medical standards, but at least I weighed 196 and not 296. I got pregnant when I was obese and within the first four weeks of the pregnancy had said “good-bye” to the 100s for a very, very long time. Here I am pregnant with my second child in 1993.

I made these pants. I was pregnant but not that far along.

I made these pants. I was pregnant but not that far along.

I still remember watching the nurse clunk the weight thing on the old fashioned scale from the 150 mark to the 200 mark during my first pregnancy. I thought I was going to die of embarrassment, but managed to hold onto my emotions and not run away! I swore to myself that I wouldn’t gain much weight but of course I didn’t keep that promise to myself and gained 75 pounds, which I never really lost. I started pregnancy number two at about 255 pounds, and pregnancy number three at 279 pounds.

By 1995, I weighed between 275 and 305 pounds, depending on the month and whether or not I was actually trying to lose weight. Honestly, I’m not sure what my highest weight was because our bathroom scale had a 300 pound weight limit. I do know that one time I got brave and jumped on the grocery store scale and gasped internally when I saw the long dial of the scale swing around to 305 pounds.

Those years of weighing over 200 pounds took their toll on me and I hated being that heavy. I felt almost powerfulness against the weight even though I desperately wanted to get back to a healthy weight.

Fortunately, in early 1997 something clicked in my head and I began my journey for real. And I still wanted to see that “1” in front of my weight.

Every time I lost a pound I celebrated inside. When I got below 250 pounds I was so excited that I could have eaten a whole pan of brownies, but I resisted. Little by little the scale inched down. The closer I got to that milestone of 199, the more excited I was.

Finally, after almost a year, it finally happened!

199 on the scale.

I ran back into the bedroom, turned on the light, and whispered kinda loudly to John. “Hey, I weigh 199 this morning. Aren’t you happy for me?” He didn’t move much so I got a little louder and repeated myself. He finally woke up enough to realize what a big deal that was for me and told me congratulations about 100 times!

Some people say, “Don’t worry about the scale.” But for me, I knew that I shouldn’t be weighing over 200 pounds. I wasn’t a college or pro football linebacker or a 6 foot 5 inch tall man. I was a woman, not a linebacker, and not over 6 feet tall. I knew I should weigh under 200 pounds. And I finally did.

From that point on there was no stopping my weight loss efforts. I kept right on walking every day, kept right on eating a healthy diet, and I kept losing weight.

Best of all, my self esteem kept improving, I started to feel more positive about my future, and I got back some of the self confidence that had eroded as my weight ballooned.

I know this is a Scale Victory and we talk a lot about celebrating Non-Scale Victories, but this certainly was not my only victory along the way. There were some of both varieties and every one of them was sweet.

Do you have a goal in mind that will make you jump up and down, wake up the world, and shout it from the rooftops? Have you reached it yet? Diane

9 thoughts on “Getting Below 200 Pounds: A Huge Victory

  1. L says:

    I laughed when I read you had tried 513 diets. Haven’t we all? So glad you were able to reach your goal weight–I know you worked to see that scale fall under 200. Woohoo, the taste of success is sweet!

  2. Pam says:

    Like you, I had set 199 as an interim goal on my journey. I wante4d to weigh under 200 pounds before I hit 60 years old. I made it with almost two months to spare, and screamed at my husband to bring the camera upstairs so I could take a picture of that beautiful scale. Yes, there are other more important victories along this road (getting off five blood pressure meds, being able to walk wherever I want, fitting into an airline seat without a seatbelt extender, etc.), the scale doesn’t lie, and like it or not, a loss that shows up on the scale is encouraging, motivating, uplifting and inspirational. To me 199 represented a return to the world of normalcy, and I’m never leaving!

  3. Kathy says:

    Diane, sometimes I feel like you are in my head and saying my own words out loud. At only 5’4 and weighing in at 217 a year ago was devastating and an all time highest weight for me. I longed, dreamed, wished and prayed to see that “1” as the leading number on the scale again, and it seemed like the “1” would make my weight loss journey more manageable and that I wasn’t so out of control. It took about 2 months of hard work and when I finally reached the “1’s” I’d bypassed it by 2 pounds weighing in at 198. I also think that “1” became a lazy crutch for me too. Yes, I realized I was still overweight and not in optimal health but that “1” gave me a false sense of security. I still had a way to go. Since then, I’ve struggled a bit in the low 190’s. It seems like I struggle in 5lb increments and stay stuck in each for a while. Everyone is so different in terms of motivation and I’m on a good track to hit my ultimate goal by of 160 by early July. Sometimes I think we have to take our weight loss in increments and figure out just how to maintain those few pounds lost at a time. I’ve also stopped rushing myself and learned to celebrate myself and the little victories along the way. I’ve come a long way from being completely miserable and I feel so much better about myself. Thanks for posting this today, it means a lot to me and will probably help a lot of your readers.

  4. Nancy B. Kennedy says:

    I’ve always been in the 1s (thankfully, as I’m only 5 foot 2), but lost 30 pounds and met my goal weight. Briefly. I would love to again see a number that starts 12 — that’s what the BMI chart says is ideal and what I attained for a few months. But I am wondering if your lowest weight is actually an unsustainable weight, and your body will tend to stabilize at a slightly higher weight that is possible to sustain. Age is no friend to weight loss efforts! I still want to see 12-, but am beginning to wonder whether I have to let that number go, as long as I hover around that mark (no more than 5 pounds higher) and not let things get out of control.

  5. Heather says:

    That is my exact goal right now. I’m about 217.5 and would love to see the scale get back to the ones. But I take some psych meds that have aided in me gaining about 75 lbs in the last 5 years. My metabolism is shot and my cravings for sugar are just off the charts. All my docs want to start trying different meds, but these work for me, so I’m trying to resist. My dietitian says it’s not impossible for me to lose weight on the meds, just a tough uphill battle. But I’ll keep trying. It’s most important to me to keep up with a lively 11 year old girl. So I gotta get there!

  6. Diana says:

    I would, as most of the comments left here, also like to see the “1”. I fooled myself for a short time by putting my scale to “metric”! That gave me that high of seeing the number 1 first, but had to quickly realize that it was just another excuse at not taking accountability! I went from 308-ish (gave up looking) in 2007, down to 178 by 2009 and now back to 260. At the age of 53, post hysterectomy by one year, I find myself struggling with finding what works. My energy level is in the toilet and my eating habits are that of “I just don’t care”…..still looking for that which works for me at this point in my life. What worked in 2007, no longer works in 2015!
    I will keep working!!!!!

  7. AdjustedReality says:

    I wanted the “1” so bad after I lost it the last year of college, but after a while, I thought I was just doomed to be overweight. Finally, about 7 years later, I made the effort and I left the 2s behind (hopefully for good!). I still struggle with the last 20-ish lbs I’d like to lose but I’m in no danger of leaving onederland! 🙂

  8. Leah (Goodnight, Cheese) says:

    I will be so excited when I officially hit 50 pounds lost. Right now I have about 15-20 to go for that milestone. I’ve never been below 150 as an adult, and a couple of years ago I lost something like 45 pounds and then gained back 35. So a fifty pound loss would be a humongous milestone.

  9. Jane says:

    I should weight 165 ish . My short term goal is to get to the “2’s” and stay a while. I have not been there, except for a brief three week period of time for 13 years. I would be excited to do that. To get to the “1’s” would be out of this world. It has been 40 years at least. You and anyone who manages to maintain a weight loss is to be admired. It seems I have lost 5 pounds, found it and more, thousands of times.

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