“FITNESS FIRST.” A spotlight on Annamarie’s weight loss.
“Fitness First” A Spotlight on Annamarie’s Weight Loss Success.
A picture. A comment. Feelings of embarrassment. The one thing that each of these categories have in common? They are usually the beginning to the end of an unhealthy lifestyle. Although we all eventually have to be self-motivated during our journey, it’s often prompted by feelings of hurt from an outside source. Annamarie, who lost an incredible amount of weight, is living proof. I had the pleasure of speaking with Annamarie about her journey, please read how she has put fitness first:
Hello! Your transformation is amazing. What prompted you to begin your journey?
Hello Mellenie and thank you so much. In 2014, I went to Vegas for my husband’s 30th birthday and we were having a great time until we went to one club in which I was pretty much denied access. The club had two lines separating who would and wouldn’t get it. One line had very thin girls in it and they were granted immediate access while the other line consisted of plus sized women and other individuals who were deemed “unattractive.” After almost an hour and a half of waiting, we realized what was going on and that we weren’t going to get in with our group which did consist of plus sized individuals. I told my husband that he could go get in the other line and go in without me but he refused and that night I went back to my hotel feeling sorry for myself and with an honest realization that I was overweight. I had felt big, of course I was wearing a 3x but I still felt cute. It wasn’t until that night that I realized that society saw me as the big girl who wasn’t good enough and that night prompted me to begin my journey.
Many people that have been on this journey for quite some time have experienced periods of doubt, weight gain, and/or lack of motivation. Have you ever experienced this? What helps you refocus?
I think that it’s very normal to experience periods of doubt, weight gain and lack of motivation. I have dealt with all of those aspects and to be honest they are just part of the journey. You cannot be perfect all of the time, after all it’s a process. Sometimes you might not feel like working out or you might want to eat that cookie or slice of cake and you will do it in moments of weakness and that okay. As long as you realize every day is an opportunity to start over and get back on track then you can’t go wrong. When I have moments of weakness or lack of motivation I look at old pictures of myself to help me refocus and remind myself of where I don’t want to be ever again.
What has been the most rewarding part of your weight loss journey thus far?
Oh my! I find so many things rewarding about having lost so much weight but the most rewarding part of my weight loss journey thus far has been the opportunity to shop in regular sizes again. I was always pretty slim but after having my daughters I blew up going from a size 10 to a size 24 at my heaviest. Being that I am 5’11 and was almost 300 pounds I was limited to only shopping in the plus size sections of my favorite department stores as well as shopping at plus size only stores and that did a lot of damage to my self-esteem but I dealt with it and convinced myself that it was okay. So you can imagine the boost of confidence I got when I was able to fit into a regular medium and large after so many years of not being able to.
Have you found that it’s more difficult to lose weight or maintain the weight that you already lost?
I have found that it is more difficult to maintain the weight after you lose it. I think a good majority of people who have made drastic weight loss transformations will attest to falling into back into bad eating habits after losing weight because you start to feel too comfortable in your smaller body as if you won’t get big again but it happens to the best of us. Losing weight is definitely the easy part, keeping it off is where I struggle the most.
Do you feel that obesity is too embraced and comforted these days?
You know what? I hate to admit this but yes, I do feel that obesity is too embraced and comforted these days. It’s great to have confidence as a bigger or plus size person but there should be a point where people realize that yes self-esteem is good to have but unhealthy is still unhealthy. Part of my issue was that the bigger I got, I was still able to easily find trendy clothes that would fit and still make me feel cute. I was an avid Torrid shopper at the time and that kind of enabled me and masked my obesity issue. I was being conditioned to think that it was okay to be big and unhealthy as long as I looked cute and trendy. This is part of the reason why I was so blind to the fact that I was so overweight and blind to how other people perceived me, well, until that night in Vegas of course.
Have you experienced people treating you different since losing weight?
I have definitely experienced a change in treatment from others. Don’t get me wrong, I had always been a cute girl with a cute face but when you lose weight you undeniably notice the changes in attitude and behavior from others. People smile at you more, are more willing to hold the door open for you and things of that nature. In addition to that, I realized that I started to get way more invites than ever before from family members and friends to hang out. I guess since I wasn’t the embarrassing fat girl anymore, it was now okay to be seen with me in public lol.
Have you learned/discovered anything new about yourself since losing weight?
Since losing weight, I have discovered an inner strength that I didn’t know that I had. I’ve done things that I never thought I would do physically and mentally. I have been able to touch so many other lives and inspire others through my own journey and I never thought in a million years that I would be doing this and I am exceptionally proud of that and it keeps me going so I am thankful for it.
Can you offer any words of advice to the woman that wants to lose weight, but doesn’t know where to start?
For anyone who wants to lose weight but is unsure of where to start, I would tell them to write out some goals of where they want to be with deadlines to reach those goals by and to start moving and/or walking. I started out by just walking 15 minutes every day and eventually I was able to run 5 miles nonstop. Lastly, I would advise to never give up. No matter how hard the road gets, how many times you mess up, or how much you feel like giving up, just keep at it because slow progress is still better than no progress and you will reach your goals eventually.
To see more of weight loss journey, follow her on Instagram: Thatfithippiechick