4.03.2013

Amber's 120 Pound Weight Loss

I have an amazing weight loss story for you today, Amber is truly an inspiration!! I may have cried reading this story so you've been warned :) Happy Happy Birthday Amber, I hope you have one amazing day! 

Hey y'all! My name is Amber and I have a little ol' blog over at Crafty Healthy Mommy. Today is my birthday and SkinnyMeg is giving me the best gift ever (except for the year my husband proposed on my birthday. Hello...diamonds! Oh and love and stuff...) by having me guest post today! I am so incredibly honored and excited to be here!

Like you all, I admire SkinnyMeg so much. She inspires me daily with her dedication & positivity. She makes me WANT to go to the gym, and I'm a lazy bum, so that's some serious inspiration! Also, she's freaking adorable and hilarious. We're totes BFFs in my head. Nope...can't say totes. Anyway, I relate to her in so many ways and I can not thank her enough for the opportunity to share my weight-loss story with y'all. Really, I owe you something mint and chevron, Megan!

A bit about me: I'm a semi-crafty mom of twins working hard to achieve my goal weight of 143 to be half the weight I once was. I was born and raised in Sweet Home Alabama; where everything is sweet/fried/supersized. How people stay thin in the South is a mystery to me!

I've struggled with weight issues the majority of my life. I finally had enough after the birth of my twins and decided to do something about it...for real this time. You see, this wasn't my first time trying to lose weight. I'd say I've dieted off and on since I was 16 or so. I tried Weight Watchers, Atkins, SparkPeople, diet pills galore, and I even tried Nutrisystem, y'all. I lost some weight with a few of those, but I always quit and always gained that weight back plus some. Something was just different this time, and I'm so glad! I'd like to say I'm doing this purely for my health, but I'm going to be really honest...I want to be in single digit sized jeans so badly! Don't get me wrong though, the health aspect is a definite bonus and I'm feeling better than ever!


My whole long story--

I was an average kid, a chunky teen, and a fat adult. It's like I just never stopped growing. Once I hit my adult height of 5'7", I continued to grow...out! I could blame it on genetics, but let's be real...I love food and I'm lazy.

I met my husband "B" when I was 19 and probably weighed around 180 lbs. I'd just finished a bout with low carb and had lost about 40 lbs. I was a size 14 and feeling pretty good about myself. We dated, I moved in, we fell in love, and I fattened up along the way! We got married 2 years after we started dating. My dress was a size 20 and had to be let out quite a bit before the big day. You would think that fitting into a thousand dollar dress on my wedding day would have motivated me to lose some weight. Sadly it didn't.



So I'm a new bride at nearly 22 years old and my size matches my age. Thank God I didn't keep up that trend! We decided we wanted to have a baby right away. I went off the pill 2 months after we got married and.......nothing. I suffer from Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) symptoms that caused infertility. I had to see a Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE) in order to get pregnant and at my first visit, just like every other doctor, they weighed me. I saw a big ol' 286 flash on that scale and almost fell off! I had no idea how much I weighed until then. I knew I was big, but I had no idea that I was knocking on 300's door (that's still really painful to say). With every appointment, I hear "losing weight will only help..." So of course that motivated me to lose the weight, right? Nope. Over a year after starting with the RE, I'm still not pregnant and I'm still fat...maybe fatter. It's taking more and more medication to get my body to respond and we're getting to the point of needing to take a break from treatments. This is now two years from when we started "trying". I'm desperate. I ask my RE if there's anything we can do to help my weight loss ("losing weight will only help..." remember?) So he prescribes me Phentermine and suggests I look into a more permanent solution for my weight.

Around my highest weight of 286
Another picture around 286
I lost almost 30 lbs taking the Phentermine and scheduled an appointment for a consultation for the LapBand. At that consultation, I'm told that I am a great candidate for the surgery and that it should be fully covered by my insurance. Um...yay? Heck no. I walked out of that office and had a full-on emotional breakdown in my car. I can't have surgery to lose weight!! I was freaking out. This is just not the option for me. So I never even went back for my second consultation. Good thing I didn't go that route, because we ended up finally getting pregnant on what would have been my last medicated cycle before we took a "break". We were ecstatic! We go for my first ultrasound around 6 weeks and find out it's twins! I had a very healthy twin pregnancy, gained about 20 lbs, and delivered my sweet little boy and girl at 35 weeks and 6 days. They were tiny, but healthy and we all went home together 3 days later.

Skip ahead about 3 months and I see a picture of a friend on Facebook. She'd lost weight and was looking fantastic and so happy!! I was so motivated by her progress that I decided I was finally going to do it. Getting married didn't motivate me to lose weight, a 2 year battle with infertility didn't do it, but a picture of someone on Facebook did?? I'm just as confused about that as I'm sure you are, but I'm just glad that something finally made me do it.
195ish
3 months postpartum. Around 257 lbs
I started using MyFitnessPal (MFP) on June 1, 2011 and never looked back. This is just good old fashioned counting calories and working out. Who knew it could be so simple? Apparently not me. I started MFP at 257 lbs and set a goal of 60 lbs to get under 200 for the first time in a long time. I reached that goal in January of 2012 and reevaluated. I played around with the BMI chart to try to find a healthy goal for my height. I thought, "how cool would it be to be half of my highest weight??" Turns out 143 is right in the middle of the "healthy" range for my height. Perfect!



To date, I've lost over 90 lbs since starting MFP and over 120 lbs from my highest weight. I've gone from a size 24 to a 10 (I can't wait to be in an 8!) I only have 20 lbs to go, but boy is this last 20 lbs hard!

Should have left those horizontal stripes alone!

I'm way more active than I've ever been in my whole life and I eat better (most days) than ever. I go to the gym three days a week where I participate in a Body Pump style class and also a spin class. SkinnyMeg actually motivated me to take spin. I'd tried it before, but never made it through a whole class. After I started following Megan, I decided to give it another shot and now I love it! Well...I love the calorie burn. I'm also trying to take up running again. I completed a C25k program last year, but I really hated running. I'm doing that same program again this year and I guess I'm hoping to magically fall in love with it this go around? We'll see.


Though I've lost all this weight, I'm human and I still fall victim to temptations. I struggle with eating out, sweets, and mindless snacking. I haven't made it through this journey without screwing up; I just never gave up! When I have a bad week day, I pick it back up the next day and keep moving forward. The important thing is never giving up.

Tried on my wedding dress on our 5th anniversary

My goals (other than that size 8) are to be healthy for my husband and my babies, to learn to love myself, and to inspire others. I hate the saying "if I can do it, anyone can do it". Your weight loss journey will likely be very different than mine. We are all facing different things in our lives, but I do believe that anyone can do it when they set their mind to it!

May 2011 on the left and just last Saturday on the right

Thank you for taking the time to read my (too long) story and thank you SO much to SkinnyMeg for having me here.




67 comments :

  1. This made me ball my eyes out, thank you for sharing, it has come to me at a time I need to most. I too have PCOS and tried for 5 years with my ex husband I was at 250lbs then since being with my fiance I am down 75lbs and counting, I hope this will help us conceive.

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  2. What a transformation! Thanks Meg for sharing this gorgeous gal with us!

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  3. Thank you for sharing your story. I have about 20 lbs left to lose & I just went back to taking BodyPump, BodyStep, and TurboKick. I'm hoping that will help me get over the hump.

    You look amazing & you are inspiring.

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  4. I am so glad I waited to put on make up until after reading your story. I am incredibly inspired by you Amber, you're my SkinnyMeg inspiration. Thank you for your honesty and acknowledging that there are still days where you screw up. Thank you SkinnyMeg for introducing Amber like this! Stories like this make the journey seem possible! Cheers to you Amber and losing those last 20! --Maria @ http://nomorescaleforme.blogspot.com/

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  5. Wow...this is so inspiring! I have started in the exact same place 285 and 5'7"! Currently down 10 lbs. Not happening as fast as I'd like but I am 42 and hypothyroid. But this time I am going to really do it. I have been using an app called livescape and it is truly working! Your story was so familiar to me, thanks for sharing!!!

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  6. Amazing Story! Congrats on your weight loss! It is weird the things that motivate us. While I am still struggling with health issues and trying to lose weight... I am motivated by a friend who just hit her 100 lb weightloss in 9 months! She looks amazing and you can tell she just feels so much better!

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  7. what an amazing story! I'm headed to get back to being obsessed with MFP right NOW!! thanks for sharing!

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  8. Awesome story, thank you for sharing! I feel like I could have written a lot of this myself (well, um, minus the huge weight loss...). I will be checking out your blog!

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  9. Omg you are amazing. And beautiful at any weight! I'm so proud of you for going the healthy route and not doing surgery. Although surgery can help; often people eat back to where they were before. Amazing!!! Thank you for sharing your story!! And thank you skinny meg for introducing me to another awesome blogger that I can get inspiration from when I'm lacking

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  10. What a great story. Good for you. I just joined mfp, for the 2nd time, yesterday. Having it right on my phone should make for no excuses! I hope to have the same results you did! Thanks for coming here and sharing with us.

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  11. Wow. Just wow. That is such a great story!!! Thank you for sharing!!! Such an inspirations!!

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  12. This is great and congrats! I just want to say tho, that surgery to lose weight is not always a bad thing. I lost 125 pounds after having gastric bypass, but I've had to work my butt off to do so! Anyone with questions about can contact me!!

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  14. Thank you for sharing your amazing weight loss journey with us! Both you and Meg are an inspiration to all. You both look fantastic! You should be so proud of yourselves!

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  15. You are so inspring. Thank you for sharing your story!

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  16. WOW!!! I needed this today! I'm right there where she was 285 and I'm soooo over it. Thank you.

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  17. Thanks for sharing! Love these stories. I'm 24 weeks pregnant and need to lose baby weight that I didn't lose from my now three pregnancies. I'm very blessed to have three children but I need to get healthy to be around for them. This you and these stories Meg really motivate me. Thanks again and keep it up.

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  18. Thank you so much for having me guest post, Megan! You truly made my birthday :)

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  19. Holy cow!!! What an amazing story!!! And such a great motivator! Thank you for sharing your story, Amber!

    And congratulations on getting to where you are today!

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  20. This is amazing journey, good job!

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  21. Wow, what an inspiration! Awesome!

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  22. absolutely amazing!thanks for sharing :)

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  23. Love your blog. It has inspired me to get back on the bandwagon. Just signed up on MFP today. Please check out my blog at chitchattinandtailwaggin.blogspot.com

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  24. Wow! What an inspiring story. We both struggled with weight gain after pregnancy (and Rhonda has twins too!) We love your goal of wanting to learn to love yourself. We are focusing on that topic right now and will be blogging about that soon. Good luck with all of your goals!

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  25. This is amazing!! You look B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L, Amber!! I can't wait to be at my goal weight!!!!
    Brooklyn- browneyedgem.com

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  26. I love these stories! It's why I keep pushing myself even harder!

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  27. OMG. Love. You are just awesome.

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  28. what an AMAZING story and transformation Amber!!
    Thank you for sharing!

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  29. Wow! You look great and such an inspiring story! It is crazy the things or pictures that can motivate us and the things that you would think motivate us don't!

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  30. What a great story! Way to go Amber!! This is a great motivator and inspiration for me. I really am just trying to tone up and lose the last 10-15 lbs before my wedding day and for some reason I just haven't broken through...whether it's physical or a mental thing. Thanks for this story today Skinny Meg! :)

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  31. Simply AMAZING... thank you for sharing!!

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  32. Simply AMAZING...thank you for sharing!

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  33. Thank you for sharing! I feel like I can relate to you with the marriage weight gain and PCOS. I to have tried many weight loss fads and am now doing MFP and good old fashioned calorie counting.

    You've got a new follower in me.

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  34. You look incredible! Thank you so much for sharing your story.

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  35. So inspiring!!! Needed that today as I had a really bad weekend, didn't want to get up to work out this morning (I did it anyway), but have been just feeling like giving up and letting the negative voices in my head. Thanks so much for your post.

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  36. I am in love with her! Thanks for the new blog to follow :o)

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  37. Beautiful, inspiring post! You ladies are BOTH soooooo gorgeous and motivating!

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  38. Such an amazing story! Thank you so much for sharing!

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  39. This is so inspiring! I'm just beginning what will probably feel like a long journey with weight loss. This was exactly what I needed. Amber you're beautiful and Meg thank you.

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  40. Thank you for sharing! I definitely needed it today!

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  41. You look amazing! Great job for sticking with it!!!

    Happymedley.blogspot.com

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  42. Awesome story Amber! You look amazing! Your story is truly inspiring :)

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  43. Thanks to both of you for sharing this story! WAY TO GO :)

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  44. This is so awesome! So inspiring & you loo completely fabulous! So cute!

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  45. Happy Birthday Amber! Thank you for sharing your story - what an inspiration. Stories like this one remind me over and over again that you don't have to use tricks and gimmicks to get where you want to be. Just good ole diet and exercise. I've got the exercising down pat, my diet is where my problem lies. I've used MFP recently but haven't logged for a couple weeks now. This inspires me to start using it again and keep it up! Thanks for sharing your story... and Meg - thank you for continuing to inspire us with your own story and others. ~Hugs~

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  46. Wow, girlie! You look awesome! :-) I love the dark hair, too!

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  47. OMG! Amber is totes adorbs! Can't wait to follow her blog! Thanks Megan for sharing, I'm bawling too.

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  48. Needed this today as I struggle in a post-Easter fog of being sick and (over) eating all sorts of crap. But you never gave up and neither will I!!!! That's the difference in all our journeys - finding friends (both online and real) to support us along the way!

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  49. Needed this today as I struggle in a post-Easter fog of being sick and (over) eating all sorts of crap. But you never gave up and neither will I!!!! That's the difference in all our journeys - finding friends (both online and real) to support us along the way!

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  50. What an amazing story! I love how facebook can be motivating (just as much as it can be depressing) But you found what works for you and you look GREAT!

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  51. This is amazing and so inspiring! Thank you for sharing....you look fantastic!!

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  52. Wow, good for you!! You look amazing, happy, and you look more like yourself..if that makes sense, haha. If you loose 20 more lbs though you may float away, you are tiny now :) Love your hair too. And Happy Happy Birthday, keep up the amazing work!!

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  53. GREAT transformation and I LOVE that she did it the good ol fashion way. She brought me to tears! She looks AMAZING.
    I went to the doc today and good and bad news I've lost 15 lbs and 20 inches but according to my labs ...along with my high blood pressure we can now add HIGH CHOLESTEROL....FML More meds :( But I am taking the good points 15 lb loss and fighting the good fight and hope/pray in my three month recheck & labs...I'll be thinner and able to go off BP meds & High C. meds!
    Thanks for being so darn INSPIRING!
    I am going to check out her blog as well.

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  54. what an awesome story to read! I also suffer from PCOS and i hope i can turn my life around and get some weight off and start being healthy! I keep saying this and I JUST NEED TO DO IT!!!!

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  55. You look amazing! Thank you for sharing your story!

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  56. I loved reading this, thank you for sharing! You are so beautiful!

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  57. You look great!! What an amazing story!

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  58. Great story...now how did you fit it all in with twins? :-)

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  59. That's amazing. Way to go amber. I can so relate to her story. I am also from alabama and its so true about fried goodness here. Frying things always makes it better right?! I was skinny till iwas about six.thenthe weight gain started. My dad loves to cook and always encouraged me to eat as much as I wanted. Not a good thing. I was heavy till my mid 20s when I got on the scale and it said 232. I was a member of a gym and when I saw that number I got serious and actually started using my membership and it became something I loved and looked fwd to everyday. Now I'm down 70lbs and trying to lose another 15 or 20. Like amber that last 20 is getting tough to get rid of. I just started following megs blogs and instagram and its very motivating to get rid of that last 20lbs. I love reading stories now of others success with weight loss. Its an amazing feeling when you meet your goals. Ty skinny meg for great motivation!

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  60. "I love food and I'm lazy." Yep, that about sums me up too.

    PS You're awesome!

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  61. INSPIRING! I LOVE the middle picture of you trying on your wedding dress at your 5-year anniversary. You are glowing, and it reflects all your hard work and dedication!! Thank you for sharing your story!

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    I like it so much.


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  63. you look so good!!! even though I don't know you but this is awesome and I am so proud

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  65. WOW....just wow! Thanks so much for sharing!

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