006 was a life changing year for me because I finally decided to stop settling being overweight and unhealthy and finally decided that I needed a change. This all happened after a routine doctor's visit in March. I found out that my blood pressure was fairly high (my family has a history of high blood pressure) and in addition to this my doctor wanted to test for me for diabetics. I was very nervous because I knew that diabetics is a very serious disease, but I sighed relief when my doctor told me that I didn't have dietetics. I decided then and there that I can't keep going on like I'm going and if I don't I will eventually wind up dead, which was a big scare for me. So I slowly started eating healthier and working out.
Here is a picture of me probably at my heaviest at 267 lbs at the end of 2006/beginning of 2007:
When I first started out, I didn't really change all that much in my life, I started going to the gym again and started attempting to eat healthy again. This was somewhat difficult because I was still trying to balance the all my school commitments and also that fact that to be truly honest I wasn't as motivated as I would later become. In May of 2005, My Family and I went to Thailand to visit family and friends and by then I had lost a little bit of weight, but I was still very overweight for my body and my parents and extended family all commented all how I should lose weight. During the trip, I tried to exercise more and more and watch what I was eating and I saw some progress on the scale. Here is a picture of me in May of 2006 at the beach, I was probably somewhere in the 250's:
Always growing being overweight, I really didn't enjoy going to the beach mainly because I was embarrassed of my weight and what I had allowed my body to become. But I vowed that I would lose this extra weight and I will eventually have a beach body. When I came back from Thailand at the end of May 2006, I had this determination to lose weight for good this time. So I started going to the gym in the mornings, 7 AM, where I started lifting weights 5 Days a week. I would alternate days between upper body (arms/chest/shoulders) and lower body (Legs/Back) focused workouts. I also started incorporating more cardio into my normal routine, which at the beginning of my journey was either the stationery bike or the elliptical machine. The elliptical machine soon became one of my favorite things to do because I was always getting a good workout, but it was nice low impact which was key. I also had to change things up with my diet, so I cleaned out my apt and got rid of all of the junk food I was eating and start buying more vegetables and fruits and lean means. In addition to all of this working out, I was participating in a summer research program at my undergrad so instead of taking the bus to work every day, I opted to save money and get more exercise by walking instead. This proved to be another great addition to what was already working for me.
During that same summer of 2006, my parents were relocating from NJ to CA because my dad had gotten a promotion at work. My parents and I drove from NJ to CA during the July 4th weekend. So after a month of working out hard and changing my eating habits, I was very anxious to see what my parents thought of my progress so far. At this point I had lost probably about another 10 lbs since I had last seen them and I was feeling great about all of the progress that I had made so far. When they first say, they said that I looked much better and that I should keep going. Just those compliments alone gave me added motivation to keep going. During this trip I really came to the epiphany that I need to change my eating habits because basically what I was doing now was basically what had failed me in the past and I knew that I didn't want to fail again. So decided to research online more about eating healhty and realized that I shouldn't be eliminating food groups, I need to moderate my portions.
After coming back from CA, I continued with my program of working out and eating healthy and after about a month, I had lost another 10 lbs. Here's a pic of me in early August of 2006:
At the end of August of 2007, I was going to visit my parents and I knew that I wanted to lose as much as I could do show them just how determined I was and in general just to show them how far I had come. By the end of August I weighed in at 217 lbs, which means I lost about 17 lbs in August which was amazing to me. Here's a pic of me at the end of August of 2006:
My parents gave me tons of compliments and my extended also were very suprised with how I looked which added more fuel to the my weight loss fire. When I got back to school for my senior year, I was also very eager to see what my friends had though of my progress because I hadn't seen most of them all summer. Many of them gave me great compliments about how great I looked now and how much better I looked/acted then I was overweight. In my mind I was thrilled with all of the progress that I had made, but I knew that I couldn't stop here, there's still much more that I want to do. As soon as the semester started, it was abit tougher to fit in workouts because of my hectic schedule, but I decided since I'm already a morning person, why not go to the gym in the morning. This time ended up being 5:30 AM ( I know 5:30 AM) which seems insane to me now, but I was very committed to losing weight.I kept my normal routine but started tweaking my cardio sessions by adding the stationery, the treadmill and basketball with my roommates. I kept working hard and eating healthy and by the end of Sept I had lost another 11 lbs. Here's a pic of me:
As the lbs kept coming off, my clothes were fitting tighter and I was starting to see more definition in muscles, I was feeling great, but I knew that I couldn't become complacent, I had to keep going. I didn't give and midway through october, I had finally broken the very elusive 200 lb barrier, I couldn't even remember the last time I was under 200, probably middle school, but it was such a great feeling. Here's a pic of finally under 200.
The next big milestone for me was Thanksgiving 2006, which in my mind I wanted to be very close to my then goal weight of 180 lbs. I worked really hard throughout Oct and November, but I had some mishaps in the diet dept and ended up being 185 lbs for Thanksgiving which I was still thrilled about. Here's a pic of me at Thanksgiving:
The next big date on my calender was Christmas of 06 when I was going to see my parents for the first time in about 4 months, which I was somewhat anxious about because I wanted to show them all of the great progress I had made so far. I kept telling myself that I need to work hard because I really wanted to be at my goal weight of 180 by the time I went to visit them. After a lot of hard work and some slip ups, I was 182 lbs when I went to visit them. When I first met my parents in the aiport, they told me that they hardly recognized me at all, if it wasn't for an old shirt I was wearing, they might not have saw me, which was an amazing feeling within itself. All of that hard work and long hours in the gym were finally paying off. Here's a pic of me, Christmas 2006
Heading into 2007, I was feeling on top of cloud nine because I had finally taken control of my life with my weight and I was heading into my last semester of undergrad. The big motivating factor for me during the spring of 2007 was looking great for my graduation which was in May of 07. The spring of 07 was filled with alot of fluctuations with my weight despite alot of hard work on my part, but in general I slacked off a lot in the diet dept. I ended up weighing in at 187 for my undergrad graduation, which I was a little bit disappointed, but still 187 is still orders of magnitude better than 267. Here's one of my graduation pictures:
After graduation, I moved to CA to stay with parents for the summer until I started Grad School in the Fall. My parents had planned multiple summer family vacations, one of which was Hawaii, which really made me motivated to get back into shape and finally get my beach body. I started working out regularly again and eating healthy again. When I finally got to my parents in late May I weighed a whopping 195 lbs which to be honest I wasn't all that happy about, but I knew that I could lose the weight because I had in the past. After a month of hard work, I got my weight down to 185 lbs for the Hawaii Trip. Here's are two pics of me from the trip: