I've been reading everyone's stories (wow wow wow) so I think I'll share mine now.
I'm a 48 year old woman, 5'7" (used to be 5'8" go figure). I have always been pretty active but not competitively so...I prefer solitary sports..horseback riding, walking, a little jogging (in my twenties). I weighed around 155 for most of my young adult life, occasionally creeping up to 180 or down to 130.
As I aged I held around 170-180 mostly, but I still felt pretty good about the way I looked and felt...I could do anything I wanted to, I could ride horses so I was happy.
I had 2 kids in my early 20s...I was 130 when I got pregnant with the first one, and 3 months after his birth, 140 when I got pregnant with the second...my weight would go up to 180-185 but then came down pretty quickly. After #2 I don't think I ever got below 130 again.
Fast forward to age 38..I was holding right at 172 or so and got pregnant. Twice, I had my last 2 children a year and two days apart...but I was back down to 182 when I hit my foot into a wall and broke a small bone...
Over the next couple of years I packed on weight. I couldn't walk the weight off and I couldn't run at all because of my injury...I wasn't riding horses anymore (I didn't have any) and I had two little kids to watch, as well as working. I didn't have the time or the resources to commit to exercise.
I picked up a couple of horses a few years back, and IMAGINE my horror when I went to get on my pretty Arab girl and realized I couldn't pull my fat butt up!! This was quite a shocker for me...I've NEVER had trouble getting on a horse...my horses were usually quite tall and it has just never been an issue. I did eventually get on my horse, lol...bless her heart she was very patient with me and it's a good thing because it took a while and it was not comfortable for either one of us hahahaha...I keep expecting to see a YouTube video of that day online, taken by one of the neighbors who overlooked the pasture, who HAD to be laughing their butts off. I think even my horse was laughing.
Anyway, at that point my plan was to get in shape by riding..unfortunately the death of my pretty mare put the kabosh to that.
So then for about a year, I just didn't care so much. I was in a tiny community, I had two little kids, I worked full time...the weather was extremely cold in the winter and hot in the summer (high desert). I sort of liked the fact that I was completely free of male attention for the first time in my life..in fact I still sort of like that..so I didn't make any sort of push to lose weight or exercise, other than occasionally strolling to work.
Then a transfer I wanted came through, and we moved to the community I'm in now...a coastal community where everybody (and I do mean everybody) bicycles, where there are trails for bikes, for hiking, where there is the beach. My home, the kids' school, my work are all located in a big circle, with a circumference of maybe 2.5 miles...I determined that I was going to get a bicycle and ride bikes with the kids, and ride to work.
I got my bike(s) in the Spring. By then I was quite alarmed at the rate at which I was losing flexibility, breath and strength...it seems like suddenly tying my shoes was a big ordeal, let alone picking things up off the floor. Climbing the dunes to get to the beach made me feel like DYING (to be honest, it is quite a climb). Even sleeping was uncomfortable.
I got a mountain bike, thinking it was something else...then picked up an old Schwinn 7 speed (one of the old blue bikes) with a big, comfy saddle.
I tell you, it was scary at first. For one thing, it was hard for me to get on and off the bike..almost impossible with the new bike, a little easier with the old one...but still very awkward and unsteady. Then I wasn't able to move right into riding every day with the kids because someone vandalized our bikes and it took me a while to get my daughter's fixed...and I still haven't fixed the old Schwinn..I started riding the mountain bike instead.
It was SUPREMELY uncomfortable at first...it felt like I was going to go over the handlebars, it felt like it was designed to exert pressure on big nerve balls in my pelvis...but I kept with it, at least a couple of times a week, sometimes with the kids, sometimes just going to work or a jaunt to the grocery store. Gradually everything improved...I went from having to awkwardly walk my bike down my driveway (quite steep) and flouder around at the bottom to mount, to actually being able to hop on at the top of the driveway and roll down into the street. I found I could stand up when I needed to get up over steep hills (there is a fun little trail that is up/down/up/down, pretty steep) and really work it. I found that looking behind me to see if traffic was coming was no longer a neck breaking, bike swerving ordeal, and I found that I was able to navigate town streets/highways/stops/turns comfortably and safely (I don't think anyone would have called me comfortable or safe initially, I always was just on the verge of wiping out in a big way).
Since school started, I've kicked it into gear. I get the kids off to school (they won't be riding through the winter, the weather is too nasty, we have to cross a highway and my son isn't quite controlled enough...next year he'll be safer) then I ride my bike the 1.5 miles to work...and then back home for lunch, then back to work, then back home. Last week I also had a day where I ran errands that took me clear to the other side of town and to my house and back to work on my lunch hour.
I think I started out weighing about 250 at my heaviest. I think I'm around 230 now. I don't weigh myself very often at this point. BUT I'm able to wear clothes that 3 weeks ago were gathering dust in my closet. I have 3 pairs of khakis that I haven't worn all summer because they were uncomfortable. My bras are fitting me again. My ankles aren't swelling and I can see my ankle bones and achilles. My upper back isn't burning any more. My boobs once again can be distinguished from my stomach.
My goal is to be 160 next August. I don't know if it's realistic, I have no idea how this is going to go because I've never had to lose so much weight before. But I am pleased with how it's going right now. I avoided my 30 year class reunion this year because I didn't want people to see me like this (this is not the girl they remember from school, lololol) but I want to go next year and I plan on going to the Pendleton Round-Up as well, and I don't want to go as a fatty this coming year.
Primarily though, I just feel better. I can pick things up off the floor...I can once again put lotion on my lower calves/feet without having to lay down on the bed and use a winch to haul my leg up to where I can reach it...heck I think my face looks better.
So that's me. I'm not really tackling the diet right now...if I'm exercising, I eat in moderation. It's when I don't exercise that I want to eat continually. Plus I tend to eat at night, but since I've been cycling almost every day, I find I don't wake up in the middle of the night to eat.
I do realize that the weight is going to come off fast at first. I expect to have to change things up somewhere around 185, and then have to really fight for those last 25 lbs. I expect to hit 185 though fairly quickly.
Wish me luck!
I'll post pics eventually....probably not before I'm at 185, I think that's a good "during" weight for me....when I get there I'll post a before and during pic.