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Weight Loss

Lisa Griffis: How I Lost 185lbs

Tipping the scales at 340 pounds, Lisa Griffis started taking small steps to break the grip of a life-long curse, being overweight.

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Weight Loss: 6 Tips To Keep The Weight Off


Like millions of other women, this is the time of year I look back over the past 12 months and begin to list my expectations for the New Year. First on my list: I need to take better care of myself.


Last year, I gained 30 pounds and now, I can barely zip up my fat pants (you know the ones you keep, just in case). Yes, that’s a lot of weight to gain in one year. But what makes it even more disheartening is that I know better. Since 2005, I’ve lost almost 200 pounds and promised myself I’d never put it back on.


I am mad at myself. I thought I had beaten my weight problem. I thought I had taken control over my food-addiction. I used to be that woman that people on airplanes prayed they wouldn’t sit next to.


I was the woman about whom people would not-so-quietly-whisper, “That woman has a pretty face but her backside is the size of a cow.”


I couldn’t argue with them. I weighed 340 pounds. There was no denying my food addiction. It was there for the world to see.


There was no magic pill. Over the course of four years, I lost half of my former self by teaching myself how to eat healthy and work out.


My salvation? The old adage, “Calories in and calories out.” But, along with everything else I learned about a healthy lifestyle, one fact kept haunting me: Ninety-five percent of the people that lose weight gain it back; of the 5% that succeed, the failure rate over five years is high.


That statistic often kept me awake at night because deep down I knew the numbers weren’t in my favor.

Juggling school (I am pursuing certificates to become a wellness coach and personal trainer), a new boyfriend and working ever-changing shifts at work (I am a designer for a newspaper) consumed my time and I forgot to take time for myself.


I NEED to get back on the diet bandwagon. I need to start making time for myself to exercise.

This time I am going about it as if this is the rest of my life. There is no thinking, “When I lose x-amount of weight, I can eat…” This time I have to deal with the stress that makes me reach for food more than anything else. This time I am going to manage it instead of letting it overtake my life.


6 Tips to Get Back on The Diet Bandwagon and Keep My Weight off:


1. More sleep. At least 7 hours a night. More if I can, but at least that.


2. Portion control my food and keep a food journal for the first two weeks.I have to catch my mindless eating and get back to proper portions. Portion distortion led to my own distortion before I lost 200 pounds. It is part of my problem now.


3. Calories in and calories out.Simple but yet effective.


4. Working out.I used to love it but when you get out of the habit, it’s hard to get back into it. So I will begin with just one hour a day; more on weekends. Strength training, Pilates, cardio. Just do it, Lisa. Set the alarm clock early and go to bed early.


5. Posting a picture of the old me on my refrigerator and at my desk at work.I can’t forget what I went through to lose 185 pounds. I don’t want to have to start over and I do NOT want to return to my old ways.


6. Pitch my fat pants when I get out of them. Maybe I’ll burn them. No, wait. They’re made of polyester and the fumes are toxic.


I would love some company as I make my way back to the “New Me” in the New Year. Send me your list of tips, add to my list.


I would love more suggestions. It’s much more fun to do this with girlfriends. I can’t wait to hear from you!


Lisa Griffis has lost over 185 pounds through diet, exercise and sheer determination. She is a member of the TODAY’s show “Joy Fit Club” and a regular ShareWIK.com columnist. Visit her website at lisagriffis.com.

Hear Lisa's first hand account of what inspired her to lose 185 lbs


More Lisa Griffis articles


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