A Weight Loss Success Story in the Making :
Above: Leslie's "before" picture
Above: Leslie's current picture
Starting Weight : 297.8 pounds
Hey, Brian and Katerina. Saw your post on the message board and thought I'd send you my story. I've had a weight problem for the past 12 years (since the birth of my son). I'm 38 years old and weigh more now than I did when I was pregnant. I've joined and quit WW more times than I can remember.
Last September, my husband and I participated in a 2-day bicycle event that really, I believe, inspired me to get the extra weight off. We rode the MS-150 from San Antonio to Corpus Christi, Texas; approximately 144 miles in 2 days. The first day we had to ride 84 miles (San Antonio to Beeville). At mile 70, I thought I could not pedal another stroke. I told my husband that I was quitting and needed to SAG (support vehicles that will pick up riders if they can't make it to the finish). We continued walking our bikes down the road, waiting for a SAG vehicle to pick us up. I probably walked about a mile and somehow I found the strength and courage to get back on my bike and complete the days ride. My husband was very encouraging and I finally made it to the finish line. We had ridden from 8am - 5pm that day. After a night's rest, we started the last day of our trek (60 miles) into Corpus Christi. My parents and our son were going to meet us at the finish line and drive us back to Houston (our home). I was very sore and slow moving that second morning. We rode the 12-15 miles to the first rest stop of the day. After re-fueling my body, I noticed my husband talking to another cyclist and decided to stroll over to them. The "thin" female cyclist told me that I had inspired her yesterday. She said she was on the side of the road crying because she was hurting so bad and she saw me ride past her, and decided if I could do it, she could too. That really made me feel good, at that time. We saw her again at the lunch break and she was talking about SAGging. I told her that it helped me to just get off the bike and walk for a while until you feel you can continue. We saw her again with only 15 miles left to go to the finish line and she was SAGging. We waived and kept riding. Once I could see the water in Corpus Christi, I knew I would make it! We rode to the finish line and there were lots of other cyclists, and people with multiple sclerosis and of course, my son and parents cheering for us as we crossed. It was a very emotional and rewarding experience for me. We hugged each other and my family and I felt the tears coming. I had really done it! I was so proud for completing such an event; the longest distance I had ever ridden was 65 miles. Just before we were to leave for home, I was walking to the truck after changing my clothes and another "thin", male cyclist stopped me and said, "M'am, you did a fantastic job!" This just sent me into orbit and put a permanent smile on my face.
Anyway, after getting home and being congratulated by my friends and co-workers, I began to really think about my feelings and the whole experience of the ride. At the time, it really made me feel good to have a "thin" cyclist tell me I inspired them and that a did great, but I decided that I didn't want to be the "fat girl" who awed everyone by completing a 2-day ride. I decided I wanted to be an in-shape cyclist who didn't have to struggle to complete a 2-day event. I decided I didn't want people staring at me and maybe wondering what the heck I, a fat girl, was doing out there, trying to complete such an event. Cyclists aren't fat; how could I consider myself in the same class as these thin riders?
I've been riding consistently since I began WW on January 6, 2001. I have lost 46.8 lbs and am hoping to reach 50 lbs. by next week's weigh-in which would be 50 lbs in 5 months. I feel more committed this time than any other time I've been on WW and I feel that the cycling experience last year has a lot to do with my feelings and motivation. Thanks for letting me share this story with you and I wish you both continued success on your journey. You are both such an inspiration to us all.