The typical weight-loss journey is never a straight path; it’s more like a bumpy ride with highs and lows along the way. At times on the journey, people will lose weight, hit plateaus and maybe even gain weight back.
That’s something Linda Abrahamson, Tax Accounting Supervisor, knows all too well. From May 2014 to 2015, Linda lost an impressive 90 pounds. But she recently gained some back. “In September, I was working so many hours, and also had a personal project on the side, that I didn’t do the best planning for meals. That was the worst month for me. But I got back on track. Then the holidays hit, and I again had many work hours in January.”
Such temporary setbacks are normal. After all, losing weight isn’t easy and life happens. The key is to keep moving forward. “The biggest challenge now is all the emotional stuff going on in your head when you beat yourself up,” she said. “And then trying to get in your head that you can do this, you’re strong and you want to really take control finally.”
“Now I have to get back in losing mode again,” she said. “In the past, I’d say ‘I blew it and I’m done,’ and the weight would come back on. But for me this has to be a lifestyle change. I’m doing this to the end.”
Linda credits a new mindset for her determination. “In the past, I was all or nothing. I always thought I had to be perfect and get it off as quickly as I could. But I’ve realized I’m human, and it’s not going to happen overnight. The important thing is to keep going. I can’t go back to the mindset I had before or I’ll gain it all back.”
“Also the difference is, I want to be healthier, I want to look better. I want to be able to keep up with my nieces and nephews, who are having children now, and do things with them.”
How She’s Doing It
Weight Watchers helped Linda change her eating habits. “I weigh and measure everything. I believe that’s key. Portion control is important for people who struggle with weight,” she said. “Also, I’m eating more vegetables in a month now than I used to eat in a year.”
In addition, Linda started to move more, often walking with coworkers at lunch. “I do Power Walk class three times a week, depending on my workload, and I walk through the park with my husband on the weekends, weather permitting,” she said. She also took advantage of some onsite fitness classes and StayWell’s phone coaching for knee strengthening exercises and extra weight-loss support.
“It has been a challenge, to say the least, but has been worth it physically, emotionally and medically,” she noted. “I’m down several sizes in clothes. I’ve reduced my blood pressure medication, I’m getting stronger and I feel better physically and mentally,” she added. “I used to hide behind people when they wanted to take a picture. I don’t do that anymore.”
“I’m not a finished story. I’m a work-in-progress story,” said Linda.
She says her next big goal is to reach 100 pounds lost. “I told my friends when I hit my goal, I want to have a big party and invite everybody to a dance club on a Saturday afternoon so we can fill up the whole club and dance the night away. That’s what I’m going to treat myself with … for everyone to meet and celebrate my success and dance with me.”
Even still, Linda says her journey won’t end there. She thinks maintenance will be her biggest challenge. Fortunately, she has the determination and support to keep her going. “My husband and my coworkers have been so supportive. I have coworkers from out of town who say, ‘Are we dancing yet?’”
While ups and downs will likely continue to be part of her journey, one thing’s for sure: a big dance party is definitely on the road ahead.